Enjoy Safely! A Guide to Amusement Casinos in Japan

Gamble
June 3, 2024

If you want to experience the allure of casinos, Japan's amusement casinos are the perfect choice for you. This guide delves deep into the world of amusement casinos, where everyone can have fun. From introducing casual casino games to providing tips for safe usage, and highlighting the best amusement casino facilities in Japan, this guide covers it all. For those seeking thrilling casino entertainment in a secure and healthy environment keep reading!

What are Amusement Casinos?

Amusement casinos are unique entertainment facilities where visitors can enjoy authentic casino games with low betting amounts in a casual setting. At these establishments, you have the opportunity to play popular casino games like roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and various types of poker while placing small wagers. The relaxed atmosphere and affordable betting options make amusement casinos an appealing choice for a wide range of people looking to experience the excitement of gambling.

Easy for Beginners to Use

One of the defining characteristics of amusement casinos are their accessibility and beginner-friendly environment. These casinos are designed to accommodate casino novices who may be unfamiliar with the rules and strategies of different games. The game rules are typically simplified, and the knowledgeable staff are readily available to provide detailed explanations and assistance. 

This ensures that even first-time visitors can participate in the games with confidence and without feeling intimidated. Moreover, the low betting thresholds, often starting from just a few hundred yen, make it easy for beginners to try out the casino experience without risking significant amounts of money.

Authentic Casino Experience

While amusement casinos prioritize accessibility, they still strive to offer a genuine and immersive casino experience. These establishments often feature luxurious interiors with a high class aesthetic, reminiscent of typical casinos. The attention to detail in the decor and atmosphere creates an exciting and authentic casino environment. However, some stores are not really luxurious but rather have a cozy and friendly atmosphere, so it's a good idea to check the ambiance on their official website and choose accordingly. 

Additionally, professional dealers are employed to manage the games, ensuring fair play and adding to the overall sophistication of the experience. Amusement casinos also boast an extensive selection of games, allowing visitors to fully immerse themselves in a wide variety of authentic casino options.

Age Restrictions 

To ensure responsible gambling and comply with legal requirements, amusement casinos in Japan have strict age restrictions in place.

Legal Age for Usage

Amusement casinos are technically under the same treatment as game centers where minors aren’t allowed to enter after a certain time. In accordance with Japanese law, individuals under the age of 18 are strictly prohibited from using amusement casinos. This age restriction is aimed at promoting the healthy development and well-being of youths. By setting a clear legal age limit, the government seeks to protect minors from the potential risks associated with gambling and ensure that only adults engage in these activities.

Age Verification and Required ID

To enforce the age restrictions effectively, amusement casinos in Japan implement rigorous age verification procedures. Upon entering the establishment, visitors are required to present a valid form of identification, such as a driver's license, passport, or My Number Card (a national identification card). The staff carefully examine the provided ID to confirm that the individual meets the legal age requirement. In cases where acceptable identification cannot be produced, the person may be denied entry to the amusement casino. This strict age verification process helps maintain a safe and responsible gambling environment.

History of Amusement Casinos in Japan

Amusement casinos have a surprisingly long and intriguing history in Japan, dating back several decades.

Origins and Evolution in Japan

The concept of amusement casinos first emerged in Japan during the 1950s, with the establishment of the first known "casino bar" in Asakusa, Tokyo. Initially, these venues primarily catered to foreign tourists seeking entertainment. However, in the 1970s, amusement casinos began to shift their focus towards Japanese customers. This marked the beginning of a gradual expansion and evolution of the industry, as amusement casinos started to appear in various locations across the country, gaining popularity among the local population.

Legal Developments and Current Status

As the amusement casino industry grew in Japan, the need for proper regulation and oversight became apparent. In the 1980s, specific laws were enacted to govern the operation and management of amusement casinos. These establishments were classified as "gaming establishments" under the law, subjecting them to strict guidelines and requirements. The National Police Agency was tasked with supervising amusement casinos to ensure compliance with regulations and maintain appropriate management practices. Today, amusement casinos continue to operate under this legal framework, providing a regulated and controlled environment for individuals to enjoy casino-style gaming entertainment in Japan.

Amusement Casino Systems and How to Play

Below are some key game types, along with their features, basic rules, and gameplay. If you're new to gaming and intrigued, delve in!

Roulette


Roulette is a classic casino game that has captivated players for centuries. The game revolves around a spinning wheel with numbered pockets, and a small ball that determines the winning number. The thrill of watching the ball bounce and settle into a pocket keeps players on the edge of their seats. This game offers a wide range of betting options, from single numbers to various combinations, allowing players to choose their level of risk and potential rewards.

[Basic Rules and Gameplay]

  1. Before the wheel is spun, players place their bets on the roulette table, which features a grid of numbers and additional betting options. Players can place chips on individual numbers, colors (red or black), odd or even numbers, or groups of numbers.

  1. Once all bets are placed, the dealer spins the roulette wheel in one direction and releases the ball in the opposite direction along the wheel's outer edge. As the wheel slows down, the ball will eventually settle into one of the numbered pockets.

  1. If the ball lands on a number or color that matches a player's bet, they receive a payout according to the odds of their specific bet. For example, a winning bet on a single number pays out 35 to 1, while a bet on red or black pays out 1 to 1.

Blackjack


Blackjack, also known as "21," is a popular card game that pits players against the dealer. The objective is to get a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer without exceeding it. Blackjack is known for its simple rules and the element of skill involved, as players must decide when to take additional cards and when to stand their ground. The game moves quickly and can be quite exciting, especially when players are dealt a natural blackjack (an ace and a 10-value card).

[Basic Rules and Gameplay]

  1. At the start of each round, the player and the dealer are each dealt two cards. The player's cards are usually dealt face-up, while one of the dealer's cards is face-down (the "hole card").

  1. The player must then decide whether to "hit" (take another card) or "stand" (keep their current hand). The player can continue to hit until they are satisfied with their hand value or until they exceed 21 points (known as 'busting'). Players can continue to hit, but if they bust, they immediately lose.

  1. After the player completes their turn, the dealer reveals their hole card and follows a set of predetermined rules to decide their actions. Typically, the dealer must hit until their hand value reaches at least 17.

  1. If neither the player nor the dealer busts, the hand with a value closest to 21 points wins. If the player wins, they receive a payout equal to their bet. If the dealer wins, the player loses their bet. In the case of a tie (known as a "push"), the player's bet is returned.

Poker


Poker is a family of card games that combines skill, strategy, and a bit of luck. Unlike most casino games, poker is played against other players rather than against the dealer. The objective is to win the "pot," which is the sum of all bets made by players in a single hand. Poker comes in many variations, but the most popular is Texas Hold'em. The game involves a combination of hole cards (dealt to each player) and community cards (shared by all players) to form the best five-card hand.

[Basic Rules and Gameplay]

  1. Before the cards are dealt, players contribute an ante or blind bets (mandatory bets that rotate among players) to create an initial pot.

  1. Each player is then dealt a number of cards, depending on the specific poker variant being played. In the most popular variant, Texas Hold'em, each player receives two private cards (known as "hole cards").

  1. After seeing their cards, players engage in a round of betting. Players can choose to "call" (match the current bet), "raise" (increase the bet), or "fold" (quit the hand and forfeit any bets made).

  1. In community card poker variants like Texas Hold'em, shared cards are dealt face-up in the middle of the table. Players use these community cards in combination with their hole cards to form their best five-card hand.

  1. After multiple rounds of betting and additional community cards being revealed (if applicable), the remaining players show their hands in a "showdown." The player with the strongest hand according to the standard poker hand rankings wins the pot.

Baccarat


Baccarat is an elegant casino game that is particularly popular among high rollers. The game is known for its simplicity, as players only need to make one decision: whether to bet on the Player, the Banker, or a Tie. The objective is to bet on the hand that will have a point total closest to 9. Baccarat is often played in separate VIP rooms and is associated with a certain level of sophistication and glamor.

[Basic Rules and Gameplay]

  1. Players place their bets on one of three options: Player, Banker, or Tie. The Player and Banker bets have a low house edge, while the Tie bet has a significantly higher house advantage.

  1. After the bets are placed, the dealer deals two cards each to the Player and Banker hands. In baccarat, cards 2 through 9 are worth their face value, while 10s and face cards (jacks, queens, and kings) are worth 0 points. Aces are worth 1 point.

  1. If either the Player’s or the Banker’s hand has a total of 8 or 9 (a "natural"), the round ends, and the hand with the higher total wins. If neither hand has a natural, additional cards may be drawn according to a set of predetermined rules based on the initial hand totals.

  1. The hand with a total closest to 9 points wins. If the Player hand wins, bets on the Player are paid out at 1 to 1. If the Banker hand wins, bets on the Banker are paid out at 1 to 1, minus a small commission (usually 5%). If the round results in a Tie, bets on the Tie are paid out at 8 to 1.

Amusement casinos allow you to enjoy these games in a casual setting. Understanding the rules and betting responsibly are the keys to having a fun and safe experience.

Precautions When Enjoying Amusement Casinos

Amusement casinos have become increasingly popular as entertainment destinations, offering the excitement and thrill of real casinos without the high stakes. However, it's important to keep in mind some key considerations when enjoying these establishments to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience.

Beware of Gray-Zone Establishments

Not all amusement casinos operate within the confines of the law. Some establishments may engage in questionable practices such as currency exchange or prize redemption, which could lead to legal issues if authorities intervene. It's crucial to be particularly cautious of online casinos, often referred to as "incaji," as they are more likely to be operating illegally.

Criteria for Legality

When assessing the legality of an amusement casino, pay close attention to the following factors:

1. Currency exchange or prize redemption: If the establishment offers the ability to exchange currency or redeem prizes for cash, it's a red flag indicating potential illegal activity.

2. Actual gambling: If the casino allows patrons to bet real money on games, it crosses the line into illegal gambling territory.

Establishments engaging in either of these practices are likely operating outside the bounds of the law and should be avoided.

Choosing Safe Amusement Casinos

Image Source: https://www.atpress.ne.jp/news/57543 

To ensure a safe and enjoyable experience at amusement casinos, it's important to select reputable and trustworthy establishments. Consider the following points when making your choice.

Presence of Signage and Advertisements

Casinos that openly display signage and advertisements are more likely to be operating legally. On the other hand, establishments that lack visible signage or rely solely on word-of-mouth marketing may be operating in a gray area or illegally.

Management and Reliability

The management structure and overall reliability of the casino are crucial factors to consider. Long-standing establishments with a proven track record or those operated by well-known, reputable companies are generally safer options. Do your research and read reviews from other patrons to gauge the casino's reputation.

Importance of Moderation and Self-Control

Image Source: https://diamond.jp/articles/-/204438 

When indulging in the excitement of amusement casinos, it's essential to practice moderation and maintain self-control. Avoid getting too absorbed in the games and always be aware of your limits.

Set Time and Budget Limits

Before stepping into the casino, set clear boundaries for yourself in terms of time and budget. Decide on a specific amount of time you're willing to spend and a maximum amount of money you're comfortable losing. Stick to your plan and resist the temptation to exceed these limits, no matter how enticing the games may be.

Don't Obsess Over Wins and Losses

Remember that amusement casinos are primarily meant for entertainment purposes. While winning can be exciting, avoid getting too caught up in the highs and lows of the games. Focus on enjoying the overall experience rather than obsessing over individual wins or losses.

Maintain Good Physical Condition

Prolonged play at amusement casinos can take a toll on your physical well-being. It's important to take regular breaks, stretch your legs, and stay hydrated. Pay attention to your body's needs and don't push yourself beyond your limits.

In conclusion, enjoying amusement casinos can be a thrilling and entertaining experience when approached with caution and responsibility. By choosing reputable establishments, practicing moderation, and maintaining self-control, you can fully immerse yourself in the exciting world of amusement casinos while ensuring your safety and well-being. Remember to prioritize fun over winning and always know when to walk away.

Recommended Amusement Casinos in Japan

Japan has many amusement casino establishments that offer a genuine casino atmosphere. Here are three recommended options.

1. Lucky Dice

Image Source: Google Street View

Lucky Dice stands out as one of the most English-friendly casinos in Tokyo, making it a must-visit destination. The staff members are exceptionally welcoming and supportive to newcomers, always ready to offer encouragement. For seasoned players, there's the added thrill of participating in tournaments, promising an authentic and exhilarating casino experience.

[Available Games]

  • Poker
  • Black Jack
  • Baccarat

[Service Fees]

  • Chips from 3,000 JPY

*It is recommended to contact the store directly for clear information about the fees

[Address]

  • 110-0005 Tokyo, Taito Ward, Ueno, 2-12-16, Ikenohata, Ikenohata Sky Bldg. B1

[Operating Hours]

  • Tuesday: 9:00 pm - 5:00 am
  • Wednesday - Thursday: 5:30 pm - 12:00 am
  • Friday: 5:30 pm - 5:00 am
  • Saturday: 9:00 pm - 5:00 am
  • Sunday: 9:00 pm - 5:00 am
  • Monday: Closed

X (Twitter): https://twitter.com/luckydicejp

*There is an official website, but it is currently inaccessible. Please check X for the latest updates.

2. Nagoya Guild

Image Source: Google Street View

This amusement casino operates as a game center, holding an adult entertainment business license. Each maid serves as a unique attraction, providing companionship and the opportunity to enjoy games together. While there is no time charge, patrons are kindly requested to buy a drink or chips if their stay exceeds one hour after finishing a game.

[Available Games]

  • Black Jack
  • Baccarat
  • Poker
  • Roulette
  • Daifugo (Japanese Uno)

[Service Fees]

  • Chips from 2,000 JPY for $300

*Entry fee is from 700 JPY.

[Address]

  • 453-0015 Aichi, Nagoya, Nakamura Ward, Tsubaki-Cho, 14-6, 11 Cubes Bldg. 6F

[Operating Hours]

  • Monday - Friday: 4:00 pm - 11:00 pm
  • Saturday - Sunday: 1:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Website: https://nagoyaguild.com/

3. Lucky 29

Image Source: Google Street View

Lucky 29 is an amusement casino that beckons tourists seeking an authentic experience of mingling and gaming with Japanese locals. Its relaxed and welcoming ambiance provides an ideal setting to not only discover popular card games but also indulge in karaoke, sports, and delectable food and drinks, making it a must-visit destination for an unforgettable evening at the amusement casino.

[Available Games]

  • Poker
  • Black Jack
  • Baccarat ect

[Service Fees]

  • From 3,000 JPY all you can drink comes with the game

[Address]

  • 542-0083 Osaka, Chuo Ward, Higashi Shinsaibashi, 2-4-21, Tamayamachi 2nd Galaxy Bldg. 5F, Room 5DE

[Operating Hours]

  • 8:00 pm - 1:00 am

Website: https://lucky29.owst.jp/

4. Extreme Bar BACKDOOR Roppongi

Image Source: Google Street View

At Backdoor Roppongi, you can enjoy poker in an authentic casino atmosphere while still in Japan. This amusement casino also offers Texas Hold'em poker. Additionally, there are courses available for beginners, so even those who have never played poker before can visit with confidence. The venue provides a professional yet welcoming environment, making it ideal for both casual and serious gamers. Moreover, expert staff are always on hand to guide you through the rules and strategies, ensuring a fulfilling experience for all players.

[Available Games]

  • Baccarat
  • Black Jack
  • Poker
  • Roulette

[Service Fees]

  • From 3,000 JPY: 500BD$ (The fee for the first loan.)
  • From 2,500JPY: 500BD$ (The fee for from the second time.)

*Remaining and increased chips will be kept at the store. The storage period for the chips is a maximum of 90 days.

[Address]

  • 106-0032 Tokyo, Minato Ward, Roppongi 3-15-24,1F

[Operating Hours]

  • Monday - Friday: 6:00 pm - 1:00 am
  • Saturday - Sunday: 4:00 pm - 1:00 am

Website: https://roppongi.backdoor.casino/

Conclusion

Japan boasts several popular amusement casinos that authentically replicate the casino atmosphere, such as Extreme Bar BACKDOOR Roppongi in Tokyo, Nagoya Guild in Aichi, and Lucky 29 in Osaka. Entry may be free or subject to a seat charge, and patrons may need to purchase a drink to extend their stay. Game chips are required to participate in the various games, spanning from roulette and blackjack to poker. It's crucial to exercise moderation and self-control when indulging in amusement casinos. Selecting a reputable establishment ensures a safe and enjoyable casino experience, providing the perfect backdrop for a memorable night out with friends and newfound Japanese acquaintances.

PIJ Writer
PIJ Writer
PIJ Writer, a seasoned connoisseur in his 40s based in Japan, boasts an unparalleled depth of knowledge and experience within the vibrant landscapes of both drinking and gambling, alongside his well-documented ventures into various red-light districts. This extensive exploration encompasses not just the nocturnal delights of Japan's red-light areas but also its myriad of bars, horse racing, pachinko, and many others. Drawing on his firsthand experiences, he conveys the appeal and characteristics of Japan's diverse adult entertainment districts and his enjoyment of the nightlife scene through his writing for PIJ.

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