Not that I have been a great fan of cards for all of my life, but lately the cards have become lessons on making the brain tick better. And keeping boredom at bay when travelling. On a trip to the northeast of India, I learned to play blackjack—the simple game which tells you to keep your mind alert and pocket under check. As the sun sets around 5pm in that region and we were on holiday, blackjack became our evening routine. We played with small stakes but the game became a time to look forward to. Since then, when travelling out, I try to find a group with whom I can play this game.
It could be excitement, it could be pleasure, or maybe just a time to use the brain and pocket profitably. Games of chance, that’s what these games were called in ancient times and were quite well known with Greeks and Romans. And if we look in India, the games or entertainment can be traced to the royalty.
So when we were planning to a trip to London, the first thing I did was check out where I could play this game. I found some good casinos. My main criteria was that the stakes shouldn’t be too high; after all it was a new found pleasure.
After I finished my research I decided that is better to practice my blackjack skills in an online casino, where I have access to all sort of gambling games, before I rushed in downtown.
I have always been hesitant about casinos, but going online and practicing my skills, and playing online blackjack didn’t seem such a daunting proposition. Their site which offers such a plethora of other games, has tips on how to play games and a glossary of what you can find in a casino, which made it pretty easy for a novice like me to understand. It’s so good that casinos didn’t seem like a taboo anymore.
With the research and practice session completed, all I have to do is to enjoy the atmosphere offered by downtown casinos.
One of the best casinos that popped up in my research was The Casino Club Port Talbot in Wales. This is said to be Britain’s first legal casino and was established in 1961 by George Alfred James. He is said to have started this casino on the first floor of his shop with 20 employees. Now his grandson has a site called Live Casino. Worth looking up, for sure.
Among the famous ones was Aspinall’s at Mayfair in London. This private gaming club was also established in the 1960s by John Aspinall, Sir George Osborne’s stepson. The interiors have been designed by Tessa Kennedy.
London seems to revel in its history and I found another interesting casino called Crockfords. This was based on a gentlemen’s club called Crockford’s. And going by that, the casino is also known as Crockfords Club or Crockfords Casino. It is located in Street.
Casinos apparently have chains too, as I discovered in this quest for a game of blackjack. There are around 55 casinos under the Grosvenor Casinos umbrella. Established in 1970, this was earlier the County Clubs and Grosvenor Clubs.
And then another one facing the sea on Thames estuary seemed like a good place. This was Genting Club Westcliff on the Western Esplanade, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex. This too had history as the Westcliff and Waterfront casinos, going back to the 1970s, began at the Mill House in Station Road. But this one on the seafront had opened in 1987 and the first casino wedding in UK had also taken place here.