I generally hate parties. I’ll almost certainly land up talking to the group of guys who love rugby and don’t like casino games, leaving me in a whole heap of trouble navigating waters I know nothing about.
But, let’s say that I took leave of my senses, and decided to throw a party. How would I go about making sure it was a success, and that my reputation as a man of impeccable social skills was upheld? Well, I’d drug the punch, obviously. A handful of hallucinogenic drugs in the punch is a guaranteed party starter isn’t it?
But what if my hallucinogenic drug dealer is out of town, you ask? Fair point. I guess I’d have to distract my guests with a few casino party games. Some may say a second best option, others may argue not at all…
My mother owns a small, home sized version of a roulette wheel. It really is very well made, and extremely convenient. Plus it’s proof that a love of gambling runs in the family. It comes with a mat that rolls open on a table, displaying the betting options, as well as a quarter size roulette wheel. The wheel is spun by twisting the centre point of the wheel between your fingers, which works a great deal better than you might think. All in all it’s a marvellous setup, about as close to being in a real casino as you could ask for.
My mother brings out the mini-roulette setup for family occasions, and the spinning wheel always, inevitably, becomes the centre of attention. The trick is to give each guest a handful of betting chips, but tell them to keep the chips in their pocket until after their third drink. Trust me, it really does work out very well. The tipsier a person, the more fun they are likely to have making roulette bets.
The person with the most chips at the end of the evening is the winner, of course, and gets a bottle of whiskey as a prize, or a fruit basket if you prefer keeping your booze to yourself.
Craps is an easier game to improvise, if you don’t have a mini-roulette wheel sitting around. All you really need is a set of two dice, which I’m certain almost every person on earth owns. If you don’t think you own dice, check under your couch cushions. Go check, I’ll wait. Found some? Good, let’s continue.
The best thing about craps as a party game is that anyone can place bets on the dice being rolled, regardless if a person is actually personally shooting them or not. This means that everyone who wants to participate can, and everyone who wants to get into a fistfight with the shooter can, also. Nothing makes for a party atmosphere like a punch up, as we all know, and craps sure does inspire a great deal of punch-ups.
Jokes, of course. Just keep a can of pepper spray handy for punch-ups, near the craps table, and sort each fisticuffs out as it occurs.
Now, poker is a tricky party game, it must be said. It requires concentration, focus, and for players to genuinely be interested in how the game is progressing. If one of the players looses focus and gets distracted by a shiny thing or a thing in shiny skirt it can bring the whole game to a screeching halt. And that can be a real party pooper.
On the other hand, if you have a group of people that really are interested in poker, it can really be an excellent time for everyone. Some of the best parties I’ve ever attended were poker parties, and that’s no joke.
The trick is to tell people in advance that poker will be a part of the evening, so that they know what to expect. If people aren’t interested in the game, well, you can always have a snack table and box of shiny things to keep them occupied. Seriously, though, tell guests in advance that it will be a poker party. And, if anyone does lose interest before the game is done, offer the option for those people to split their chips amongst remaining players, and go do something else. Maybe have a game console on standby for those people.
The poker party I attended recently had each guest pay a moderate amount of real money into a pot, at the start of the game, as a buy in. The actual game was played with betting chips, but the winner took home the real money pot. Given that there were nine people playing, the total pot really wasn’t anything to sneeze at.
No, I didn’t win the pot since you’re thinking the question. But I did get to take home a shiny thing in a skirt and that’s another type of winning altogether.