Best Downtown Las Vegas Video Poker

Royal Flush Video Poker at Red Rock Resort
Royal Flush!

I haven’t done a video poker check in a while and since I’m spending a night around Downtown Vegas next week I figured that I’d see what games are available in the area.

When I go on a solo trip to a casino I tend to play more video poker than table games. When I’m with others I tend to be more social and play blackjack, craps, etc.

If you’re a video poker player in Las Vegas then you want to play downtown. There are games with positive returns in almost every casino. If you’re like me and prefer to play perfectly instead of playing a game with plus EV, there is 9/6 Jacks or Better (99.56% return) or 8/5 Bonus Poker (99.17% return) readily available.

Here’s the rundown of the best video poker in downtown Vegas beginning with the casinos that have the most options for good video poker games.

  1. The D – Long Bar video poker is not on this list. That game has about 94% returns.
  2. El Cortez
  3. Las Vegas Club
  4. California
  5. Four Queens
  6. Main Street Station
  7. Plaza
  8. Golden Gate
  9. Golden Nugget
  10. Fremont
  11. Binions
  12. Gold Spike – At least they have “Sexy Blackjack

All information from vpFREE2, the best place to research video poker.

I practice video poker with the WinPoker app on my iPhone. It’s $9.99 and worth every penny. It’s the best way to practice video poker.

Favorite Downtown Vegas Casinos (2012)

I’ve been asked why I talking about downtown so much. There are a lot of reasons, but a few are good gambling, cheap food and drink and it’s relaxed atmosphere.

I like going downtown for a day/night to do some low brow eating, drinking and gambling. Nothing fancy is happening and I probably didn’t shower. You know, so I fit in. I don’t always want to gamble this way, but when I do these are the casinos I frequent downtown.

GOLDEN GATE
First and foremost the Golden Gate Casino has 10x craps. Craps is my favorite game to play and 10x odds lower the house edge to almost .001 according to Wizard of Odds.

The Golden Gate casino is the oldest casino in Vegas and was recently renovated and while the casino floor is more cramped then most in Vegas, it’s decor is warm and it feels clean and is comfortable. It doesn’t hurt that the dealers are also go-go dancers, many of which aren’t ugly. The dealers are also the dancers and many of them are featured on the chips. On my last visit I was playing blackjack and noticed I kept losing when a specific dealer was on top of my chip stack. After telling the dealer to get rid of all chips with that girl she revealed that the girl on the chip was her best friend in the casino. We laughed, we both made money because doubled my buy in and I tip when I win. A good time was had by all.

DuPars Pancakes

Golden Gate is also home to DuPar’s Bakery and home of the best pancakes I’ve ever had. The drawn butter helps. A lot. A short stack is $6 and these make for a perfect late night snack. Just stay away from the coffee. It’s awful.

All of these reasons, make the Golden Gate one of my favorite casinos downtown.

Downtown Vegas is Rocking!

Downtown Vegas is rocking and there are lots of people knocking.

when April’s numbers came out last week, it was downtown’s revenues that raised more than a few eyebrows. Downtown’s casinos raked in more than $48 million, a nearly 25 percent jump over April 2011.

If you follow any Las Vegas blogs you have had to notice a shift of news from the strip to downtown. Besides The Linq, there’s not much exciting being built on the strip. Downtown Vegas is another story. There has been non-stop rejuvenation over the past few years. Right now major hotel renovations are happening at Golden Gate and the D, which used to be Fitzgeralds.

If you follow my writing on Vegas Chatter, you may remember the article I wrote about “The Growing Separation of The Strip and Downtown Vegas” and that difference may be seen in this gaming growth.

While the strip shuns gamblers to attract people looking to drop $1,000 on a bottle of Grey Goose, the gamblers are heading downtown to be with other gamblers. And the hipsters are heading to the cool Fremont Street Bars.

I love the strip, but I’ve been spending more and more time downtown. It’s much more relaxed downtown. It feels fine to eat pancakes at DuPar’s for every meal when I’m staying downtown. When I’m on the strip I, almost, feel forced to enjoy a more upscale meal and stay.

Both are great and both are different but not everyone can afford the upscale prices. This separation has always been in Vegas, but with downtown being not being a dump any longer it’s a real viable option for many.

While downtown probably shouldn’t expect 25% gaming revenue increases every month, they should expect that growth to continue while the strip continues to shun gamblers.

Cheap Places To Stay In Vegas

People are often asking what hotels in Las Vegas they can stay for cheap. My immediate response is downtown or check expedia to see what you can afford. When the question stays on the strip, it’s a little more complicated but not really. It’s just too much for a tweet.

I’m writing this as a reference of hotel/casinos to look at if you’re looking for cheap options broken down by area in Las Vegas.

Fixing Up Vegas

Recently your host, Mr. Eastcoastgambler (Hi), has been bringing you youtube videos of past Vegas implosions.  Now that the economy has soured, Vegas isn’t destroying old properties to build new ones but instead is investing money to improve already existing resorts.  Yesterday, the trend continued with the announcement that Golden Gate would be adding 19 new rooms and expanding its casino floor.  So what other properties need a fixer upper?

Bills Gamblin Hall and Saloon – This place is so in need of some life, that Caesars won’t even let it be part of Total Rewards.  As the Barbary Coast, it was unique, boutique and known for great service.  Since being taken over by Caesars, it has fallen into disrepair. The service has majorly declined and upkeep has been minimal.  The doors even still have the BC initials from the Barbary Coast.  There is a lot to like about the interior of Bills, but it needs a lot of work to become relevant again (and a new name wouldn’t hurt either).

Binions – Binions is basically a Las Vegas landmark.  Historically, it is known as being the place where Benny Binion would take any bet offered and even would display a million dollars in cash for people to take photos with.  Caesars may have stolen (ED: They paid for the name, that’s not stealing) the Horseshoe brand, but that doesn’t mean that Binions should go away.  With the Plaza, El Cortez, and Golden Gate getting upgrades, Binions should be next in line to continue the trend.

Excalibur – This place needs so much work I don’t even know where to start.  The theme is a killer, as it is distinctly built to be a family oriented place.  Since Vegas has moved out of that trend, the theme hinders more than it helps.  A fresh coat of paint to bring down the ‘Camelot’ and re-theming the place into a good vs evil knight thing could be a start.  However, Excalibur would need a remodel along the lines of the Tropicana to have any chance at relevancy.

Pioneer Club – This is my dark horse candidate.  Pioneer Club has one of Vegas’s most iconic signs, Vegas Vic, and yet is no longer even a casino.  How sad is it that Vegas Vic now advertises for a gift shop and an ABC store?  I would love to see someone buy this place and return it to its former glory and give Vegas Vic the property he so rightly deserves.