How to play Poker like a Gentleman

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Poker has long had that mystique of being a game for the well-heeled, respectable men (and women) of society: many people would go as far as to say that it’s a “Gentleman’s game”. However, there are a lot of players out there who fail to live up to the game’s mystique: loud, rude, foul-mouthed, and exemplars of conduct unbecoming of a true gentleman. They turn off dealers and players alike, and they tend to kill the good buzz around a table. If you’re into poker and play it with passion; you really don’t want to be that guy. There are certain standards that you need to uphold; and there are certain behaviors that you absolutely need to avoid when you play poker; whether at a casino, a private event, or even at a friend’s house. Here are some things you need to remember when you go and play at a table:

Watch your language – one of the most annoying things at a poker table is excessive swearing. If you think that you look and sound cool dropping F-bombs here and there, think again: foul language doesn’t show off your best side. Try to be respectful to everyone at the table, especially the dealer. If you can’t say anything nice, it’s best to just keep quiet. And no, murmuring and whispering your swears isn’t acceptable either.

Observe proper decorum – Poker is meant to be a very social game: lots of light banter and conversation. When you engage in social interaction, keep your interactions friendly and pleasant. Avoid being “overly friendly”: don’t start hitting on women at the table. Also, avoid talking about your bad beats and complaining about your luck or lack thereof. Avoid polarizing conversations like politics and religion (who talks about politics or religion at a poker table? You’d be surprised.). Avoid being sarcastic and bad-mouthing other players and the dealer. Avoid hassling and fighting with the other players. Look and act professional and be polite at all times, especially when playing with strangers.

Avoid playing out of turn – When you’re playing at a table; wait for your turn before taking any action. Acting out of turn causes unnecessary distractions that may disrupt the flow of the game in progress. Use this time to gather information so that you’ll be able to make the most of your next turn. Don’t interrupt the active player with distracting banter and actions such as chip stacking and counting.

Don’t stall the game – even worse than acting out of turn is taking too long of a turn. Avoid spending too much time when your turn’s up. More importantly, avoid being distracted by anything else when it’s your turn: your phone and your non-playing friends can wait. Focus on the game at hand, and if you must make or take a call; then politely excuse yourself and take your call away from the table.

Don’t mark or mutilate the cards – not only is mutilating your cards obviously rude; it is also obviously unfair to the other players. Casino rules dictate that all damaged cards need to be replaced; creating unnecessary slowdowns and stalling the game. Treat the cards with care, and avoid card tapping, folding, and creasing.

Maintain proper hygiene – Poker players are usually seated right next to each other; which means that people will be able to smell if you haven’t showered and tidied up. Make sure you clean yourself up before hitting the tables; or the person they’ll be smelling (and talking about) is you.

Try not to Slowroll, Table Talk, or Rabbit Hole – “Slowrolling” is when you take too long to reveal your winning hand. “Table Talk” is when you make speculations and talk about the active hand. Asking for a “Rabbit Hole” is asking what the next card in the deck would have been. These behaviors annoy the heck out of most players because they stall the game and provide unnecessary distractions.

Avoid excessive displays of emotion – People hate the guy who throws a tantrum when they lose. They also hate the guy who jumps around and raises their fists with loud shouting when they win. You don’t want to be that guy. Keep your emotional displays restrained: this is not the World Series of Poker (is it?). Win and lose gracefully so that you don’t become the object of scorn.

Poker is a game of skill, wits, patience, and control. It’s a sport. It’s a form of gambling. But most of all, it can be a fun way to spend a few hours and some cash with friends (and total strangers) as you all try to beat the odds. Play like a gentleman and odds are; you’ll be welcome at every table you play.

Aces Up is the premier source of casino party rentals in the San Francisco Bay Area. We help you create Poker Tournaments or Casino Parties for your corporate events, fund raisers, and private parties. We can supply high-end casino equipment, lights, gaming tables with LED signage, table linens, and other accessories; as well as professional dealers, bartenders, and DJs. Give us a call at 510-785-5922 or e-mail us at for all of your questions and for more information. Better yet, request a proposal for your event online.    


Treat your Dealer right

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Whether you play Blackjack, Baccarat, Poker, or Roulette; you will always have a dealer to help keep your game going. Dealers serve an important purpose during table game play: they are the game’s facilitators and adjudicators. Dealers are tasked with (as their name suggests) dealing cards, playing the house’s hands, exchanging money for chips, declaring and deciding upon the winner, solving any game disputes that may arise, and catching instances of cheating during games. And yet, the dealer’s countenance is not one of sternness, but one of friendliness and helpful assistance. They are always smiling, cheerful, and super-ready to lend a helping hand to all of the players.

However, because of their genial nature; many dealers are subject to a lot of player abuse and are sometimes the brunt of verbal and behavioral hostility from ill-mannered gamblers. This; of course, is uncalled for as House Rules and common decency dictate that you treat all casino employees (especially table game dealers) with courtesy and respect.  We here at Aces Up know exactly what dealers have to put up with from terrible players, and we would like to remind you that you need to be nice to your dealer so that everyone at the table can enjoy a great gaming experience. Here are some ways to do just that:

Avoid excessive drinking while gambling – Having a drink or two is par for the course when visiting a casino: after all, there are free cocktails. However; drinking too much makes for a bad idea, as you may not have full control of your faculties while inebriated, so you might become rude, boisterous and rowdy. Also, your mental processes are impaired, and you may tend to make a lot of mistakes and bonehead plays while drunk: mistakes mean money down the drain. Worse yet, you might spill your drink on the table; disrupting the current game and getting players (and the dealer) mad at you. Dealers are not especially fond of rowdy, boisterous players who fumble their drinks and cause interruptions. Suffice it to say, a player who’s drunk is just plain annoying to everyone at the table. It won’t do wonders for your game, either.

Avoid being “The Blame Guy” – When you’re having a bad beat; or maybe a string of losses; the worst thing you could do is to blame the dealer. Dealers aren’t allowed to be combative with players, so all they can do is take it, or risk losing their jobs. Gambling in general and every table game in particular always favors the house, so the odds are mostly in the house’s favor. Don’t heap verbal abuse on the dealer just because you’re not winning. That’s just being rude (or a jerk, or both).

Avoid being “Mr. Negativity” – Beating the odds at a table is all about having a positive attitude. Don’t be the whiny, irritating guy who complains about everything and constantly nags the cocktail waitress for a drink. It just sucks the fun out of a table. Avoid making negative remarks and avoid negative behavior. If you’re not having fun anymore; simply walk away. Dealers (and players) hate grumpy grouches.

Avoid stiffing the Dealer – Lastly, if you’re going to tip the dealer when you get lucky with the cards or dice, do it immediately. Never; NEVER promise to tip the dealer at the end of your gambling session; only to leave a measly dollar tip (or less) when you’re done. Be a little generous: Dealers live on tips. Try to tip the dealer every time; regardless of whether you’re winning or losing the game.

Dealers work hard to ensure that everyone at their table has a good time. They don’t need to waste that time babysitting or hand-holding players who feel entitled to special treatment or are simply troublemakers. So the next time you go gambling, please remember to treat your table game dealer right. After all, dealers are people too.

Do you need casino games and dealers for you next event, fundraiser, or private party? Aces Up Casino Parties can provide you with a full-on casino experience: casino table games, dealers, custom LED-lit table signs, event lighting, photo booths, DJ services, table linens, and a full-service bar with bartenders. You can request a proposal for your event online; call us at 510-785-5922, or e-mail us at for all of your inquiries and for more information.


An introduction to Pai Gow Poker

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If you’ve been to a casino lately, then I’m sure you’ve played one of the standard casino go-to games: Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette…but have you ever played Pai Gow Poker? Yes, it’s another one of those Poker variants: a slow-paced but fun card game for experienced casino players. It is loosely based on an ancient Chinese gambling game known as Pai Gow, or Pinyin (as it is called in the Cantonese dialect): a game which uses domino-like tiles with 21 unique patterns. It is played by having 7 tiles dealt to each of the players, and they would then bet on who gets the better set of tiles.

It would take the efforts of American casino owner Sam Torosian, who owned the Bell Card Club in Los Angeles, to combine elements of Chinese Pai Gow with a Filipino card game called Pusoy, and of course Poker to come up with his very own game; which he called Pai Gow Poker in 1985. His game used 2 hands of cards arranged as one 5-card hand and one 2-card hand. The game wasn’t too hard for players to learn; so it quickly became a popular addition to the gambling games being played on the Las Vegas Strip in the latter part of the 80s, and its popularity soon spread worldwide. Although he wanted to file a patent for his game; the two people he consulted gave him bad legal advice and told him that card games were not eligible for patents. Because of this; he never got any credit as the game’s creator, and he never received any royalties from the other casinos who used his game.    

At its core, the goal of Pai Gow Poker is simple: create two poker hands consisting of 5 cards and 2 cards. Arrange your hands so that the 5-card hand outranks the 2-card hand. If your two hands beat the dealer’s two hands, then you win. If only one of your hands wins, then it’s a “push”, and if both your hands lose; then you lose your bet. The game’s odds are in favor of the “one-hand per deal” win, so expect to push quite a lot. It’s a game that encourages a lot of camaraderie as each of the players is playing against the banker (sometimes played by the dealer), so they usually either win together or they lose together. You can even ask the dealer for help in arranging your hands. It’s a great game to play at a leisurely, relaxed pace: it’s not as high-risk as most of the other card games out there and it’s easy to learn for people who play poker. So the next time you’re at the casino, why not give Pai Gow Poker a try?

Aces Up Casino Parties can turn your private party, fundraiser, or corporate event into a Las Vegas-worthy casino experience with all of the games that you’d expect: Poker, Blackjack, Roulette, and Craps; plus other games such as Let it Ride and yes, Pai Gow Poker. We’ll work with you to provide all of the elements to make your event a success: from the LED signs, to the dealers, to the gaming tables, to the Bar and DJ service, and even to the accessories such as table linens. We are the San Francisco Bay Area’s foremost casino party provider. Give us a call at 510-785-5922 or e-mail us at for all of your casino party inquiries or for more information. Better yet, request a proposal for your event online.

Tips for Drinking When You’re Gambling

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When you attend a casino party; the main goal of course is to enjoy yourself and have fun: it is a time for bonding with your friends and work buddies. But for some people, hitting the casino also means hitting the bar for some drinks. Casinos love to show their hospitality by offering awesome cocktails and other quality mixed drinks. And while drinking and gambling are widely accepted as activities that can be done simultaneously, you want to be able to make sure that you can still distinguish a good hand from a losing one. Your friends at Aces Up want to give you a few suggestions for drinking mindfully so that you don’t feel flushed before you get that Royal Flush.

  • Keep it simple – Go for simple cocktails and mixed drinks. Two-part drinks are the best for gambling.
  • Go light – if you want to be a success at the tables, avoid hard liquor and complicated mixers. This is especially true if you’re easily affected by alcohol.
  • Go with what you know – order drinks that you know you can handle. If you don’t know what to expect from a drink, no matter how good it sounds, avoid it at all costs. If you don’t want to waste time deciding on what to drink; order a beer instead.
  • Have a second option – if the server/bartender can’t accommodate your first choice of drink, have another option in mind.
  • Try the special – If you’re dead-set on having a cocktail, try the house special. This drink is probably very good (or worth ordering) if they’re calling it that.
  • Go for the more “beneficial” drinks – If at all possible, go for drinks that can actually “help” you: a Bloody Mary to cure your hangover, a Screwdriver for some Vitamin C, or a Rum and Coke for a quick pick-me-up.
  • Get hydrated – for the safest casino drinking experience ever, just order water.

Aces Up can give you and your guests the ultimate casino experience in the Bay Area. Aside from providing game dealers and game tables, we can also provide you with Bar and Bartending Services, DJ Services, Accessory rentals, and more! Add a Bar to your next casino party, fundraiser, or special event by contacting us and requesting a proposal today!

3 Benefits of Playing Casino Games

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There are a lot of reasons that people enjoy casino games; they can be a great way to blow off some steam, and they’re a great way to put on a celebration.Believe it or not, some of the benefits we can get from casino games have a foundation in psychological science! The team here atAces Up has put together a list of some of the ways that enjoying a good casino game can actually be a benefit to you!

Keeping the Mind Young

One of the effects that have been shown of casino games is that they encourage increased thought and concentration, even when played casually. Studies have shown that this increased focus can slow the mental impacts of aging, keeping active parts of the brain that normally slow down and weaken as we age. Card games are particularly effective at this, and the effect is exclusive to games that incorporate skill in addition to luck; playing slots all day won’t keep the mind sharp.

Fortifying Reflexes

There are a number ofgreat casino and gambling games that can actually help you improve your hand-eye coordination. One of the biggest examples of games that improve reflexes is actually bingo! The deceptively simple game demands both mental and physical dexterity, which may help explain its popularity in older circles.

Social Engagement

One of the hallmarks of casino games is that they are social by nature! They often involve playing with or against other people, and except at the most formal of tables, there is no shortage of small talk and interaction. Party tables such as those we provide at Aces Up are perfect for fun social interactions, which reduce stress and improve mental acuity and confidence.

With benefits like these, it’s really no surprise that casino games make perfect choices for office parties. The fun rolls all night when you hire Aces Up! Our selection of games is sure to be as mentally stimulating as they are emotionally liberating! Contact ustoday to plan your next big social with games from Aces Up!

How to Play Craps

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Craps Table

Aces Up is the number one source for casino party entertainment! Along with poker, roulette, and blackjack, we also offer the center of casino action: craps or “dice.” Craps may look like an intimidating game to play if you’re a beginner, but our professional dealers can help you and your friends learn everything from the basic bets to advanced betting tactics. Before your first game, here are some instructions on how to play craps and some good bets you can make to start.

Facts About Craps

Craps was actually called “Hazard” in the 17th and 18th centuries and was played extensively all over Europe (France, in particular.) It developed the name “craps” from “crapaud,” which is French for “toad.” Craps traveled across the Atlantic and was enjoyed on Mississippi riverboats during the mid-1800s. While the odds may have increased, the rules of craps haven’t changed all that much through the last hundred years! Craps is also one of the best bets in the casino, with the house edge a mere 1.41%. It is important to make the correct bets, however.

How to Play

At the start of each round, a player will be given two dice and becomes the shooter. Everyone at the table bets on the same dice roll, whether they are the shooter or not. The first roll of a round is called a “Come-Out” roll. The basic bet is the Pass Line bet and it pays 1:1 (bet $1, win $1.) After all bets, the shooter rolls the Come-Out Roll. On 7 or 11, you win. 2, 3, or 12 (known as “craps”) you lose. Any other number becomes what is called the “point.” If a Point is rolled on the Come-Out roll, the dealer will place a puck on that number designating it for the next roll, a “bonus round” of sorts. In this “bonus round”, if the Point is rolled again, you win. If a 7 is rolled, you lose. Any other number continues the bonus round.

It’s important to note that on the come-out roll seven makes you win, but in the “bonus round” seven makes you lose. When a seven comes up before the Point causing you to lose, it’s called “seven-ing out,” and the dice pass to the next shooter (clockwise around the table.)

There are many ways to make bets on the craps table. If you’re interested in learning during your next party, hire Aces Up! We can help make any celebration memorable and fun for everyone! Contact us and request which games you want to show up to your next event.

Terms to Know For A Casino Party: Part I

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casino chips poker gambling

Casinos, whether real or for entertainment only, tend to be boisterous, loud spaces. People are laughing, cheering, talking, having fun. Amid all that noise, you want to make sure your message gets across, which makes it handy to know some of the important terminologies ahead of time. Aces Up is here to help. Not only do we offer a premier casino party experience, but we have all the knowledge you need to make the most of it!

General Terms

We’ll skip obvious things like “place your bets,” but there are some other terms that you should anticipate.

Final Bets

If you’re coming into a game and hear this, that means that any bets you want to put in should be made in a hurry. Otherwise, bets will close and you’ll have to just watch while waiting for the next round.

Is This Table Open?

Most game tables can only support a limited number of players. Other times players arrange to have a limited game between specific people. Common courtesy is to ask if a table is open before taking a seat.

Color Up

This is used to describe players turning in their low-value chips for higher denomination ones, as the denominations are marked by different colors. This is always good practice before leaving a table, so you don’t have to carry more chips than necessary.

Poker Terms

One of the most popular casino and table card games, poker has its own important lingo to know in order to succeed.


A bluff is when a player bets or keeps their hand, even though it’s a bad one, in an effort to trick opponents into backing down.


An action in which the player matches the bet of whoever went before them. This is the minimum bet required, to continue playing a hand.


Checking is allowed for the first person up to bet. They don’t have to make a bet right then, but it will come back around and they’ll have to decide what to do, based on what others have done.


Conceding a hand; a player acknowledges their cards probably can’t win that hand and withdraws, rather than risk more chips.


When a player increases their bet, usually because they’re confident their hand can win, but sometimes as a bluff.

This just covers a few general casino and poker terms, but we’ll be back with more terms for other games. With these in mind, you’re one step closer to a fun-filled night of gambling! Your Aces Up Casino Parties team is ready to help you host the party of a lifetime! We have the perfect entertainment package for your next family or company event! Schedule our services today.

The History of Blackjack and Card Counting

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The History of Blackjack and Card Counting

Blackjack, or as it’s more commonly known in Europe as “21”, is an old and celebrated game. How old? No one really knows. All we know is its style of play has remained the same for over four hundred years: beat the house by holding with a hand of cards whose value comes as close to 21 without going over (with aces counting as either 1 or 11.) But only in the last fifty years have mathematicians and computer engineers cracked the code on how to beat the house. From Aces Up Casino Parties, here’s a history of blackjack and how cheaters try to “play” the game.

An Early Game of Cards

While the origin of the game “21” is somewhat unknown, we do know it was played as early as the beginning of the 17th century. Miguel de Cervantes, best known for writing Don Quixote, wrote a short story called Rinconete y Cortadillo about a pair of cheats working in Seville, Spain, and described the game as it was played in his time (with decks that didn’t include eights or nines). When “21” came to the United States in the country’s early years, gambling houses offered additional bonus payouts to garner additional interest in the game. One of these bonuses was a ten-to-one payout if a player’s hand consisted of the ace of spades and a black jack (either clubs or spades). The hand was called “blackjack.” Although the bonus went away, the name stuck and soon “21” was simply called “blackjack.”

Card Counting

In 1962, mathematician Edward O. Thorp wrote a detailed book entitled Beat the Dealer, outlining various betting and playing strategies for blackjack. One of these tactics was called card counting. Basically, card counters assign point values in their minds to cards as they come into play, tracking the sum of these values (called a “running count”) and attempting to predict the future appearance of cards. High cards generally benefit players, while low cards typically favor the dealer. While casinos have long since adopted new rules to minimize the effectiveness of card counting, they still use surveillance and intuition to catch gamblers trying to count cards. Few legal restrictions have been placed on the practice, and accordingly, casinos have been known to resort to banning card counters and even used to use physical violence against them.

What do you think? Is card counting cheating or simply playing a mental game with the dealer? At Aces Up Casino Parties, we think Blackjack should continue to be a fun game that everyone can pick up and play. If you’ve got an event coming up, consider hiring us to spice up the festivities with our internet specials!

How to Win At the Roulette Table

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Roulette Table

Roulette is a game that can be a bit intimidating the first time you lay your eyes on the betting table. Along with its notorious history as a house favorite (for its high casino advantage), roulette has nevertheless remained popular due to the high payouts and exciting buildup. Aces Up offers state-of-the-art American roulette tables that would be perfect entertainment for your next event. So, to prepare for the excitement here’s how to bet wisely and achieve the most success at the roulette table.

How to Challenge the House

Roulette is difficult if only because individual bets have a 1 in 37 chance of success, but only pays out 35 to 1. This gives the house a natural 5.26% advantage against all bets. One of the best ways to increase your chances of success at roulette is to “stick to the outside”, meaning the bets like red/black, high/low, and odd/even. While the returns aren’t nearly as high, the chances are closer to 50% than not. A combination of two outside bets like red/odd numbers can double your success on some numbers and cover more bases. The house edge on 00-0-1-2-3 (first five) is the worst, so avoid it at all costs.

The Martingale Strategy

One way to bet on red/black or even/odds is following what’s called the Martingale strategy. Let’s say you bet $5 on red and it lands on black. Next round, bet $10 on red to win back your money and see a profit. If it lands again on black, bet $20 on red. It will inevitably land on red, and you’ll see a profit. This does require enough that you can double up multiple times, however, and can be risky.

Hedge Your Bets on the Third Column

One thing you might notice about the table is that the red and black numbers aren’t spaced evenly across the columns. You can take advantage of the red-rich third column in particular by betting 2:1 third column and then double your bet on 1:1 black to give yourself a solid chance of making gains. On red numbers in the third column you get your money back, and on a black number in the third column, you gain.

Take your chances and practice your roulette strategy in a fun and worry-free environment with help from Aces Up Casino Parties. We have the perfect entertainment package for your next family or company event! Schedule our services today.

3 Tips for Making the Most of Roulette

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Roulette Wheel

A popular game at office casino parties and Monte Carlo nights is roulette, however, it can be a bit intimidating to play. Your friends at Aces Up Casino Parties are here to give you some ideas for making the most of our roulette tables, both in terms of fun and strategy!

  1. Have a System!
    Some of the best advice you’ll ever get for playing and winning at a roulette table is to do so with a betting system. There are a wealth of systems online, many of which can be tailored to your own style of play.
  1. Avoid Bad Bets
    All bets have a house edge built-in, however, some of them are worse than others. Of all the possible bets on a roulette table, never choose the five number combo 0-00-1-2-3. At a 7.89% house edge, it has the worst odds on the table! Also, avoid betting all of any one “category” such as black and red, even and odd, etc. – by doing this, you are guaranteeing you will never win!
  1. Make Your Bets Last
    If you’re someone who really enjoys playing roulette and prefer a lasting experience, focus on wagers that pay out evenly, also known as playing the “outside.” By betting on things such as red or black, even or odd, 1-18 or 19-36, your payouts will always be even-money and your chip stack is guaranteed to last longer!

Whether you’re a seasoned roulette player or new to the game, Aces Up offers a great roulette experience for your party or event. Visit our website for our current Internet Specials or to Request a Proposal today!