You don’t have to run one of the top gambling sites to create an online casino experience for your friends. You can rally the troops and have a fun casino night at home with just a few easy arrangements.
Casino nights are popular fund-raising ideas for schools and other organizations. I haven’t heard that people run them out of their homes but you could even do that.
Rather than discuss the pros and cons of running the games in your living room or hosting online play, I’ll explain how you can do it both ways. That way you’ll be able to choose what works best for you.
And I’m not suggesting anyone gamble with real money. This is about creating a family-friendly event for your friends, not inviting a raid from the local vice squad.
Things You Need to Create Your Own Casino
If you want to offer table games you’ll need some tables and space for them. You can buy cheap equipment online including blackjack tables, poker tables, roulette wheels, and craps tables.
Buying full tables and gear is a hefty expense but for a casino night party you can get by with some folding tables, inexpensive black table cloths, and table top layouts for craps, roulette, and blackjack. These layouts are easily stored mats.
If you plan to offer fun craps games, be sure to buy several sets of dice. Just assume someone is going to lose a die every now and then. Don’t let the party slow down while people search for it.
To provide your guests with slot games all you need is a few computers. You can connect to free online slot games at various sites. Aristocrat Gaming released some of their older slot games online so people can even play legitimate Vegas slot games.
I recommend you invite people to bring their laptops and ask them to let you know. You can set up a couple of tables with black table cloths and be sure you’ve got good power connections.
Finally, you’ll want your own casino cafe. Obviously the food will be prepped in the kitchen. But instead of recreating a chef-quality buffet go for the sandwich shop motif.
Stock up on the meats, breads, condiments, and sides you’ll need to satisfy the hearty appetites.
The Logistics Will Be the Most Challenging Part
Where will everyone park?
Whether you have your own house or live in a condo or apartment, your neighbors won’t appreciate having to maneuver around a lot of strange cars and trucks.
Instead, think of ways people can car pool. Also, check out what it will cost for people to use services like Lyft, Uber, or a local taxicab company.
Is there a bus line that runs close to your home?
If there’s a safe place where people can park close by and you ferry them in your own vehicle, try that. Just don’t get anyone towed or leave vehicles where they might be broken into.
If you live in a community with a club house see if you can book that clubhouse for your party.
If have a friend with a local business like a dojo, see if you can rent or borrow the space for the evening. I’ve attended parties in both kinds of locations. It never hurts to ask.
Depending on how many online slot games you’ll have going, you’ll want to check your Internet account’s bandwidth limits.
If you know how to configure a wi-fi router and firewalll, set up a guest network so people have reliable Internet access. It would be a good idea to set the firewall to only allow access to a small number of sites where you know people can safely play free slot games.
I’m assuming you wouldn’t have more than a handful of computers connecting to the Internet, maybe 5 or 6 at most.
Not to worry – you can buy slot games for your PCs from IGT and WMS. Just check Amazon. The games are pretty inexpensive. I’ve played the original games in casinos but not on PCs so I can’t promise anything.
Clear the Gaming Rooms of Clutter
A typical home-based party usually includes the living room, dining room, and kitchen. I would move everything that can be easily knocked to the floor or broken out of the way. You may have to clear some chairs to make room for folding tables.
However you decide to organize your gaming, keep people together but give them clear paths of movement.
The laptops’ power cords should be kept under their tables and close to the walls as much as possible. You don’t want people tripping over any cords.
Recruit Your Dealers and Host a Practice Party
You’ll want your dealers and croupiers to be comfortable with their duties. So invite them over for an informal training session or two before the party.
Keep it as simple as possible. Train them no more than a week in advance of the party. You might be able to invite them over early to run through the games and help set up casino.
Print out cheat sheets for them to refer to during the evening in case anyone has questions.
If You’re Feeling Generous Add Some Gifts
As most parties are held on the weekend, you might buy everyone who attends the party a lottery ticket. The gaming stops when it’s time for the drawing.
You can offer scratch off tickets for door prizes, too.
By the time everyone leaves they should have had a chance to play each of the games you provided.
Themed parties are fun to attend and to stage. If you’ve never done it before but know someone who has, ask for their help. They’ll probably have some tips to share not mentioned above.
Try to keep things as simple as possible. The most important thing is that people have fun. You don’t want the games to end too quickly.
And you don’t want to overwhelm your guests with too many choices. Just because you can set up roulette, blackjack, poker, and craps all at once doesn’t mean you should.
A themed party is more elaborate than a weekly poker game. Make it something to remember fondly, not something people hope they’ll never be invited to again.