Booking conferences at resort casinos has become increasingly popular with meeting planners. The added level of entertainment found after conference sessions can up the ante for guests looking to make the most of their meeting destination. If you’re not a regular gamer, here are some tips that won’t make you feel like a rookie:

BLACKJACK

» Always assume dealers have a face card under their up card.

» Never split face cards. (Splitting is separating the cards to create two hands and two bets.) » Don’t touch the cards.

» Be dynamic with your wagers. If you walk in and play the table minimum all of the time, you may have fun, but your chances of walking out with more money in your pocket are slim.

» For new players, it’s best to find a table where it looks like the players are having a good time. This is a strong indicator that they are not serious blackjack players, so rookies will be welcomed.

CRAPS

» Ask the dealers questions. They enjoy helping new players.

» Stay away from proposition wagers (high-risk, flashy bets in the middle of the table).

» The game on the surface looks very complicated, but the concept is simple. Roll a point number (four, five, six, eight, nine, or 10) twice before you roll a seven. There are many other wagers that can be made. The outcome of the roll determines which wagers win, lose or push (a tie between the dealer and player).

ROULETTE

» Compared to blackjack and craps, roulette is more in favor of the house, so the odds of you winning are not as promising.

» Betting is a little different on roulette. A large group of people can play at the same time, so casinos issue “nonvalue chips” to differentiate the many chips on the board. Each roulette table has its own distinct set of colored roulette chips. These are only good at that table. When you are finished playing, let the dealer know. He or she will cash you out or provide you with regular chips to play at other tables.

» Keep in mind: On busy nights, it is standing room only at the roulette tables. Many regular roulette players do not mind reaching over, under or through other players to make wagers.

CARNIVAL GAMES
(Pai Gow, Three-Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em)

» These games have high payouts with a low level of player skill involved. The drawback is that the chance of you winning is not as high as in blackjack, craps or roulette.

» The dealers are able to instruct you on how to play and are happy to help.

» Once you make your wager, the fate of your money lies with the cards.

SLOTS

» Just because the machine says it’s a penny slot doesn’t mean you are only at risk of losing a penny at a time. There are some penny slots that allow you to bet $20 a spin.

» Beware the large scrolling amounts that you see on top of the machines. These are called progressive jackpots. They can be exciting to play, but in order to have a chance at winning, you need to bet the maximum, and sometimes that maximum can cost you $20 a spin.

If you attended the Emerald City Applause Awards on March 22, you were treated to a wonderful tribute to the meetings industry by the outrageously talented Melissa Jurcan, president of ILEA Seattle. If you didn’t, don’t worries—here are Melissa’s inspiring, entertaining and spot-on words of wisdom:
 
I am excited to have the opportunity for our chapter to bring our industry together tonight.
 
 
Guest safety has always been a top concern for meeting planners, but now, in addition to planning for “natural disasters” or “force majeure,” they have even more considerations, such as terrorist threats/activities, environmental impact, data security and privacy and guests’ overall well-being. Here are some things to consider when planning your next convention or conference.
 
First Things First