Most people come to Croatia for its golden beaches, but there’s much more to the country than just a sunny vacation. Stunning natural beauty in places like Plitvice National Park and bustling capital Zagreb are other highlights worth visiting. In addition, the casino industry in Croatia is making great strides and almost all major destinations have several options for the gamer looking for a little action. Combining visits to the casino with everything else that Croatia has to offer will certainly make a splendid vacation.
By far the most popular table game in the country is roulette. Nearly every casino will have at least one roulette table and will likely have several more. Most are of the European variety, meaning that there will only be one green zero on the wheel, thus increasing your chances of winning. Also, it’s worth mentioning that minimum limits on Croatian roulette tables are often quite low, so you won’t be forced to play for amounts that you’re not comfortable with. If you’re not familiar with roulette and want to fit in with locals and tourists that are well-versed in the game, it may be helpful to take a crash course in roulette by checking out the standard rules.
Like roulette, blackjack is another casino table game popular in Croatia. While most of the rules will be similar to other casinos in Europe, there are some differences between the American game and what you’ll find here. Doubling down is often limited to a smaller range of 9, 10, or 11 and very few properties will offer the option of surrendering your hand to receive half of your bet back. Table limits will usually be a bit higher than those at roulette tables, but are still low enough for a player to easily stay within their budget.
As in many other gambling locales across the globe, slots have become a ubiquitous choice and you’ll have the full range on offer in Croatia. There are even casinos that specialize only in slots and have a huge selection to choose from if this is your preferred game. From standard three-reel machines to the latest in video slot technology with countless pay lines and the ability to play many coins at the same time, a diversity of limits will be available. If you haven’t tried slots before, your Croatian vacation might be a great time to diversify your casino game selection and give the new generation of slots a chance.
Not immune to the charm of poker that has taken the world by storm, Croatia has also embraced the game and poker options are plentiful throughout the country. Locating a high stakes game may be a bit more difficult, but low stakes tables are everywhere. In addition to standard casinos, standalone poker rooms are a common sight on the Croatian gambling landscape. However, many of these poker rooms are located outside the city center so transportation can be an issue. At the same time, the larger casinos in city centers will be staffed by English-speaking dealers to create a welcoming environment for all foreign players. Expect the lowest games to have a buy-in of approximately 100 Euros.
WHERE TO PLAY
With casino culture in Croatia firmly on the rise, it will be unlikely that you’ll end up in a place that doesn’t have quite a few locations to try. When in doubt, ask your hotel concierge and they will point you in the right direction. Here are some properties with solid reputations that are popular with locals and tourists alike:
ADMIRAL AUTOMAT CLUB
Across the country and extending throughout most of southeastern Europe, Admiral Automat Club is the premier choice for slots fans. In Croatia, the network of Admiral locations is quite pervasive and there will be multiple locations in all but the smallest towns. While most of these properties will not have table games, they do have many slot machines of all types, meaning you’ll find exactly what you want.
CASINO PLATINUM IN SPLIT
Split is one of the top tourist destinations in Croatia, so it’s only fitting that one of the best casinos would be located in the seaside city. Located in the center of town and a stone’s throw from the Adriatic Sea, Casino Platinum has a wide variety of games, including slots, blackjack, and roulette. However, the star in Platinum’s crown is their poker room, widely considered to be the best in the city. In addition to standard Texas Hold’em and Omaha cash games that run at all hours of the day, the casino also has a regular tournament schedule with standard freeze outs, double chance events, and many other interesting formats. Buy-ins go as low as 100 Kuna ($15 USD), so they are very affordable and many are guaranteed with a sizable overlay.
GOLDEN SUN CASINO
Found in four locations (Zagreb, Pula, Dubrovnik, and Osijek), Golden Sun is quickly becoming the preferred choice for in-the-know Croatian gamers. The latter three properties are the best in their respective locations, but better options can be found in Zagreb. For the other three, you can expect the full range of games including poker tables and plenty of perks for gamers like free meals and valet parking. Be aware that the Dubrovnik Golden Sun Casino can get packed when cruise ships dock and release a flood of passengers.
CASINO CEZAR IN ZAGREB
For visits to the capital city, the best place to play is clearly Casino Cezar. Located in the Westin Hotel and catering to the international crowd, this casino has all the games, including some harder to find ones like Caribbean Stud Poker. Their poker room is also the largest in the country and has nine tables that feature a mix of games and limits. The low end is a No Limit Texas Hold’em game with small and big blinds of one Euro, which will meet the vast majority of low stakes players. At the top end, Casino Cezar is willing to spread poker games as high as players want, so as long as people want to play, the sky is the limit for poker action at the property.
CASINO SOLEI IN UMAG
With Umag turning into the next top spot for tourists in Croatia, Casino Solei has established itself as the property to beat for gaming action. The wider selection of games brings options Chemin de Fer and Punto Banco (both versions of Baccarat) into the mix so you can feel like James Bond while you play and leisurely sip a well-mixed cocktail. Poker options are on the smaller side with only three tables, but dealers are very competent and keep the game entertaining at all times. Close proximity to the beach means that the casino is in the center of the Umag action and there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby.
Whether your game is blackjack, slots, poker, or something else, the casinos in Croatia are bound to have what you’re looking for and the industry is booming, with new luxurious casinos being developed to meet the growing number of tourists looking for high stakes action. While planning out your nightlife itinerary, make sure to add in casino visits to add some spice to your holiday. In addition to the casino options mentioned above, there are many others in the country and you’re sure to find one perfectly suited to your individual tastes. Get lucky and you may find that your Croatia vacation pays for itself.