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Guide to casino culture in London

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Lets take a look

The casino is seen by many as the ultimate night out. Who wouldn’t want the chance to get glammed up, head out to one of the capital’s most sophisticated nightspots, and enjoy an evening flitting from the slots to the roulette wheel to the blackjack table, martini in hand?

Casinos have enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years, and for that they can thank the internet. The rise of online casinos was initially predicted by some to sound a death knell for the traditional ones made of bricks and mortar. But on the contrary, what’s happened is that those who might have been reluctant or nervous about entering a real casino have spent time online learning to play casino games at the best online casinos UK and have then felt encouraged to venture out and test out their skills in the real world. After all, playing online is perfect for crafting skills, but it is quite a different experience to walking through the doors of the real thing.

Casino etiquette

Watch the average James Bond film and you could be forgiven for thinking that a casino is full of secret language and signals that only the initiated would understand. That’s fine for the big screen, but the reality is nothing so alarming. Unless you are heading into one of the most exclusive casinos – and more on that in a moment – a dinner jacket is not required. Smart casual is the order of the day, and so as long as you leave the jeans and trainers at home, you will be fine.

Most people gravitate to the slots because they are easy. You are playing alone, and there is less risk of a social blunder. But don’t be shy, the table games are where all the fun is to be had, and it’s nothing complex. The dealer or croupier is there to help and will welcome newcomers, so as long as you brush up on the rules online, all you really need to do is watch what’s happening for ten minutes, and then join in. Pay attention to the dealer – “no more bets” means just that, and if you want to join a blackjack table mid-shoe, it is conventional to ask the dealer and other players if they have any objection.

Now that you know what to do, the question is where to do it. Let’s take a look at some of London’s most popular casinos.

The Ritz Club

Taking it from the top, the Ritz casino is probably the most famous in London. To get in, you need to either be a member of the Ritz Club or an accompanied guest. This is one location where the traditional dress codes apply, so make an effort and dust down that dinner jacket or cocktail dress! When you step through the front doors, it is a little like stepping back in time. This is a place where you really might bump into James Bond or M at any moment.

Maxims

With a history dating back 150 years, Maxims has long been the place to be seen in London’s exclusive West End. The casino recently underwent a multimillion pound renovation project, and it exudes luxury and opulence, from the whisky bar to the à la carte restaurant to the 26 gaming tables. This is where the high rollers come to play, and some table limits go as high as £25,000.

The Hippodrome

If five-figure stakes and hushed voices are not your thing and you prefer your casino experience to be big, brash and fun, head over to Leicester Square and pop into the Hippodrome. The games are spread across five floors, and you are certain to find something that’s just right for you. The 45 gaming tables include all the favourites, such as blackjack, baccarat and roulette, while there are also hundreds of slots and the latest electronic games.

Aspers

For something a little different, venture out east to Aspers. This is a new casino that arrived with the East End regeneration around the time of the 2012 Olympics, and is based at the Westfield Centre in Stratford. It offers a more informal, 21st-century-style casino experience. It certainly outdoes all the rest in terms of size, with 70 tables, 150 slots, 150 gaming terminals and even sports betting opportunities.

London’s casino culture caters to all

Whether you are a traditional casino goer of the dinner jacket and martini kind, or a millennial looking for a fun night out with friends, London’s casino scene has it covered. Enjoy yourself, and good luck!




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