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The Cruise Casino Experience

cruise experience

For a luxurious and unforgettable holiday, few experiences can beat that of a cruise. This is the ultimate in opulence and, while taking in some of the best tourist destinations around the world, guests can be pampered in style.

It’s tough to top but, some cruises look for themes to add to that feeling of luxury. Casinos are a popular addition with table games, and players lining up to discover the best way to win at slots. It’s a common combination but how does a cruise casino operate?

Take to the Tables



Another hugely popular holiday experience involves a trip to some of the most decadent casino destinations around the globe. Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Macau and Monte Carlo are four of the best in this respect. When those two themes are combined, cruises and casinos provide what, for many, is the ultimate holiday experience.

So what can you expect to play at a cruise casino? Essentially, the games will be identical to those which can be found on dry land. Therefore, there are roulette tables, blackjack, baccarat, poker and a host of slot machines.

Players will have their own favourites while others would like to try each one.

Spin the Wheel

roulette spin

Roulette is an iconic game as far as casinos are concerned and there will always be a crowd around the wheel when this is offered on a cruise ship. Online roulette games come in many unique forms but, in a physical casino, there are three main versions.

European roulette is the most popular variant around the world with its numbered pockets from 1-36 plus a solitary green zero. In American roulette, there is a second green pocket marked 00 and the house edge in this game is slightly greater.

French roulette also has the single zero pocket but it comes with its own unique rules - En Prison and La Partage. Depending on the size of the cruise ship in question, all three versions of the game may be offered or there could be just one or two of these variants in play.

At the Card Tables

Poker games can be found on casino cruises but, if you don’t want to take on a strong set of opponents, there are alternatives. Versions of the game such as Caribbean Stud involve a straight battle between the player and the dealer with no other competitors involved.

Blackjack is another card game where the objective is to beat the house and scoop the pot. The aim of this game is to score 21, or get as close as possible to that figure while beating the dealer on the opposite side of the table.

As with all games, it’s important to be fully conversant with the rules of blackjack before you take a few hands. The scoring system is especially important with picture cards worth ten points and an ace counting as either one or eleven.

Another card game with a quirky scoring system is Baccarat. Here, the hand that scores closest to nine will win but there is a twist. Before each round of dealing, it’s possible to bet on whether the banker or the player’s hand will win the game.

Take a Spin

Casino cruise ships should also be equipped with a wide range of slot machines. These games are extensively used in online and land-based casinos and they can come with a range of different themes.

The aim, in all cases, is to line up matching symbols along a payline. Typically, a slot will have different images: The classic fruit machines often display common icons including lemons, watermelons, grapes, plums, cherries, bars, bells and 7s.

There will usually be a central payline on which to match those symbols but other paylines can appear on the reel grid. Slot games may also have bonus features such as free spins and pick a prize rounds but these are less common with physical machines. Typically, online slot games will carry more features but it’s still possible to win big prizes on their casino cruise counterparts.

Roll the Dice

role the dice

We’ve covered the main cruise casino options but there may well be other games, depending on the line operator. Craps is a fast paced game where wins can be paid out based on the combined score from two dice.

Each individual option adds to the popularity of a casino cruise and there should always be plenty of choice. Just like the casinos on dry land, the big ships are in competition for luxury holidays with prices to match and having a wider selection of games is likely to help those operators gain a bigger share of the pie.

If certain games are important to the individual traveller, it makes sense to do plenty of research before booking a voyage. If slots are the favoured option, check to see how many are in place and whether there is a range of different themes.

Those that like to play roulette may want to check which of those three main versions are offered on board. Poker players may also want to find out if there is tournament play or whether there are options for a straight battle against the dealer.

There is research to be done and questions to be asked but, above all, there should be exceptional choice on your cruise casino and many ways to enjoy a great experience on the seven seas.

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