When I was growing up, I learnt everything that I knew about casinos from James Bond movies. Ian Fleming’s dashing super-spy inspired in me a life-long passion for casino games and gambling in all its forms, but it did give me a slightly skewed version of how actual casinos work. Of course there are some very exclusive casinos and VIP gambling rooms around the world, but I’m not really playing in that league, so my gambling experiences are a long way removed from the dry martinis of James Bond.
Do I need to get dressed up?
Casinos will all have slightly varying dress codes, but generally as long as you look neat and tidy you won’t have a problem. One of the first things that you’ll notice is that no one is really wearing black-tie or a dinner jacket. There will be some people wearing a business suit, but most people will just be dressed up for the night and aiming to feel comfortable and look their best. There is no expectation that you should arrive wearing an outfit that would be appropriate on the red carpet of the Oscars. I always thing that you dress like the successful gambler that you plan to be – look smart, look sharp, and wear something with pockets so that you have somewhere to put all of the chips that you are going to be raking in off the tables.
Do I have to drink cocktails?
If you’re on a bit of a roll, most decent casinos will be offering you free drinks in order to keep you at the tables and keep playing. It would almost be embarrassing if you ordered “a dry martini, shaken not stirred” – trust me, I’ve done it. No one finds it as amusing as you do. Stick with a drink that you actually enjoy drinking. It’s generally best to avoid beverages like beer that will result in constant trips to the bathroom, opt for something a bit masculine and manly like bourbon. Fancy a cocktail? Try an Old Fashioned – bourbon based with bitters and a twist of orange for some edge.
Do I have to leave the house?
One of the advantages that we have today that James Bond would no doubt be incredibly envious is that there are now a huge range of online gambling opportunities. This means that you don’t have to trek to your nearest casino to play casino games, you can simply roll out of bed, log on to your favourite online casino website, and start playing. The downside is that you’ll have to get your own drinks, but the upside is that you can play casino games in your pyjamas, or naked, however it rolls in your house.
Ian Fleming’s series of spy novels about James Bond are great to read and a lot of fun. It’s probably not the best way to learn about casinos, or cars, or women, or spying, but it may excite you enough to get out there and try the real thing.