Casual Casino Night Advice/Ideas (1 Viewer)

atomiktoaster

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I've been tossing around ideas for a home casino cocktail party for the past several months. I thought you guys would have some good insights to gain from, since my casino hours aren't terribly extensive.

The overall idea is to have 4-8 couples over to play a rotating variety of table games without much/any gambling experience necessary. The prizes would be a beer/wine exchange, where each person brings a bottle or a couple six packs to be re-distributed at the end of the night. Everyone would start with the same amount of chips (1000?) and play against the house. At the end of the night, whoever has the most chips gets the first choice of the spoils. I'd put on offer a nice bottle of spirits (Blanton's or something similar) as a incentive prize, and a fine selection of the most neon-colored Boone's Farm for whoever ends up with empty pockets.

Games to offer, maybe 30 minutes per rotation:
Blackjack (5 or 10 per hand)
Craps (5 minimum bet, 4-5-6 odds or 10x odds?, need to get a layout)
Roulette (5 bet on red/black, 1 on numbers? Need a wheel solution (virtual or physical), layout, maybe dice chips for roulette chips)
Poker (1/2 NLHE for a couple orbits)
Other games? (maybe simpler stud poker game, bingo, War!, Pai Gow)

I'd like to have the stakes be consistent from game to game. Any advice on how to tweak the rules or otherwise ensure a good time would be appreciated. For a bank,
I have:
100 X $1
30 X $2.50
400 X $5
300 X $25
150 X $100
48 X $500 and can always write letters of credit in either direction, if it makes sense.

Most of the action in $5s and $25s would work best, but I can handle roulette and craps, I think. I'd like to get in on poker and blackjack, even if I'm dealing and playing a hand. If I mainly work the table for craps or roulette, that's fine.
 

Poker Zombie

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How many hours do you want it to last? Without a skilled dealer (multiple dealers in the case of craps) you are not getting in many hands of anything @ 30 minutes. You will also burn time as you change from one table to the next, be that set-up time or just going to another room. You hit the basics for a good casino night. I just think there needs to be more time, not more games.
 

Mr Tree

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How many hours do you want it to last? Without a skilled dealer (multiple dealers in the case of craps) you are not getting in many hands of anything @ 30 minutes. You will also burn time as you change from one table to the next, be that set-up time or just going to another room. You hit the basics for a good casino night. I just think there needs to be more time, not more games.

This!

Make it about quality time for the games you are playing than the number of games you play.

Fun idea.
 

dennis63

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For the full effect, you'd want to rent equipment from a casino rental company -- roulette table, wheel and chips, etc. That won't be very expensive for an evening.

You are certainly welcome to use the virtual roulette wheel on the Key West website under free games. You could do full virtual roulette for up to six players on your TV screen connected to a laptop. (I use a remote mouse as it's easier to click on the buttons), or you could use just the virtual wheel, then set up a real layout at your location, with chips. (Just click "I'm done betting" and the wheel will still spin to a result with no bets placed. The bets would be on your home layout, of course.)
 

atomiktoaster

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Full effect would be great, but I'd like to keep it cheap, at least for the first time. 30 minutes is probably short, if people are having a good time it could go longer for sure. I doubt we'll get half the hand rate of a crappy casino.

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

How many hours do you want it to last?


We'd probably be looking at wrapping up after 3-4 hours. Doing the exchange means we need to count up stacks at some point. It's hard to get a late night crowd when most of the people have young kids right now.
 

Poker Zombie

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Just my thoughts:

1 hour of each game. Start with blackjack, then craps, followed by roulette, ending with poker. The games that I feel are the least likely to bankrupt a player are played earlier in the evening. If you played limit poker, I would move that to 3rd, and watch the action unfold as short stacks risk huge amounts on "50/50" bets on the roulette wheel.

I would guess I he first 5 minutes will be burned in each game just explaining the rules (15 minutes for craps), so each event would only be played once, thus not needing to reset any particular table, or giving a quick refresher.
 

atomiktoaster

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Just my thoughts:

1 hour of each game. Start with blackjack, then craps, followed by roulette, ending with poker. The games that I feel are the least likely to bankrupt a player are played earlier in the evening. If you played limit poker, I would move that to 3rd, and watch the action unfold as short stacks risk huge amounts on "50/50" bets on the roulette wheel.

I would guess I he first 5 minutes will be burned in each game just explaining the rules (15 minutes for craps), so each event would only be played once, thus not needing to reset any particular table, or giving a quick refresher.


I like that approach. Very well thought out. I'm thinking 2/5, possibly limit poker could work better for the bank and keeps people from being completely felted (ties for last aren't ideal here). I don't know how many wives will be into poker, but desperation at the roulette wheel sounds like lots of fun to close things off.
 

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I rented my equipment for a casino night recently where the host did rounds of blackjack and poker which led to a final table of baccarat. Each round was 30 minutes, tables of 6 players for either BJ or poker. Whoever had the most amount of chips at the end would advance to the final table. We used poker tables as BJ tables as it was the more popular game but there was still usually at least one poker game going. Mixing in come craps and roulette would be fun and could be run the same way. With the 30 minute time frame, we usually went through 1 shoe of 6 decks for the BJ so we didn't have to reshuffle.
 

atomiktoaster

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When you run a big event like this, do the players color up frequently if they go get a drink or something? Is it worth handing out racks so people can drop in and out of hands of blackjack without stopping to make change?

I rented my equipment for a casino night recently where the host did rounds of blackjack and poker which led to a final table of baccarat. Each round was 30 minutes, tables of 6 players for either BJ or poker. Whoever had the most amount of chips at the end would advance to the final table. We used poker tables as BJ tables as it was the more popular game but there was still usually at least one poker game going. Mixing in come craps and roulette would be fun and could be run the same way. With the 30 minute time frame, we usually went through 1 shoe of 6 decks for the BJ so we didn't have to reshuffle.
 

T_Chan

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For a half an hour tournament, I normally don't have anyone leave the table. It's just half an hour so they get ready before the tourney starts and stay for the whole thing and then go get their drinks or whatnot after they're eliminated or the round is over. No chipping up either. It wasn't the format where people take their chips from table to table, you would get a 5k starting stack for a tournament, play the half an hour and the winner would advance. The chips would reset and we would seat another 6 players. Those who didn't advance would play again sometimes.
 

atomiktoaster

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Picked up a shot glass roulette wheel and a two-sided craps/roulette layout along with my last order of SSC. Still planning on having the party this spring. I think I'm gonna have to cut down the options on the craps bets if I'm going to take care of paying them out. There's a reason it takes 3 people to run a casino table... makes my head spin trying to learn the game even from the players side.
 

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Consider basic craps, aka street craps, instead of casino craps. No Bank, no weird payouts.

Players ante up before rolling for the shooter, and that money is used towards matching the shooter's initial bet.

You only need a pass/crap line for betting. People can make additional side bets to pass or not any time, as long as someone else takes the bet by matching it.

When the shooter passes, craps out, or makes point, the money to pay off the bets is already on the board, no bank! Winners pick up, losers don't. Ante up and repeat.

Either game, you need a wall to shoot off of. That's the tricky part for a home game; you don't have a deep-walled craps table to shoot in, and playing off the wall on the floor is pretty ghetto. So I recommend a dice cup,to ensure fair rolls with a little class.
 

atomiktoaster

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Very helpful. Your setup is much nicer than mine, but the play should be similar. It has me worried about my bank a bit, at 45000. Not sure I can handle 10 players starting at 1k.
 

atomiktoaster

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Casino night is scheduled for next Friday. Got my setups ready for roulette and craps. Not fancy, but they'll do. The backstop for craps was all material I had left over, except the hinges.

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atomiktoaster

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Okay, so things are going down Friday, despite the fact that I'll have an NCAA tournament game going on at the same time. Can't win on the schedules sometimes :/

Here's my last minute checks, any input welcome:

Players 8-12
Starting Chips $1000/per player (total bank of ~$37k, without going into high denom chips from my sample sets). If players bust out, they can take a loan for more chips (counts against final scoring).

Each game plays for 30 minutes-1 hour, depending on how people feel about it.

Blackjack
Minimum bet $5, max $50, Dealer stands soft 17, late surrender, double after splitting, split to 4 hands

Craps
Minimum best $5, max $50, 3-4-5 odds (exact only), no come bets, no buy or place, hardways only on the point, snake eyes pays 3x on the field

Poker
$1-2 NLHE, Min buy-in $100, max buy-in $200 (keep the rest of your bank off the table/in a rack). Only have one rack of singles.

Roulette
5 colors of roulette chips, 50 chips each, plus a rack each of separate $5s and $25s. Minimum chip value of $1, max $25 (not sure about this at all).

Grand Prize
Leaning toward bourbon (possibly Blanton's) but maybe Champagne is more female-friendly. $40-50 is the target. It's a crowd that drinks a lot of Bud Light but would appreciate some quality product if it was accessible (read: no Islay scotch, tequila anejo, cognac, gin, red wines that require cellaring, beers with the words "Imperial" or "Triple" or "India" in the names).

Donkey Prize
Two bottles of Boone's Farm, the official beverage of college freshmen's poor decisions.
 

Mental Nomad

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Need a minimum bet on the Routlette - maybe $5 inside, or $5 outside?

Also, do you have a token to mark the winning number at roulette? Any small statuette will do. It will make sweeping off the losing bets much easier.
 

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Make your roulette chips all worth $1, with the $5 min bet as Nomad says.

Craps where you can only play one number and have to wait until the point is made or sevens out would be extremely boring. You will spend a lot less time explaining the proper bets to newbies if you go with a straight 5x odds.
 

atomiktoaster

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Makers Mark 46!

Crown Royal apple...very popular around here especially with the ladies.

Maker's 46 wouldn't be bad, or Woodford Reserve Double Oaked. Price is close enough that I might go for Blanton's based on novelty. If I hadn't sampled Crown Apple and Maple at the liquor store, you might be in trouble... The maple was just odd because the smell made you expect sweetness which isn't in the sip, the apple just reminded me of green jolly ranchers dissolved in Jim Beam (not a winner, IMO). They both might make for good, creative cocktails though.


Need a minimum bet on the Routlette - maybe $5 inside, or $5 outside?

Also, do you have a token to mark the winning number at roulette? Any small statuette will do. It will make sweeping off the losing bets much easier.

$5 inside seems a little high, but $5 outside is reasonable. I'm not sure how people will bet. I might recommend they chip in at $5 or $10 if they want to stay with outside bets, and maybe $1 or $2 if they want to play the inside with a lot of bets per spin. The plan was to give the players a stack of 20 roulette chips when come up to the table and pay out any 35:1 winners in cash chips directly. I do have a marker, and it's a big help with keeping things straight.
 

atomiktoaster

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Make your roulette chips all worth $1, with the $5 min bet as Nomad says.

Craps where you can only play one number and have to wait until the point is made or sevens out would be extremely boring. You will spend a lot less time explaining the proper bets to newbies if you go with a straight 5x odds.

Ok, $5 total. That could work out. I'll probably put that into action. Might still have some people who just want to put $5 on red and stay out of the inside. I was just going to leave a chip by their stack in the bank that matched up what they were playing when it was time to cash them out.

I've never played craps in a casino, and I'm handling all the dealing on the table. They'll have the field, big 6/8, 2,3,11,12, any 7 and any craps to play. I don't have lammers to keep track of buy or place bets, and keeping track of who has chips on what points after come bets is a daunting idea. They probably will be too drunk to remember anyway. I'm pretty sure only one guy has played, and he told me he usually doesn't understand why the dealer is giving him more chips.

Straight 5x wouldn't be too bad, I guess. I'd need the snappers again to pay off 5s and 9s, right? ($25 odds on $5 pass bet wins $37.50? Other payouts would be $50 and $30?)

The don't pass odds become trickier there... probably just stick with 6x.
 

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$5 inside doesn't mean each chip is $5 - it means they have to place at least $5 worth of bets. With $1 chips, that's five chips. A roulette spin with only a couple chips on the layout looks very sad.

On tracking players and payouts -

Imagine the betting square on the layout is a little map of the table. Everyone is standing around the table in an order. When the guy in the middle places a bet, move it so that it's along the middle edge of the box. When the girl by the corner makes a bet, move it to her corner of the box. Watch people place their bets, and immediately fix them. This will pay off in spades at payout time.

Also, when the roll comes, or the spin, call out the complete winner, not just the number. Call out everything that pays off. Like, "Red 23, Odd, High." Calling out all the bets that win is fun and exciting, it advertises the bets people may not be taking, but most importantly, it reminds what not to take off the table when you're sweeping the felt!
 
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atomiktoaster

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Thanks for the advice, Nomad.

I've also opened a casino night sports book, one NCAA bet against the spread for each player, up to $200 out of the $1000.
 

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I try and teach the players from making the big house edge bets like big 6/8 and the one roll bets like c&e, field etc. Makes the dealers life easier anyways. Most casinos don't even bother using layouts with Big 6/8 anymore because everyone knows they are bad bets.

Just do what casinos do and don't pay out full money if someone uses an odd value odds bet on 5/9. If you notice, tell them to make it even. Many casinos let you go to $30 for 5/9 when taking max odds on a $5 bet or you could make them go to $24 or $26 to keep it even. Many people won't go max odds anyways so using a straight 5x for all numbers keeps your life simple.

Here is a graphic that show how to move come/place bets:

Using the 8 point as an example, bets on the edge are come bets, and can take odds, whereas bets inside the box are the place bets. So players 1,3,4,5,8 have come bets and 2,6,7 have place bets. The players are numbered in order around the table, with player 8 being closest to the dealer and player 1 the farthest. To help me out, when I start the game I tell each player their number and ask them to remind me when I move bets or make payouts. The players spot on the point remains constant regardless of how many players have bets, so for example if the 1 player doesn't have a bet on the 8 point, you skip that spot and put 2,3 and 4 in the same location. The placement is similar, if for example, you are taking hardway bets.

craps.jpg
 
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atomiktoaster

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Yeah, big 6/8 is a terrible bet, but it's on my cheap layout. I could pay triple on 2 and 12 to make the field bet EV neutral, but maybe instilling bad habits isn't the best. If I went with 3-4-5 odds, it was going to be max or nothing, to simplify payouts.

I like that system, but on a 5' layout the point boxes are just about the size of 4 chips touching in a 2x2 pattern. Plus, I want to keep the dice rolling, not have to look up odds on place bets. I just don't think I can be effective doing all the work of a stickman and two boxmen on the first time I've ever been to a craps table, teaching the game to everyone else. I do like to know how to do things right, though. I might try to handle a couple come bets if I player surprises me and knows how to bet them. Otherwise, "how to play the pass line" is a good first lesson for everybody.
 

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Dealing craps by yourself is extremely hard. I'm exhausted mentally and physically when the round is over. No wonder casinos use a crew of 4. Since your layout is double ended you could use the above system and put 4 players per end. In a pinch you could go 6 per end and use two columns of 3 per box.
 
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It was a lot of fun for everybody last night. Grand prize was a bottle of Maker's 46, a bottle of french champagne and a bottle of Abita Andygator. The exchange setup worked great. Craps was the biggest hit, even offering limited bets. A couple nice points hit and a called shot on the yo got everybody going.


The winner picked up a 3 way pot in our 1/2 game that lasted about 40 minutes and less than one orbit. The combination of "fake money" and multiple first timers lead to about zero fold equity. I probably dropped about $300 there, but I made myself feel better by saying it would be embarrassing to win my own grand prize... ended up placing 10/12 and got an interesting looking bottle of bourbon for my troubles. The purple chips started showing up in the red/black spaces on the roulette layout as the number of spins left dwindled. The last spot went to my friend who lost his $500 on the last spin of the night. He pledged to drink his 25 oz can of Bud Light Lime-a-rita and bottle of Boone's Farm Strawberry Hill like a man.

We didn't get started until almost 7:30 and had to count up at 10:30. A Saturday would probably have let us push the start up, which would be nice. NLHE seemed to interupt the rhythm the worst, but we really didn't get time to settle in to it. Everybody ended up playing $1 values on their roulette chips, but it wouldn't have been too hard to have worked out something different if necessary. The big outside bets just used the normal chips, which was manageable. Couples shared colors and kept track of their winnings. The biggest advantage of ending with roulette is that you don't have to change back to normal chips, we just counted them with the rest of the rack and lined up in order from highest stack to lowest to pick our prizes.

Overall 10/10, would recommend.
 

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We're taking another go at the casino night Saturday. Anybody got some easy money picks for me on the sports book? LSU +6.5 is tempting.
 
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