Goa's casino action these days appears to be happening only on the floating casinos parked in the river Mandovi in Panjim. To an extent it is true but sometimes, for someone looking for a little peace and quiet while playing on a Blackjack table, it will not hurt too much to look towards the land or shall be say towards a tiny hill. I am trying to point you towards 'The Crown Goa' a 'casino five star hotel' and the not so little casino operating from there which is aptly called 'Crown Casino'. The Crown Goa is located next to Panjim City Church, and the way to the hotel is a small climb starting from the narrow road that goes from Dayanand Bandodkar Marg towards the City Church. If you are anywhere close to the 'Deltin Royale' / 'Casino Pride 2' jetty, you are not really far from Crown Casino. A mere 5 minute walk will take you there. I have given a location picture below to help. Anyway, Crown Casino is one of my favourites in Goa and this is the place where I like to play Blackjack and even a few games of 3 Card Poker. There are several reasons for this that I will share in this article. The casino opens for 18 hours a day with the closing time between early morning and fore-noon. I was told that they have real plans to make it a 24 hour operation sooner than later. Keep reading...
Also read: Goa's Best Onshore Casino - Strike Casino
|Crown Casino Panjim Goa|
An entry fee of INR 1000 is charged here that is equal to the government entry levy of INR 1000. Two free drinks/snacks on the table and a buffet meal are part of the package so that way its not expensive. An additional benefit of paying for the entry fee is that you get a free One Time Play Chip of INR 500 that can only be used on a Roulette table. If you happen to be staying at Hotel Crown Goa, then you get OTP Chips worth INR 1000. The meal is a buffet dinner served in The Crown Goa's Harbour Cafe and this buffet dinner goes on upto 2.00am keeping the casino guests in mind. The quality of this buffet is just basic and if you are staying in the hotel I will advise against paying for this buffet, it is only good if it is free.
|Harbour Cafe at Hotel The Crown Goa|
Back To The Casino
Crown Casino is an over-land casino and is therefore not supposed to be using actual playing cards because that is allowed only on floating casinos. But as we all know, law can always be interpreted in different ways so this casino has done just that. Actual playing cards are used in this over-land casino for all the table games with one small but important difference. Read the following carefully:
How Gaming in Crown Casino Works
The cards here are dealt by automated shuffle machines and these machines not only deal the cards but they also read the cards as they are coming out of the automated shoe. The result of that reading gets displayed on a video screen in front of each of the players. The buy-in, when a player hands over cash or chips to the dealer results in the bank-roll being displayed on the player's video screen that increases with a win and decreases with a bet or loss. The players can look at the actual cards dealt to them or the reading that the machine is showing or on both and then make the gaming decisions like "Stand" or "Hit" in Blackjack or "Play" or "Fold" in 3 Card Poker. Its almost like the real thing but no words need be spoken to convey the player's decision. The players are required to use the "touch type" video screen in front of them to say "Hit", "Stand", "Play", or "Fold" etc. If there is a win, the dealer touches a button on their video screen to make the digital payout that results in the player's bank-roll increasing. In the event of a loss, the bank-roll goes down automatically. Its a beautiful & smart, time saving system. The game progresses fast with no time wasted on shuffling of the cards by the dealer.
There are actual plastic chips too at the tables but those chips are not used for betting but only for buy-ins or pay-outs. When you cash-out, the dealer touches a few buttons, brings your bank-roll on the screen to zero and then hands over actual plastic chips to you that you can use to play on another table or at the cashier's counter to take cash against them. I just hope I have been able to clearly describe this but will welcome any questions on this.
Crown Casino has a good line-up of games. There are tables of Baccarat, Blackjack, 3 Card Poker, Texas Hold'em Poker (against the dealer), a couple of Roulette tables, and a few slot machines. The real beauty is the minimum bets here that start at just INR 100. Imagine playing blackjack and 3 Card Poker in Goa at INR 100. The casino is well decorated and comfortably air-conditioned. There are a few pretty girls among the dealers who like to chat with the guests and the atmosphere in the casino is generally lively. The gaming rules are friendly too. If a player makes a mistake while touching a button on the video screen, the mistake can be rolled back with the permission of the casino staff. Surrender is allowed in Blackjack, and any two cards can be doubled-down. 3 Card Poker pays 6:1 for a "Straight" but only 25:1 for a "Flush" which is not so bad because I have seen this kind of pay-outs in some other casinos too. The games are fair because I could win some money here on Blackjack and also got a few "Straight-Flush" hands on 3 Card Poker.
Slot machines are good with INR 1 per line bets and the games entertain you as you lose your money. Do not play too much on the slots but whenever you do, play all the lines with the minimum bet of INR 1.
(Update January 2016: I went to Crown Casino twice recently, in December 2015 and January 2016. On both the occasions they were not operating any table other than Roulette. I was told that Baccarat and Roulette tables operate most of the time but other tables like Blackjack and Three Card Poker operate only when spare staff is available. It looked like the casino was going through a difficult phase. Its sad.)
Quality of the Drinks and Snacks
The quality of the drinks and snacks here is good and they try to meet the players' requirement. The snacks are particularly good as compared to the rush jobs that the floating casinos serve all the time.
The casino allows free taxi drop to your hotel in Panjim but settle this with the front office before you buy the entry ticket. If you are staying at the Crown Goa, then the casino may have some "Roulette" special packages that you may like. Ask them about that. Also, if you are making a huge buy-in, there may be a possibility of some incentive. I am not specifically aware of that but it is highly likely.
Location of the Hotel and The Casino
|The Gas Station Opposite Deltin Royale Jetty and The Crown Goa in the Background|
Look at the picture above. You will see this gas station and the yellow building opposite Deltin Royale jetty. The Crown Goa is visible on top of the small hill behind the yellow building.
The Crown Goa Building
|Hotel The Crown Goa in Panjim|
This is hotel The Crown Goa. The casino operates one level below this lobby.
A friend I ran into at Deltin JAQK told me that over-land casinos are good if one is looking for a win of 10 or 20,000 in a day. But for bigger stakes, floating casinos are better. That may be, but I get very happy if I win 10 or 20,000.
Like I always try to say but myself not always able to follow, one should play in a casino only as long as it is fun. When it is no more fun, the best thing to do is to get up and leave. One can always come back another day. Also read: Goa's Best Onshore Casino - Strike Casino and The Messed Up Casino Industry of Goa
|Posted by Narinder Singh|