I watched highlights of the Donald Sterling interview on CNN last night and all I could think of is that he reminds me about the salty old men that play the Don’t Pass line when playing craps at El Cortez. Even though I hate these cranky old guys I love playing craps at El Cortez. Somehow I’m the crazy one. 🙂
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, craps is my favorite game in the casino. Besides being fun to play, craps gives the casino one of the smallest house edges’ most casino games. Fun game and small house edge?! That’s a perfect combination!
You can actually decrease the, already small, house edge by playing greater odds. The higher the odds played the less the house edge. Unfortunately, the Vegas Strip doesn’t really offer the diverse craps odds that you find in Downtown Vegas. Thankfully craps still has a tiny house edge no matter what the odds.
Here are the craps odds on the Vegas Strip along with the house edge for the casino for each game.
House edge: Pass 0.021%, Don’t Pass 0.014%
Every other casino not listed
House edge: Pass 0.374%, Don’t Pass 0.273%
3x-4x-5x are the normal odds offered at casinos on the Vegas Strip and just about everywhere else in the country. The house advantage playing maximum odds is still better than most games you’ll play in the casino.
Casino Royale has the best craps odds on the Vegas Strip but usually only has one table open so it’s difficult to get in on a game. The craps game at Casino Royale is one of the cheapest you’ll find on the strip with $5 or $10 minimums, so there’s that.
4/24/16 Update: The Cromwell has 100x odds up to $5,000. Table minimums are usually $5 or $10. (Thanks to @John_Mehaffy for confirming)
Bottom line with craps on the Vegas Strip – play wherever you want. The odds in most casinos are the same. If you’re looking for a good craps game with good odds head to Downtown Vegas. Here are my 3 favorite craps games in Downtown Vegas.
Note: Craps odds are from the Wizard of Vegas craps survey.
Earlier today I went over the odds for craps at all of the Downtown Vegas casinos and mentioned that the best odds don’t always make the best games. Everyone has their preferences in casinos and games. The 3 casinos below are probably my favorite downtown casinos in part because they have my favorite craps games.
Golden Gate has 10x odds which is appealing to me but I think I’d still love playing craps at Golden Gate even if they had lower odds. The casino is intimate. It’s small, tight and there’s not a lot of space to move around. The ceiling is low so that you can almost touch it. That confined feeling and dance music makes the energy in the casino intense. The energy at the Golden Gate craps games has nowhere to go and it is unmatched by any casino. The combination of energy and odds make this my favorite Downtown Vegas craps game.
It’s out of character for me but I love everything about the El Cortez. In general El Cortez is the antithesis of everything I like in a casino. It’s old, dirty and I love it. Many of the craps players at El Cortez are crotchety old men. It feels as though they all play the Don’t Pass line. El Cortez doesn’t sound awesome does it?
El Cortez isn’t for everyone but is the first casino that I visited in Downtown Vegas and I have a huge soft spot for gambling here. The 10x odds in craps and great blackjack game (See Vegas Chatter article for details) keep me coming back. El Cortez was one of the first Downtown Vegas casinos to renovate but that was over 20 years ago now. This is vintage Vegas at its best.
The party vibe, dancing-girls and loud dance music on the first floor of The D casino makes me want to craps. If I’m gambling on the first floor of The D then you’ll probably find me rolling dice. The 10x odds are nice but not necessary for a good time. FWIW, if I’m upstairs you can find me at the end of the View Bar near the sportsbook playing 8/5 Bonus (with multiple progressives) Video Poker while keeping an eye on a game.
Craps is my favorite game in the casino. Besides being fun to play, craps gives the casino one of the smallest house edge’s of most casino games. Fun game and small house edge?! Sounds good to me!
You can actually decrease the, already small, house edge by playing greater odds. The higher the odds played the less the house edge. Today I want to look at the craps odds available in Downtown Vegas casinos. Since the higher odds decrease the casino’s advantage I list casinos from the best odds to worst odds.
Main Street Station
House Edge: 0.099% 0.065%
House Edge: 0.374% 0.273%
Even the worst odds in craps give the casino a smaller house edge than most games in the casino. Most people don’t like to max out their odds when playing craps because it’s too much action. I try to max my odds wherever I play. Minimum pass line bets in these casinos is usually only $5 so full odds isn’t too expensive.
The best craps odds don’t make the best games. I’ll get into my favorite Downtown Vegas craps games later. For more information check out Wizard of Vegas craps survey.
This is a new version of the Bet Rock N Roll game for MyVegas mobile. There is an added bonus round only available on the mobile game. When they launched the original game last year players were upset it did not include an extra bonus round so they added one just for the mobile game.
MyVegas can get monotonous because of the repetition in some of the games but this dice bonus is great. They should incorporate more interactivity like this into the game to keep it interesting. See the bonus round below. It plays similar to one of my favorite slot machines in the past year – the Hot Roll bonus round.
Last week I looked at the 5 most viewed blogs on AC2LV this year. These may not be the most read (okay, one is) but they are my favorites in no particular order.
- Best Craps Games – Downtown Vegas – I love craps and the best games are in Downtown Vegas.
- 5 Major League Baseball Stadiums That Could Use A Casino – I love this guest blog based on a true story.
- This Is Why The Vegas Strip Is Changing – This turned into a series. 2013 was a transformative year for the Vegas Strip.
- 8 Great Burgers In Las Vegas – This became a mission for me. I’ve almost completed the list.
- Blackjack Myths – I play blackjack and am fascinated by the difference in perception vs. reality.
Tweet me with your favorites from 2013
I always get excited when I think, tweet or write about craps. Craps is awesome. This morning I was looking for an image to accompany an article for Vegas Chatter when I happened upon this stunning LED craps table above. I don’t know that I’d get much mileage from this table but I’d love to play it in a casino (even though it looks like it belongs in a strip club).
Waylou.com has information on this LED craps and a slew of images of other LED casino tables if you want to see more options for your home casino.
When I first heard about outdoor gaming at Downtown Grand I freaked out a little. I envisioned a closed off street with a pit of blackjack and craps tables. My initial thoughts were grand. I saw a big street party surrounding my favorite leisure activity.
My visions of grandeur were quelled a little as the PR people repeated that there would only be two blackjack tables and a non-craps dice game. That’s okay, I still had grand visions. I’m a dreamer and I like awesome things.
The outdoor gaming area wasn’t open for the soft opening over the past few weeks but grand opening of Downtown Grand is today and the blackjack tables have been placed outside. The dice game isn’t available to play just yet. Both blackjack tables face a wall with a TV on a raised part of the sidewalk with a bar separating the space.
I don’t want to stare at a wall when I gamble and I don’t want to leave my back exposed to anybody just walking down the street. Anyone on the street could sneak up on players and do whatever without them having any idea that they could be in harm’s way. Downtown Vegas may be safer than it was 10 years ago but it’s still not the safest area in Las Vegas.
This feels unsafe. Facing a wall and gambling feels unsafe even when it’s inside the high limits room at Downtown Grand with security personnel nearby and hundreds of cameras. There’s less risk inside but facing a wall and not seeing what’s around doesn’t feel comfortable.
Underwhelming and unsafe seem like appropriate descriptions of the outdoor gaming at Downtown Grand. Maybe that feeling will change when the tables are up and running but I doubt it. At least the blackjack inside Downtown Grand pays 3:2, is dealt from a shoe and has $5 minimums.
To a fault I’m probably an over-tipper. Not everyone tips as freely as me and that’s fine. We can all spend our money however we feel comfortable. I look at tips as tokens of appreciation that will come back to me with some form of positive karma in the future. It’s a win-win for me and the people I’m tipping.
I’ve written about why tipping dealers in a casino matters before (See Gaming Today article) but I had a great, real life experience last week in Atlantic City that I want to share.
When I arrived at Showboat in Atlantic City I met up with some friends for a drink at the bar and to catch up with each other. Shortly after a little video poker and BSing we decided to hit the tables. We approached an open Pai Gow table and told the pit boss that our group would play the entire table if they lowered the limits. The pit boss “called his supervisor” to ask permission to lower the limits. In a call that seemed like a scene from Seinfeld our request was denied. That’s cool, the table remained empty until 7am when I called it quits and headed back to the room.
The casino actually made the right business move as we went on to play a game with a larger house advantage. There was an open 3 card poker table across from Pai Gow where we ran into one of the most fun dealers I’ve ever had, Billy.
3 Card Poker is a game of minimal skill and perfect for a bunch of friends to catch up, drink and have a little gambling action. Billy was our dealer all night/morning – from 1am-6:30am. Billy knew that we were looking for a good time and helped stoke the flames by giving us all nicknames (I was “The Attorney“) and constantly encouraging us to “Take a Siiiiiiip“. He was very loud and we obliged and took many sips.
He kept reminding us that 3 Card Poker was an “Easy Game” by yelling it all night. Billy was louder than any dealer I’ve had but he was perfect for our group on this night. He was the conductor to a great night/morning in the casino. He would be rewarded with tips all night for helping us steer towards a fun time.
The nature of playing low limits 3 Card Poker is that you’ll win a few big hands, lose a bunch and repeat. Ultimately the low limits don’t really ever dent the bankroll when you hit a bad run. I tipped Billy every time I got a straight or better. A straight pays 6-1 on the pair plus line and I’d tip a unit each win. He always played with me instead of keeping the tips and we won pretty quite a few hands playing together. Billy’s largest tip was when my $5 bet paid him $150. I played the Caesars bonus and he gave me 4 of a kind for a cool $1,000! It was awesome for both of us.
When you tip craps or blackjack dealers they can remind you to place the bets you want, offer simple strategy and generally keep an eye on you. There really isn’t much assistance a 3 Card Poker dealer can offer besides a good time. I wasn’t winning because I tipped. Or was I? I wasn’t getting any strategic advantage. So, why tip?
Billy is a working stiff like most of us and his level of service was fantastic. He was providing a great time for everyone that came to the table. As long as I’m winning why not share some of the money with the person helping create a great memory? He deserved it and now I have a great memory that will last forever.
Photo: Vegas Chatter