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Birthdayography #007: Party "Gambling" for Kids...
December 18, 2003

Kid Birthday Ideas That'll Blow You (and your candles) Away!

Party "Gambling"... for Kids!
(HanuKasino, Christmas Casino, Vegas Theme Birthday...)

December 18, 2003
Issue #007



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Last year I dreamt up a party game that turned out to be one of the most exciting and fun party experiences. This year family members have asked (actually instructed...) that we play it again. I've never really shared this game with anyone outside our family.

Until today…

With the New Year just around the corner,
Santa dropping down the chimney any time now,
The first of eight Hanukkah candles about to be lit,
And maybe even a child's birthday to celebrate….

The next two and a half weeks are going to be full of parties, family gatherings, lots of food and fun party activities. And there's nothing like a great game to send your party into the Party Hall of Fame…

I originally planned this game for a Hanukkah party with kids and adults and called it “HanuKasino” (In Hebrew – “Him-Urim” which is a play with words meaning both Gambling & Lights). It can also be called Christmas Casino or you can even throw a Vegas birthday theme party. The name doesn't really matter. You can fit it into any theme with a little creativity and play with words.

This is how it goes:

You set up a makeshift casino in your living room or party area and guests bet on party games using chocolate coins.

Before the party plan between 10 and 15 party games related to your party theme. Here are lots and lots of games to choose from (all can be tweaked to fit your theme). It's best to choose games in which three individual contestants or three couples compete against each other.

Prepare in advance all the needed materials for each game.

You'll need to buy a box full of gold chocolate coins (15 coins for each guest and between 50-100 for the casino to start off with). Here's an excellent deal on bulk chocolate coins...

To set up the casino, you'll need a big gambling table. A dining table will do. Cover it with rolls of paper or newsprint. Write down each guest's name and beside it draw three numbered circles (see diagram). This is the table the guests will place their bets on.

Designate two dealers/game referees (preferably adults) that will conduct the games and make sure to collect the coins and ensure that everyone gets their winnings…

Once everyone is in the “casino” and ready to play, hand out 15 coins to each and make sure they understand the rules:

There will be 10-15 games.

Guests that participate in a game can't bet on themselves, but will automatically receive 5 coins for volunteering. The winners will receive another 5 coins, second place 3 coins and third place 2 coins. (If it's a family party you're having, persuade the elders to compete together with the youngsters... it'll be hilarious!)

The game is announced and the players (or pairs) are given a number (1, 2 or 3).

Allow 1 minute for the spectators to gamble on who (or which duo) will win by placing the coins on the corresponding circle in front of them. (If they bet on #1 they'll put coins in circle #1 and so forth). When the time is up, everyone is asked to step back from the table.

Start the game.

There'll be lots of cheering and yelling, much more than during usual party games, as everyone wants their player/duo to win.

The moment there's a winner, the dealer clears the table of the losing bets and then doubles the winning bets. And…

On to the next game.

The player with the most coins at the end of the games is the winner and gets a prize. You can also hand out a second and third prize. And all the rest also get a prize... a jackpot of chocolate coins to munch on...

Have a wonderful holiday and we'll talk again soon.

All the best (and coolest),

Elad the Birthday Dad

P.S. Make sure you've got loads of film for your camera during this party game. And, if you're still using email to share your digital pictures, then you've got to check out this cool new program that lets you instantly share photos with family and friends - without ever having to attach them to email. I just stumbled upon it and it's awesome! Give it a try. It's an absolutely FREE service. Enjoy.

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