Game nights are a cherished tradition among friends and family. But as entertaining as they are, they can get tiresome if you don’t switch things up occasionally. You must have seen your friends roll their eyes when someone suggested yet another round of charades. By now they’ve probably memorized all the cards for 30 Seconds and Pictionary. And do you remember that time when it took almost an hour to decide on a game? If only game night was as easy as it is to play online casino games. Well, maybe it can be.
Turn your next game night into a classy casino-themed night. You can play new casino games or old casino classics, and your evening can be as formal or casual as you’d like. Whatever your style, you’re sure to find a game that will appeal to you and your friends on our list. Here are the best casino games you can set up and play with your friends at home.
A live blackjack game might seem like the obvious choice, but that’s only because it’s such a crowd-pleaser. This card game is easy to play – initially, everyone, including the dealer, gets two cards – and you can explain the points system to your friends in a few minutes. Your aim is to get closer to 21 than the dealer. Aces can be one or 11, while picture cards take the value of 10 and all other cards follow their pip value. The highest point total in the game is 21, which is called a blackjack if you can form it using just two cards. However, you do have the option to request additional cards from the dealer. If your points go over 21, you’ll go bust and lose the round. To make things interesting, give everyone a chance to sit in the hot seat and play as the dealer.
Although you or your friends might have played blackjack online before, the luck-based element of the game will ensure that the playing field is leveled. And because you’ll be playing against the dealer and not each other, it’s the perfect game to use as an easy ice breaker. And remember, you don’t have to bet for money, of course – you could just play for fun! To play blackjack at home, you will of course, need a deck of cards plus something to use as playing chips.
It’s time to test the group’s bluffing ability with some poker – one of those universally recognized casino games that have traveled around the world. As fun and convenient as it is to play at a casino online, with a game at home, you can see how believable your friends’ poker faces really are. The game takes a bit of time to explain to first-time players, so it’s advisable to dedicate a whole night to it. Once again, it’s up to you to set the value of any chips you decide to play with.
You can play a standard game of five-card draw poker or another variant. The most widely played option is Texas Hold’em poker, which uses five community cards along with your hole cards. But be careful because it’s both fun and compulsive, so make sure everyone’s agreed to the betting level you’ve set up. Once your friends are accustomed to the game, switch to Omaha poker for the next poker game night. This adds an unexpected twist where players get four hole cards (facedown cards) instead of two.
For a memorable event, tell your friends to bring sunglasses and baseball caps to look as mysterious as the pros do on TV. Make the game extra silly and use your friends’ favorite snacks as currency. To play a basic poker game, you need playing chips, or a currency of your choice and a deck of cards – rules for all the variants of the game can readily be found online.
Backgammon is one of the oldest games in existence. And you know why it’s perfect for game night? It lets you bring casino games and board games together into one activity – a match made in heaven.
You can play backgammon in person just like a regular board game, but it also crops up as a gambling game in some online casinos. You’ll need a backgammon board, the playing pieces (which are usually 15 white and 15 black or brown) and two dice to play (there’s also a “doubling cube,” which we’ll explain a little later.) Players take turns rolling the dice and move their pieces around the board with the aim of being the first to remove all of theirs. When you have two or more pieces in one space, it creates a block or “point,” and your fellow players cannot land on it. If you have a single piece and your opponent’s piece lands on it, it will be sent into the middle of the board and you’ll need to make specific rolls to play with it again, starting from the beginning.
Betting in backgammon is done by doubling the stakes with the doubling cube, which is a bit larger than normal dice and shows 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 and 64 on its sides. If a player’s in a strong position, they can challenge another player by setting the doubling cube or marker to two. Their opponent can accept the challenge or forfeit the game. If the player accepts, the game continues. Now they have the doubling cube, and they can challenge the other player and double it to four times the initial stake or four “coins.” Doubling can increase in this to-and-fro way up to 64, but it’s very likely that you’ll set a lower limit for a game at home; very often, the simple act of doubling can scare off the other player; bringing a swift end to the game!
Baccarat and blackjack are casino games everyone should play at least once. And when you play them at home, they’re more similar than you’d think. When you play baccarat at a casino, you bet on the player, the banker or on a tie. When you play at home with your friends, you can also choose to bet on who will get the highest total, like blackjack. In baccarat, the highest total you can have is nine – every time it adds up above that, just ignore the part of the number above nine and only use a single digit. For example, if you have cards that add up to 15, your score will be just 5. This game is also easy to set up and only requires a deck of cards and playing chips.
If you enjoy the thrilling side bets of live roulette and blackjack, you’ll love the side bet options of euchre, although it’s a very different type of casino card game. Euchre is a trick-taking card game similar to whist, with four or eight players split into two teams, which is quite a fun setup for a game night.
A standard euchre deck has just 24 cards, ranging from 9 to ace. Each team aims to win as many tricks as possible and can score one to four points for every hand. The game is generally played until one side reaches 10 points, but this end point can be agreed upon differently beforehand if you wish.
In euchre, players can bet on the game and make an additional side bet on every winning point. For example, a player can wager $10 on a game and $5 per point (but, of course, you can set any appropriate level of betting to suit your guests’ bankrolls.) If you won the game with points 10 to 6, you’d get the $10 you bet on winning the game and $20 for the side bet you made of $5 for every point. If you have a larger group, split your group into multiple euchre tables.
Other fun casino games to try
Chili craps – If you and your guests like dice games – and super-spicy food – play a twist on the usual craps game and make every player who gets a bet wrong eat a chili!
Karaoke poker – Is the night getting too quiet? Play some karaoke poker! Instead of using normal betting chips, have players who lose serenade their victorious opponents. You can also make it compulsory for any player who runs out of chips to sing an embarrassingly silly tune.
Bet on sports – Is your favorite team’s game on the same day as your game night? Don’t cancel. Make it an evening of sports betting, providing it’s legal in your state, of course. And you’ll all be able to cheer on your side together.