They may be smaller than the ones in Las Vegas, but cruise ship casinos mirror what’s found on land in terms of rules and the training required for dealers. Cruise lines make sure they’re offering the latest and most popular slots and table games, including penny video slots and the ever popular blackjack. Here’s what you need to know to improve your odds, at least of having fun:
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What you’ll also find on many cruise ship craps table is a small difference in payouts on the field bets. The field bet is the easiest bet on the table. Place a bet and if on the next roll the dice show 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11 or 12, then you win. All numbers pay back even money, except 2 and 12. Cruise ships do need to have a premises license if they offer commercial gambling, but if the ship is “on a journey into or from international waters” then no premises license is even required. In October, we published a piece on advice for cruise ship gambling, with some general tips about the general environment of on board casinos. In this follow-up we’ll talk a little bit more.
1. Casinos close while in port.
If you plan to spend a lot of time in the ship’s casino, choose an itinerary with a lot of sea days. With a few exceptions — including overnight in Bermuda and Nassau ports — cruise ship casinos are required to remain closed when the ship is in port so as not to compete with local gambling or entertainment businesses. In Bermuda, casinos on ships can operate from 9 pm to 5 am, and in Nassau, from 7 pm to 3 am.
2. Ship casinos are open in international waters.
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Casinos are typically only open 3 to 12 nautical miles from the coast. However, in the case of Alaska, cruise ship casinos are permitted to open 3 miles after departing from one Alaska port until 3 miles before arriving in the next Alaska port, regardless of proximity to land. That’s good for gamblers, as cruises in southeast Alaska tend to hug the coastline.
3. Smoking is part of the game.
Though there are fewer places to smoke on cruise ships than ever before, casinos are one of the last holdouts. Most cruise ship casinos, with the exception of the luxury lines, have designated smoking areas for cigarette smokers; however, cigar lovers are rarely permitted to light up.
4. Card sharks are a rare species at sea.
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Professional gamblers tend to focus their energies on the land-based casinos that are open around the clock, without the distractions of a cruise — from buffets to deck parties and those pesky ports of call. Plus, according to Paul Jarvis, vice president of casino operations for Carnival Corp., card sharks seek anonymity, and passengers need to provide the cruise line with their passport details before boarding.
5. Gambling theme cruises offer real competition for top players.
If you really want to double down on your gaming ops at sea, some cruise lines — including Carnival and Norwegian Cruise Line — host blackjack, slots, and poker tournaments that attract hundreds of gaming enthusiasts. Qualifying rounds are held on cruises throughout the year, with the final competition taking place toward the end of the year.
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There’s a great way to ensure you return home from your next cruise feeling like a winner—and that’s by enlisting a combination of luck and strategy to boost your odds of hitting an actual jackpot at the casino.
Gambling is a popular form of entertainment for cruise passengers. Norwegian Cruise Line offers a wide assortment of onboard activities and amenities. This includes Casinos at Sea, providing a nonstop gaming environment where the exciting thrills never end—and neither does the winning! This is your chance to score a big jackpot without ever leaving the ship. You can even join the exclusive Casinos at Sea Players Club so you can earn perks and rewards like free drinks and spa treatments.
While as with any game of chance, luck will play a big role in how you fare, you can help tip the odds in your favor by choosing your pick of games carefully. Norwegian’s gaming options consist of 2800 slots and nearly 200 table games spread across their fleet, so you have many options from which to choose.
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Want to increase your chances of victory? We suggest focusing on table games that offer the best odds for the player to win. One example is blackjack, which tends to be fairly easy to learn while also allowing a relatively high chance of winning. Also, by studying the patterns of the likelihood of getting certain card combinations, you may be able to develop a strategy by which you can better calculate your best winning moves. Another good choice: Baccarat, one of the oldest casino games and one that has a certain cache thanks to the James Bond movies that portray it as a preferred choice of sophisticated players.
READ MORE: A Preview Of Norwegian’s Bliss Lounge And Changes To The Haven
Craps is another popular option, although it can seem a bit intimidating at first. It tends to move quickly, and there’s a lot of loud activity happening all at once. But once you master the basics and stick to a few fundamental tactics, this game can offer a pretty good chance of winning.
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Finally, there’s roulette, which offers the advantage of being very easy to understand. You can play it safe and configure the best odds by simply playing red or black. Or try sticking with your favorite lucky numbers.
Of course, if you are just seeking some mindless fun without a lot of work, you have more options. Slots are a popular choice, and are easy for everyone since there isn’t much skill or strategy involved. This is a situation where you are relying almost completely on luck, though.
Needless to say, there are many other exciting things to do while on a voyage aboard a Norwegian Cruise Line ship. The brand is all about “freestyle cruising,” so you can join in as many (or as few) activities as you like. Keep busy and stay on the go, or just sink into a lounge chair on the deck and soak up the sun. Sample the variety of dining options, dance the night away or enjoy the assortment of entertainment selections available.