silversonic2006
silversonic2006
Joined: May 12, 2010
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August 3rd, 2012 at 5:12:00 PM permalink
I recently went on a trip to Aruba...most hotel/resorts have a casino. Here's what I saw, in case anyone is curious:

I would say the casinos are bigger than a cruise ship but smaller than anything in Las Vegas, save maybe the Golden Gate. I would say most have about 20 table games and around 300-500 slot machines. Casinos in Aruba are a place to pass the time in the evening, after lounging around on the beach and having dinner. They are mostly dead quiet until dinner time (no open tables, few people playing on slots).

As for table games, most casinos focus on blackjack, roulette, and poker mutants (3 card, Ultimate Texas Hold Em, Caribbean Stud). Most had one craps table, usually prominently placed, but I was never around late enough at any casino except the one at my hotel to see if it did open up at night. Live poker is pretty much non-existent.

Roulette: It's American 00 wheels everywhere I saw. Minimums were $5 or less. I would assume it's also American style in that you lose everything on even money bets when 0 or 00 appears.

Blackjack: Just like in Las Vegas, the rules vary based upon the establishment. Generally speaking, all casinos were 3:2, dealer hits soft 17. I stayed at the Crystal Casino, where split to 4 hands allowed, double after split allowed, no resplitting aces, no surrender. It's not the best game you'll find in the US, especially in the Mid Atlantic region where it's S17 by law in PA and DE, but it's also not the worst game either. Some games were CSM, games at Crystal Casino were hand shuffle, either 6 or 8 decks. Dealers deal EXTREMELY fast here. Also, in some casinos, the dealer takes a hole card and peeks, and at the Crystal Casino the dealer did not take a hole card. At Crystal, if the dealer got blackjack, only the initial bets lost; split and double down bets were returned, so I'm not sure what taking no hole card accomplishes. Minimums were $10 or $25, and I didn't see any better rules at the $25 tables.

Craps: I only saw craps in action at Crystal Casino, and it never really got a lot of players at once. $5 minimums, 2X odds. The dealer wears a mike so you can really hear the rolls loudly. The table I saw did have the Big 6/Big 8 bet.

Slots: Mostly penny slots, and mostly video machines. Most casinos did not have licensed themes, except Stellaris which did have Wheel of Fortune slots. The highest denomination I saw $5/coin, and those were the classic IGT 3-reel machines.

Baccarat: Crystal Casino did have mini baccarat open at night, with $10 minimum and $300 max. The table was a 7 seat blackjack style table, not the oversized midi-style table. This table was absolutely hopping once it got going, with the pit bosses allowing as many players as could squeeze in to play. Many players were betting at least $50-$100 a hand, all the way up to table max. Tie payed 8:1. When the action got particularly intense, there were pit bosses on either end of the table, verifying the commissions and payouts on each hand. Interestingly, they hand shuffled this game, and the dealer did do the elaborate shuffling ritual (blackjack style shuffle, lace half the cards into the other half, player cuts the cards, dealer re-cuts the cards, dealer plucks about 20 cards off the end to place the cut card exactly, and does the burn). Considering blackjack had the same or higher minimum, craps was pretty dead, and the game moved really slow with all the commissions, this was definitely a more exciting place to play.

So that's Aruba gaming, in case anyone wanted to know.
bigpete88
bigpete88
Joined: Mar 8, 2011
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August 3rd, 2012 at 5:18:55 PM permalink
Is the Holiday Inn still there with the casino? I was there a long time ago. 1978. They had a craps table then. Great trip!!
EvenBob
EvenBob
Joined: Jul 18, 2010
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August 3rd, 2012 at 5:21:01 PM permalink
What nationality were the players? A lot of Americans
and Europeans?
"It's not enough to succeed, your friends must fail." Gore Vidal
silversonic2006
silversonic2006
Joined: May 12, 2010
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August 3rd, 2012 at 5:32:24 PM permalink
I'd say that's fair way to describe it. A lot of Americans, as well as some Europeans and locals. Baccarat was mostly Asian, although I believe they were locals judging by the fact they spoke Papiamento and bought in with the local currency.
silversonic2006
silversonic2006
Joined: May 12, 2010
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August 3rd, 2012 at 5:32:45 PM permalink
Quote: bigpete88

Is the Holiday Inn still there with the casino? I was there a long time ago. 1978. They had a craps table then. Great trip!!



There is a Holiday Inn. I did not see if they had a casino.

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