Malaru
Malaru
Joined: Mar 22, 2010
  • Threads: 79
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February 24th, 2013 at 11:56:55 AM permalink
I had this in my blog- its just a post to the forums as one person asked where it was- I don't know if most people see the blogs or not. So just for convenience...
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I enjoyed this trip much more then I anticipated. Overall it was just a nice enjoyable experience.

First a few updates since the last time I had been there- which has been a few years. Its a bit more general casino/Vegas feel to it now. I don't know how they got around for getting approval for the games but there is more then just card games now. There are automated sic bo, craps, roulette- actually ball/dice being used, just inside a machine that bounces/rolls them. The roulette is american style. I didn't check on odds for craps. They now have an Asian section with Asia poker, pai gow poker, pai gow tiles, baccarat, blackjack, and some VERY LOUD slot machines- there was actually a good deal of complaints from those particular slots. It is right next to a high limit table area which has a few new things such as 2 deck hand pitch BJ. OK rules, but no mid-show entry (I can understand this on a two deck). They finally actually have $5 BJ tables most other tables of any type are $15 (I think Let it Ride was $10)- and pai gow variations were $20 minimum. Mainly do to the 5% commission. The $5 BJ tables are the only ones that are 6:5 - all others, even the $15 ones were still 3:2 so I was pleasantly surprised for that. The poker room had a good variety going on- including a very affordable 3-6 Omaha hi/low, and a 1-5 spread 7 card. They added BJ switch, & Spanish 21- the Spanish 21 seemed to have all the generally accepted rules and was more friendly then I figured they would make it. The traditional BJ tables still do not allow surrender.

They are a good bit bigger in size with three main casino areas. One towards the back center of the facility, one to the left and one to the right if your standing in the main entrance. I think they are a little high in slots to table games- but I suppose most places are. A few of the tables had additional side wagers added since the last time I was there (3-card now has the 6-card hand bet for example)- the $5 BJ tables had a wheel of fortune style side bet- for $1 if you got BJ you got to spin it for between $10 and the Jackpot (when I was there the JP was $6,xxx)- if you were dealt an Ace you got even money on that side bet.

I enjoyed the Hard Rock Cafe's food- and only regret was I couldn't use more of my free food offer then what I did- but after appetizer and 10oz legend burger I was FULL. I highly recommend the legend burger at any hard rock cafe They also have an 8oz version. Soft drinks are now free (which is a welcome change for someone like me who don't drink alcohol on more then a rare basis). And their glasses are full size- a can of coke per order so it was nice to get that too, not just a half-size cup like a lot of places use.

-------------------- My own play/experiences---------

I was slow in getting much play in because I was looking around looking at changes and watching some others play. I didn't have much in way of cash to use either as I was taking freebies for most of the trip. Early on I used my $50 in free slot play and got $35 in return for it (I expected 37-38- so about right). About an hour after i got off one slot machine a guy sitting there won the $2,000 wheel spin jackpot. -sigh-. I used my $50 BJ voucher on a table with an auto shuffler since in theory it helps basic strategy. I stayed on a hard 14 when dealer showed a 6- the other card was a 5 and here came a jack. Oh well. I started to move on to the Asian room and stopped ot watch a guy who was just having a great time (fun, and good run, and just one of those charismatic guys who are plain nice) he was at a $50-2,500 BJ table with a couple stacks of black and a couple $500 chips and was betting a hand full at a time, or sometimes half a handful. He was on a bit of a streak. Said he started with $1,000. Occasionally he would tip the dealer $100 and when a waitress game him something she got $100. After a particularly large bet (as many $100 he could get in one hand- which I estimated to be right at the $2,500 limit) he won and even gave me $100 as I was only other person at table and just cheering him on. So that was great. When he was done and ready to go he colored up for 6 $1,000 orange chips. And I was $100 richer for watching lol.

I continued on my way to the Asian room and sat down to watch pai gow tiles. All the practice I put on this site I was still honestly intimidated to play so I just watched for a bit- there was a friendly Asian guy next to me who would show me what he had and then there was a not so friendly much older Asian woman on other side of table who didn't even want me sitting there (the bad luck whitey deal?) After watching for a while I left it alone for the time being and went to the pai gow poker table where I had a decent run- the dealer never game himself pai gow but somehow I didn't loose but one hand and won a couple. Got the bonus several times- just decent hands being made all around. After some time and as it was getting late I went back to the tiles table and it was booked full on the $20 table and walked to other side where there was an empty table with a dealer just waiting.. it was a $40 minimum. I called the pit over and said "That $20 is full and this table has nobody, if you'll lower it $20 since I'm trying to learn anyhow Ill be here a while.. common the other table is full and nobody is sitting here" .. he did it for me.. first time I ever talked someone into lowering a table limit lol. The dealer was very friendly and helpful. One piece of advice they gave me that I don't recall seeing on the site is that when you don't have anything- no pair, no gong, no wong, anything- to just line up the tiles from low to high in value and pair the middle two together so you get a fairly balanced hand. I liked this short cut, but I wasn't so sure I was using it to the best advantage. like a 7/7 I could see using this- but when I had options of say 0/8 vs 3/4 don't I want to use the 0/8? ... I didn't mind not playing good strategy as my objective was just to get some play in and experience and learn. And i can tell you I am officially addicted to the game now. Had a great time sitting there- even when loosing to some really tough dealer hands- who was on a hell of a roll (such as high-pair/wong). I loved playing, and one thing Id do to test myself while sitting there was to put the tiles together how i thought they would go and then ask for house way and about half the time they would keep it the way I had it.. a couple times they advised changing to put a higher tile on this side or that side).

I was amazed a couple times by how fast some of the Asian players would put their hands together- like reading all the combinations in 3 seconds and done. I was almost always last at table to get the tiles back down. A couple times I was a little confused and asked for the house way straight out- but that gave me some tips and when my table did get a couple other players at it - the other players didn't seem to mind. I just had bad luck at the table.. one hand I had a high pair (the 12's) and 9 and still lost. the dealer had gee-joon/with a copy of the 9 I had. Ouch.

When i got down to $40 I got up and went to play some poker. I played 2-4 limit poker- and spent about 2.5 hours in the poker room and left up to $115.

I got there at about 3pm and left at 2:30am. I walked in with $100 in free play and $40 in cash and left with $150. Overall experience was great, and as stated I had a much better time then anticipated. Of the 11 hours I was there about 40 minutes was spent eating, and about 2 hours watching others, and about an hour and a half wondering around noting all the new things and changes. I estimated I spent about 8 hours playing. It was a crowded typical Friday night ordeal.. and I had one point where I REALLY REALLY needed a restroom.. and even the better restrooms were a mess and not much better then what you'd find in a Walmart.. but I did find a private restroom in the high roller room where I was playing the Asian section (funny how the two are combined, I have noted that in general Asians seem to have deep pockets when they are here). that was a single-person room, nice soft towels for drying your hands ordeal. And it was almost hidden as if not to be noticed/known to the general public. This was a greatly appreciated find. LMAO. The world for a nice clean private restroom!
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I know that the Seminole casinos have been getting a bad rap for those who are accustomed to areas with lots of casinos around- but it has vastly improved over as recently as two years ago.
"Although men flatter themselves with their great actions, they are not so often the result of a great design as of chance." - Francois De La Rochefoucauld
DeMango
DeMango
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
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February 24th, 2013 at 4:05:52 PM permalink
No craps table. End of discussion.
When a rock is thrown into a pack of dogs, the one that yells the loudest is the one who got hit.
Malaru
Malaru
Joined: Mar 22, 2010
  • Threads: 79
  • Posts: 274
February 24th, 2013 at 4:31:03 PM permalink
They had an automated craps... (not to be confused with electronic) - the dice would roll about and Id imagine it would be random- no reason for it not to be.

Not exact- but very similar to this one. Without the annoying high pitched girls voice if I recall correctly.

http://youtu.be/Fs6_fvBZ0_k


but yes, its not true craps by any means of the imagination. ;)
"Although men flatter themselves with their great actions, they are not so often the result of a great design as of chance." - Francois De La Rochefoucauld
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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February 25th, 2013 at 6:10:13 AM permalink
Quote: Malaru

I know that the Seminole casinos have been getting a bad rap for those who are accustomed to areas with lots of casinos around- but it has vastly improved over as recently as two years ago.

Agreed. The Distance to Vegas is getting longer... time and airport rigors make people look close by now, no matter what they might prefer to do.

The Seminoles have largely improved their offerings by building and by having hired people with experience from other casinos such as Biloxi, Tunica and Atlantic City.

As to Craps.... yeah, it sure ain't craps. Man that is absolutely certain. However, its as close as the law allows in Florida and if you don't want an Evening's cruise into International Waters then the law does not allow you to roll the bones yourself. However the pace of the electronic game is slow enough that it makes up for there being no real craps table. Did they have those signs about lose your first hundred dollars at craps and we will give it back to you? You have to link your drivers license to your players club card now. Hard Rock Fort Lauderdale was making a big thing about it. Since the nearest boat to Tampa is the TradeWinds and it offers only 2x craps with a low maximum bet, I think the Electronic Craps at Tampa Hard Rock is a very good deal for the bettor.

A bit of a maze? Yeah, learn the layout for sure. Alot has changed. Asian players... they are often of very great value now and casinos seem to reap a profit from these Asian Rooms or Asian Alcoves and the unpronounceable Asian named cafes. I played Mini Bacc in Biloxi in the Asian Room because locating the table there caused to get the casino quite alot of action on it. No Sic Bo or PGP-TILES for me though.

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