Located on Boulder Highway, approximately eight miles from the Las Vegas Strip, is a small casino known as the Longhorn Casino & Hotel. While the casino may be less than ten miles from the glitz & glamour of the Las Vegas Strip, it is many metaphorical miles away in terms of the opulence, or lack thereof. For this reason, it is not for everyone, but for those who are seeking a good gamble, inexpensive place to stay, and don’t mind the comparatively bland atmosphere, there are definitely worse places to visit.
Location and Ownership:
The Longhorn Casino is largely a locals establishment located on Boulder Highway, far from the monolithic casinos of the Las Vegas Strip. In terms of the overall ambiance, the Longhorn even pales in comparison to casinos in Downtown Las Vegas, and certainly in terms of size. For those who haven’t been to the Longhorn Casino, but have been Downtown, it is perhaps easiest to just imagine a much smaller and even more dimly lit Fremont or Binion’s. For those of you who have been to Ellis Island, with respect to ambiance, this is almost the same thing.
The casino is privately owned, and upon calling the establishment, I was able to gather that there are three individuals who make up the ownership group.
The location is not that bad as it is extremely convenient to two much larger casinos, Eastside Cannery and Sam’s Town. Both of those casinos are significantly larger and more aesthetically appealing than the Longhorn, but for anyone looking for a decent gamble, the Longhorn is a pretty good choice.
The Longhorn Casino does not offer very many games at all, but that is mainly because it is such a small establishment. Upon speaking with the Floor Manager, the best approximation of how many slot machines they have was, “I think about 200,” so that’s what we’re going with here. Having been there and looked around, that seems to be a reasonable enough estimate.
Given the limited size of the casino, it should come as no surprise that neither poker or live Keno are offered. The casino is home to a William Hill Sports Book location that is open daily, furthermore, they also have a betting kiosk giving players the access to make bets through the William Hill Sports Book 24/7.
In terms of Table Games, the only Table Game offered is Blackjack, but the Blackjack is one of the best games in town. There are three total tables, and at least one table is guaranteed to have a $2 minimum at all times, as of the time of this writing. The blackjack game is quite liberal and offers one of the most interesting rules out there in that a player may double on any two or three cards. The possibility to double on three does not come up frequently, but it is certainly a fun twist to be able to do so when one has the chance and it is the proper play!
Don’t think for a second that the Longhorn hits their players with bad rules to make up for this fact. Players are able to resplit to an unlimited number of hands, with exception to aces, which may be split twice to a total of three hands. However, the, ‘Double on three,’ rule does not apply to splits, players may only double on the first two cards (of the new hand) after splitting. The casino also allows surrender.
The only Video Poker game that VPFree2 deems worthy of mentioning is what they refer to as, ‘LV Airport/Illinois Deuces,’ which is a 800-200-25-9-4-4-3-2-1 paytable. The game returns 98.91% with Optimal Strategy and is perhaps better known as, ‘Ugly Ducks Deuces Wild.’ I can confirm that the game was there the last time I was, but it should be noted that was over a year ago.
The Longhorn is pretty generous with Video Poker promotions, however. For example, for December of 2016 the offer is $4.00 Free Play for any Natural Four-of-a-Kind with a ten-coin bet on nickels, dimes and twenty cents. For quarters or fifty cents, if a player is betting five credits, then the player will get $10.00 free play for a Natural Quad. $1.00 players win $20.00 free play while $2.00 players win $40.00 free play. If all of the paytables were equal for these denominations, (which I don’t know) single-line quarters would have the most value for this promotion as it is eight times the amount bet.
Given its status as a locals place first and foremost, as with many other locals places, The Longhorn tends to run several of these sorts of promotions, and the savvy advantage player can often find value in them. For instance, I discovered another promotion they are running on a non Video Poker game that I told a few of my friends about which could be worth $20-$45 per hour depending on the specific conditions.
As of the time of this writing, the Longhorn also hosts a Blackjack tournament every day (except Sundays and Thursdays) with a $10 buy-in ($20 on Saturdays). The Longhorn returns 100% of the entry fees to its players as prices.
The Property & Chuckwagon Restaurant:
Once again, the property is a far cry from the opulence of The Strip, but one thing that cannot be argued is that the players are getting a much better gamble. The front of the building has a Western theme with a prominent brown bull and other types of cattle and livestock in black on either side of it. The left front of the building near ground level usually advertises the Players Club in some way while the right side of the building near ground level advertises the restaurant located within the establishment.
Facing the building, one might even think the hotel is unconnected or belongs to a different property, it does not appear (from the front) to necessarily be directly connected to the casino. As of the time of this writing, the Chuckwagon Restaurant usually runs either a $3.99 special on chicken-fried steak, two eggs and hash browns, or a $4.99 special on a, ‘Giant Ham Steak and Eggs.’ The other items at the restaurant are very reasonably priced, and the food is pretty good.
The rooms at the Longhorn Casino are pretty basic, but clean. The rooms all come equipped with a flat-screen TV and a refrigerator. Additionally, as of the time of this writing, upon checking-in guests will receive a $5.00 Match Play Coupon, a Free Ace coupon for the Blackjack Table as well as a free drink coupon. Longhorn states that this coupon book has a value of $24, so I must assume that the Free Ace can be played at a bet greater than $5.00, either that, or the assumed drink price is extremely expensive!
The hotel at the Longhorn contains 150 rooms, and until recently, it was actually a Super 8 franchise. At the time of this writing, it is operated by the casino and functions as an independent hotel. The hotel also has a small outdoor pool and hot tub that is open during the season.
Bigshot Players Club:
The Bigshot Players Club could not be simpler, $1.00 coin-in equals one point. 400 points can be redeemed for $1.00 food/beverage credit in the restaurant and 500 points convert to $1.00 in cash, (0.2%) though cash redemptions must be made in $5.00 increments.
Bigshot Members, as of the time of this writing, earn 2x points.
The Longhorn Casino is a locals casino first and foremost, but it offers a ton of little promotions, many of which are potentially beatable by AP’s. While many of these promotions may seem like small potatoes, under the right conditions, some of them are worth in excess of $20/hour.
For those of you who enjoy the glitz and glamour of The Strip, both the atmosphere, and some would say, the clientele, are the precise opposite of that. For those of you out there who enjoy a good gamble, particularly Blackjack players who love getting a good deal, it’s tough to beat the value offered by the Longhorn Casino.
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