James Bond, Monte Carlo–a casino party conjures up many different images of class and elegance, giving your party the perfect start for a successful evening. After you’ve taken care of the guest list, food and decorations, the most important element of a casino party remains: the games your guests will play. Guests will expect traditional casino games, but you can make things more interesting with twists on old classics. Have guests bet with poker chips instead of money to make sure the tension doesn’t rise too high, and have enough prizes on hand for certain amounts of chips so that nobody leaves empty-handed.
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One of the classic casino games, poker–particularly Texas Hold ‘Em and other traditional games–makes a great game for a casino party. There are a variety of poker games you can choose from, but Texas Hold ‘Em is likely to be the game with which guests are most familiar. Have the dealer give each player two cards, face down. Everybody bets, and each person either calls, raises or folds. The next three cards are communal and the dealer puts them face up in the center of the table. Each player should make the best hand possible with these three cards and their cards and bet according to this hand. The dealer then puts a fourth card down (followed by another round of betting) and a fifth card. Players make the best hand possible using the seven cards they have. The player with the best hand gets the money that’s been bet.
In blackjack, also known as 21, the dealer plays against the players. It’s a good idea to hire a dealer, even if it’s just a local college student, so no guest has to get stuck doing the job all night. In blackjack, each card is worth its number in points (a two is worth two points, and so on), except for face cards, which are all worth 10 points, and aces, which are either worth 11 or one, depending on what serves the player best. Players place their bets. Then, the dealer gives two cards to both himself and the player. The first person to 21 points wins. If this happens on the first two cards, it is called “blackjack,” and the player automatically wins.
James Bond Betting
Invent games for your party using casino-related movies. For example, you can use a segment of a James Bond movie and have all of your guests bet beforehand on a random concept: how many drinks he’ll take, how many times “007” will appear or how many times he will say “Moneypenny.” The player who gets closest wins the round. Don’t make these segments too long (5 to 10 minutes is best) and have them selected beforehand, so you have the optimal clips selected in advance.