spite of several constitutional amendment petitions
over the last ten years, Florida does not have casino
gambling. It does, however, have a thriving day-cruise
industry which offers Las Vegas-style gaming on board
ships that cruise offshore where casino gambling is
legal. From the east coast the boats sail three miles
out into the Atlantic Ocean, and from the west coast
the "floating casinos" travel nine miles
out into the Gulf of Mexico.
The Port of Miami
has more cruise passenger traffic than any other port
in the world, and in second place is Fort Lauderdale's
Port Everglades. In the fiscal year ending September
30, 1995, there were 2.2 million cruise passenger
embarkations from Port Everglades, of which 1.4 million-almost
64 percent-were embarkations on daily gambling cruise
There are a variety
of vessels in operation, ranging from the 1,050 passenger
SeaEscape cruise ship (Ft. Lauderdale) to the SunCruz
casino boat in Key Largo, which carries 150 passengers.
Generally you will find that the larger ships have
more of a variety of things to do besides gambling
(floor shows, buffets, fine dining, entertainment),
but the cost of sailing is a little higher, and port
charges are often added. Since late 1994 many smaller
ships have begun operations, and because they are
not required to dock at the major ports they don't
have port service charges added to their cruise prices.
You will also find that most of the ships run price
specials, so don't be surprised if you call and are
quoted a lower than advertised rate.
Two of the larger
ships are the SeaEscape (800-327-2005), which sails
from Port Everglades (Fort Lauderdale), and the Viking
Princess (800-841-7447), which sails from the Port
of Palm Beach.
There are at
least twenty other casino boats throughout the state
that depart from smaller docking facilities, some
of which are owned by companies that have multiple
locations. SunCruz has boats in Hollywood, Key Largo,
Key West, Daytona Beach, and Port Richey. Europe SeaKruz
(800-688-PLAY) has boats in Miami Beach, Fort Meyers,
and Maderia Beach. Empress Cruise Lines (800-486-8600)
has boats in Clearwater and St. Petersburg.
All ships offer
a full variety of table games and electronic machines,
and several offer online poker games rooms or sports
websites. Minimum gambling age is either eighteen
or twenty-one, depending on the ship's discretion.
has several Indian casinos that offer bingo, low stakes
online poker games, and pull-tab electronic machines.
For Florida visitor
information call 904-488-5607. For information on
the Florida Keys or Key West call 800-352-5397.
are a couple ways that a player's live hand can be
killed because of someone else's mistake:
- If another player folds his hand and tosses his
cards into a live hand, both hands are dead.
- If the dealer or anyone else accidentally scoops
a live hand into the discard pile, the hand is dead.
- However, the first rule doesn't apply if the player
"protects" his hole cards by lining them
up neatly and placing an object, usually a chip, on
top of them. First of all, this prevents a dealer
from accidentally scooping the hand into the muck.
Secondly, it gives observers the chance to reliably
sort out a player's actual hole cards from any others
that contact them: The hole cards will remain intact
under the chip, while the debris cards will be askew.
If this distinction is possible, then the protected
cards are not killed by contacting other cards.
- Any hand that contains an invalid card or an incorrect
number of cards for the current stage of the hand,
including the showdown, is dead.