Along with the comp offers, I generally favor the Orleans and other Boyd properties for several reasons. While inexpensive, I usually find the hotels clean and comfortable, the personnel friendly and helpful and a good selection of games. While Orleans has a few NSUD video poker machines, which are OK, you can still find a few full-pay machines at Sam's Town on the Boulder strip, also a Boyd operation.
The Orleans has another bonus: For a non strip/non-"hip" property, the casino has more than its share of attractive cocktail waitresses, making losses a lot more bearable. Many of these women have been there for several years or more, which tells me two things. First, there's money to be made here, even if it is off the strip. Second, Boyd must be at least a half way decent employer.
Same is true for craps personnel. I've seen some of the table people for years. I find them to be pretty sharp and friendly and most important, accurate with payouts (note to Hollywood in Columbus OH--you all could learn a thing or two from these people).
The room I had was a long walk from the 10th floor elevator which might be a problem for some but not for me. Elevator waits were minimal throughout my stay.
The hotel was built over 35 years ago, and while the room was clean, it was very dated. Very tiny bathroom. Old furniture. Nice bigscreen tube, though. A remodel job would be nice, but I'm sure it would mean increased prices.
As far as my video poker is concerned, I was able to keep my 4-yr streak without a RF going. A good guess is that I lost $125 on VP duirng the trip. Slots were not kind to me at all.
I did hit a a $450 6/6 keno jackpot my first morning. Two of my three biggest keno wins have come at the Orleans, the other being a $2500 8/8 hit on a qtr machine 2 years ago.
Over the past several months I've had better than usual luck at the craps table and that luck stayed with me thru the trip. I played 6 sessions, starting with a stake of $150 to $200 on each, including two sessions at Sam's Town. Of the six, I had one loser, dropping about $160 on my first session Saturday morning. After taking a shower, I remembered I had a matchplay voucher from American Casino Guide and went back to the table to use it. Left after winning a a quick $63, so I felt better. Went over to the coffee shop for an omelette and hashbrowns, paid for it with points off my loyalty card. Then went up to Sam's where I had another winning session. For the trip, I ended up $165, give or take a couple $. Since April 1 I am up roughly $400, at one point I was up nearly $900.
As you may have read, Boyd is making changes to their food offerings at most casinos. There's a new Asian place at the Orleans, but I'm not into Asian food so I know nothing about it. My understanding is the Irish Pub either is or will be converted into something new as well, but I never went over there to check. The food court offerings have not changed in years. The best of the bunch is Fudruckers.
TRs I like, all of them.
I may have questions, I read this one fast, durn family keeps interrupting me ;-)
Craps: I would suggest you check out the math involved in Avoiding Gambler's Ruin by giving yourself a fair shake at surviving expected losses. As I understand the math, 300 is a better starting bank roll based on a 80 percent chance of avoiding getting "down to the felt" in three hours. Even at that it does not account for tips or any 'fancy bets'.
Food court stuff is fine for me too.
ALL of Vegas is "changing" as casinos try to capture and squeeze a certain market segment.
In Vegas this trip, played conservatively. 2x odds on the initial point, once in a while went to 3x. Place 6//8. If I felt lucky, I'd add the 5/9. The one thing I did almost without exception was bring place bets down after they hit twice.
Thanks for the report. I like playing craps as well. I've been having terrible luck at the tables the last couple of trips to Vegas. What were the table limits at Orleans? Were they $10? I always search for $5 tables. As far as I know, only Casino Royale and Ellis Island offer them near the strip. Vegas is getting more and more expensive with fewer and fewer low limit tables. Also, did you venture to the strip or other Casinos. Did you go to shows or dinners? It seemed like from your report that you spent most of your time at the Orleans.
$5 table all day long, BUT 3-4-5 odds, not the best. Sam's Town is better. $3 minimum in the morning, bumped to $5 in the afternoon with 20x odds.
I stay away from the strip, regarding it as more of a tourist trap. I did not visit downtown this trip, but I stay at the Downtown Grand quite often and enjoy Fremont St.
No shows or fancy restaurants. I do make a point of visiting the Mexican restaurant at South Point, and did so this trip. Never a bad meal and excellent service.