Casino-themed afternoon at the office (1st November 2013)

As part of celebrating achievements and thanking everyone for their hard work, Kim (our Head of Operations) had arranged for an afternoon of fun in the office with casino games set up in the boardroom and surrounding areas as well as plenty of booze and nibbles for all. Around 3pm, the folks from Queen Six turned up with our casino hire and began setting up the poker and blackjack tables in the boardroom, while the roulette table was set up just behind my work desk. I guess I won’t be doing much work with all the noise once the games begin!

In addition to providing quality poker and casino hire equipment, Queen Six also assists in hosting corporate and private casino events. Solid wood tables with felt tops and leather-cushioned rims adds a touch of luxury and class, and beer holders built into the table allowed for drinking as we played. The chips, cards and equipment used were of standards you would expect at an actual casino (they look as good as new) AND we even had a croupier (aka dealer), one at each of the three tables, all immaculately dressed in black and white attire. We were treated to the full casino experience! Most of us probably felt rather under dressed in our casual Friday attire (jeans, t-shirt and sneakers) though Jun was totally dressed for the occasion sporting a sharp casual suit and cool shades to match :)

There was no actual money used in the games –  it was a test of luck, skill and strategy. Each player was given $1000 worth of chips to start and the player with the most chips at the end of the night wins the king of the casino trophy supplied by Queen Six. I did not partake in the gambling but instead went around the tables learning how the games are played, watching others bet and took photos (someone had to take evidence...). I started off at the roulette table where the lovely croupier explained how the game worked. Players can choose to place as many bets as they wish on the table. There are two main classes of bets – inside bets and outside bets. Some of the popular inside bets include playing straight (single number bet), split (bet on two adjoining numbers either vertical or horizontal – the chip is placed on the line between the numbers) and corner (bets on the four numbers in the square – the chip is placed in the intersection between the horizontal and vertical lines), while outside bets include bets on red or black, even or odd, or a range of numbers such as dozen bets (1st, 2nd or 3rd set of twelve numbers from 1-36), or 1-18 and 19-36. Outside bets tend to have a smaller payout but better odds of winning. Once bets are placed, the roulette wheel is then spun and everyone waits anxiously for the ball to fall into one of the pockets which determines the winning number and colour. Players can continue to place bets on the table until such time the croupier calls “no more bets”. It was amusing to watch how people play – some go for randomness, placing a chip here and there; others kept betting on the same number at every round.

Place your bets, place your bets! An afternoon of casino games in the office :)

Roulette wheel

The croupier announcing the winning bets

The boardroom was packed with both players and spectators when I went to check out the poker and blackjack tables. There seemed to be a gender split, the girls trying their luck in blackjack while the boys gathered around the poker table, in deep concentration at their hand of cards. Poker was by far the most complicated game of the three to grasp in my opinion as it required mind play in addition to the card game. A poker hand consists of 5 cards and players use a mix of strategy and bluff to win the pot of chips on the table.  The best five cards based on the poker hand ranking wins though you may still win with a terrible hand if other players take bait to your bluff and call themselves out (fold).

The boys in deep concentration at the poker table

Poker hand ranking

Come on, come on, give me a queen!

Blackjack was a lot more straightforward where players compete against the dealer but not other players. To win the game, the player needs to score 21 points on their first two cards, reach a final score higher than the dealer but not exceeding 21, or letting the dealer draw additional cards until he exceeds 21.

The girls trying out their luck in blackjack

Though no money was used, it was quite interesting to watch the roller coaster of emotions portrayed as if there was real gain and loss. I suppose it's like any other game – everyone wants to win.

Person with the most chips gets to take home this trophy

Hmm, can I beat that?

Someone's won quite a bit...

Back at the roulette table listening to the croupier explaining how the game works

Rules of blackjack are a lot easier to comprehend

To hit or stand?

It was good to see everyone let loose and taking a break from work, socialising with one another and just having fun. Looking forward to more team building events in the office!


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