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Back to school

The Mancon girls go back to school for a great night out at 235.

Published on March 20th 2007.

Back to school

Poker’s a man’s game. It’s a fierce game. Grr. It’s certainly no place for a lady. Well, unless the lady in question has surgical enhancements and an ambiguously sexual foreign name. Attempt to sit down to poker with a group of men and a woman will more than likely be shoo-ed back to the cocktail bar.

Visiting a casino can be rather intimidating if you don’t know what you’re doing. The last thing you want to do is sit down to a table if you’re not sure of the rules, and risk looking silly and losing all your money. But, everyone has to start somewhere.

So when the Manchester Confidential girls discovered that Manchester 235 had started to give free gaming lessons, we just couldn’t resist giving it a try.

Knowing that not everyone in Manchester possesses James Bond’s prowess at the gaming table, Manchester 235 are offering free lessons in 3 card poker, blackjack and roulette between 6 and 9pm, Monday to Sunday.

After a quick bite to eat at Numero, we arrived at the front desk at 7pm, where we were greeted by the lovely Matt who took us upstairs to the cocktail bar.

Cocktails are 2-4-1 at Manchester235 until 9pm on a Thursday, so we took our vodka martinis (shaken, not stirred) to the gaming table to begin our first lesson – 3 card poker.

All of us were complete poker novices, so Matt took us through the standard poker hands before getting into the specifics of 3 card poker. It’s actually really quite easy when you know what you’re doing. You wouldn’t have thought that though to look at our gawping faces as Matt took us through the differences between a straight flush and 3 of a kind.

But gradually it all became clear, and we played a few practice hands of poker before moving onto more familiar territory at the Blackjack table.

Blackjack is all I’ve ever played at a Casino, despite not being very familiar with the rules.

But as I found out, rule number one of Blackjack it seems, is to never say ‘hit me’. Ever. It’s not big and it’s not clever, no matter how confident you think you are and how many times you’ve seen people saying it on TV. Simply ask for another card, or tap the table
Click here to get your 241 cocktails voucher!

As with Poker, Matt took us through the game step by step, patiently answering all of our questions and putting up with our hilarious jokes as we playfully heckled him. Er, sorry about that Matt.

We were having so much fun at the blackjack table that Matt had to practically drag us away to the roulette table for our next lesson.
Roulette is not for the faint hearted. You can win very big, but you can also stand to lose a lot too if you don’t know what’s what. And there is a lot more to it than just spreading your chips around and hoping for the best. Matt explained the table to us and showed us which sections mean what, and the proper etiquette to follow at the roulette table.

Unluckily for Matt however, we were sharks at roulette and cleaned the bank out, so much so that he couldn’t afford to pay us any more. And for about ten minutes, we were allowed to dream that the chips in our hands were real and that we were all going to wave goodbye to Manchester and jet off to Vegas the next day.

Casinos are fun. And our lessons with Matt proved that learning is fun, too. We all agreed that we would feel ten times more comfortable visiting a casino now that we know what’s going on – and even if we never step inside a casino again, this was a brilliant way to spend a couple of hours, and a great start to a night out. And now, next time the men are sat around playing poker, we can do more than just sit and look pretty.

Manchester235’s gaming lessons are totally free, but it’s a good idea to call 0161 828 0300 or email gaming@manchester235.com in advance just to make sure that someone will be available to dedicate some time to you.

For more information on Manchester 235, click here to visit the microsite.

Jayne Robinson

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