Tag: video poker

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The SLS Las Vegas Casino Looks Like It Will Live Up To Its Promises

Where: 2535 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
July 24, 2014 at 12:08 AM | by | Comments (10)

SLS Las Vegas opens in a month on August 23 and this gambler gets more and more excited with each bit of news he hears about the casino. And, now I'm hearing SLS could have the most player friendly gaming on The Strip!

Last May when SLS Las Vegas (formerly the Sahara) shared that it wouldn’t open with a poker room (execs will reconsider if there is demand) or a traditional sportsbook, I was slightly concerned about the kind of gaming that might be offered. A combination sportsbook-slash-restaurant sounds like a very modern way to extract revenue as opposed to offering an amenity to guests.

Earlier this year, however, promising details were revealed about the SLS Las Vegas casino itself. I became cautiously optimistic given the tagline, "generous pay tables you love." When details were revealed on Bazaar Casino (an evenings only gaming concept), I was pleased to learn there would be some very playable blackjack games available.

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Why We're Loving TAG At The Quad

Where: 3535 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
July 7, 2014 at 4:35 PM | by | Comments (11)

When corporations write press releases and marketing materials, they often focus on what matters most to them. They're sometimes more concerned with filling a buzzword quota more than focusing on what makes the product, in this case a bar, unique. The first paragraph of the description of TAG Bar at The Quad (soon-to-be The LINQ Hotel) fits that bill and it's not right.

TAG Lounge and Bar in Las Vegas revolutionizes the traditional gaming floor into a state-of-the-art interactive gaming lounge with cutting-edge digital casino games, touchscreen table top gaming units and a unique hologram blackjack table, as well as a beverage list of more than 300 beers and sports from around the world, streaming 24 hours.

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You May Not Be Surprised By The Most Popular Casino Game In The Country

June 30, 2014 at 3:35 PM | by | Comments (6)

The American Gaming Association polls casino visitors every year to to see who they are and what they enjoy. One of our favorite survey questions focuses on what casino games people like to play the most. You can expect some differences than what you'd typically expect to see in Las Vegas since there are more slot machine-only casinos across the country. Here's how it breaks down:

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Downtown Grand Shuffles Its High Limits Rooms

Where: 206 N 3rd St. [map], 89101
May 7, 2014 at 2:13 PM | by | Comments (6)

The High Limits rooms at Downtown Grand have been closed for a couple of weeks for reconfiguring. This isn't a renovation, just some shuffling around. This was probably a good idea as neither room ever appeared busy. Even though the sign still says "888 Baccarat" for now, the room no longer houses baccarat. The 888 Baccarat room is now home to all of the High Limit slot machines and video poker games.

The original High Limit room is now higher limit table games with two mini pits of three tables that form a circle. One half of the six-table pit is baccarat and the other is blackjack. This semi-circle allows players to be more removed from staring at a wall, although that wall is still pretty close. The High Limit room at Downtown Grand is so small -- how small, is it? -- that a wall isn't very far away. In real estate they'd call this "cozy."

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Blackjack At The Cromwell Might Surprise You, But The Rest Of The Casino Won't

Where: 3595 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
April 22, 2014 at 4:33 PM | by | Comments (5)

The Cromwell opened its casino floor Monday afternoon and, boy, did it take us a minute to find a hidden gem! There are two $10 tables that return 3:2 when you are dealt blackjack.

Color this writer surprised that the 3:2 blackjack game we saw over the weekend is available to low limits players. The game is dealt from a shoe and the dealer stands on 17 just like the original picture shows. These are only two of the 66 table games in the casino, but they're definitely worth looking for. Since these tables aren’t in plain view, you may end up at a quiet table. We didn’t see anyone playing this morning and had to ask ourselves before we found it. You'll find them in front of the Drai's construction wall, just to the left of the High Limit nook.

The rest of the gambling is what you’d expect from a Caesars Entertainment property. Here’s a quick breakdown:

Blackjack: $10 minimum, 6:5 blackjack, dealer hits on soft 17; $10 minimum, 3:2 blackjack, dealer stands on 17
Roulette: $10 minimum, double zero
Craps: $5 minimum, 3x-4x-5x odds
Video Poker: 7-5 Jacks or Better (9-6 would be full pay if you’re not familiar with the lingo)

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The SLS Las Vegas Casino Is Promising

April 10, 2014 at 2:30 PM | by | Comments (14)

SLS Las Vegas has revamped their website and revealed some interesting facts about their casino that have us excited for its opening at the end of summer.

Last year, we relayed Sam Nazarian's vision for the SLS sportsbook. He mentioned that it would be operated by an outside company, later revealed as William Hill. He also said that it wouldn’t be a traditional sportsbook, rather it would be a combination sportsbook and bar/restaurant. A place to grab a beer and a burger while watching the game you just bet on. Now, we know the sportsbook will be attached to Umami Burger and a beer garden. Add in some 50 TVs and the concept sounds great. We can’t wait to see it in action!

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Playing Video Poker And Watching TV On Same Screen Now Possible

April 9, 2014 at 6:54 PM | by | Comments (3)

This writer sat down to play a little video poker at Downtown Grand before lunch the other day and noticed something a little different. (I know the video poker pay tables aren’t that great, but I wasn't risking much money.) After inserting the MyPoints players club card, I saw a variety of options from playing in a slot tournament on the same screen as my video poker game to cashing in free play. What really caught my eye was the ability to watch TV on the same screen. I could change channels, but really only ESPN seemed to make much sense on mute.

The option is a really cool feature for playing video poker in the casino, but still being able to keep tabs on a game. Looking a little deeper, I found out that it was made possible through the SYNKROS gaming system by Konami Gaming. This is the casino management system that runs when you insert your players club card into a slot or video poker machine.

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In Nevada, Don't Look For Online Gambling Beyond Poker And Sports

March 28, 2014 at 2:57 PM | by | Comment (1)

One of the many great and strange things about living in Nevada, and specifically Las Vegas, is that you can gamble just about everywhere you turn. Get a carwash and you can play video poker while you wait. Head to a drugstore or supermarket and get the itch to gamble? You can take a break and play some slots. If you’re just grabbing a bite or a drink somewhere, chances are you can sidle up to the bar and gamble, too. If you’re just driving around town, you’ll inevitably pass one of many tiny casinos like the Dotty’s across the street from In n Out Burger on Sahara.

All of the gambling you see in Nevada takes a little getting used to, but after a while you realize that gamblers get the urge to play just about anywhere. At least Nevadans aren’t gambling while dropping the kids off at the pool like 42% of online gamblers do in New Jersey. (At least, we don't think...) This is different than other states that have legalized all types of online gambling. In New Jersey, you can play online blackjack or slots anywhere, but you can only gamble at a land-based casino in one town (Atlantic City). Since gambling is so ubiquitous in Nevada, online gambling has been limited to just poker.

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Gambling Now Everywhere At Cosmo

Where: 3708 Las Vegas Blvd S. [map], 89109
March 27, 2014 at 12:05 PM | by | Comments (10)

Ever since it opened in December of 2010, The Cosmopolitan has been known for not getting gamblers. Despite having beautiful hotel rooms and suites, great fried chicken (among other excellent dining options) and being home to a nightclub that brings in some of the most money in the country, the Cosmo has continued to lose revenue. That's slowly changing as losses for the Cosmopolitan have lessened over the past year and a new focus on gamblers has begun. In fact, casino revenues increased 25% in 2013 from 2012.

Casino changes at Cosmopolitan haven’t been subtle. When you enter the resort from The Strip at night, you’re smashed in the face with the lights, a DJ and dancing girls at the new(ish) Bond gambling pit. There’s nothing wrong with another party pit on The Strip (besides the 6:5 blackjack). As you walk deeper into the casino, there’s gambling everywhere now. The once serene Chandelier Bar now has video poker. Even Queue Bar has been morphed into a gambling lounge with Pai Gow Poker and a few other table games. When you hop across the casino, you’ll be greeted by a couple hologram dealers throwing hands of (virtual) cards in the air and somehow spinning a detached roulette wheel.

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A Battle Between Nostalgia And Odds

March 19, 2014 at 2:51 PM | by | Comments (7)

The nostalgia lover inside us loves playing the old video poker and slot machines that pay with coins. The sounds and ability to touch the winnings immediately strike a chord. Meanwhile, the practical person inside us doesn’t want dirty coins touching our skin. We just want to rip the winning ticket right out of the machine and get the bills without messing around at the casino cage. Most machine games are operated on the Ticket In Ticket Out (a.k.a. TITO) system today.

The TITO system was introduced by slot machine manufacturer IGT over 10 years ago, in part for convenience but also so that we'd gamble more. While the convenience of TITO allows a cleaner and simpler way to get paid, it also allowed IGT to make more multi-denominational games. Since you don't have to drop coins into a machine to play, it's easy for the game to switch from penny to nickel to quarter and dollars.

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In-Between Royal Flushes, A Lot Of Hands Are Dealt

March 3, 2014 at 6:10 PM | by | Comments (10)

When we play video poker, we all want the Royal Flush. The Royal Flush in video poker pays exponentially more than any other hand. It’s possible to win in the short term without getting a Royal Flush, but those extra credits go a long way to making us happy.

To non-video poker players, all the games look the same but they aren’t. Payouts are different, giving each game different odds and volatility. The Royal Flush may pay the same 4,000 credits in most games, but it may not come up as frequently from one game to another. Each video poker game has a different Royal Flush cycle meaning you’ll only see a Royal Flush every so often. Here’s a look at the breakdown:

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Checking Out The New Bond At Cosmo

Where: 3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South [map], 89109
February 7, 2014 at 12:19 PM | by | Comments (4)

There was a day where it could be said that the Cosmopolitan didn’t get gamblers. It may be still be true that they don’t get gamblers, but it’s no secret the Cosmo has been trying to acquire gamblers. Over the past year, they’ve been making small tweaks to their casino marketing to draw in more gamblers to supplement their bottom line. One of the more drastic changes to the casino is with Bond Bar.

The Cosmo has copious bars throughout the property making it a favorite place for many to stop, relax and grab a drink. However, gamblers (like this guy) would drop $10 for a drink and head to a casino elsewhere. That’s no longer necessary as Bond has gone from being just a loud Strip-side bar to being a loud Strip-side bar with video poker and table games.

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