Joined: Oct 11, 2010
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July 21st, 2018 at 3:35:31 AM permalink
As there seems to be no in depth details about P and O cruises casino anywhere online I thought I would write a review of the casino on board P and O Britannia during a recent cruise. I am primarily a blackjack player so the review will mostly be focused upon blackjack.

First Impressions

Underwhelming. As the largest and newest ship in the fleet I expected a reasonably large casino but instead found one of the smallest and least atmospheric casinos that Iíve ever seen on board a cruise ship (albeit I have seen only 4 in total). Compared to its smaller sister ship Ventura the casino on board Britannia seemed only half the size. Very disappointing compared to my last cruise on board a Carnival Horizon which was a much larger and more fun casino in every way. Hereís what you will find:

Blackjack (2 tables)
3 card poker (2 tables)
Roulette (2 tables)
Slots (~25 machines)

Staff and Service

They have table service for drinks but these are not complimentary. Considering how small the gaming area was I didnít see that many waiters coming by. Maybe one every hour of so. They donít work for tips unlike a land based casino so I suppose the motivation is somewhat lacking.

The blackjack dealers were from all over the globe including Serbia, Zimbabwe and China and were quite pleasant if perhaps less engaging than I would usually like. What was noticeable was the shockingly high number of dealer miscounts and errors in general that I encountered during my time on board. In 5 hours of play I witnessed 6 separate occasions in which the dealer miscounted and paid me for a win or push that I shouldnít have deserved. There were 2 occasions in which they miscounted in favour or the house (which I cheerfully pointed out to them and they fixed whiteout quibble). On no such occasion did anyone from the back room come down and redress the miscounting as you would expect in a Vegas casino within about 10 minutes. This leads me to wonder if they even have a back room or if the cameras are there just for recording purposes only.


The rules were quite generous for a cruise ship and much more favourable than the 6:5 I found with Carnival this year. Also the minimums were very low too.

6 decks hand dealt shoe
Blackjack pays 3:2
No hole card (European variant)
Dealer stands on soft 17
Double after split
Resplit up to 4 times
Double any 2 cards
No resplitting aces
One card only on split aces
No surrender
Penetration 75% (not fixed - chosen by dealer)

This game gives an approximate house edge of 0.5%. The minimum bet was £3 ($4) and the maximum was £100 ($130). There was a side game of lucky ladies. Any 2 card total of 20 wins at least 4/1 up to a maximum of 1000/1 for a pair of queen of hearts vs a dealer blackjack. Minimum bet was £1.

Other Table Games and Slots

Apologies for not investigating these in more detail. I only decided to write this review after I returned home so I can not comment upon payouts for 3 card poker. I believe the minimums may have been £3 as well.

The roulette was American style 00 roulette and the minimum bets were £1 for single numbers. This was reduced to £0.10 on the final day of sailing.

The slots were mostly new machines with a few classic ones available as well. I didnít see any very new machines or any large IP-themed ones. I have no information about jackpots or house edge.

Other Players

As you might expect on a cruise there were many inexperienced players at the blackjack table. Almost everyone was playing the £3 minimum with the lucky ladies bonus game and no one knew how to play optimally. One lady even helpfully suggested to me that I could ďbuy a cardĒ on my 11 vs dealer 10 (incorrect play) and then later on proceeded to split her 10s vs a dealer (unchecked) ace. Also some other guy corrected the dealerís miscount on my hand. Thanks buddy, donít try that in Vegas.

Final Thoughts

Good blackjack rules for a cruise. A fun distraction for a few hours but not the fun casino experience you might on other ships. Iím not sure if the rules I have described are exploitable but I wouldnít be surprised if they were oblivious to advantage play.
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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July 21st, 2018 at 4:11:22 AM permalink
P & O was an old line name in shipping but the P&O cruise liners are all owned by corporate shells related to, I believe, Carnival cruise lines. So I would expect things to go from bad to worse.
Joined: May 23, 2016
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July 21st, 2018 at 8:22:10 AM permalink
Quote: jonfourtwenty

The roulette was American style 00 roulette and the minimum bets were £1 for single numbers. This was reduced to £0.10 on the final day of sailing.

That's not bad at all... I'd definitely play some roulette at those minimums, especially on the last day.

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