Whilst no real gambling is involved, as each guest is given tokens at the start of the event, a casino party for teenagers is enjoyable and somewhat educational. I am not just talking about preparing youngsters for the tables at Vegas but a basic understanding of probability together with balancing risk and reward is needed to be able to play games of chance with any sort of strategy.
The idea of a casino party for teens is to set up 3 popular games of chance (blackjack, roulette and craps) and give every player the same amount of tokens at the start of the party and then at the end of the event, declare the person with the most tokens as the ‘winner’. Food and music are easily incorporated into this activity.
This type of event could accommodate a large number of people but a party size of around 20 with a large room (2 or 3 smaller rooms) is ideal. It is also suitable for smaller numbers, around 6, and only one (or 2) of the games needs to be played.
There is no need to hire any professional dealers to put on this event. What is needed though is several ‘volunteers’ from the party that will take on the role of the dealers. This will take a little co-ordination and planning but it is worth the effort. The idea being that the ‘would be’ dealers will be trained in dealing or operating roulette, craps and blackjack games ahead of time. This, preparation, is an enjoyable activity within itself as a small group of friends get together and figure out how to play these games and organize the logistics of the event. These games are not that difficult to operate and in each case simpler versions of the rules can be played.
The only, relatively, expensive equipment you need to purchase is a small roulette game (from EBay). There are small roulette sets that are sold as games, just search ‘roulette game’ on eBay and will see some suitable games for under $50. You need a ‘wheel’ size of about 16 inches. For the other 2 games of chance, blackjack and craps, you can make do with some homemade efforts (on large dinning tables) although if you wanted you can also purchase game versions of these activities, again from eBay.
You also need to purchase tokens (use poker chips) for blackjack and craps, EBay or Amazon has these. The roulette game will have its own chips. In addition you will need dice and playing cards. At the start of the event give out the tokens (poker chips) and the roulette chips to each guest, making sure you have enough left for the dealers to operate their tables. To make things simpler, for the organizers and guests, you might want to just use the poker chips for all games (including the roulette game). In this way the roulette chips that came with the game are not used and the poker chips are substituted. Everyone can then move from ‘table to table’ using the same type of chips. Make sure you purchase enough chips to operate all the games, with the required number of guests playing.
The rules for the game of roulette should come with the game you purchase, in any event just Google – ‘roulette rules’, ‘crap rules’ and ‘blackjack rules’ and there are Wikipedia entries for each of the games as well as many other sites explaining how to play.
For the craps table you need only to copy the ‘betting layout’ onto a large piece of card and stick it to a table. The dice can just be thrown on a table or an old Yahtzee board (to stop them rolling off the table) can be placed on the table. An old shirt box (or similar) also works as a shallow container to roll the dice in.
There is no need to have a marked out table for blackjack just play the game on a normal table.
Each of the above games should be able accommodate 6 players at a time. The volunteer dealers (who, ideally, should wear white shirts) should do 45 to 60 minute stints at the tables then rotate. So for a party of 20 I would recommend that 6 guests be designated as volunteer dealers, in this way the dealers can also play the games and the party will last about 2 hours.
I would also encourage the guests to move around the tables so that each has a turn on a particular game. If a guest ‘runs out of chips’ then simply give them some more, although this guest cannot be declared the ‘winner’.