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!


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!

Great Occasions For Casino Parties

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687404227 Casino table equipmentSomething of a break from most party traditions, casino parties are growing in popularity as people are discovering ways to have the same fun casino experience without putting their bank accounts at risk. Your friends at Aces Up Casino Parties are here to give you some ideas for taking advantage of the fun you can have at a casino party by giving you some occasions to celebrate!


One of the most popular ways to host a casino party is as a fundraiser. The occasion is already all about raising money, but a fundraising casino party lets the guests get in on the fun, and enjoy putting down a little money for the cause.

Corporate Reward

An exciting incentive for company employees or a sales team is the opportunity to be a part of a party. Nothing is more rewarding than walking away from a party with more cash in your pocket – even if it’s just play money!

Side Party

Another really fun way to have a casino party is to have it alongside the main event. Having a Super Bowl or playoff celebration, but not all the guests are into sports? Set out a couple of tables on the side where they can indulge in some card games during the big game.

Wedding Reception

Recently, a lot of couples have taken a shine to the idea of adding some entertaining stakes to their receptions. Having the bride kick off the festivities by throwing the first roll at the craps table is always a great picture moment.

If you’re looking for ideas for your next party, from big events to family affairs, AcesUp offers a variety of tables for your gaming needs. Visit our site for our current internet specials or to request a proposal today!

How to Perfect Your Poker Face

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Poker Faces

Imagine you’re in a high-stakes game and are confident you have the winning hand. But wait, can you keep your opponents’ guessing? Keeping a straight face is harder than you think, but if you can learn to control even the smallest tics in both your facial expressions and body language, you can emerge victorious.

Relax Your Face: Your facial expressions are the first giveaway, making it imperative that you master the art of relaxation. You don’t want to clench your jaw and appear overly tense over the cards in your hand. Before you start the game, take a deep breath and clear your mind.

Focus Your Eyes: Show the other players that you are confident and intimidating by making eye contact throughout the game. Be careful though, you don’t want to come across as overly concerned about your current hand. If you’re worried that you’re line of sight might be a weak point, toss on a pair of sunglasses and play it cool the whole game through.

Master Your Body Language: You may be able to keep your facial expressions clear, but the charade doesn’t stop there. Body language works in tandem and again, relaxation is key. Shake out any tension and settle into a natural, upright position. Be sure to avoid any unnecessary fidgeting including tapping, pulling on your clothing, or rubbing your hands together.

Don’t Shout About It: Your voice is also a potential giveaway to your opponents. Keep an even, balanced tone to avoid a nervous quiver or an excited change in octave. If you suspect your voice will give you away, simply nodding or shaking your head will do in a pinch.

If you’re ready to show off your new poker face skills, we’d love to host your next party. From big events to family affairs, AcesUp offers a variety of tables for your gaming needs. Visit our site for our current internet specials or to request a proposal today!

Break from Tradition and Make It Your Own

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Bride playing poker

Congratulations on being engaged! Planning a wedding is an exciting thing to do, but it can also be very stressful. There are a lot of things to consider like time and date, venue, refreshments, guest count, and officiator. And those are just the logistics. Beyond that are details like dresses, hair, accessories, tuxes, flowers, decorations, etc.

Your wedding is an opportunity for you and your soon-to-be-spouse to showcase your personalities in a celebration featuring you, but it can sometimes be difficult to find a balance between what you want and what your traditionalist grandmother or mother insists on.

Are you wanting to plan a wedding that breaks from tradition? While it may be important to you that you incorporate traditional items (something borrowed, something blue…), you don’t have to stick to a traditional theme. Make your wedding an event that not only you, but guests will remember for years to come by having a casino themed wedding.

Attire: Go for an all-out James Bond look. No fluffy, pastry-like dress needed. Opt for a lighter, sleek, and sexy wedding dress and bodycon bridesmaid dresses. Have the groom and groomsmen wear fitted tuxes and invite guests to dress to help set the atmosphere.

Entertainment: At Aces Up Casino Parties we offer delivery, setup, and break down of a number of popular casino games. Choose from craps, roulette, blackjack, Texas Hold’em, and even more! Our packages range from small to large groups and we come to any venue that you choose from your own backyard to the hotel grand room of your favorite San Francisco Bay Area hotel.

Refreshments: We know that nothing goes better with a casino night than alcohol. That’s why we now offer bar services including a light-up bar, quality bartenders, and all the bar tools needed for a night to remember.

Decorations: To complete your casino themed wedding celebration, we also offer custom LED-lit table signs for all of our tables except poker and they’re free with your booking!

Don’t spend all of your time planning and prepping, enjoy being engaged and leave the hard work to us! For more information about our current internet specials or to request a proposal, visit us at

Bring Vegas To Your Bachelor Party

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When men come together for a Bachelor Party, they expect excitement and good times. Vegas can be a fun choice, but it can also be an expensive and inconvenient trip. The perfect alternative would be to throw your own Vegas themed party. You can play games like craps, roulette, blackjack, Texas hold’em (poker), and many others without having to step foot in Sin City.

Aces Up Casino Parties supplies casino game table and dealers to parties and events all over Northern California. Visit if you’re interested in throwing your own casino themed party. Find out for yourself why we have a 5-Star rating on Yelp.

Spice up your Casino Party with a Theme

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Everyone loves a good party. Casino parties are a great way to spice things up If you are in the process of planning a casino party but can’t come up with a theme here’s a few casino party theme ideas your guests are going to love!

Great Gatsby


The glitz and glamour of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic The Great Gatsby makes a perfect theme for your next casino party. Invite your guests to get into character with flashy costumes, decorate your venue in gold, and let the champagne flow.

007 Casino Royale


Host a night of sophistication, elegance, and a little bit of mystery with a James Bond themed casino night! From black-tie attire to Bond themed decorations and props, your guests will feel like secret agents at this Top Secret engagement.

Wild, Wild West


In the spirit of Texas Hold’em transport your guests to an old-fashioned western saloon to celebrate the roots of the game. Dress up as cowboys and cowgirls and bring your best to the table.

Whatever your theme may be Aces Up is your go to for all Casino Party needs! Book your party today!