The Excalibur is one of the two unimpressive MGM properties (the other one, oddly similar, being Circus Circus). It is located on the southwest corner of the intersection of the Strip and Tropicana. The casino is loosely based on a medieval/Arthurian theme. It appears to target budget gamblers, especially those who want to bring their children with them to Vegas. There is an area called the Fantasy Faire on the lower level, which offers lots of carnival favorites such as water-pistol horse racing.
According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the Excalibur has 81 table games and approximately 1,500 slot machines.
According to the Current Blackjack Newsletter, Excalibur has 9 tables of 6:5 "blackjack", 2 tables of Spanish Blackjack, and 22 tables of 3:2 blackjack. I also saw a table of 7:5 blackjack in the Party Pit. Minimum bets range from $5 to $25, depending on the table, time of day, and day of the week.
Only American (double-zero) roulette is offered at Excalibur.
The Craps tables at Excalibur offer the strip-standard 3x-4x-5x odds, and full-pay hop bets of 15:1 and 30:1. The field bet, however, is the short-pay version with both the 2 and 12 paying double.
The Excalibur offers lots of carnival games. Here are some of the games observed:
Unlike every other casino I have played Pai Gow Poker at, the Excalibur does not let you "surrender" your hand. For example, if your hand was an Ace-high "Pai Gow", and the dealer split Two Pair, you know your hand lost. Most casinos will let you "surrender" by placing your 5-card hand on top of your 2-card hand. It is actually in the casino's interest to allow this, since it can speed up the gameplay slightly. However, when I attempted to surrender a losing hand at the Excalibur, I was sharply scolded by the dealer that she must reveal my cards for the camera to see. Keep this in mind if you play Pai Gow Poker at Excalibur.
Most casinos offering Pai Gow Poker use an electronic device to determine who gets the first pack of cards. At the Excalibur, they use a dice shaker as is used in regular Pai Gow. When you bank, you get to shake the dice.
vpFREE2 confirms my own finding, which is that the video poker at Excalibur is very poor. The best game is 9/6 Double Double Bonus (98.98%), which can be found for nickels, dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and dollars. Some of the quarter machines have a progressive jackpot for a Royal Flush. There are also some 1-2-3-4-4-9-15-25-200-800 Deuces Wild machines (sometimes called Illinois Deuces or Airport Deuces, returning 98.91%) scattered around the snack bar.
Slot tickets at Excalibur expire after 1 month (approximately 30 days).
The sports book at Excalibur has 5 betting windows. There are 13 tables, 25 cubicles, and 68 lounge seats. There is one huge screen, 12 small widescreens, and 12 small square screens. Race and sports tickets expire after 120 days.
The poker "room" at Excalibur has 12 non-smoking electronic PokerPro tables. It is not so much a poker room, but more of a fenced-in area in one section of the casino. My notes on the rake deducted from each pot were ambiguous, but I believe that the rake is the usual 10% up to $4, with an additional $1 deducted from pots of $20 or more, which I believe goes towards the licensing fee of the table itself from PokerTek, the supplier of PokerPro tables.
Update: The electronic tables have since been replaced with standard, human-dealt poker tables.
I picked up a keno booklet while eating at the Sherwood Forest Café. There are many types of keno offered. Here are the returns for the payouts that were in effect in June 2009:
For the Standard Keno, the following bet ranges are available:
As the number of spots chosen, number of matches, and bet size increase, the returns decrease due to capping the top prizes at $100,000. The worst-case scenario, betting $20 on a 15-spot ticket, loses an additional 0.5509% due to capping.
|4, 5, 6-Spot Specials|
The 4-spot, 5-spot and 6-spot specials appear to only be available for bets of $3.50, $7, or $14.
|All or Nothing Specials|
The All or Nothing specials appear to only be available for bets of $5.
|Red Hot Keno Special|
Red Hot Keno Specials appear to only be available for bets of $2.
|Red Hot "On The Go" Specials|
Red Hot "On The Go" Specials appear to only be available for bets of $2, and you must purchase at least 31 games.
|Miscellaneous Keno Bets|
|16-Spot $5 Ticket Special||0.706184|
|20-Spot $5 Ticket Special||0.706406|
|“Merlin's Magical Keno Kube” $5 Ticket||0.722252|
|Top/Bottom $5 Ticket||0.714033|
|Left/Right $5 Ticket||0.714033|
Overall, the best bet (which is hardly a good bet) is the 3-spot Red Hot "On The Go" bet, with a house edge of 19.8698%.
The player's club is the MGM Mirage player's club. Both the player's club and the cashier have a single line that leads to several windows, ensuring that everyone is taken care of on a first-come first-served basis.
Towards the beginning of my 2-night stay at Excalibur, I spent more time playing Pai Gow at nearby Mandalay Bay than I spent playing at Excalibur. The day before I checked out, I asked an employee at the player's club if play at Mandalay Bay counted towards my comps at Excalibur. I was told that it did not. So I put in about 1 hour of play betting $25 on double-deck blackjack, and 2 hours of play betting $25 on Pai Gow Poker.
When I checked out in the morning, I asked the person collecting room keys about getting my stay comped. He barked at me that I had to go next door, inside an office with glass doors, to ask about that. I don't know if he was having a bad day or if too many people had already asked him that question. In any event, I went inside the office and asked the clerk the same question. She was very pleasant and comped my 2 nights without hesitation. The total cost of the room was $222.36 with tax. I have a hard time believing that my small amount of play at Excalibur warranted both nights being comped. Therefore, I think play at other MGM casinos does in fact count, as long as you put in some play at the casino you are staying at.
My hotel room was located high up on the second floor, with a breathtaking view of the backside of the neighboring building, as well as the gravel and air conditioning units on the ground. I would rate the room itself as average; there are better places and there are worse. The bed area itself was rather large. The total size of the room was approximately 337 square feet (27.5' by 12.25'). I chose a room with a king-sized bed.
When I checked in to my hotel room, I received a yellow sheet of paper with the following coupons:
The pool at Excalibur has a secluded feel to it, thanks to the large rocks surrounding it. The rocks have water rushing down them, and the palm trees in front of them add a nice touch. It almost seems out of place, or too nice, for the casino that it belongs to.
There are lots of medieval-themed places with quick eats at Excalibur:
Excalibur seems like an ideal place for the budget-conscious family with young kids. If you don't particularly enjoy screaming kids, there are better places to spend your time and money.
The Wizard would like to thank Nikkia Carter for her modeling services and J.B. for the review.
Address: 3850 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Web site: excalibur.com
|Blackjack||Location||Decks||Min||Max||Soft 17||DA||DAS||RSA||Surr||Tables||CSM||Party Pit||6/5 BJ||Video||H. Edge|
|Miscellaneous||# of Tables||Min Bet||Max Bet|
|Poker variants||# of Tables||Min Bet||Max Bet|
|Crazy 4 Poker||1||10||200|
|Let It Ride||1||5||200|
|Pai Gow Poker||1||10||1000|
|Texas Hold'em Bonus||1||10||200|
|Three Card Poker||2||5||500|
|Craps||# of Tables||Min Bet||Max Bet||Odds||Field12||Video|
|Roulette||# of Tables||Min Bet||Max Bet||Rules||Video|
|Video Poker||Rank||Avg Return||Grade|
|Video Keno||Rank||Avg Return||Grade|