October 28, 2016

Hot! Tip for Hosting a Game Night Like a Boss


Anyone who’s spent time traveling to different cities understands the benefit of getting out and finding fun places to spend weekend evenings: bars, clubs, shows, restaurants, or whatever may interest you. But once you’ve settled down in a single city for a while, there’s also great value in figuring out how to host weekend events at your apartment or home! Going out isn’t appealing all the time, and being able to host allows you to enjoy a more intimate, and sometimes more creative environment with friends.

For us, the challenge is always figuring out how to host an actual event, rather than simply have friends over. It’s nice to have a particular theme or activity set up to keep things interesting. A few weeks ago we tried something new that we heartily recommend to anyone else who might be brainstorming home party and gathering events: a casino night!

Now, poker has never been an enormous hobby. Be we’ve dabbled in online rooms at one point, and have played occasionally with friends and family during holidays. But after a friend suggested the idea of hosting a full-on home casino night, it was the fun and variety of such a night that really appealed. So, based on our experiences with the concept, here are some tips for hosting a great casino night of your own!

Send Invitations

This can be as simple or as fun as you like. In some cases, a simple email invite to your friends will do the trick, and spares you the time and effort to take care of other aspects of your party. However, if you like, it’s also fun to decorate and send actual party invitations. HGTV has some wonderful suggestions for artistic but easy printed invitations, if you want something that looks nice but doesn’t take up much time.

At any rate, invitations are necessary for setting the tone of your party. You can request that guests bring drinks if you like (having everyone bring a bottle of wine is a great way to end up with a varied drink selection), list the attire for the party (formal is fun for a casino night), and of course cover the logistics of where and when to arrive!

Set Up Tables

Having a single poker table set up can make the night feel a little bit dull. While it’s still enjoyable to play games with friends around the table, it’s less of an event. Instead, try setting up a few different tables for different games and give your home a real casino feel. For example during our casino nights, we’ve broken out uniform red table cloths for the different tables, but there’s also something to be said for giving a different color (or centerpiece, or some other distinguishing feature) to each table. Finally, have the games set up when people arrive. One table could be designated for poker, one for blackjack, etc., and if you really want to go above and beyond you can look into purchasing a roulette wheel, a nice set of poker chips, etc.

Get Creative With Games

Poker and blackjack are the highlights of most casino nights, and there are plenty of little ways to get creative (such as using candy for chips). But our favorite way to get creative with games is to actually simulate the arcade side of live casinos by opening up a few laptops and having online casinos pulled up. Betfair Casino is a useful site in this regard, as it offers slots, video poker, roulette, etc. and allows you to get a feel for them without paying first. Most include a demo version so you can get a feel for the games. I’ve found that even having one or two slot machines pulled up adds a great flavor to the evening, even if the card games are more popular!

Consider A Drink Theme

People love to have a nice drink while playing games. As we’ve mentioned, asking guests to bring drinks is one way to make things exciting. But we also love the idea of providing a themed drink for the evening. And in this regard, a seasonal cocktail is always best! You could simplify things and go with a certain bottle of wine or offer the classic shaken-not-stirred martini made famous by James Bond (a known casino enthusiast!).

However, going seasonal will make each casino night unique. For example, we love the White Peach and Grape Sangria but are there additional summer cocktails (and food recipes, for that matter) that are lovely as well.

The rest is up to you and it ought to be unique each time! Whether it’s different music, creative decorations, a catered or cooked meal, etc., there are plenty of ways to add flavor and complexity to your casino night. But with a diverse pack of games, a casino setup, a nice cocktail and the proper mood, you’ll enjoy hosting a casino night as much as I have!

This post was written by Erica Adams.

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