London has a number of well-known casinos, one of the most famous being the London Hippodrome. The Hippodrome Casino has three different gaming floors where players can enjoy table games such as roulette, blackjack and baccarat, as well as a wide variety of slots. The main gaming floor can be viewed from above from a minstrel’s gallery, there are gaming rooms upstairs and Lola’s Underground Casino downstairs.
There’s also a private gaming room for VIP players and a poker deck. With a 180-seat theatre, there’s plenty of opportunity to watch a variety of live acts and different shows. It’s unsurprising that a night out to the London Hippodrome makes it onto the itinerary of many London visitors and residents alike.
When you first walk through the doors at the Hippodrome, you might assume that it was originally designed to be a casino. The whole venue screams ‘James Bond’ decadence and it’s a great place to have a glamorous night out with friends. The third floor cocktail bar is an ideal place to order a ‘Martini, shaken not stirred’. But actually, the Hippodrome has a rich history and has gone through many guises over the years.
For anyone who’s never played, it’s definitely worth going online and having some practice before you play at a venue such as the Hippodrome. For instance, when you try roulette from 32Red.com you can have a read of their handy guide which explains the different types of roulette available and with their blackjack you can even play in demo mode until you’re confident in how the game works, only putting real money bets down when you’re ready. With a few rounds of practice in different table games online with likes of 32red or Caesars, you’ll feel like a pro when you walk up to a gaming table in the famous London venue.
Originally, it was a circus variety theatre when it opened in 1900, with a key feature being a 100,000 gallon tank that had live polar bears and sea lions swimming in it. In later years, the variety performances took centre stage and Houdini was one of the most famous performers there. The Hippodrome was also the first venue for a UK performance of ballet Swan Lake. By the fifties, the Hippodrome had changed name and become The Talk of the Town, playing host to acts such as Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland and Sammy Davis Jr.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the Hippodrome had changed again and was run as a nightclub, managed by Peter Stringfellow. Many a paparazzi shot was taken of celebs at ‘Stringfellows’, the most well-remembered being one of Princess Di, wearing a black tuxedo and red bow tie. In 2008, the Hippodrome became a circus venue once again, being the resident venue for cabaret act La Clique. Then the building underwent a £40 million renovation before it reopened as a casino in 2012.
Feng shui expert Paul Darby was involved in the renovation and ensured that the famous statue that sits on the top of the building was incorporated into the new logo and sign for the Hippodrome that sits over the entrance. The horse and charioteer represent success and determination, and so everyone who enters the building should enjoy a bit of good luck from passing under the sign (that’s the theory, at least!).
The London Hippodrome certainly makes a great venue for a night out, but for those times you just want a relaxed gaming experience at home, there’s always the alternative of logging in to a huge choice of casinos online instead, where you can play for real money, or just for fun.
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