We all love to gamble and we all love the game of blackjack — let’s be honest, you wouldn’t be here reading this article or browsing this website if that wasn’t the case — but as gambling is only legal in a select few states and countries, it’s not always an accessible game. Even if you do live in country where it is legal you might not live near a casino. In the modern age you don’t need to head to a casino to play blackjack as online gambling can take care of that for you, but if you prefer the feel of the real thing, then why not set up your own home game of blackjack and invite some friends or co-workers around?
This can be a great way to keep your friends and family entertained for the night, and it also gives you the chance to act as the casino, taking a house edge usually reserved for the multi-billion dollar resorts in the bright and seductive lights of the City of Sin. If you have the money and the desire, then this article will show you how you can set up your own blackjack game and take all of your friend’s money in the process.
First of all you’ll need a table and a deck of cards. You can go for a standard deck and you can use your dining room or kitchen table, but if you truly want to impress then you need to push the boat out. When it comes to decks you want something that will wow your friends and entice them to spend some more money, if you choose an all-black deck, one that is intricately designed, you can even distract them from the value of the card. See our article on the best and most expensive decks to help you to pick out a pack that can truly amaze. Use more than one deck to increase the house edge, but if you use more than two then you’ll also need a shoe.
As for the table, at the very least you’ll want a cloth cover that replicates the standard setup of a blackjack table and can be placed over a normal table. These won’t set you back much more than $15. Alternatively, you can pick up a simple blackjack table for between $100 and $300, whilst a deluxe one that looks just like the ones you will see in the casinos will cost closer to $1.000.
You’ll also need some chips, and you’ll want to make sure that you have plenty to cover the big spenders. Avoid the chips that come in fancy cases as part of poker sets, and instead go for loose and bulk packs. This way you get get several thousand for around $30, as opposed to 500 that you would get from a poker set.
You will want to play as the dealer, or rope in a family member that can do this for you. If you keep things professional then they may even get a few tips as the night goes on. If you tip the dealer first, then others will follow.
Make it Professional
It should be fun, but you should also let your friends know that they are there to win and lose money, and that they shouldn’t hold back. Tell them you can cover their winnings if they hit a lucky streak, and this will inspire them to push on and play normally. You should also join in to keep them company, although as you will be playing against yourself this is not really an area in which you can come out on top.
You should lay on some food and drinks, and make sure that your friends are well lubricated as soon as they walk in. Don’t get them too drunk, but just give them enough to make sure they are relaxed and open, and then let the decide themselves how much they want to drink by pointing them to a tray of drinks or a punch bowl.
Make sure that the dealer is not well known to the people there, otherwise they might be less inclined to treat it like a real game at a real casino. You should also use someone who can handle the cards well and keep a straight face and a professional demeanor throughout the night.
Money should be enough to give your friends the incentives that they need, but if you have a number of them there, then you can also throw in an extra prize. With several friends playing the same game, and with the drinks flowing, it will be a matter of time before the spirit of competition takes over and you want to encourage this.
You could offer a cash prize to the winner, but to make it worth their while the prize would need to be a decent amount and would likely put you on a loss by the end of the night. Instead, head for somewhere like Crown Awards where you can pick up an expensive looking trophy, personally engraved, for less than $20. Engrave it with the name of your tournament and let the the players know they can win it if they have the most chips by the end of play.
To cover the costs of the table and the setup you will want to do this again and again. It can be a great deal of fun for everyone involved, even those who end the night on a loss, so they will probably want to repeat it. One way to keep the competition alive is to tell the winner that unless they enter and win the next game, they will have to hand the trophy over, and that they can only retain it if the continue to win.
The only downside is that you will be eager to play and get involved yourself, but consider yourself as a host and get involved with the fun and the banter and you will enjoy yourself just as much. The money you get from having the house edge will also help immensely, just make sure you don’t invite any card sharks.