Before I stay at a casino for the first time I always check the video poker pay tables. I usually take trips like this by myself so I end up playing a lot of video poker.
This weeks new adventure has me staying at Green Valley Ranch for the first time thanks to a MyVegas comp. According to vpFREE there is a great selection of good video poker at Green Valley Ranch. Check it out:
I’m usually happy playing 9/6 Jacks or Better or 8/5 Bonus Poker but I think I’ll change it up a little for this trip. I think I’ll take a stab at the 100%+ returns for a change. There are 4 different games on 15 machines so they should be somewhat easy to get on.
I’ll probably dabble in the 10/7 Double Bonus Poker game since the strategy isn’t too difficult. The worst case scenario (and it’s not bad at all) is that I sit at the sportsbook bar playing 8/5 Bonus Poker. Oh, the horror.
It’s been a while since I did a video poker check but since SLS Las Vegas is new and is supposed to have good video poker games I figured that I’d take a look.
On first glance there are some really good video poker options available at SLS Las Vegas according to vpFREE2.
When you look deeper into the pay tables you’ll see that most of the best video poker games at SLS Las Vegas are available on just 4 video poker machines. The best 8 video poker games are only available on these 4 low limits video poker machines (5¢, 10¢, 25¢) located between Sayers Club and Sportsbook Bar along the aisle.
Bonus Poker and the games below it on the chart above are available throughout the casino. You can see specific locations and denominations on vpFREE2.com.
I’m personally happy that there is 8/5 Bonus Poker available. That’s my second favorite video poker game. I don’t mind that the single games are $1 and up or that the 3-play games are 25¢ but it would be nice if they had some one line quarter games available.
It’s true, last week I was rockin at Rampart Casino. I’m a fairly regimented person. When I find something I like, I go there pretty often. Generally, I’m not the exploring type. I actually plan my exploration, like I did with my trip to Laughlin that I detailed on Vegas Chatter.
Well that pattern took a slight change last week. I needed to take in a beautiful day and decided to grab a smoothie and explore the Vegas burbs (Summerlin) until I finished my smoothie. Besides finding about 5 different golf courses and a road that just stopped being created (pics soon) I drove by Rampart Casino.
Rampart Casino is next to Suncoast Casino and north of where I live. I rarely head that way, so I never think to go there. When I was was exploring local casinos I didn’t consider it since it’s not associated with any casinos near the strip like Station Casinos (Red Rock Casino) or Boyd Gaming casinos (Suncoast).
After driving by Rampart Casino, I decided I’d check it out another day. Why not? It’s close even if it’s not a direction I normall travel. That night I looked at vpFREE to see what kind of video poker games they have. They had 10 play nickel 9/6 Jacks or Better. I’ve never seen that before and although there’s not much money making, but there’s little at risk.
While checking out a new casino I always drop a little in a machine or table to see what kind of offers I get. I thought maybe I could get a Royal Flush in honor of Denver Gambler’s quest (#royalflush2012) for one since I’m playing 10 games at once. Good times for all. As you can see from the image above and video below, I got a Royal Flush!
I actually changed from Jacks or Better to Bonus Poker but I got the Royal Flush! As you might expect, 4,000 nickels is not nearly as awesome as $1’s, but I’ll happily take it! That $200 will pay for all the smoothies I can handle. Haha.
My venture to Rampart was more to get a vibe of the casino. The outside is very old and classy looking. I thought the inside may be the same. The decor at Rampart Casino is somewhere between 1920’s and 1980’s. I’m not sure if that’s on purpose, but the casino reminded me of some of my favorite New York City classic steakhouses. Comfortable, but not modern.
The casino itself is tiny, but not much smaller than the other casinos in the area. There is a lot of video poker throughout the casino. There are games I’ve never seen, which is always fun. There are new and older slots and there were lot of people.
I’d say 98% of the people I saw at Rampart Casino were over 60 years old and smoking about 40% of those people had walkers and/or oxygen tanks. Rampart Casino felt like the Atlantic City casino where people go to die…and I liked it.
Even though the place was overly smokey, everyone was nice and many of the people playing knew each other from the area. Everyone was having a good time and in turn I was having a good time. The smoke was so bad that I had to throw my clothes in the washing machine and jump in the shower when I came home from (no joke) but I enjoyed my visit to Rampart Casino.
I don’t see Rampart Casino replacing Red Rock casino as my local casino, but it’s a nice alternative. If it wasn’t for the fun video poker games (full pay 10 play and below) that I won’t find anywhere else, I probably wouldn’t return. That said, I’ll be back at Rampart Casino when I’m bored and need a video poker fix.
I stopped off at Cosmopolitan for the first time since the summer to upgrade my Identity status and to see if my Identity Play was still there from a promotion I did in July. It was. The money was there – it stays on the account for 1 year. Since I had money on my card to use on a machine I went right to the vpFREE2 mobile site on my phone to see what video poker games were available to me.
I knew that the games were downgraded, but I found only one game under $5 to play.
98.01% BP (Bonus Poker) 1-2-3-4-5-7-25-40-80-50-800 25¢ – 1 Slant-top – 50 Play – just to the left of the high limit room $1, $2 – 1 Play – scattered throughout casino
I know the Las Vegas strip doesn’t have the best video poker pay tables in town and this is what I expected after reading that the video poker machines were recently downgraded. Playing $1 machines that pay out 98% isn’t great. The quarter machines paid back at a 6/5 rate, which (I think) is about 96%. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to win my Identity play back in cash then I left to play some quarter and penny slots that eventually took most of my winnings.
I normally play Jacks of Better (8/5 @ Cosmo) which pays back about 99+% (at full pay) so the 1 percent difference isn’t much on $100, but in time it adds up and most people prefer to play games that have better payouts. The way it looks is that slot machine payouts (~92%) aren’t much worse that video poker so I took my money and decided to have a little fun playing Top Dollar slots, which I’m a sucker for and will play again.
I believe that the quarter Bonus Poker paid out 8/6 when Cosmo opened, so this isn’t much of a change but this isn’t a reason to visit the Cosmo. If you’re a video poker player you can find some better games on the strip at lower denominations on the strip. Cosmo remains a place to go to eat, drink and be merry, but not necessarily a place to visit if you want to gamble. That said, I can get Kettle One when gambling, so that’s a plus on that side.