With the closing of Billís Gambling Hall for a year-long renovation and rebranding, there arenít many friendly, low roller casinos left on the Strip. Casino Royale is one of the last in a dying breed. Stuck right between Harrahís and Venetian, Casino Royale may be known more for cheap drinks than anything else at this point. At any time, you can walk up to the bar and select a Michelob or a frozen margarita for a dollar. Within a half mile or so down The Strip, it isnít uncommon to see people with armfuls of those Michelobs. Casino Royale is their source.
You can find most of the same slot machines and video poker variants here that you can in the higher-end casinos, including popular Aladdin, Dark Knight, and Hangover machines. The video screen outside advertises 99% payback video poker. Casino Royale, at one time, offered the best craps odds on The Strip as seen in this picture of the top of their parking garage.
While we were in the casino, they were spreading 20X odds with a $3 bet. On the weekends, the minimum bet raises to $5 and they still accept 100X odds behind. Casino Royale was also the first casino in America to feature Blackjack Switch, a game that is popular in many other casinos, and is still featured prominently on the dive casino's floor.
Stay away from the free spin offer in the front of the casino, though. Everyone wins some form of free play that can only be played on promotional machines. A certain score must be attained before cash is paid out. We abandoned the machine full of credits after 20 minutes of uneventful button mashing.
Casino Royaleís hotel is a Best Western Plus. Current weekday rates are about $79 a night so we would recommend staying elsewhere, but taking advantage of the friendlier odds.
One of our favorite Las Vegas traditions was born on a layover on our first trip to Sin City. While waiting for our connecting flight in Phoenix, this writer paired a beer with a Cinnabon and called it Gambling Fuel. At Casino Royale, we still make this magical meal happen. A full food court also other choices including Subway (open 24/7), Noble Romanís Pizza, and $1.99 foot-long hot dogs. A 24/7 Denny's is also among the dining options on-site.
For those that prefer pajama pants to True Religion jeans and target tee shirts to Affliction gear, Casino Royale might be the Strip casino for you. Our advice? fuel up with a Cinnabon and a Michelob. Enjoy the weird, mirrored ceilings and winnable hot rods. And, take advantage of those generous craps odds.
(PHOTOS: Casino Royale on Foursquare)