IAchance5
IAchance5
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February 6th, 2011 at 4:10:45 PM permalink
Where is the best place to gamble downtown? I'm asking about atmosphere, because I'm sure all those casinos have roughly the same minimums and hold % for slots, right?
teddys
teddys
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February 6th, 2011 at 4:21:18 PM permalink
1) Golden Nugget (see below)
2) Main Street CaliFremont. (I count them as one.)
3) El Cortez
4) Golden Gate
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Those four above are really quite good. A tier below that I would put:
5) Four Queens
6) Binion's
7) Fitzgerald's
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The Plaza and Vegas Club don't even merit consideration. The Western is more of a novelty than anything else.

Edit: I've never actually played in the Golden Nugget. I agree that it is going for the Strip-in-downtown model. So skip it unless you want to feel like you are on the strip. Their atmosphere is the best, but I would assume you are not looking for the Strip if you are downtown. In that case, cross it off your list. Good pool, though, and a nice little oasis of high-end if you need it after all the sawdust joints.

The Golden Gate is very underrated, I think. You should check it out. I had a very good experience there.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
mkl654321
mkl654321
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February 6th, 2011 at 5:05:51 PM permalink
Quote: IAchance5

Where is the best place to gamble downtown? I'm asking about atmosphere, because I'm sure all those casinos have roughly the same minimums and hold % for slots, right?



Uh, no, actually, the hold percentages and table minimums vary quite a bit. El Cortez has the lowest slot hold percentage. They also have the lowest table limits. The Boyd casinos (MSS, Cal, Fremont) are somewhere in the middle. Fitzgerald's has low table mins but I don't know about slot hold. Four Queens has the most generous slot club, and table mins are medium-high for downtown. Don't bother with Binion's unless you want to play poker with the local rocks. Plaza and Vegas Club are dead and dying, respectively. And the Nugget has pretensions of being like a fancy-ass Strip megatoilet, with ridiculously high table minimums for downtown, and what has seemed to me to be the tightest slots downtown (their video poker is definitely the worst, which usually means lousy slot returns as well.) Also, forget the Golden Gate or any of the little crud joints like Sassy Sally's.

As far as atmosphere goes, I enjoy MSS (the beer is great, it's relatively quiet, and there's no loud music), Four Queens (kinda noisy, but I like the good variety of decent games), and El Cortez (really!). I absolutely hate Fitzgerald's (LOUD and AWFUL music, and a LOT of smoke), and I dislike Binion's (a shadow of its former self), Vegas Club (clueless employees--I mean, REALLY clueless), and Golden Nugget (pretensions to glory, and overpriced everything).

The current American Casino Guide has about $100 worth of coupons if you want to do a downtown casino crawl.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
IAchance5
IAchance5
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February 6th, 2011 at 5:37:59 PM permalink
Quote: mkl654321

Uh, no, actually, the hold percentages and table minimums vary quite a bit. El Cortez has the lowest slot hold percentage. They also have the lowest table limits. The Boyd casinos (MSS, Cal, Fremont) are somewhere in the middle. Fitzgerald's has low table mins but I don't know about slot hold. Four Queens has the most generous slot club, and table mins are medium-high for downtown. Don't bother with Binion's unless you want to play poker with the local rocks. Plaza and Vegas Club are dead and dying, respectively. And the Nugget has pretensions of being like a fancy-ass Strip megatoilet, with ridiculously high table minimums for downtown, and what has seemed to me to be the tightest slots downtown (their video poker is definitely the worst, which usually means lousy slot returns as well.) Also, forget the Golden Gate or any of the little crud joints like Sassy Sally's.

As far as atmosphere goes, I enjoy MSS (the beer is great, it's relatively quiet, and there's no loud music), Four Queens (kinda noisy, but I like the good variety of decent games), and El Cortez (really!). I absolutely hate Fitzgerald's (LOUD and AWFUL music, and a LOT of smoke), and I dislike Binion's (a shadow of its former self), Vegas Club (clueless employees--I mean, REALLY clueless), and Golden Nugget (pretensions to glory, and overpriced everything).

The current American Casino Guide has about $100 worth of coupons if you want to do a downtown casino crawl.



Yea, I have already picked up an ACG, so I have all those coupons.....I figured that I would take a cab from Bally's to the El Cortez first to gamble, and then walk to Fremont Street for more excitement....
pacomartin
pacomartin
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February 6th, 2011 at 5:56:39 PM permalink
Quote: IAchance5

Yea, I have already picked up an ACG, so I have all those coupons.....I figured that I would take a cab from Bally's to the El Cortez first to gamble, and then walk to Fremont Street for more excitement....



The ACE bus rapid transit is almost as fast as a cab and much cheaper.

Main Street Station and El Cortez are the best for gambling. If you are there in the afternoon try the Chart House bar in Golden Nugget for a drink and good prices on fish snack. It is very $$$ in the evening.
Nareed
Nareed
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February 6th, 2011 at 6:00:31 PM permalink
Quote: pacomartin

The ACE bus rapid transit is almost as fast as a cab and much cheaper.



Provided traffic on the Strip is light.

BTW How safe is it to walk from the Fremont Street Experience to the Cortez in the day time?
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Wavy70
Wavy70
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February 6th, 2011 at 6:05:04 PM permalink
Quote: Nareed

BTW How safe is it to walk from the Fremont Street Experience to the Cortez in the day time?



Quite safe day or night. The El Cortez always has a security guard outside and the block between now has several bars most w doormen out front.
I have a bewitched egg that I use to play VP with and I have net over 900k with it.
IAchance5
IAchance5
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February 6th, 2011 at 7:03:41 PM permalink
Quote: Wavy70

Quite safe day or night. The El Cortez always has a security guard outside and the block between now has several bars most w doormen out front.



Is it just one block away? It can't be that bad huh....?
OneAngryDwarf
OneAngryDwarf
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February 6th, 2011 at 8:34:52 PM permalink
I spent some time at Vegas Club on my last trip, and honestly it isn't THAT bad...at least during the day. The slot club representative was pretty friendly and helpful, and gave me my $15 food voucher for slot club points with no trouble. (Apparently, others had reported having some trouble with that.) Tinoco's, the restaurant tucked away at the back, is also a fantastic little gem.

Otherwise, I'd agree with Ted's rankings, although it really depends on what kind of atmosphere you're looking for. For a "classic Vegas" feel, Main Street and El Cortez are by far the best options. For a "party" atmosphere, I actually kind of enjoyed Binion's--true, their blackjack mostly sucks, but they're also the only downtown casino that has craps AND roulette dealt by sexy party pit dealers, and they can be sort of fun to play with.

Can't forget the Gold Spike, either! Only four little BJ tables, but they're also dealt by party pit dealers, and they're actually 3:2 tables, unlike most other places. The bartenders are lots of fun too. It's another good low-rolling party place, but be warned that the walk from Fremont St. doesn't feel quite as safe as the walk to the El Cortez.

I agree with mkl about Fitzgerald's--crowded, dirty, and noisy. Don't recommend it. Plus I had terrible luck playing Spanish 21 there, which I know shouldn't matter, but it still colors my perception. :-)
"I believe I've passed the age/of consciousness and righteous rage/I've found that just surviving was a noble fight... I once believed in causes too/I had my pointless point of view/And life went on no matter who was wrong or right..." --Billy Joel
Nareed
Nareed
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February 6th, 2011 at 8:52:53 PM permalink
Quote: OneAngryDwarf

I spent some time at Vegas Club on my last trip, and honestly it isn't THAT bad...at least during the day.



I went in last trip to get a player card. I didn't stay to look around, or even look up a single VP pay table.

Quote:

I agree with mkl about Fitzgerald's--crowded, dirty, and noisy. Don't recommend it. Plus I had terrible luck playing Spanish 21 there, which I know shouldn't matter, but it still colors my perception. :-)



I had my best session to date there. I bought in 3CP for $50 and got up with $150 not quite an hour later. That was early in the trip, and yet I didn't play there again. go figure.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal

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