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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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.

Gambling Etiquette: Know Before You Go!

Whether you’re headed out for a weekend of fun at Atlantic City, or are just gearing up for a casino party fundraiser with family and friends, it’s important to know the rules first. No, we’re not talking about the rules of the table games — though that will definitely come in handy too. We mean the unspoken rules, the rules revolving around table etiquette once you take a seat. Here’s what you need to know:

businessman correcting tie

Familiarize yourself with the game first.
Okay, so we fibbed up there. The rules of the game ARE important, but only because a) we want you to win and b) others at the table aren’t going to like it if you start fumbling. At the very least, make sure you have the general idea down pat before you take a seat at the high rollers’ table.

Know how and when to trade in chips.
Buying in and cashing in larger denomination chips for smaller ones should be done in between hands, not during. In addition, if you want to trade in your smaller denomination chips for larger ones, wait until you’re ready to leave the table. And remember, as the great Kenny Rogers would say, “you never count your money, when you’re sitting at the table.”

Keep your hands off the cares.
… If they’re dealt face up that is. There would be no reason to touch them if they’re already displayed. If they’re dealt face down, like in poker, use only one hand to check them. This rule is put in place to try to stop cheaters and card sharks in their tracks. When you do handle the cards, handle them with care, paying special attention to not crease or bend them.

Keep your alcohol consumption to a minimum.
No one likes a loud, drunk card player. Spare everyone the aggravation and know when to say no to the next round of drinks. If you’re a smoker, be courteous, even when you’re seated at a table in the smoking section.

Don’t forget to tip your dealer!
Your dealer is working hard while you’re making money. If you hit big, toss him or her a chip. They’ll certainly appreciate it! If you aren’t having too much luck, it’s a nice gesture to tip anyway as you get up to leave.

Ready to put your gambling etiquette knowledge to the test? Throw a casino party or fundraiser of your own with Casinos by M&M. Call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST for more information today.

Memorable Moments in Playing Card History

The first form of playing cards was first introduced many centuries ago in China, during the Tang Dynasty. Chinese gamblers used symbols of currency to differentiate between the suits. By the 14th century, playing cards were introduced to the Europeans, through the Middle East, where they began their journey to become the card decks we all know and love today.

Small straight in playing cards

1371 & 1377: As far as documented evidence goes, here’s where it can be traced back to. It was in Spain, in a Catalan rhyming dictionary that playing card were first officially noted. Just a few years later, the first detailed description of playing cards was documented as well, by John of Rheinfelden, a Swiss monk.

1380: Not long after, cards began to boom all over Europe! People were abuzz from Florence and Brabant, to Paris and Barcelona, all looking to get their hands on a deck. Everyone wanted to get in on the action.

1440: Johann Gutenberg’s printing press was not just profitable for the press. It allowed playing cards to be mass-printed and produced, instead of hand painted as they had been previously.

1480: Playing cards had solidified their suits. While different from the suits we have today, cards of this era were adorned with hearts, bells, leaves and acorns — suits that had been adopted from the Germans.

Late 1400s: Things turned around for the ace, which was previously regarded as a low card. It began to adopt a special significance, encouraging players to regard it as the highest in the deck instead.

Early 1500s: Rouen, a card-making company of that time, began illustrating cards with the familiar king, queen and jack that we still use today.

1674: Charles Cotton published the first unofficial manual for playing cards, called Compleat Gamester. His aim was to lay down the law and hammer down distinct rules for the most popular card and dice games of his time.

1711: For the first time, playing cards became regarded as a taxable good.

1793: Following the French revolution, authorities banned the use of royal figureheads on playing cards. But not for long! Twelve years later, Napoleon appeared, and overruled the illustration ban.

1834: Poker appeared on a river steamer in Mississippi! It was here that the first documented game was said to have been played.

Mid 1800s: Card name abbreviations started appearing in the corners of cards. It’s said that this was around the time that eha “knave” became the “jack” — so it didn’t overlap the K abbreviation for the king. The famous joker card also began to circulate.

1935: A fifth, green suit is introduced and named the “crowns.” As you can guess, this didn’t take well, and was abandoned shortly after.

Today, millions of people play cards around the world, and it’s a good thing too! If playing cards had not been such a successful invention, what would we have done?!

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!

Best Known Gambling Myths & Superstitions

In honor of Black Cat Appreciation Day, we thought we’d shed some light on a few of the most well-known gambling superstitions. Lucky numbers? Pre-roll rituals? You name it, we’ve got it — and there’s plenty more where that came from in the casino!

Bad Luck I

Beware of the number 13. The number 13 has a bad wrap across many cultures for being unlucky — think ‘Friday the 13th.’ So much so, that many Las Vegas hotels have omitted the 13th floor altogether. Wouldn’t want to give guests stay on that floor bad juju!

Hold the fifties please. For years gamblers have steered clear of $50 bills. Legend has it that mobsters would stow a crisp fifty  in the pockets of their victims before burying them. From there, the superstitions surrounding the $50 bill were born.

Purchase red undergarments. Chinese New Year celebrations boast the color red, and for good reason! The color is said to symbolize good fortune and joy, and to bring prosperity to those who wear it — and wear it they do! Many gamblers pack a pop of red in their suitcase, most often flaunting red underwear.

“Never count your money, when you’re sitting at the table.” Kenny Rogers had it right when he said this line in his hit song, The Gambler. Not only is it considered unlucky to tally up your earnings at a casino table, but it’s also bad taste.

Cut out the crossing. You fingers, your legs and even your arms should remain uncrossed at all times. Superstition says that crossing can “cross out good luck,” and we wouldn’t want that would we?

Keep your hands to yourself. Touching other players, particularly on the shoulder, is forbidden at the table. It’s considered rude and therefore unlucky.

Don’t wash those hands. If you’re playing a hot hand and keep racking in the chips, you don’t want to wash that luck away! On the other hand, if you’re on a losing streak, washing your hands is thought to help change the course of your luck.

Has all this casino talk gotten you in the mood to gamble? Why not press your luck with Casinos by M&M! Just call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST or visit our website to learn how we can help make your corporate event or family gathering a night to remember.

How to Choose A Reputable Online Casino

Virtual game play is the next best thing to hitting the casinos in real life or at a casino party. Not only is it a great way to pass the time, but it can help you practice your betting and bluffing skills as well. But before you press your luck at the first virtual casino you come across, you’ll want to take the following into account to ensure you’re selecting the right one.

Virtual casino. Online gambling. Laptop with dice and chips.

What is their track record? Do a little bit of research to see which the online casinos the digital gaming community is buzzing about. You’ll want to learn more about their customer service and their overall reputation. The internet is a dangerous place, so make sure you’re feeling 100% secure before you input your credit card information and hit submit!

Do they hold the proper licensing and registration? This goes hand-in-hand with their reputation. If reviews check-out, do a deeper dive to make sure they’re legitimate. Avoid online casinos that fail to provide licensing information — a surefire sign that you’ll be duped!

How will you pay to play? The most reputable online casinos offer multiple ways to withdraw or deposit funds. You should also be wary of any daily or weekly withdrawal limits. This is a good indicator that something is not sound. As a general rule, paypal is usually the safest way to go.

Are there any signing bonuses? Many digital casinos will offer a one-time offer for bonus cash to play with when a new member signs up. Who doesn’t like perks? Once you’ve narrowed down your choices, check out their bonus offers and see whose takes the cake

Do they have a good variety of games? And finally, when all is said and done it really all comes down to personal preference. Make sure the sign you choose has gaming options that peak your interest!

Remember, participating in online casinos isn’t the only way to bring the poker party to you! Just call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST and let Casinos by M&M liven up your next party, fundraiser or family gathering. And don’t forget to follow us on  FacebookTwitter and Google+!

A Brief History of Gambling

From playing on the streets of Ancient Greece with makeshift game pieces, to the world of televised and online poker, gambling has been a staple for centuries. If you’re a gambling enthusiast yourself, here’s a bit of history about how your favorite pastime has evolved.

Medieval Gambling Table

2300 BC: Gambling Emerges – It was in Ancient China that we saw the first evidence of gambling. Archaeologists reported finding tile etched with have lottery-style games of chance.

500 BC: Poker Chips Prevail – You can thank a group of young rebels in Ancient Greece for today’s poker chips. With all forms of gambling for money being illegal, players invented chips so that they could claim they were only playing for the small tokens, and not really money if seen by guards.

800 AD: Cards Are Coined – While little is known about their purpose back in 800 AD, the first deck of cards appeared in China at this time. Some believe they were traded like playing cards or used to play the first games of Chinese dominos. Regardless, they were drastically different from 52-card deck we know and love today!

1600: Blackjack Begins – Though the term “blackjack” wasn’t coined until the early 1900’s in the US, the game itself dates back hundreds of years. Evidence shows it was played in both Spain and France during the early 1600’s, but little is known about where the idea truly came from.

1638: The First Casino – The first gambling houses that would resemble today’s casinos started popping up in Italy during the early 17th century as a way to limit illegal street and carnival gambling. Though it had little success at first, it paved the way to lawful and regulated gambling.

1829: Poker is Played – The game of poker is believed to have spurred from many other card games over decades of play, but the first true game can be traced back to the United State’s own New Orleans in the mid 1800’s. With over 100 million players worldwide and 7 variations of the game today, it’s hard to believe that poker was originally a pretty unpopular game. It wasn’t until World Poker Tournaments began in the 1970s that the game began to garner worldwide attention.

1891: Slot Are Born – The modern day slot machine is based on a design first seen in San Francisco, where playing cards spun around and stopped at random. At the time, prizes like gum or cigars were won, but soon after machines began spitting out money and evolved into the electronic machines we play on today.

1910: Casinos Flourish – It wasn’t till the Great Depression the gambling in several states was made legal. With so many people suddenly out of work, many found themselves trying to make their livelihood through casino games, leading to huge interest in casinos.

1994: Online Gaming – Suddenly, you no longer had to go to a casino if you want to gamble! With dozens of virtual casinos popping up by the day, in less than 5 years, online gambling became a multi-billion dollar industry — one that’s still lucrative today.

Has all this casino talk gotten you in the mood to gamble? Why not press your luck with Casinos by M&M! Just call 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST or visit our website to learn how we can help make your corporate event or family gathering a night to remember.

5 Common Blackjack Blunders

Luck isn’t the only thing you’ll need at the casino if you’re looking to try your hand at a game of blackjack. While a little good fortune certainly helps, you should also be able to identify and avoid the most common blackjack mishaps. Here are a few blunders to be aware of to to take your card playing to the next level.

  1. Taking even money. No one wants to miss out on a surefire payout, and that’s what people assume they’re getting when they take an even bet — but is it actually as good as it seems? Short answer – no. When you have blackjack and the dealer shows an ace, there’s a 31% chance he also has blackjack, so that leaves a 69% chance he doesn’t. If you were to bet even, you’d be missing out on the chance to win 1.5 times your bet.
  2. Standing on a soft 18 against a dealer’s 10. When you stand on a soft 18, you’ll sadly lose more than you win. When you hit, you may also lose more than you win, but not as much as when you stand. So your best bet is to always hit and hope a stroke of luck comes your way!
  3. Not doubling 11 against a dealer’s 10. The chances of a dealer making the pat 20 are less than your chances of getting a 20 or 21. So, while doubling down might decrease your odds of winning slightly, it will increase your potential profit margin if you do win.
  4. Playing a soft hand with three or more cards. With a soft hand containing three or more cards, casino rules won’t let you double down, so what now? Just follow these two simple rules – if you have a 17 or less, always hit and if you have an 18 or more, stand; EXCEPT against a dealer’s 9, 10 or ace.
  5. Doubling for less. When you double down, your overall gain from the extra bet is always greater compared to your overall gain if you were to hit or stand. When doubling down, abide by the “go big or go home” principal and always double down for the full amount of your original bet.

Are you ready to test your blackjack skills with friends, family and co-workers? Allow Casinos by M&M to bring the authentic casino party experience right to your venue!

To learn how you can book a blackjack table and dealer for your next event, or to see a full list of our party planning service, visit our website or call us at 1-800-HAVE-A-BLAST today!

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