Known by locals as ‘The Fitz’, the Fitzwilliam Casino and Card Club is located in the heart of Dublin. For those that enjoy a traditional game of poker, The Fitz will not disappoint; after winning ‘Best Irish Card-room’ award at The Irish Poker Awards, the club attracts players from all over the country. Open from 6 pm until 6 am the next morning, players can enjoy a night of traditional gambling every night of the week – providing you’re over the age of 18.
As with most of the casinos in Ireland, you will need to complete a membership form to make the most out of your visit. While this is free and processed immediately, this process will need to be done before you are granted access. Currently, all of the casinos in Ireland are still governed by the Gaming and Lotter-ies Act of 1956. According to the outdated laws included under this act, technically casino gambling is still illegal in Ireland. To abide by this, most of Irelands top casinos are actually private, members-only clubs. To become a member, simply take a valid photo ID along with you – a passport or driving license will be sufficient. If you plan your trip in advance, you can sign up online with a few quick and simple steps. Com-pleting an online application will allow you to enter the casino as soon as you arrive.
Now known as blackjack, the game that was formally known as ‘vingt-et-un’ first began in French casinos. The classic card game became popular shortly after gambling was made legal in Las Vegas. Today, black-jack is one of the most popular games at The Fitz, with players searching for different ways to win or ‘beat’ the game. The club boasts three different blackjack tables, all designed to provide a unique playing experience. With different variations of the game on offer such as ‘sevens’, the ‘seven card’ rule, ‘sur-render’, and ‘dealer’s ace’, members can test their luck night after night.
To win a game of live blackjack, players will need to beat the dealer’s hand without going over twenty-one. To begin, two cards are given to the dealer and each player. Before any cards are laid, each player must place their bet. Each player is given the option to either hit or stay, although the dealer must draw up until twelve and then stay once at seventeen. With a selection of different tables to choose from, find one you feel comfortable at and test your luck.
The French word for ‘little wheel’, Roulette is another game that originated in France. The Fitz is equipped with two European Roulette tables that each have 18 black slots and 18 red. The casino also offers mem-bers the chance to partake in a digital variation of the game. Although the game is played with a live wheel, players each place their bet from a digital screen instead of using physical chips.
Players looking to take part in the traditional version must begin by passing their money to the dealer in return for chips. Depending on the player’s preference, the chips will either be colour chips or cash value chips. Once players have received their chips, they can begin to place them on the roulette table. Players must have placed all of the chips before the ball lands in a designated slot; whatever slot the ball drops into is the winning number. Once the game is finished, coloured chips can be swapped for cash chips which can then be exchanged for money.
By far the most popular game at The Fitz, poker attracts gamblers from all over the city. The casino offers an array of cash games and tournaments every night of the week, allowing locals and tourists alike to come and try their hand. Additionally, the club hosts a huge cash poker tournament every two months with an average jackpot of $45,000. However, this game is only open to players that have accumulated enough hours of game time. We explore this tournament in more detail in the ‘Reward Schemes’ section.
Members can also enjoy a game of Brit Brag or Punto Banco when visiting The Fitz. Popular amongst older players, Brit Brag is best explained as a variation of three-card poker. Punto Banco, on the other hand, is a type of Baccarat that was first played in Italy.
As mentioned previously, you will need to become a member of the Fitzwilliam Casino and Card Club be-fore being granted access. Thankfully, the form is simple to complete and will be processed immediately. Better still, membership at The Fitz is completely free! For those looking to save time, consider filling out your membership form before arrival; this can either be done online, or a physical copy can be found via their website.
While there are no major reward schemes on offer at The Fitz, poker players will be rewarded generously for their gaming time. Every two months, a huge cash poker tournament takes place; those that have played over 40 hours of cash poker in the months before will be illegible to take part. With an average jackpot of €45,000, it is well worth racking up those hours!
Whether you’re hoping to test your luck with a traditional game of blackjack, or you’re more interested in taking advantage of the daily poker tournaments, The Fitzwilliam Casino and Card Club has something for players of all sorts. Due to the addictive nature of traditional gambling, it’s imperative to consider your financial situation before stepping foot in the casino. If you’ve got a few spare pounds though, by all means, go and try your luck; you never know, you might just be one of the lucky winners.