How to hold a casino night in
Ladbrokes suggests how to hold a casino night indoors
As the end of the summer is upon us all of us here at Ladbrokes think it needs a memorable send off. As the temperature starts to cool and sunshine hours shorten why not enjoy one last soiree with your friends and family. Or as the leaves start to fall as autumn sets in and everything outside turns dark and drab why not host a cosy sophisticated evening playing casino games for fun without the expense of going out.
To help you organise your party and turn it into a success we have put together a guide of all the things you should consider, everything from the venue, to casino games you can play, props you may need, how to create the right ambience, to what food and drink you should serve.
Forget Las Vegas – it's all about Lounge Vegas from here on out. We've put together this handy infographic making it easy to host your own casino night in, playing games from the comfort of your own home. We're going to cover everything you need to know about hosting a casino party, from the stuff you'll need to which games you'll want to play. So without any further ado, here's how to get started!
The Venue & The Budget
The very first thing you need to decide on with your casino night in is the budget. This is very important, as a good budget is the difference between the perfect night in and blowing your hard-earned cash on stuff you really don't need. Everyone's budget is going to be different, and will vary based on a number of factors such as who and how many people you invite. Once this is in place, you can decide whether you want to build your casino in the house or the garden – both have their merits, so it's entirely up to you. Just make sure you don't go overboard on the guest list – you want your guests to enjoy the ambiance, not the feeling of rubbing shoulders as they climb for the last seat at your poker table.
When you're ready to start the invitations, consider both your theme and your budget. If you're going low budget, a simple playing card sent with a plain cardstock showing the date, time and venue make for a professional looking invite on the cheap. If you're going all out on your invitations, you could consider something more unique, such as custom artwork or a sending a poker chip in the post with a time and date engraved. When it comes to your invitations, the possibilities are endless.
Any decent casino will offer their guests a wide range of games to play. While you may not be able to afford a physical slot machine (they're unsurprisingly pretty expensive), there's no shortage of games you can play, and old favourites such as poker, blackjack, baccarat and roulette always go down well.
By having a selection of different games of different skill levels your guests are far more likely to enjoy themselves. Some people will naturally gravitate towards either skill-based or luck-based games, so make sure you have plenty of room for everyone to move around. An easy way of making this nice and simple is this is by only having one game per table of 5-10 players.
The difference between poker night and a casino night is more than just the games you play. If you want Lounge Vegas to actually feel at home on The Strip, you're going to need a few props. Unfortunately most people don't happen to own a roulette wheel, so you may find yourself needing to buy or hire one for the evening. Fortunately you already know how many people are coming, which will help you decide how many packets of fresh playing cards you will need to bring to the table and how many chips you will need for your guests. Remember at a proper casino nobody plays for cash. This means that chips are absolutely essential, and your guests will probably want to break larger chips into smaller ones at one point or another. This means that you're probably going need to keep a fair few spare chips back, too.
Unfortunately these costs can add up fairly quickly, so make sure you keep checking back to your budget to make sure you're not going over. As host, you'll probably find that unless you hire a croupier and a waiter, you're either going to become the dealer or serve drinks to your guests. Remember that a little help from your friends goes a long way – ask a friend or family member to play the role of dealer or waiter if you want to save money and make life easier on the night.
With all that in mind, you're going to need a costume, and as host you need to lead by example! There are many different styles of casino you can emulate at your party, but wearing something suave, chic and stylish is almost always the way to go. Don't forget to mention any dress code on your invitations – if you want a black tie event, make sure you let people know in advance.
Again, the difference between your casino night in and a poker night with the lads in lies in more than just the cards in your hand. A Vegas theme implies an air of elegance and a certain ambiance, so don't forget to decorate the room! For some people this may just be the living room – for others who are hosting different games in different rooms you will have more of a task on your hands. If you simply need to decorate a gazebo and are stuck for ideas, cheap red and gold curtains or DIY playing card bunting can go a very long way. Don't forget about the choice of music and lighting either – it all adds to the ambience and immersion you're trying to build.
Another thing to keep in mind is that nobody plays on a kitchen table in Las Vegas – try to grab a roll of green felt to cover your tables with. If you can find overlays with the correct markings this will make life significantly easier – especially with games like craps and roulette!
The Food & Drink
What's a casino night without an extravagant buffet to choose from? Fortunately there are several dishes you can make on a budget which can look just as extravagant as the ones in The Bellagio, The Palazzo or Caesar's Palace. If you can splash for professional sushi platters of a selection of prawn cocktails, then by all means, treat your guests. If not, there's no shortage of elegant finger foods and appetisers that you can create that won't interfere with the cards being played.
Do you know where the sandwich comes from? The fourth Earl of Sandwich, created this British staple so that he could take supper without leaving the gambling table. That means that sandwiches are fair game at your casino night, too – mini sandwich platters and trays of fruit always look stunning, as do plates of Swedish meatballs and bite sized pieces of chicken on skewers. In fact, here are a few Vegas themed party foods you can serve if you want to go all out on the menu without breaking the bank:
· Caesar's Palace Salad
· Poker Chip Cookies
· Poker Nuts (Factoid: ‘the nut' is the best possible combination of cards you can get in a single round of poker)
· Goldfinger Foods – flapjacks, pancake rolls, etc.
· Octopussy (A simple plate of tempura with a dipping sauce)
· Anything served in a martini glass – nuts, crisps, mini cookies, etc.
Before you host your own casino night, you can get some practice in with some of the games here at Ladbrokes Casino. With more than 300 games on offer for you to try you luck and win, and use your new found skills for your casino night at home!
With the hard work and preparation all complete, it's time to open the doors to your guests. While your reasons for hosting your Vegas night in could be anything from a charity fundraiser to an exciting party just for your friends, there is one thing that always remains constant. You and your guests are doing this for fun – don't take it too seriously and enjoy your casino night in!
Here's a final checklist the 10 steps you need to follow to host the perfect casino night in:
- Decide on a budget
- Decide on your guest list
- Pick a venue
- Send out invitations
- Decide on your games
- Get the props and help you need
- Set the ambiance
- Prepare the food & drinks menu
- Get in costume
- Have fun!