21 Things You Never Knew About Blackjack

As the most famous card game in the world, Blackjack is played in over 140 countries (yup, we’re starting with the facts right away). Even people who know the game inside and out are sure to enjoy these little known facts about it’s origin, strategies and some of Blackjacks most famous players.

  1. The first written mention of the game was in a collection of short stories by Miguel de Cervantes, author of “Don Quixote.”
  2. Blackjack originated in French casinos around the 1700’s – but back then it was known as “Vingt-et-Un” (French for “21”).
  3. After casinos learned players were marking cards with invisible ink (seen only with special sunglasses), discard trays were changed from clear to translucent red, hoping it would discourage cheating.
  4. Would you believe it if we told you Blackjack may owe a lot of its popularity to the French Revolution? The game only became popular after being banned in France and the US during the French Revolution. The ban only made people more curious about the game and want to play.
  5. The second best hand to have is 20 (while the worst hand to have is 16).
  6. Sorry players, but the odds of getting a natural 21 are 4.8% in a single deck.
  7. In 2001, at the Oracle Casino in Malta, a dealer broke the record for “longest time dealing Blackjack” with a time of 51 hours and 33 minutes.
  8. The largest blackjack table is located at the Viejas Casino in California and measures 2,226 feet. Only one hand of blackjack was ever played on the table and players had to use oversized cards and chips.
  9. The Blackjack Hall of Fame in Barona Casino, in San Diego, California offers every inductee a lifetime of complimentary rooms, food, and beverages, in exchange for the member’s agreement to never to play Blackjack on Barona’s tables.
  10. It may seem like men dominate the casino tables, but the first professional Blackjack player in America was a woman named Eleanore Dumont (also known as Madame Moustache).
  11. Typically, the more decks there are, the higher the house advantage becomes.
  12. The dealer also has an advantage by going last. The dealer usually wins 48% of the time, while a player wins 44% of the time.
  13. It takes at least 7 shuffles to fully randomize a deck.
  14. Stay out of a player’s way if they are “steaming.” This means they’ve had bad luck at the table and are betting erratically now.
  15. Blackjack is widely considered the most “player friendly game,” with an edge of 0.5% (with some claiming it can even be brought down to 0.4%).
  16. Blackjack tables have small mirrors in the table that let the dealer check the hole cards.
  17. The card dispenser is called a shoe because it resembled a woman’s high heeled shoe when it was first invented.
  18. The first Continuous Shuffling Machine (CSM) launched in 2000. It was known as ‘The King’ device and became widely used as casino bosses tried to repel card counters.
  19. Napoleon Bonaparte was one of blackjack’s biggest fans, playing the game regularly after being exiled in Elba.
  20. Edward Thorp (also known as the Father of Card Counting) wrote Beat the Dealer, a book detailing the mathematical aspects of the game.
  21. Card counting gained mainstream popularity after the movie “21,” and while the technique is not technically illegal, British casinos have the right to refuse to let you play if they catch you counting cards.

These facts may not exactly make you better at the game itself, but they’re sure to make a great conversation starter the next time you’re at the tables.

Casinos by M&M is a casino & DJ party company serving the Tri-State New York area. We specialize in authentic casino parties and party supplies. Our charismatic, professional dealers and exciting casino action will make your next party one to remember. For more information about our services, visit our website or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST!

5 Ways to Make Your Office Holiday Party Memorable

Since when did so many people get the “bah humbug” spirit when it comes to their company’s holiday party? Sure employees are busy this time of year and everyone has heard the stories of parties running out of food or someone enjoying the open bar a little too much – but the reality is, holiday parties are a great way to boost office moral and mingle with coworkers you normally don’t run into between 9 and 5. If you’re planning a corporate holiday party this year, here are just a few ways to make sure your party is a hit!

Theme: When was the last time you got to dress like you were going to a masquerade ball or Christmas in July party? The point of a holiday party is to break away from the normal work day environment, so get creative. If you’re on the fence about a theme, send out a questionnaire to your employees or ask them to vote on their favorite theme.

Superlatives: Have employees anonymously send in superlatives or “most likely to” awards for each other. Employees might be praised throughout the year for their work accomplishments, but this is the chance to get a little more creative. Don’t be afraid to have fun with it and hand out the “most likely to oversleep,” “best hair,” and “office clown” awards.

Food & Drinks: Everyone’s diet is different, so try to make sure you get plenty of diverse food that will accommodate people who are gluten free, vegetarian, lactose intolerant, etc. And when it comes to the bar, no matter how you chose to celebrate, just make sure everyone knows what to expect so they can plan accordingly. Make sure employees know if it will be a cash bar, if it’s just beer and wine or if it is fully open.

Games: After greetings have ended and everyone has found their seat and settled in, there can be a bit of a lull (because let’s face it – no one wants to be the first one on the dance floor). Keep guests entertained from the moment they walk in with games or raffles.

Give a Gift: Say your final thank you for a year well done with a personalized gift from the company. Whether it’s something practical, like an external battery or something a little more relaxed like personalized wine glasses, employees are sure to love the gesture.

“The way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers.” — Richard Branson

Your employees work hard all year, so take this night to really show them how much you appreciate their contributions to the company.

Casinos by M&M is a casino & DJ party company serving the Tri-State New York area. We specialize in authentic casino parties and party supplies. Our charismatic, professional dealers and exciting casino action will make your next office party one to remember. For more information about our services, visit our website or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST!

Thanksgiving Party Activities For The Whole Family

In our opinion, Thanksgiving is one of the best holidays of the year. Why? Because it’s all about being thankful for each other and spending times with the ones you love. And that we say, calls for a ton of fun and celebration! Here are a few easy party activities to get the family together while you wait for the turkey to roast next Thursday.

Walk up an appetite.

Take a casual stroll around the block, or through your local park. Enjoy the autumn scenery and burn some calories before sitting down to devour a delicious Thanksgiving meal.

Get competitive.

A friendly game of family flag football perhaps? Or some soccer, tag, hide-and-seek, kickball.. The weather is perfect and the opportunities are endless!

Bust out the board games.

Who doesn’t appreciate a good old fashioned game of scrabble, or trying to finally beat grandma in Monopoly? Board games a great way to pass the time while waiting for the timer on the bird to pop, and with so many options there’s bound to be a game to suit everyone.

Get crafty!

If you’ve got small children, perhaps drawing hand turkeys or writing Thanksgiving poems can keep their brains bubbling and their tiny hands busy. There’s nothing like crafting with family to complete a holiday.

Play some cards.

A-ha! Our favorite pastime for all occasions — card games. Whether you’re a family full of poker card sharks, or you just fancy a simple game of Go Fish, cards are easy and versatile enough to provide fun for the whole family.

How will you and your family be celebrating together this Thanksgiving? We’d love to see some photos of your family’s feast on our Facebook page!

Casinos by M&M is a casino & DJ party company serving the Tri-State New York area. We specialize in authentic casino parties and party supplies. Our charismatic, professional dealers and exciting casino action will make your next party one to remember. For more information about our services, visit our website or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST!

Make Your Office Holiday Party Memorable

‘Tis the season for office holiday parties, and with December around the corner, it’s the perfect time to start planning yours! End of the year holiday events help boost company morale, bring employees together, and allow everyone let loose after a long year of hard work and have some fun. That being said, here are some tips and tricks to help you create an office holiday party your employees and clients will never forget.

Set A Theme

You have many options when it comes to choosing a theme – masquerade, casino night, or “ugly sweater parties,” to name a few. Try to incorporate the theme throughout the night as much as possible – from the decorations to the games. You can even ask people to dress up – employees love a chance to drop their business attire and let their creative side show!

Send Invitations

Instead of telling the employees about the party through word of mouth, send out an invitation. Whether it be an e-invite or a personalized letter in the mail – people love to be invited, personally!

Set Up Food And Drinks

Want to make everyone happy? Make sure to provide them with a variety of the best food and drinks all night long. Large amount of vegan/vegetarians? Have a table for the meat-free entrees. Half of the company hates seafood? Sliders are a sure shot way to make everyone happy.

Hire A Photographer

Go one step beyond your iPhone photos and hire a professional. Update your blog and website with pictures from the night. Clients enjoy seeing the real people behind the employees and the company. This also allows everyone to enjoy their night without worrying if their blurry phone photos will make the cut for the company blog. Bonus Tip: Create a hashtag for the party so everyone, including present and future clients, can look back on your fun night with ease.

Give Out Awards/Superlatives

No matter the size of the company, a holiday party is the perfect time to recognize employees and their achievements. Think outside of the box – keep some of the awards serious but also fun! Some options include, “Best Dressed,” “Most likely to…” or “It’s 5 o’Clock Somewhere.” This can bring the employees together in a more casual and personal way.

Looking to bring a casino night theme to your holiday office party this year? Allow Casinos by M&M to assist you! We allow your guests to experience all the authenticity of a real live casino, without ever setting foot on a plane. For more information about our casino party offerings, call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST today.

Silly & Surprising Blackjack Myths

Think you know everything about your favorite casino game? Think again! There are plenty of blackjack myths that have been around for centuries, and we’re here to take a look at some of the most popular.

laughing friends playing cards in casino

Myth: Having newbies at the table hinders your odds of winning big.
It’s this myth that keeps novice players from trying their luck at a casino table! Many people will blame other players for their loss if those players don’t play a deal how they feel it should have been played. The truth is, it doesn’t matter how other individuals play the game. Mathematically speaking, the cards of another have no effect on the cards that you hold or how you play them.

Myth: You should always avoid sitting in the last seat at a table.
This superstition says the last seat gets dealt the worst hand, but more importantly, holds the most responsibility. Similar to the novice myth, other players are more likely to get angry with the last seat player. “If he had only stayed and not hit, the dealer would have busted!” Unfortunately, this logic is flawed. As we said, mathematically speaking everyone has the same odds.

Myth: The cards have a plan — with the order that they appear in that is.
Many believe that once a game has started, players cannot join or leaves. They feel that it disrupts the “sacred order” of the cards and brings bad luck to other players. Like in the two myths above, we have to remember that blackjack is all about chance and equal opportunity. Sure, switching up the players will change the order of the cards, but that doesn’t change the odds!

In the game of blackjack you can’t blame others for their losses! At the end of the day, everyone has a fair shot and a fair crack at strategy. The only way to increase your odds is with practice — which is why we suggest booking a blackjack table for your next party or event from Casinos by M&M.

To learn how you can face the dealer with family and friends on your very own blackjack table, visit us online or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST.

A Beginners’ Guide to Blackjack

Blackjack is often one of the first table games that novice casino-goers will attempt — and for a good reason. Not only is it fairly simple to follow, but it also holds claim to having the best odds to beat the house on the entire casino floor. When playing blackjack, you have only one opponent, the dealer, but that’s not all. If you’re looking to hit the tables with the best chance of winning big, here are a few guidelines to follow.

Close up of Poker Player's Hands

Know the basics.
Everyone, including the dealer, is dealt two cards. All cards remain face up on the table, except one of the dealer’s cards, known as the hole card. Your goal is to get as close to 21 as possible without busting. If you hit 21, you win automatically, if you stand and your number is lower than 21, but also lower than the dealer’s, you lose.

Follow the “rules.”
There are several strategic rules that blackjack players are encouraged to following, including:

  • When your hand is 12-16 and the dealer has 2-6, always stand.
  • When your hand is 12-16 and the dealer has 7-Ace, always hit.
  • If you’re ever dealt two aces or two eights, always split them into separate bets.
  • Dealt 11? Double down if the dealer has 2-10.
  • Always hit or double down when your hand is Ace-6.

Skip the insurance.
Most times in life, opting for insurance is a good thing, but not when it comes to blackjack! In this case, insurance refers to a side-bet that a player is allowed to make when the dealer is showing an Ace. Basically, as the player you’re allowed to place an independent bet on whether or not the dealer has blackjack. However, if your not a card-counting pro, skip the insurance because the house has about a 6% advantage over the player in this type of bet.

Sit strategically.
If you’re new to the game, sit further down the line instead of the first seat. This will give you longer to mull over your decision to hit or stand by the time the dealer gets to your turn.

What tips do you have for novice blackjack players? We’d love to hear all about them on our Facebook page, so our dealers can share your advice with future players at Casinos by M&M casino parties!

For more information about how we can help you throw a casino party or fundraiser of your own, visit us online or call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST and speak with one of our owners today.

The Most Notable Celebrity Gamblers

Did you know that world famous basketball player Michael Jordan is also an avid poker enthusiast? That’s right! Jordan’s love of poker is rumored to have been one of the reasons he chose to step off the court for good. If that’s true, he’s certainly got all the time in the world to devote to his poker passion now! How many other celebrities do you know that enjoy perfecting their poker face? We can name a few.

Matt Damon – Remember that good old Damon classic, Rounders? Well, it’s been suggested that the actor spend about $25,000 on poker just to prepare for his role in the film. Since than, Damon is known to get his hands dirty at the casino every once in awhile as well.

Tiger Woods – Golf isn’t his only passion! Tiger enjoys a night out on the Vegas strip playing blackjack with his buddies. In fact, it’s been said that he’s willing to spend as much as $25,000 a night on a blackjack run — a large amount that he typically doesn’t win back!

Ben Affleck – Good looks, great acting skills, and impeccable poker abilities! Is there anything that Ben doesn’t have going for him? He even snagged a win at the California State Poker Championship in 2004. Interestingly enough, he actually prefers blackjack though!

Floyd Mayweather Jr. – Poker is one of Mayweather’s favorite pastimes, but it’s not as high up on the list as sports gambling. This boxing sensation is said to have spent a total of $11 million dollars begging on the Denver Broncos in just one single game.

Tobey Maguire – Getting bit by a radioactive spider turned Tobey into a renowned superhero for his role in Spiderman, and practicing poker any chance he gets has turned him into a pro! He’s said to have learned the ropes from poker pro Daniel Negreanu.

Can you name any other famous poker stars and gambling enthusiasts? We’d love to hear all about them on our Facebook page!

And remember, if you’re looking to host a gambling extravaganza of your own, Casinos by M&M is the number one casino party planner in the tri-state area! For more information about our party planning services, visit our website or call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST.

3 Summer Parties to Start Planning Today

There’s nothing better than spending some time with friends and family, especially when it involves celebrating in the sun! Although the weather seems to be just starting to warm up for spring in New York and the rest of the tri-state area, the summer season is gaining on us quickly. Before you know it you’ll be getting invites to BBQs and backyard parties, so the time to start planning yours is now! Here are three specific party types to consider.

  1. Memorial Day – What better way to kick off the start BBQ season than with well-planned Memorial Day party? With only about a month to go, the time to start preparing your yard, grill menu, and activity list is now.
  2. Graduation – Earning a degree on any level is an incredible feat, and any great victory deserves an equally amazing party! Take advantage of the warm weather during graduation season and throw a tented backyard party for the graduate.
  3. Summer Bash – Summertime is the best time, so when it finally arrives do you really need another reason to celebrate? Throw your friends and family a great outdoor party to welcome in the pool party season.

No matter what type of party you’re planning, don’t forget to add exciting entertainment for all ages! If you’re looking to put a unique spin on your celebration, consider giving it a casino theme with any of our authentic casino games!

To learn more about how Casinos by M&M can help you plan an exciting party this summer, visit our website or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST today! And remember, following us on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter for more fun casino facts and party planning tips!

3 Common Roulette Myths Busted

If you’re ever stepped foot in a casino, there’s a good chance you’ve found yourself standing around a roulette table crossing your fingers for your numbers to hit! Like most popular casino games, the myths revolving around roulette certainly abound. That’s why we’re here to bust some of the most common myths right now.

Myth #1: Every roulette wheel is exactly the same.
Half true. While all American wheels are the same, and all European wheels are the same, the two types differ from each other slightly. European wheels have only 37 slots, while American wheels have 38. This changes that house odds from 2.70% to 5.25% respectively.

Myth #2: Numbers or colors that have hit previously have an effect on future outcomes.
False! No matter what has been played before, the odds of each individual spin are always exactly the same. The odds of hitting red or black are always 50/50, and the chances of hitting and particular number are always 1 in 38.

Myth #3: A good mathematician can beat the roulette odds.
Unlike in blackjack, there’s no way to predict which numbers will hit in roulette. This is because, as we said, each spin is completely independent of the previous, as well as the next.

Roulette is completely left to chance with no strategy required, which is what makes it so appealing to novice gamblers. If you’re looking for a game that every one of your guests can enjoy equally, roulette is definitely the entertainment option for you!

To learn more about booking a roulette table for your next event or party, give Casinos by M&M a call at 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST today — and don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ for more fun gaming facts and party planning tips!

Master the Art of Bluffing in Poker

It has often been said that the ability to bluff, and bluff well, is what sets a good poker player apart from a great one. Well, here at Casinos by M&M, we couldn’t agree more! Learning how to pull off a bluff in a game of poker can completely change your odds and help you win the pot — but only if it’s done right!

    1. Be selective. Playing every hand will tarnish your credibility as a bluffer! Instead, carefully select which hands you play and which you do not. That way, people will take you seriously when you bluff a good hand, thinking you must have something if you’re still in.


    1. Keep it small. Bluffing can backfire in a crowd. Try to stick to a strict “two players or less” rule whenever you decide to bluff. It’s more difficult to intimidate more than two players at a time.


    1. Stay away from newbies. Rookie poker players are unpredictable and will often call bets regardless of what their hand looks like. That means your bluffing skills might lose you a hand, no matter how good they might be.


    1. Consistency is key. A bluff works best when you’ve already been playing consistently. By then, other players will feel like they’re able to anticipate your next move, which makes blindsiding them with a good bluff easier.


  1. Limit your bluffs. Bluffing all the time is dangerous for many reasons. For one, the skills to pull off a good bluff come with time and experience, so bluffing often is a gamble. In addition, other players will pick up on your bluffs if you try to trick them frequently.

Ready to test your skills and bluff your buddies at your next casino party or poker night? Why not up the ante a bit more with some authentic casino poker tables as well? Our tables are available in a variety of different game types and come equipped with a friendly, knowledgeable and professional dealer. What more could you ask for?

To learn more about how to reserve a poker table or any other casino game for your next get-together, visit our website or call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST to speak with one of our owners. Don’t forget to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ as well!

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