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When It Comes To Gambling, Does Location Really Matter?

August 29, 2012 at 5:22 PM | by | ()

We know that everyone wants the games with the best odds in the casino, whether it's tables or machines. With that said, would you rather play a game with the best odds in a bad location or would you rather play a game with worse odds in a location you like?

This writer comes across this scenario pretty often as you might imagine. The best video poker games at Red Rock are located as the first bank of machines next to the doors. This location stinks. Every time someone walks in or out of the casino there's either a cold burst or hot burst of air. Besides possibly getting sick from the constant temperature changes, it's not the most comfortable location in the casino.

There was a similar scene at Planet Hollywood. While the selection of video poker games aren't the best there, there are plenty of machines that have 98-99% and above returns. However, when walking through the sportsbook bar, we noticed that they had one of our favorite summer beers, Leinenkugel's Sunset Wheat, on draft. Since this beer is on draft, it wouldn't be available in the casino so we sat down for a few beers and played some 6/5 Bonus Poker (96% return). We have our needs.

This isn't only the case with video poker. Generally, we stay away from the poor paying party pits, too. But, not always. Yes, we want to win when gambling, but we don't live by that mantra. It's rarely worth it to us to get a 1% edge in a game if it takes us somewhere we don't want to be. We typically gamble with friends so we can have a fun time out. But, lately, when alone with no friends distraction, we gamble more seriously and play higher denominations and games with better odds.

Does it matter where you play? Will you play worse odds in lieu of a better location? Let us know in the comments.

(PHOTO: Red Rock Casino on Foursquare)

Archived Comments:


Great Wisconsin Beer!  

I think it all depends on what type of expierence you're looking for.  The people who gamble at PH are doing so for the party atmosphere vs the Gambling.  If it were just gambling, they could go anywhere...

We have gambling in Iowa... You could gamble here, its purely for gambling and not a vegas expierence, at all.

But we have Leinies Sunset Wheat and Summer Shandy on tap...


I love the wheat as much as I hate the Shandy. Haha.

Worth It For The Beer

LVA did a study and noted that even if you aren't paying perfect strategy or even if you have to pay a lower payout machine, it is still far cheaper (on average) to play for comped beer.

So if you were going to play anyway and you really have your heart set on a certain kind of beer -- or the atmosphere of a certain bar -- probably worth it to take the hit.

I personally can't stand short-pay machines, period. I don't play VP machines on the casino floor because you get more booze more quickly at the bar. Also, there is often a game on that I want to occasionally look up and check the score of, which is a perfect way to slow down your play if you need be (by watching a few plays of the game).

If I'm at a bar with a really great atmosphere, I'll pay for me beer and soak up the good time.

For example downtown: I'll pay for the beer at The D downstairs to enjoy the party pit atmosphere. I'll play VP upstairs where the pay tables are nearly 100%.

I will happily...

play 7/5 Jacks or Better video poker for the terrific cocktails at Book & Stage in The Cosmopolitan. Knocking back three is fairly easy, and would be about a $40 bar tab otherwise.


Nothing wrong with that. Although it's a bar, that's how I do it at Mob Bar. I experiment with $15 drinks I'd never pay for. Haha. I think they have 9/5 JoB there. Not bad!

Casino Royale/IP

I used to go play my video keno, etc at casino royale for the margaritas. Id also play at the old IP for the keno built into the bar. Neither has the things i liked about em anymore, so they lost my business. I play the bar Keno at Monte Carlo now, and use my express comps for frozen margaritas at NYNY. So yes, drinks and atmosphere factor in, for me at least.