Carnival Cruise casino overview
Here's a quick review of the casino from my cruise last week, there doesn't seem to be a ton of information on the web related to gamblers, so hopefully it helps someone looking for it, and the Everywhere Else forum on the board could always use a new discussion topic.
This was for the Carnival Legend, but I would guess most cruise lines look similar as the casino looked a lot like ones I saw 10+ years ago.
Pit contained 11 tables. 2 roulette tables, 1 craps table, 1 let it ride table, 1 3 card poker, 3 Fun 21, and 3 Blackjack tables.
Fun 21 is Spanish 21 with a different name, 8 deck hand shuffled. Double on any amount of cards, split aces and hit, hit on soft 17. Blackjack pays 3/2 all 21's are winners. Fairly standard Spanish 21 rules. Minimum was $6 bet, which could be $5 for the main bet and $1 on the "Fun Pair" bonus bet or just $6 on the main bet.
Blackjack tables were all 6 deck continuous shuffle machines. Hit Soft 17, BJ pays 3/2 on $10 tables (there were 2) and 6/5 on the one $6 table.
Roulette tables were double zero, $5 minimum.
Craps was $5 minimum 3x,4x,5x odds Dealers struggled a bit on a fast table, and typically craps were only being played from one side, stick, dealer, no box.
3 card poker was $5 minimum and looked to be fairly standard odds, but it's been awhile since I played.
Let it Ride was $5 minimum.
Machines: I'd estimate there were 50 slot machines, mostly penny style. There were 8 VP machines, with multiple games available, all games even bonus poker and JOB paid 2 pair as 1/1 so if you played, you were far better off with DDB or something like that. DDB was 6/5 (Full House/Flush) which is abysmal).
If you earn 1500 points during the trip you drink free in the casino for the rest of the trip. Beers can run $7 here, so it's not a bad thing to play for. I didn't play for it, although I was told that you get it from playing table games, my play didn't seem to make it to that level during the week.
Points seemed to be earned equally on vp and slots at 1pt=$5
They also had one electronic poker table, and a 12 person electronic blackjack table that dealt $2 and $3 blackjack ( I didn't check the rules).
The dealers were friendly and you get to know them pretty well over the trip, you'll also get to see the same players daily. It's a much different experience then what you'll find in Las Vegas, but fun. I saw some dealers struggle on craps, and roulette a bit, most of the time they were fine on bj or Fun 21.
It was rare for me to encounter a player that had any real clue to what they were doing gambling, if you are the type that hates that the player on 3rd base or anywhere else doesn't play by the book, then I would suggest finding another place to play, as the players were horrible.
There were a number of jackpots hit on the slots and vp on the trip, and they announce it in the casino, which is a nice touch, ranging anywhere from 1k to 4k and easily one a night that was being announced, and in most cases the casino isn't what you'd call 'busy'.
The last thing that Carnival offers is what they call virtual betting, which is keno, bingo, horse racing, dog racing, and car racing, that is done on virtual simulations, that runs every 5 minutes or so, it's a nice way to pass some time, but nothing to really make any money at. Think of it as the virtual version of sigma derby where each horse has odds associated with it and pay off based on those odds, or for those familiar wit the greyhound game that MGM props had, it's a similar setup, except you have to go to a counter to buy the ticket.
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vegaspilgrim responded on Tuesday, 8th July 2014
Great summary--gambling on cruise ships should be thought of like gambling at your local casino, with nothing else within 500 miles--you won't get good odds, and of course the ship's casino usually only runs in international waters, so they set their own rules.
Oddly enough, Bob Dancer had a veteran cruise gambler discuss possible advantage plays on a cruise ship...think it was within the last month--check out bobdancer.com, and I'm sure you'll find it.