Despite what the Chamber of
Commerce says, the main attraction of Las Vegas is gambling.
Forget all that crap about fancy shopping, fine dining,
roller coasters, art museums and natural wonders of the
desert. You can get that anywhere. Well, not in West Virginia,
but you get the idea.
The trick is to have the fun
of gambling without the risk of ending up homeless. Want
to play craps, blackjack or roulette without losing your
ass? Check out this list to make your little eyes pop out
of your heads of cheap table games.
Any of the spots below will
keep you entertained for at least a few hours on the tightest
of budgets, and could even net you a couple of bucks.
Blackjack can offer the best
odds of any game in Las Vegas, especially if you learn yourself
a little Basic Strategy.
Finding a seat at a dollar
game can be a real challenge at times, but well worth the
effort when you walk away after two hours of fun, with your
heels cooled by the free drinks you scored. The following
place is the only one left that always offers at least one
Poker Palace - This is a small place in unsavory North
Las Vegas. for you tourists, that means you take Las Vegas
Blvd. past downtown and keep going north into some somewhat
unsavory neighborhoods. But who cares how dangerous it is
when there is a good $1 game to be had? There are several
$1 tables. The last one we played at was a goofy dealt-to-the-bottom-of-thedeck
game with bad rules, and a leak in the roof that dripped
water on the table.
two-dollar blackjack is getting hard to find, and that's
just plain sad. Seriously, that bums us out. But these places
still throw it.
Bighorn- This place is the smelly, smoky twin of the
Longhorn, and just like it, it resides way out on the edge
of town. They deal a mean game of two-dollar blackjack.
Oh, what are we saying? There is no such thing as a mean
game of two-dollar blackjack. They're always nice.
- If the Joker's Wild is too nice for you, head to Old Town
Henderson and fritter away the hours in the low-slung, cheap
casino. The coffee shop is dirt cheap, thge tables are too,
and the live entertainment is downright lousy.
- Out on Boulder Highway is the Longhorn, which is one of
the most cramped, creepiest and smokiest casinos in the
world. If it weren't, the blackjack would probably be three
bucks, so be thankful it's so crummy.
- Circus Circus's dingy little cinder block outpost has
some cheap games if you don't mind waiting to get into them.
The $2 blackjack usually has a crowd, and if it's a busy
time, only one table at this low, low rate. Still, you're
on the Strip and the cocktail service ain't bad.
Although playing craps with
a dollar minimum technically is about our limit for high-rolling,
the overwhelming sensation of being a big-shot more than
makes up for it. And besides, the quarter games have all
dried up as hard and shriveled as a cocktail server at the
Club Fortune - This
is a pretty weak one-dollar game and you have to trek way,
way, way the heck out into the wilds of Henderson to a stinky,
dinky joint. Sometimes they put up a barrier mid table and
have only one dealer. Sometimes it's closed. But when it's
going, it's $1 with 2x odds and no quarter or fifty-cent
chips. That means, to get 6:5 odds you have to bet at least
Joker's Wild - It's
open until midnight on weeknights and one a.m. on weekends.
Joker's Wild is a small, sort of smokey place without a
lot of ambience. But, they offer a dollar game with 10x
odds . Then they close the damn table, even if you aren't
drunk yet! On weekends, they've been known to jack it up
to $2, we guess because they think they're the damn Bellagio!
Railroad Pass - Want
limited hours of play and lousy two times odds way the hell
out on the far edge of the Valley? Then the Railroad Pass
is for you. This place feels like it's been stuck in time
for thirty years, the game doesn't open until afternoon
and even then is lightly played. But, it's a buck a throw.
Fifty Cent (or less) Roulette
Some people insist on spending
their time with this game that has terrible odds. If you're
one of these people, get yourself down to Casino Royale,
Hooters . The dime wheel at the El Dorado
is the cheapest, so it's a good place to test out your scam
system before selling it to the unsuspecting public. The
El Cortez seems to have several tables of quarter
roulette running all the time. Of course, our old stalwart
Joker's Wild can go as low as a quarter.
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