Playing online casino games is now a hugely popular activity all over the world, as players across the globe enjoy the thrills of casinos from the comfort of their home. But to many, you cannot beat the feel and atmosphere of a real-life, land-based casino and the physical interaction with other players. Of course, Nigerians are no exception to this rule. Here, players from all over have embraced the fun and thrills of playing games such as roulette, poker, blackjack and slots as much as anyone else the world over. Before we look at not just the best casinos in Nigeria but the best casinos across the African continent, let’s quickly look at what we can expect when we come to play in such an establishment.
What kind of games can you play in a casino?
With traditional casinos, you would expect to see a broad selection of slots as well as a range of table games that should typically include roulette, poker and blackjack, which are all staples of the modern-day casino. You might also find some rarer games, such as Keno, Pai Gow and Punto Banco, at more expansive outlets. For a lot of players, one of the main draws of a casino is the live dealer action where they can place their bets and interact with others at the table, including the dealers, croupiers and others. Of course, it almost goes without saying that you must make sure that you know the rules of the game you are playing before you begin. Otherwise, you could end up significantly out of pocket. On that note, let’s take a brief look at the main games that you might come across in a casino.
In blackjack, you play against the dealer, who represents the house, and receive a card on your request, with your aim to match or at least get as close to 21 without going bust. Should your cards value more than 21, the dealer wins, and you lose.
Another card game, poker, pits you against a table of others. Each player is betting against the hands of the poker players at the table. In the game’s most popular format, Texas Hold ‘em, players are dealt two cards each after which they begin betting against each other, challenging their opponents to prove otherwise. When everyone makes their move — some may have already folded their cards — the first three of five community cards, known as the flop, hit the center of the table for all the remaining players to use to construct or at least pretend to construct the best hand. Again, players bet before dealing the next card in what is known as the turn, followed by another round of betting before the final card is dealt, which is called the river, and so on.
Another popular poker format is Omaha Hi-Lo where players receive four cards, two of which they must use in combination with three of the available community cards to make a five-card hand. The Hi(gh)-Lo(w) part of the game’s name comes from the fact that the players compete for both the high-hand and the low-hand halves of the pot, making it a “split-pot” poker game. Usually, you play the game with fixed-limit betting, with the pot split 50/50 unless one payer is in possession of the best high and the best-low hand on the river, in which case they win the whole lot.
As with online casinos, roulette is another favorite of casino goers. At a casino, you will likely come across one of two roulette wheels: American or European. If there are is a double-zero slot, then you are playing American roulette whereas if there is a single-zero slot, then it’s a European wheel. On both wheels, however, the aim of the game is the same, which is to correctly guess, by way of a bet, where the ball will land after the croupier drops it into play, having spun the wheel to get the game started. The player has a range of bets available from predicting that the ball will settle, which color the slot will be, odd or even to almost anything else relevant that you can think.
Finally, the most popular game at any casino, slots! Slot machines have a variety of themed symbols displayed on their reels, and the player’s goal is to spin the reels so that the symbols form a winning combination on a payline. Some of these machines have three reels, others have five and all use wilds and scatter symbols to help either make a winning combo or multiply the winnings already accrued. And so, with the above in mind, let’s look at the best casinos Africa has to offer, starting with those in Nigeria.
Nigeria’s Top Casinos
The Federal Palace Hotel & Casino at Sun International in Victoria Island, Lagos, is one of the most popular casinos in all of Nigeria. Indeed, Sun International is the continent’s leading brand of land-based casinos, and you will consistently come across their name in this list. Here, you can freely enjoy more than 106 state-of-the-art slot machines as well as table games that include blackjack, Texas Hold ‘em poker and an American roulette table. Also, in Lagos, there is the Excelsior Hotel & Casino in Apapa, plus, the Le Meridien Eko Hotel and Casino and the Green Lion Casino, both of which are on Victoria Island. Over in Abuja, there is the Transcorp Hilton, which boasts a similar offering as does the Sheraton Abuja Hotel. In Port Harcourt, you can play your favorite casino games either at the Premier Hotel or the Bougainvillea Hotel where you can enjoy baccarat, Caribbean poker, three-card poker, let-it-ride poker and bingo, among all if the usual, previously mentioned variations listed above. The site also includes a restaurant and bar as well as a gymnasium.
Kenya’s Top Casinos
Opened in 2016, the Bollywood Casino in Royal Orchid, Nairobi, is one of 18 casinos in the city but the brightest and loudest of them all. At 15,600 square feet, the casino manages to squeeze in 12 table games, plus, another 48 slots machines while offering all the usual poker options, including Indian ocean stud. The casino boasts an Indian theme, as the name suggests, as the parent company, Royal Orchid Hotels, originates in Bangalore, but all make for an unashamedly over-the-top casino experience. Also, in Nairobi, you will find the Paradise Casino situated within the Safari Park Hotel. The casino’s gaming space weighs in at 15,400 square foot, which includes 300 slot machines and 22 table games. The venue, which opened for business in 1983, includes numerous restaurants and bars as well as a Cats Club Discotheque.
South Africa’s Top Casinos
The Rainbow nation has more than 35 casinos within its borders from Rustenburg to Johannesburg to Cape Town to Upington. One of the most iconic of which is the Sun City Casino Resort in the North West Province. First opened in 1979, the resort covers a stunning 125,000 square feet, which includes 33 gaming tables and 852 slots. From baccarat to slots, there’s all the range of games anyone could want and all set among the stunning of locations. The resort includes four hotels and a golf course designed exclusively by the world-famous South African Golf star Gary Player. Just over the border in Swaziland, the Orion Piggs Peak Hotel and Casino offers a heady selection of the most exciting casino games, such as roulette, blackjack and slots. This casino also hosts the All Africa Poker Series, a tournament that is Africa’s answer to the World Series of Poker (WSOP). So, you can see, wherever you are in Africa, there is no shortage of opportunities to enjoy the best casino experiences known to humankind.