Prague Casinos and Other Options for Gambling
Last Updated: 14013 viewswith
I wanted this page to be a kind of “casino and gambling guide” aimed at the widest possible audience. It has a good list of options because people were constantly asking for advice about places to go and what to expect from little sports betting shops up to the VIP casinos in many of Prague’s top hotels. So below you’ll find whats available and some recommended places to try.
Prague has been in the news lately when the city council passed laws to drastically reduce the amount of gambling in Prague. Largely this affects Herna Bars but areas 5, 6 and 7 will not have casino licences granted or renewed so expect a few places will close. Currently none of the Prague casinos on this page are affected.
This has to be the hardest and most difficult option for gambling in Prague. The more I looked at the rules and sheer volume of sports on offer not just in Prague but, worldwide it immediately became clear to me why some of these online betting companies have done so well. Trying to explain to the guy behind the counter that you want to put 200Kc on a certain player to score the next goal will give you a headache for sure. These are the original sport bars in Prague. Places where people came to watch and bet on a game. Normally it was the full time result but the bars will give odds on all sorts of things now. Quite frankly if you are in it to have a bit of fun and try to break even then don’t look at this type of gambling.
Certainly Prague is not Las Vegas when it comes to “playing slots”. No huge banks of machines here. You’ll find slot machines in 4 places. Casinos, Amusement arcades, Herna Bars and Pivnices. Casinos I will cover in the next section. So that leaves the arcades and bars. In general Amusement Arcades are not very popular here and the ones that are popular are reducing the number of “winning” types of games in favour of “shooting” and “racing” games. Arcades are generally frequented by kids and the places do not have drinks licences. Australian friends of mine told me that slot machines there are referred to as pokies. These games are enjoyed by Australian players at both regular and online casinos. The trend however is more and more towards online play. There’s some good info spread across the various pokies sections here at one of the leading guides to Australian online gaming. But if you are in Prague and fancy a beer with your game then that brings me to what in Czech is called a Pivnice or Hospoda.
Both of these are places where you can go to get a drink and play cards with your drinking mates and the only difference is that a Hospoda generally has a higher standard than a Pivnice. The scene will be the same though. Guy smoking with a beer in his other hand leaning over the flashing beast deep in concentration about how best to use the “hold” buttons. Seems highly addictive and the cost has definitely increased. Even 3 years ago you could find slots that would take a 5Kc coin. Now you’ll be lucky to find one that takes less than a 20Kc. More cost to play but more money to win. So what do you do when you’re on a roll but the place closes. Now it’s the Herna Bar.
Herna Bars are the places that have the lights on after everybody else has closed and gone to bed. They will have a large sign outside saying “Non-Stop” and its probable that you will not be able to see in through the window. Many of them are used by people working at night as they (I’ve used them myself) will be selling food like pizza and burgers. Inside you’ll find two or three slot machines. These places can acquire a pretty good reputation even providing places for Police officers to stop for a break. Conversely they can attract the worst of the city. Either way I would not want to be winning cash in a Herna Bar in the early hours of the morning. If you want to do your gambling in safety then its off to the Prague casinos.
There are at least 20 casinos of various standards in the city. Most are Non-Stop but may only get a good atmosphere after 10pm (this seems to be when the service picks up as well). Drinks will be available but alcohol may only be “free” if you are seen to be a good customer i.e. losing. In hotel casinos food will be available in restaurant hours. After 11pm you’ll need to be in a hotel that does room service to get anything decent to eat. All of the Prague casinos mentioned on this page allow free entry if you can show your passport or Schengen ID card. I’ve picked a few places to play casino games below only because they are good examples and offer the enjoyable atmosphere people are looking for. They all feature everything an experienced or a novice gambler would be interested in. A wide variety of slot machines, as well as extensive table games, like roulette and blackjack. If you’re new to these games, you can get a good feel for them by trying out the online versions of popular casino games at sites like this. These games are just like the live versions and you can play any of them or some poker games online to get comfortable playing before you hit the live casinos. For the Texas Hold ’em fanatic, the Prague casinos listed below all offer high end poker games.
Probably the most famous of the Prague casinos and located next to the Ambassador Hotel on Wenceslas Square. I think its also a good place for beginners to go first. For a start their webpage is one of the few that tell you what type of slot machines they have, the rules of the games that they play and offers a couple of “beginner packages”. During the evening (8pm-10pm) they offer a “just for fun” option where you can learn the rules and play some games for free (of course you won’t win anything) but at least you’ll find out when you can “double down” and how to win at Blackjack without actually having a black jack. There’s no dress code (within reason). Nearest metro is Mustek. www.vipcasinoprague.com
Seems to be the most popular of the central Prague casinos (Na Prikope 27). Against the house games like pontoon, blackjack, American roulette and Texas Hold’em. Every night after 8pm is a cash poker game. They publish their buy-in costs online. Drinks are free while you are playing here. Cash is exchanged for chips and although they accept Czech Korun and Euros, you’ll get a better exchange rate playing in the local currency. Dress code is pretty light but, no trainers or shorts. Nearest metro is Namesti Republiky or Mustek. www.casinobanco.cz
One of the newer places in Prague located inside the Marriott Hotel. It’s not Non-stop but opens from 3pm until 4am or 5am depending on the day. All the usual tables for blackjack and poker etc. Its a little bit outside the Old Town at V Celnici 10 (100 metres from Namesti Republiky). This is the best option for combining dinner with your gambling. Either A La Carte service or a complimentary buffet in the evening. The casino accepts Korun, Euros and Dollars. Dress code is Casual but no shorts or trainers. Nearest metro is Namesti Republiky.
The name is a throwback to when this was the Hotel Atrium. Now it is the Hilton Hotel Prague. Poker, Blackjack, Roulette and slots draws most of the crowd. I know two people who stayed at the Hilton or a nearby hotel just for a weekend of playing casino here. Opens 2pm to 6am and from 9pm there is an open buffet. Alcohol (beer) is free for players. Dress code is “Casual” i.e. no shorts or trainers. You can use Euros or Korun but at the time of writing, not Dollars. Note this is at the original Prague Hilton and NOT the “Hilton Old Town” (to avoid taxi issues). Nearest metro is Florenc. www.casino-atrium.com
My last choice for experts is the Prague casino at the Hotel President. All the usual games plus Caribbean poker. Players will know that usually you play poker against players. Caribbean is 5-card stud played against the house. Accepts Czech Korun and Euros. Opens from 6pm until 4am-5am depending on the day. Dress code is SMART i.e. no Jeans, T-shirts or trainers. I have to say again that I don’t believe that this is a place for beginners. Pace is fast and efficient so certainly for experienced players. Located on the riverfront at Marie Curieovych 100 (just along from the Hotel Intercontinental).
Enjoy yourself, have fun and at least break-even.