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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Craps: Lesson 2

For those new to this blog and want to learn how to play craps, go back a few posts and read Craps: Lesson 1 For everyone else, a quick review.  In Lesson 1, we discussed the first bet you make (on the Pass Line) when the puck or button is OFF (more commonly called the "come out roll") as this is the beginning of a shooters roll.

If you remember, your Pass Line bet WINS (even money, or one chip for one chip) on a 7 or 11 and loses on a 2, 3 or 12 on this "come out roll". 

If any other number is rolled the puck is turned ON and placed on that number, we now call that number the POINT.  This changes the game drastically and now your PASS LINE bet becomes that number.  What I mean is, that number must be rolled a second time for you to win or your bet will lose if a seven is rolled before that number. 

For instance, if a six is rolled on the "come out roll", the puck is turned ON and placed on the six and your PASS LINE bet is now the six; the stick-person will usually say "the point is six".  Now, you win if a six is rolled before a seven - that's it.  No other numbers matter; when the point is the six, you win on a six, lose on a seven.

If either the POINT is rolled or a seven rolls (either you win or lose), the puck is then turned OFF and the process starts all over again.

Lesson 3 will discuss the next thing you must do, as soon as a POINT is established. Your next bet is the most important bet you can make at a craps table !  It is called "taking the odds" and you place an additional bet one inch behind your original PASS LINE bet. You will receive true casino odds on this bet.   Lets stop here and stay tuned for LESSON 3.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I have an addiction

ok before anyone gets too worried, it is NOT one of those addictions that are serious nor require medications, support groups or a ten step process,  I wont be invited on the Dr. Phil, Oprah or Jerry Springer shows either.

Now that I have set that record straight, my addiction is Raspberry Milano.  Ok, one more clarification.  It is NOT an infatuation with the one and only Alyssa Milano wearing a raspberry robe, though I could very easily be persuaded to be addicted to her.  That would certainly be a more healthy addiction than the one I am about to confess to but she may not agree.

My (newest) addiction is one of the cookie sort, more accurately a Pepperidge Farm cookie called the Raspberry Milano.  If you have not tried these, dont ! You too will become addicted very quickly.  So I warn you - do not even try them ! 

The package begs us to "indulge in a little raspberry romance . . . " and continues to tell us to "embrace decadent cravings. Reward yourself. Open . . .Taste . . .Delight"

With a package so enticing it is no wonder that I have this addiction. 

If you care to help me with my issue, go buy a package; at least then there will be one less for me to consume.  If you dont care to help, leave them on the groceries shelves, I will be around your neighborhood soon enough to but them all and stock my entire home. 

If neither of those options appeal to you, just let Alyssa know.  She might be the only cure to my addiction.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

the Roaring 20's

The age of glamour, jazz, speakeasy's, fashion, crime and sometimes known as the Golden Twenties is a perfect theme for a Casino Night .

Last night event was a Roaring success. All of the guests dressed to the "nine's"; ladies in flapper attire, guys as gangsters, entertainers and bootleggers.  The music was a mix of era's which added to the wonderful atmosphere and the four gaming tables (Craps, two blackjack and a three card poker) were busy all night.   
The organization had a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, several "winners" in the casino and a live auction with included an 8 foot gorgeous billiard table and a week in a mountain cabin in North Carolina.  This Brandon Parrish (who wish to remain anonymous) raised more money than ever expected, had more fun than most had had in years and have committed to doing this again next year.

So, when it comes to your next event, think about a Casino Night Theme and the Roaring Twenties; everyone will enjoy ! 

Friday, November 19, 2010

You probably did not know this

CASINO NIGHTS is more than just your typical provider of Las Vegas style table games and professional dealers for your party.

One thing that separates us from the crowd is our connection to so much more.  Yes Casino Nights is actually part of Apollo Amusements and Gameroom SuperStore along with Saturn 5 indoor amusement center in Bradenton Florida.

This allows us to offer YOU the largest selection of video and pinball games, foosball, air hockey, ping pong and even billiards for rental.  All of these can add major FUN at any of your upcoming events.

If you only want to rent a few video games, have an air hockey or foos ball fun filled afternoon, reward your employees (or friends) with an evening of friendly competition without the "formality" of tuxedo wearing dealers, then calling Casino Nights and renting these other FUN games is all you need.

When you call 1-877/FLA-PLAY you get the full array of FUN for any sort of event you may want to plan.  Ask for Steve or John and let us know you have read this blog for an extra discount.

See, this is something you probably did not know. 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Blackjack Tournament

Many of you are familiar with a Texas Hold'em (poker) tournament, where players pay a fee and play until one player has all the chips.  Typically a tournament can last upwards of three or four hours (depending on the number of players and how the blinds are structured).  A big question that is asked at ALL of these tournaments is what do the players do once they are eliminated.  Many times side games are developed and other times players just leave.

CASINO NIGHTS can arrange for either the traditional Texas Hold'em tournament or assist you in planning a Blackjack Tournament.

A BLACKJACK Tournament is run rather differently, can be more FUN and exciting for more players and your organization can actually raise MORE money.  Here is how this works.

1) you need fewer tables than poker; if you expect 100 players you only need four blackjack tables (10-12 if it is poker) saving you hundreds of dollars

2)  the same buy-in concept works as in Texas Hold'em; though only seven (7) players play at each table

3) each round of play consists of TEN blackjack hands only ! Takes about fifteen minutes and the person with the most chips at the end of ten hands is the winner of that round.

4) Numerous rounds are played, allowing more players to play more often.

5) the winners of each round are posted on a board.  Many players can opt to play in several rounds (buying in again to play).  For instance, $ 10 dollars gets one round, $ 25 gets three, $ 50 gets seven etc

6) after a couple of hours and many many "winners", a playoff begins (no buy in required); all previous winners will then play against each other to determine a final winner.

7) prizes can be awarded to the top players, raffle tickets can be issued, or just a winner take all as in poker

8) with this system; the excitement lasts the entire event for more players, play is constant and quick and because each round only takes about fifteen minutes, the timing of your event is more structured.

For more FUN for more guests and potentially MORE MONEY for your organization, a Blackjack Tournament is an option to explore for your next CASINO NIGHTS event.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Blackjack Strategies

The most popular table game in any casino is BLACKJACK.  This is the first game most people learn and is many times referred to as simply "21". 

To play Blackjack is quite easy.  To play "winning" Blackjack is a bit more difficult, just a bit though.  To increase you chances of "winning" more consistently, you MUST follow basic Blackjack strategies. 

Here are a couple of things to ALWAYS remember: 
a) you are only playing against the DEALER
b) the dealer must hit (take a card) on 16 and stand (can not take a card) at 17
c) NEVER take insurance when offered
d) ALWAYS follow the basic strategies

YES, you can print one out yourself and bring it to the table - it is NOT illegal to do so. 

As for betting strategies; stay within your budget (money management is ALWAYS the key to winning).  If you are a nickel bettor ($ 5), fine - follow the strategies; if you play for higher amounts, fine - follow the basic strategies - not the "feeling in your GUT" !

For the beginners, dont let any "expert" player intimidate you, tell you how to play or make you feel uncomfortable.  There are many "bullies" that play Blackjack  and most of them DO NOT follow the basic strategies and don't "win" often.  They end up blaming any other players on their "bad luck", they blame the last person at the table (anchor) or sometimes the first person at the table.  Don't listen to them !  Play your game and follow the basic strategies.

Here's a quick fact: over the long run, you will win 50% of the hands you play (and lose 50% of the others).  We do not count pushes (as in a tie) where no money exchanges hands.  So in your 50% of winning hands you must take advantage of the doubling and splitting correctly, giving you a higher rate of return of those hands - thereby allowing you to "win" more.

That's it - follow the basic strategies of Blackjack and have fun "winning" more often !

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Craps: Lesson 1

Whether you are an experienced / "expert" craps player or never played the game before, I hope the following lessons will be helpful for all levels.

For the beginner: don't be intimidated, nervous or shy about approaching the table.  Craps is simpler than you think and with a few lessons under your belt you can play confidently, enjoy the energy of the most exciting game in the casino and probably win more than the so called "experts".

For the "expert" player: please continue to read on and check in often.  You never know what you might learn.

So here goes: Lesson 1
At the beginning of a roll, the puck is OFF.  There are actually two pucks, one on each end of the craps table.  For the beginner, each end of the table is identical, with a dealer assigned for their ends (called first and third base) and a the middle area designated for "prop bets" with a stick person in charge.  We will discuss the table layout, prop bets and dealer responsibilties in subsequent lessons.

The puck is the indicator for all players as to what stage the game is at.  When the puck is OFF, a new game essentially begins.  If the puck is ON, then you have entered a game "in progress" and I suggest all beginners to wait it out, until the puck is turned OFF.

The first bet to learn is the PASS LINE bet.    ALL players should make this bet, with the minimum the table allows (or more if your budget dictates).  Most casino's will have either a $5, $10 or $ 25 table minimum.  With your first bet on the PASS LINE, the shooter (the player who has been given the dice by the stick person / dealer) will roll both of the the dice simultaneously. YOU place your bet in the area directly in front on you within the lines of the PASS LINE area.  No other chips of yours should be on the table at this time.

Your bet WINS (even money) if a seven (7) or eleven (11) is rolled. 
Your bet loses if a two (2), three (3) or twelve (12) is rolled.

It is that simple; make a pass line bet when the puck is OFF and see what rolls.  If a seven or eleven roll, you WIN.  If a 2, 3 or 12 roll you lose your pass line bet.  The dealer will immediately pay you your winnings or take your bet away.  If a decision is not made (ie a 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10) is rolled, then the puck is turned ON and placed on that number (more on that in Lesson 2) 

That's it !  Make a simple PASS LINE bet when the puck is OFF and wait for the roll of the dice.

For the math people out there; on this first roll of the dice, your PASS LINE bet has eight (8) ways to win, four (4) ways to lose and twenty-four (24) rolls are neutral (at least for the time being).

Stay tuned for Lesson 2 and see what happens when a neutral roll occurs and learn what YOU MUST do !

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fringe Benefits

We all have fringe benefits of "work".

Some of you get extra vacation time, country club memberships, dental insurance, stock options, casual fridays, free lunches, day care for your kids or even a health club on the grounds of your work place.  Others just get a weekly paycheck and that is deemed a benefit in itself.

For me . . . well I get to dress up in a tuxedo and stand for three hours behind a blackjack or craps table (sometimes I get to deal poker and that means sitting for three hours).  But seriously, the fringe benefits of my "work" is sometimes having my picture taken with the big winner of the evening.

Yes indeed this young lady won "big" at the craps table.  This was at a birthday party for one of her friends.  She had never played craps before and within a few minutes was raking it in (thanks to my strategies and instruction).

Thanks to Amanda, the fringe benefits of my work are the best of all.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

the First Myth

There are many myths surrounding the misconceptions in planning a casino themed party or poker tournament. 

The first Myth is that these events are ILLEGAL.  While statewide gambling is only "legal" in three states (Las Vegas, New Jersey and now Pennsylvania); Casino Nights events are conducted very differently.

The main difference is that at ALL our events we use chips with NO denomination printed on them.  There is NO CASH allowed on any of our tables.  There are several ways to handle this seemingly odd concept.

I guess it is fair to say right now that if you have ever attended a casino themed party or Las Vegas night event you understand what I mean, for others who are new to this concept let me explain a little further.

The exchange of cash is done at a central location, entrance area of your event and is only used as a "donation" to your event.  Because we also use non-denominational chips at our tables, the amount they receive at the gaming tables have no connection to the donation.  Depending on your fund-raising goals that fee will vary greatly.  For example, you may ask each guest to pay $ 50.00 for a token to be taken to any of the gaming tables for exchange for a value of 5000 in chips. 

If your event is strictly for FUN, then all guests receive chips at every table to play as they wish.  Many times we utilize raffle tickets at the end of an event to "reward" those that have accumulated the most chips, or prizes that have been donated.

Poker or Blackjack tournaments are run the same way.  Individuals will pay to enter the tournament, all players recieve the same amount of chips and play begins.  Winners are usually given prizes for their efforts, either provided by us or the host (donations are obviously advised).

So, there you have it.  Casino Nights parties are LEGAL, FUN, and can be PROFITABLE for your organization.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

My day-time "life"

I ran into (not literally) an old friend of mine while out and about today.

She almost did not recognize me since I had on my bike helmet, shorts and a t-shirt instead of my usual tuxedo shirt, bow tie and vest as she had seen me in most recently.  I guess my face is an easy give away.

She was an attendee at a Casino Nights event several weeks ago and said hello to me as I acted as the  Tournament Director for a twelve table Texas Hold'em Poker tournament.  It was a fund-raiser for a local organization and they made tons of money; hint hint you can too if you book an event with us, we have many good ideas along those lines.

Today she saw me at my day time "job".  I act as a tour guide of Sarasota while riding a Segway.  Yes, you read that correctly, I conduct Segway tours of Downtown and the Historic areas of Sarasota during the day.   Ok, no I dont have any pictures of me or my groups but this picture is from our tour today - the wonderful dancing dolphin fountain on our Bayfront. 

If you are interested in learning more about the Segway Tours of Sarasota, click here: Florida Ever-Glides .  Ask for a tour with Steve, then you too can see me in my bicycle helmet, shorts and a t-shirt, thanks !

Friday, November 12, 2010

Where, when, how it all started

The question most people ask me is "How did I get started dealing" ? The short answer is that I took a Blackjack class a couple of years ago at a school called The East Coast Gaming Institute in Tampa Florida.

I have always been good with numbers, have done my fair share of gambling and thought this would be a "fun" class to take.

The class was fun but also hard work. Six weeks and 120 hours of cutting cheques (pronounced checks though non casino people call them chips), "sizing in", shuffling cards "the right way", walking my game, using my left and right hands "correctly" and calculating the most unusual payoffs for blackjack; I graduated tops in my class. Ok, yes there were only four of us, so stop laughing.

From there I was invited to take the most challenging of classes; CRAPS ! That class was brutal ! Fourteen of us started the class and only five graduated, including me. That will be another story for another time.

During the gap from ending Blackjack and beginning Craps, I was taught how to deal Texas Hold'em by a former WSOP (World Series of Poker) dealer; for both tournamnet and "cash" style games. Along the way, a Blackjack tournament was introduced and now that is my new favorite.

I shall discuss the merits of a Blackjack tournament for your next event in a subsequent post as well.

So, with my official state license in hand, many years of organizing and planning events such as a the Checker Challenge, BG Days in Buffalo Grove Illinois, numerous fundraisers for the United Way and Rotary International and so many birthday parties for my daughter I decided to merge all my talents and join forces with CASINO NIGHTS

Casino Nights has been around for about 20 years in providing the gulf coast of Florida with the most FUN in Las Vegas style events. We also have in our arsenal the largest selection of video and pinball games, air hockey and foosball tables, including over fifty gaming tables to maximize your fund-raising efforts.

So, that is my story and here I am. The next party you consider, make it a CASINO NIGHTS event.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Welcome to Casino Nights

This blog will be your ongoing resource guide in how to put on a Casino Nights party or Las Vegas style FUN night. We are located in Southwest Florida (just south of Tampa Bay) with over 50 table games; including all your favorites from blackjack, roulette, Texas Hold'em, three card poker, Let it Ride and our specialty craps.

We also have the largest selection of video games, pinball games, foos ball, air hockey, ping pong and billiard tables for your event rental as well.

Throughout our posts we will continually provide you with insight in how to MAXIMIZE your profits for your organization or simply have the MOST FUN for your friends or work associates as you plan your next event.

The professional dealers associated with CASINO NIGHTS will also give you pointers on how to play your favorite table game with a better chance of losing less (or optimistically speaking, winning more) when you actually do travel to a "real" casino.

We at CASINO NIGHTS will be your resource for everything related to having FUN at a gaming table and help you plan your next successful Las Vegas style evening.

Whether it be with "funny money" at a local tournament, fund-raising event, a corporate outing or holiday party and even when you adventure on to your next gambling vacation, we at CASINO NIGHTS are committed to helping you have more FUN.