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Bet a Little, Lose a Little, Drink a Lot


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.

One Dollar Blackjack

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 dollar table:

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.

Riviera - This old-timey smelling Strip joint is trying to keep the lights on with the come on of dollar blackjack, Of course, it is crummy 6:5, which actually means even-money on blackjack unless you're wagering $5. And if you're wagering five bucks, shouldn't you be playing someplace nicer, and have better shoes?

Two-Dollar Blackjack

Even 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.

The 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.

Eldorado - 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.

The Longhorn - 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.

Dollar Craps

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 Western.

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 $5. Boo!

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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