The majority of gamblers that visit Las Vegas aren’t high rollers. In fact, about 80% (arbitrary number in my head) are looking for cheap blackjack wherever they can find it. They’re also looking for good cheap blackjack games. You can find good cheap blackjack on the Vegas Strip but the options are decreasing every day.
It’s time to head to Downtown Vegas where good cheap blackjack isn’t too difficult to find. In recent years, we’ve seen gamblers migrating from the Vegas Strip to Downtown Vegas where the gamblin’s good (see the best craps odds in Downtown Vegas).
For simplicity, I’m using $15 as the cut off for cheapblackjack once again. I’m listing the casinos alphabetically and not by the games with the best house edge. Visit the survey on Wizard of Vegas to see the complete details of the games listed below and higher denomination games.
Binion’s – House Edge: 0.66 California – House Edge: 0.60 The D – House Edge: 0.46 & 0.64 Downtown Grand – House Edge: 0.64 El Cortez – House Edge: 0.30 and 0.45 Fremont – House Edge: 0.60 Golden Gate – House Edge: 0.61 Main Street Station – House Edge: 0.60 Plaza – House Edge: 0.64
El Cortez– House Edge: 0.30 Four Queens – House Edge: 0.57 & 0.60 Golden Nugget – House Edge: 0.48 & 0.60 Plaza – House Edge: 0.456
Binion’s – House Edge: 0.60
Note: Most casinos have multiple games with a worse house edge. Make sure you check the rules before you play.
Craps is my favorite game in the casino. Besides being fun to play, craps gives the casino one of the smallest house edge’s of most casino games. Fun game and small house edge?! Sounds good to me!
You can actually decrease the, already small, house edge by playing greater odds. The higher the odds played the less the house edge. Today I want to look at the craps odds available in Downtown Vegas casinos. Since the higher odds decrease the casino’s advantage I list casinos from the best odds to worst odds.
Even the worst odds in craps give the casino a smaller house edge than most games in the casino. Most people don’t like to max out their odds when playing craps because it’s too much action. I try to max my odds wherever I play. Minimum pass line bets in these casinos is usually only $5 so full odds isn’t too expensive.
The best craps odds don’t make the best games. I’ll get into my favorite Downtown Vegas craps games later. For more information check out Wizard of Vegas craps survey.
I’ve been talking about a lot of the upcoming changes to the Vegas strip lately. I’m all for change and I’m pretty stoked about what the future of the Vegas strip will bring. It won’t be the Las Vegas that I came to love over the years but that’s what Vegas is and I’m cool with it.
When I first started visiting Las Vegas we used to take part of a day to visit “Old Vegas”. We saw what Vegas used to be. It was fun to go from Bellagio to the El Cortez and see the difference between new luxury and old n dirty. This was before renovations began to Old Vegas around 10 years ago. What’s happening to the Vegas strip has been happening downtown for years and its awesome.
The first downtown renovations I remember happened to one of my favorite downtown Vegas casino – El Cortez. The burnt felt was replaced around 6 years ago. Around that time they stopped asking if “El Cortez can buy me a drink” and beer stopped being served in dented cans. Bottles only. The charm was gone and so was I.
I needed to let the changes to soak in. This was just the beginning and I wasn’t ready for a new and modern El Cortez (or anywhere for that matter). Old Vegas was becoming Downtown Vegas.
Downtown Vegas is still old, technically. The renovations to many of the casinos and bars are just lipstick on a pig. New paint, new felt. Low brow fancy, but not really fancy. In addition to renovations there have been a lot of new bars and restaurants popping up in Downtown Vegas. You can see some on the wikipedia page for Fremont Street.
It took a while for me to be OK with the changes to Old Vegas. Now, downtown Vegas is one of my favorite parts of Las Vegas. If I just want to grab coffee and wifi I’ll head to The Beat. If I want to play craps, I’ll head to Main Street Station, the D or El Cortez. If I’m in the mood to drink? I’ll head to Mob Bar and get a cheap crash pad somewhere. There is a lot of fun to be had downtown and, even though it took me a while, I dig the change from old Vegas.
I’ll go into brief detail with some of my favorite changes to old Vegas…err downtown Vegas next week.
You may have noticed that I’ve been posting where the best video poker in Las Vegas is recently since I’ve had trips staying at Main Street Station downtown and at Encore on the Vegas strip. A few weeks ago I was asked where the best craps games can be found in Las Vegas. Interesting.
I thought I knew the answer but wasn’t entirely sure. I only know the craps odds at casinos I visit but I don’t know the craps odds at every casino in Las Vegas. I’m not that good. At least I wasn’t.
Countless searches showed only very old craps odds – like pre-2010 old. I finally found odds that seem fairly up-to-date on Wizard Of Vegas. Here are the breakdowns of the best craps odds at downtown Las Vegas casinos (sorted best to worst).
Main Street Station – 20x Odds
The D – 10x Odds
El Cortez – 10x Odds
Golden Gate – 10x Odds
Las Vegas Club – 10x Odds
Binions – 5x Odds
Four Queens – 5x Odds
Golden Nugget – 3-4-5x Odds
The Plaza – 3-4-5x Odds
California – 2x Odds
Fremont – 2x Odds
You’ll notice that Gold Spike is missing from this list of downtown casinos with the best craps. I don’t believe they have craps. They have Sexy Blackjack and I don’t think they could promote Sexy Craps so they just stick with blackjack.
It should come as no surprise that Main Street Station has the best craps downtown. Craps at Main Street Station has almost even odds. Probably the best thing about craps at Main Street Station is that it’s affordable for most gamblers.
Playing full odds at a Main Street Station craps table is $100 on a $5 bet. This is one of the most affordable smart bets you can make in a casino. Full odds on 100x or 1000x times a $5 bet is pricey even though the returns are as close to even as you will find at a craps table.
The Wizard of Vegas survey hasn’t been updated since the D replaced Fitzgerald’s but most of the list seems up to date. Feel free to comment if know of different odds. I’ll be glad to update this list.
Photo – flickr jcnikon (PS: I know this picture isn’t downtown, but the downtown craps table pics weren’t interesting)
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.
The D – Long Bar video poker is not on this list. That game has about 94% returns.
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.
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.
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.
I still haven’t been to Main Street Station in downtown Las Vegas (that will change soon), but evidently it has one of the top 10 public restrooms in America. How bout that?!
Main Street Station was one of 10 finalists in America’s Best Public Restroom contest, run since 2002 by Cincinnati-based Cintas Corp. Had it won, the bathroom would have been the first in Las Vegas to pick up the award, although others — including restrooms at Mix and Zeffirino at the Venetian — have been past nominees.
Las Vegas does have some of my favorite public restrooms. The Gold Coast has a huge room with many stalls which will give you privacy. It also has a single, non-handicapped, restroom for those times where you need to be alone. I don’t really care much about decor, but having a TV is a bonus and the mens room at the Red Rock Casino sportsbook has that.
This very special proclamation only makes me want to visit Main Street Station more.