Monday, March 7, 2011

Casino Night

For my friend Lesley's birthday (the gorgeous, rambunctious blonde pictured above!), I planned a Casino Night.  You can rent the casino equipment from a bunch of different companies, and if money is no object, you can also hire dealers to man the tables.  We decided to do it ourselves to save money.

For this party, I rented a roulette wheel, a poker table, and a blackjack table, as well as two slot machines (they give you tokens to put in them).  The slot machines were nice because they lit up and made a lot of noise spewing out those tokens, really adding to the atmosphere of being in a real casino.
I rented the equipment from:  Casino Party Planners

The tables were $100 each, and the slot machines were $50 for two.  Keep in mind that I had to do some negotiating and contacted several companies with quotes before I got that price.  They quoted me much higher to begin with.

You can rent these tables and have them delivered to your home or an event space.  I chose to reserve a room at a bar for space reasons.  The company will set up the tables and include the cards, chips, and everything else you will need to use them.

I got decorations from the party store - they have everything you can possibly think of in a casino theme!  I got banners, plates & napkins with dice on them, confetti in the shape of dollar signs, candy coins to scatter on the tables, and the green dealer hats we are wearing in the pictures. 

I decided to act as the blackjack dealer, and Kyle manned the roulette table.

One thing that happened that I didn't expect was that several of the party guests wanted to play dealer as well, so throughout the night we switched it up, and Kyle and I were able to gamble at the tables while other people took over as the dealers.  That made it a bit less stressful, as I wasn't tied to the table the entire time - though Kyle's popularity as roulette dealer made him a little more indispensable!
The party company gave us a case of chips to dole out to our guests, and we decided on an amount to give each person to gamble with.  You could also do this with real money (by charging each guest a buy in amount and giving them a pre-determined amount of chips for it).  I thought that would be fun, but we were instructed by the bar that gambling is we couldn't do that.
I made prize bags in varying sizes and informed the guests that they would be gambling for prizes.  At the end of the night, the biggest winners took home the best bags.  If you are interested in making gift bags and need ideas, there is a posting on this blog devoted to goodie bags!  Prizes enhance the excitement and give your participants something to shoot for. Especially if you have competitive friends, like I do.
We had a fantastic time and I plan to do this again sometime. Next time I would probably just rent the roulette, blackjack, and slot machines, as the poker table didn't get as much action.  Unfortunately not everyone knows how to play poker, and it's not an easy game to explain on the fly.

I asked everyone to come dressed up, as if they were headed to a casino in Monte Carlo, and most of the guests had fun with it.  One girl even wore a printed dress covered in spades!  I wish I had thought of that!
This could also be a fun party for charity, if you charged everyone an entrance fee and/or for their chips.


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