4 Steps to Plan The Perfect Surprise Casino Party!

If you’re looking for a unique, interactive and exciting surprise party theme that all of your guests will love, then a casino party is your perfect option! From craps and poker to slot machines and blackjack, there will be plenty of fun for your guests to enjoy. So, if you’re ready to plan the perfect birthday celebration, here’s how to give it a little casino flare.

Step 1: Create a catchy invitation.

Your invitation should be a sneak peek for all of the casino fun that’s headed their way. An invitation really sets the tone for a party, so you’ll need to make sure that it’s just right. For example, try something like “you’ve been ‘dealt’ an invitation to XXX’s surprise party.” Then add some poker chips to the envelope before sealing!

Step 2: Set the casino vibe.

The decor is key when it comes to capturing the casino mood. Make sure there’s plenty of glitz, glam, and flashing lights to go along with the casino party theme. Of course, you’ll need plenty of balloons to make it a true party, like the super cool dice balloons shown here. Add directional signs throughout the “casino floor,” and make sure to point out where the “VIP” tables are so your high roller friends can bet their fun money big.

Step 3: Don’t forget the music.

What’s a party, or even a casino, without some music? Make a playlist of all of your favorite gaming-related tunes and keep it shuffling all night. Some great songs to include are:

  • Viva Las Vegas, Elvis Presley
  • Sin City, AC/DC
  • Luck Be a Lady, Frank Sinatra
  • Poker Face, Lady Gaga
  • Let’s Go To Vegas, Faith Hill
  • Waking up in Vegas, Katy Perry

Step 4: Choose your entertainment.

The key to throwing a memorable party is fantastic entertainment! When planning your casino party, be sure to choose games that are appropriate for all skill levels. Your seasoned gamblers might love to sit down for a game of Texas Hold ‘Em, but those that are less experienced might fancy roulette or slot machines instead.

At Casinos by M&M we have casino games to suit each and every one of your guests, and our experienced dealers are trained to provide step-by-step instruction for those willing to challenge themselves and try something new. To learn more about the services and casino games we can provide call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST.

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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!

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.

10 Fun Casino Facts You Probably Never Heard

The casino and gaming world is rich with fun facts and cultural history. So rich in fact, that we’re positive even the most devoted gaming aficionado might not be able to name all ten of the fun facts we have listed out below:

Fact #1: The word casino is derived from an Italian word, meaning “small villa,” or “summerhouse,“ built purely for enjoyment. Later in the 19th century the meaning shifted to include public entertainment spaces, which is how it eventually became associated with the gaming world.

Fact #2: Those flashing lights on top of the slot machine are actually called candles — only these kind you don’t want to blow out. Instead, you hope they light right up!

Fact #3: The popular phrase “jackpot,” originated as a form of poker. In this variation, the pot continued to grow until a player could open the bidding with a pair of jacks or better.

Fact #4: Slot machine enthusiasts in Australia call their beloved machines “pokies!

Fact #5: Money raised from gambling and lotteries has been used to fund many public building projects, including construction of The Great Wall of China.

Fact #6: On that note, it is said that former President Richard Nixon used funds from bets he won playing cars in the South Pacific during WWII to fund his congressional election campaign.

Fact #7: It’s true that Las Vegas is the gambling capital of the U.S., but Macau is the gambling capital of the world, with bets bringing in $45.2 billion in revenue in 2016.

Fact #8: The first slot machines didn’t always pay winners in cash. In fact, the bar owners who housed these machines was at liberty to award prizes however he/she saw fit, most often in the form of free beer or cigars.

Fact #9: FedEx creator Fred Smith used the last of his company funds to take to the blackjack tables in Las Vegas. His hope was to win enough to pull his business out of debt, which he certainly did!

Fact #10: The Super Big Bertha is the largest slot machine in the world, at over 8 feet tall and 6.5 feet wide. It’s eight spinning reels make the odds of hitting a mere 1 in 25.6 billion!

If you’re planning an event to celebrate the holiday season, contact Casinos by M&M to learn about our casino and party entertainment options! For more information dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST or visit us online.

6 Great Gamblers Who Beat The Odds

Everyone walks into a casino thinking “today is the day my luck will change,” but unfortunately for most, it rarely does. But what if luck had nothing to do with your winning or losing? Here are six people who — either through great intelligence, practice or just plain cheating — knew they would be leaving a winner.

 

1. Gonzalo Garcia-Pelayo

As the first person to exploit the wheel bias in roulette, Garcia-Pelayo was able to beat the odds. Wheel bias is the belief that every roulette wheel favors some numbers over others, because of minute differences in the internal gears and leveling. Using what he learned from studying hundreds of wheels, he bet on that wheels’ “hot numbers,” giving him a 15% edge over the house. For a decade he studied and hit every casino from Spain to America, earning a total of $1.5 million in winnings.

2. Keith Taft

After decades of research and development, Taft created a wearable computer that helped him count cards. After just one week, Taft won $40,000. His other famous inventions include a belt buckle video camera, used to see the dealer’s hole card and a computer that could tell the positioning of cards in a perfectly shuffled deck.

3. Ida Summers

Ida Summers’ good looks, small frame and social graces allowed her to pull off the most daring cons ever attempted at a casino. Summers was a pro at swapping out the dealer’s deck with her own pre stacked ones, known as a cool deck. After thousands of dollars won and even more people conned, her luck ultimately ran out when the FBI arrested her.

4. Tommy Glenn Carmichael

Also known as the man who could beat any slot machine, Carmichael made his fortune by hacking nearly every machine across Las Vegas. Carmichael created a “light wand” that he was able to insert into a machine, cut off the light sensor and drop the coins. Ironically, Carmichael now works with slot machine manufacturers to help make foolproof machines.

5. Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio

Unlike others who tricked the game in order to make money, Colavecchio went straight to the source. Throughout the 90’s, he created almost exact replicas of slot machine coins. He was not caught until casino managers realized there were thousands more coins in stock than were ever ordered by the casino itself. Like Carmichael, he too now works with law enforcement to prevent and catch counterfeiters.

6. Edward Thorp

Known as the father of card counting, Thorp not only used the method, he also created it. By essentially keeping track of what value cards were where on the table, Thorp and his friend, Claude Shannon, left the casino with roughly $70,000 every time. Because no one had ever heard of card counting, Thorp was never actually caught, but he was kicked out of every casino he entered because he was suspected of cheating.

Think you have what it takes to beat the house? To learn how you can face the dealer with family and friends on your very own blackjack table, visit Casinos by M&M online or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST.

6 Winning Tips To Keep In Mind At The Casino

Why do we hit the casino? To have fun, sure, but mostly — to win! That’s why it’s important to go in with a clear mind and a solid strategy. Fortunately, these five casino tips can help you do just that.

  1. Scope out your dealers. Before you sit down at a table, assess the the entire situation — including the dealer’s abilities. We’re not saying they’re not professionals, but just like the rest of us they can get a bit tired and sloppy at times. For example, try to spot a dealer that accidentally flashes the face-down card in blackjack. If you’re lucky enough to find one, you can gain a 6-9% advantage over the house.
  2. Never lose focus. Don’t let those flashing lights, loud music and attractive waitstaff fool you! Keep your drinking to a minimum and your eyes on the prize. That includes checking payouts before committing to a bet!
  3. Skip the slots. Sure, they’re flashy and fun, but they’re not likely to help you hit it big. Experts say “the average slot machine is probably two, three times more costly to players than the table games,” so why waste the money? Head to the tables for your best odds, and go big or go home!
  4. Avoid the glitz and glam. Casinos trend to put the lowest paying games amidst the most action. That way, they can lure you in the flashing lights and excitement, but not actually have to let you win. Sneaky right? The important lesson here is, don’t walk into the light!
  5. Stay way from Keno. This popular game lotto-like game of chance can be a real money pit for players. It carries the absolute worst odds of any casino game. In fact, the odds of matching all 20 numbers on a 20-slot ticket are about 1 in 3.5 quintillion — yes, you read that right!
  6. Don’t forget your watch. Casino owners want you to get lost in the excitement, playing into all hours of the night. For that reason, you’ll rarely find clocks or windows on the casino floor. Do yourself a favor and wear a watch so you can keep track of time and pace yourself.

Do you have any great tips you’d like to share with your fellow gamers? We’d love to hear all about them 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!

Casino Themed Halloween Costumes For the Whole Family

The air is crisp, the leaves are changing, and Halloween will be here before you know it! If you’re looking to break the mold and take home first prize in the costume contest at your family’s annual Halloween party, we know just the thing. These DIY casino-themed costume ideas will have your friends and family bowing down to your genius costume creating abilities in no time!

Deck of Cards: Keep it simple with this casino classic! Grab your friends, family and some oak tag and start assembling your deck today!

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Pair of Dice: Put those old cardboard boxes in the attic to good use and craft a pair of DIY dice! We recommend rolling instead of walking to keep yourself in character.

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Dealer In Training: Who says strollers have to get in the way of a great Halloween costume? Use it to your advantage for this adorable baby costume idea.

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Why not show up in style with a mix of all three costume ideas? When it comes to group Halloween costumes, more is always merrier! We can’t wait to see photos of your winning look 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, click here to visit our website or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST!

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.

Perfect Casino Party Favor Ideas

When it comes to planning a casino party, there are three major items to nail in order for it to be successful. First, the invitation has to be exciting and enticing. Second, the entertainment has to be everything your guests anticipated it would be, and more! And finally, your party favors must be top notch to ensure your guests never forget the amazing time they had.

Custom Printed Cards: Send your guests off with the gift that keeps on giving, a custom deck of cards! That way, they can remember how much fun they had each time they whip out their party favor for a game of Friday night poker with friends. Whether you choose to DIY your decks with printed stickers, or opt to order them online, this gift is sure to be a hit!

Jackpot To-Go: Grab a bag of gold coins and some small linen bags from your local craft store. Print out a thank you note, attached it to a piece of ribbon and tie the bag shut. Viola! Send each and everyone of your friends home with their very own jackpot. If you really want to up the ante, order custom printed chocolate coins.

Dice-Shaped Cake Pops: Want to sweeten the deal even more? Homemade cake pops crafted to resemble dice are just the thing. Just follow these simple baking instructions, display then in a decorative place and enjoy!

Planning a casino party can be stressful, but Casinos by M&M makes it easy! When you choose us, rest assured knowing you’ll be speaking directly with one of our owners the whole time. No matter which M&M twin you talk to — Michael or Marco — we promise your party planning will go on without a single detail left in the dust! The party favor choice however, are all up to you!

To learn more about the party planning options and casino games we can offer, visit our website or dial 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST today.

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.

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.

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