First off, Indiana Live! is a racino. It is located at Indiana Downs, right off of I-74. The last time I drove down the stretch, I recall the horsetrack and it looked pretty dilapidated. This is no longer the case. Live! is very colorful building with a huge parking deck right in front. I think if I had designed the property, I probably would have moved the parking deck so as to know be quite as obtrusive, but I'm not an engineer or architect.
When you first get in, there are security guards who have a handheld ID scanner. I found that to be interested, as usually it is in a big booth that takes up a lot of room. The casino is very colorful and quite airy for being in the Midwest.
While Indiana has traditional gaming on riverboats, the racinos are only allowed to have electronic gaming devices. Slot machines take up more than 90% of the floor. There is some VP, but I forgot to look at paytables. I would guess they are probably the worst available, but sometimes these types of places surprise you.
The table games "pits" (there are two) have a mixture of Shufflemaster BJ tables without the dealer screen (which is kind of nice), and another table with a dealer who stands and basically high-fives players as the machine does all the work. It's on a timer, so the "dealer" really looks stupid just standing there. More interesting, in the center where there would normally be a computer and comp station, there is a bar. You have to pay for your drinks, but I'm going to guess that your tool (dealer) can grab you a cold one. It's not like they do anything anyways... and I think they even had a tip box. Ridiculous...
The other pit as a 3-card table (40-30-5-4-1) and a LIR (I didn't see what was up with those paytables). I played two hands of 3-card. The first hand was a fold, the second 3-of-a-kind, so I decided to quit while I was ahead. I've been pretty lucky on those tables... I've hit a couple straight flushes... I don't play them all that often though.
I wanted to play poker in the poker room (all TablePro tables). A tournament was starting at 6:30, and apparently they don't call your name when you get a seat. It just pops up on a screen and directs you to a table. The game choices overall are impressive, but they only had 1-2 NL going on that night. The "stacks" were big, and there was one guy who dumped 700. They do have a Bad Beat Jackpot, AAAKK gets beat. However, the rake on the table was $5 (or 10% up to 50, raking to the quarter)!!! I know those tables are probably expensive to operate and maintain, but I'm guessing they rent them from the company. For not having any cards, chips, dealers, etc, to rake $5+1 is theft. AND, to top it off, they have an option called "Rabbit Hunting" which will tell you what the remaining cards would have been if you don't see them all. The table was playing pretty tight, so there were a lot of hands that never got to the river. I decided to check one, and it said it was $.50 to see the remaining cards. Highway robbery if you ask me... and the guy to my right was checking nearly every hand. Regardless, I caught a couple good hands, and ended up about 200.
They also have electronic roulette (which I of course did not play), and electronic craps, which I tried. The 10 second betting time frame is simply not long enough on craps, especially if it's your first time on the machines. It offers 3-4-5 odds, and it actually encourages you to take them after the point is set, which is nice. It also had an option to Buy every number, including the 6 and 8. I'm not sure how that would work, but I think that's what the guy next to me was doing. Unfortunately, the "table" was cold, so I lost a bit there, but I was overall up for the trip, so no complaints.
Restaurant offerings: A buffet, a cafe, and soon to be NASCAR cafe that looks really really cool. I'd be surprised if there were any other offerings.
The players club had some nice coupons if you make multiple trips to the joint. It also had some Entertainment coupons in there for outside businesses; for a funbook (where they never exist in the Midwest), it was actually a very nice touch.
Overall, I had a pleasant experience at the casino, but that was due to the fact that I won big on the poker table. I will most likely never go there again, as it seems they are just robbing players right and left.
Thanks. I have not seen these particular tables in action. Do they have the feature where your hole cards are revealed when you cup your hand on the touch screen? Also, how are rebuys handled? Can you simply put bills in, ala TITO on the slot machines, or do you have to, "recharge" a debit card at the cage?
These particular screens were very sensitive, so merely touching the screen showed the hole cards (I found this feature a bit unsettling). At other places I have played you have to apply some pressure around the "cards" before the come up.
The table does not feature any money changers. You have to reload via the cashier, using a debit-style pin number on your card. The process is kind of slow, but it's much safer and prevents collusion of getting easy money off a table. You can load however much you want on the card, and withdraw any amount onto the table. If you played there a lot, and had a fluid bankroll, you could just keep your dollars loaded on the card and upload at your own convenience, without needing the cashier. I personally "bought-in" for 300, and put 200 on the table, keeping 100 in reserve.