If you enjoy a spot of recreational gambling with friends, then the Isle of Wight is a little thin on physical, land-based locations to indulge your hobby. In fact, there are no options on the island for fans of poker, blackjack and other games. If you wish to enjoy an evening of responsible gambling then the nearest casino is the Grosvenor, located on Portsmouth’s Gunwharf Quays.
There is, of course, always the option of playing various games online but that doesn’t offer the social element that many people are looking for. If your goal is to enjoy a few drinks, share some stories and spend time with friends while partaking in a few hands of poker or the like, then your best bet (without having to travel) is to set up a games night at home. Read on to see what games you might include…
This old favourite comes in a variety of flavours but Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular, primarily because it’s easy to understand and new players can pick it up quite quickly (making it ideal for home-based games). Indeed, it’s often said that “Texas Hold’em takes 5 minutes to learn and a lifetime to master”!
Most people who are entertaining the idea of holding their own games night will most likely be familiar with how to play Texas Hold’em. However, if you’re new to the game or format (or if your knowledge is just a little rusty!) then have a look at this poker tutorial and you’ll be dealing cards to your friends across the felt in no time.
Many people are familiar with Blackjack having most likely played a very similar game with their grandparents, on school trips or while stuck in caravans on rainy days – Pontoon.
The key difference between Blackjack and Pontoon is that Blackjack, players can only double down on their two original cards.
For those who aren’t familiar with Blackjack:
To get started, two cards are dealt to each player and the goal is to get as close to 21 as possible without going “bust” (exceeding 21). All number cards are worth their face value (2 to 10 of any suit) and any picture card is worth 10 points, except Aces, which are worth either 1 or 11 depending on what the player decides is most beneficial to their hand.
This one requires more than just a deck of cards and a little investment in equipment, but the thrills are worth it!
Small roulette wheels for home use can be purchased for as little as £20 and the game offers a very simple way for people to engage with gaming, even when their knowledge is limited:
Players can make a variety of bets but the simplest and most common (that many people will have seen in films etc.) are:
- The straight-up – A player chooses a number on which they think the ball will fall and wins if it does so (usually with odds of 35-1, but you can pick your own).
- The odd or even – A player chooses to gamble that the ball will land on either an odd or even number and wins with odds of 1-1 if successful.
- The red or black – A player chooses to gamble that the ball will land on either a red or black and wins with odds of 1-1 if successful.
So, what are you waiting for? Set a date, invite your friends and get gaming in the comfort of your own home.