1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Random Strip casino findings from mid-June - Ballys home base

Discussion in 'LV Strip Hotels & Casinos' started by Lincster, Jun 22, 2013.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Lincster

    Lincster Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    136
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Not so much of a trip report as just things and updates that I found on a Sunday-Thursday trip in June. Hadn't done a mid-week trip in a long time and found it very relaxing.

    Ballys hotel-- first time we've stayed here. Our average rate was $70 per night, and we must have gotten in before the resort fee because we didn't have one. However, we did get charged $3/night for the privilege of using the in room safe. Oh well, better than the GN charging for the light show. Check-in was a 20 minute wait at 4:00 PM, but painless thereafter. Looks like they were charging for early check-in.

    North Tower, room 2067. Was very close to the elevators, but not right next to them so no noise there. Faced north, so we were over some construction that might have been part of Bill's, but we were almost overlooking the Stage Door so it couldn't have been that. In any case, on the 20th floor we heard nothing from them either. Very quiet.

    The room was perfectly adequate, moving towards pretty darn nice. Flat screen TV, decent air conditioning, one small stain on the carpet that didn't bother me in the least. Nice work desk if you need one. The only downsides were two things common from all rooms built in this era (70s/early 80s) - no sink outside the bathroom means getting ready one at a time, and the lack of outlets which is solved by packing an extension cord if needed.

    Ballys Casino -- I was really pleasantly surprised by the casino. Multiple $5 craps tables during the day, $5 roulette, $10 3:2 blackjack (8 deck I think, maybe 6) with surrender, $15 pai gow, and a reasonable selection of the newer slot machines. This really wants me to keep searching out slower mid-week times for visits, as it was nice not having to go search for lower-limits. I know from past experience this is not the case on the weekends.

    Since the old-school casino is one long rectangle it is hard to get lost in. Poker room was always running 1/2 NLHE, and usually had a 3/6 LHE game going. Four $60 tournaments a day seemed to draw between 20-40 people. As with most Ceasars properties they have multiple 3 card poker games going, all at the $5 min level when I was there. Now that I understand the 6 card bonus bet is ALSO $5, I'm even less apt to play. They had all the other expected carney games as well, and a selection of 6:5 blackjack if you weren't looking carefully.

    My only two complaints in the casino area is that the sports book is way the heck down the shopping mall hall, so it is a trek to just check a line or watch an inning or two, and for those that care I thought the video poker section was pretty small and of course has plenty of 7/5 and such.

    Other Ballys amenities -- I availed myself of the pool and can confirm that at least mid-week, there was no problem finding a chair sun or shade during the prime time of 10a-2p. Cocktail service was available easily -- 3 or 4 servers going. Pool itself not crowded and indeed is old-school as well with a shallow end and LARGE deep end (you can do laps in the deep end no worries). Good towel service. Not a party scene, but good music at reasonable volumes for us 40-somethings.

    Ate at the Tequilla Bar, and found the cheap stuff ($2 tacos, $2 frozen margaritas, $2 tequila shots) to be lacking -- getting what you pay for. The menu items were adequate. Ate at the Sidewalk Cafe for breakfast once and they have off the menu or a very small basic buffet in the back. If you do the buffet, they do charge extra for coffee and juice, so your $11.99 buffet becomes an $19 buffet in any case, so you are better off getting it made fresh off the menu in my opinion. Nosh is the little coffee/pastry/sandwich bar back by the poker room and keno. Adequate and if the line is long, very slow service. Overall thought the food offerings at Ballys proper were unremarkable....however, see below.

    Paris -- A very nice amenity of Ballys is the connected walkway to Paris, where there are more enjoyable food offerings and amenities. For example:

    Mon Ami Gabi -- well known to this board, I had both an evening steak at the bar and breakfast here one morning on the deck. Both still fabulous. One tip especially for single travelers is that the bar is first come first served and has the full menu, so that is a nice way to drop in quickly when they are packed.

    Le Burger Bar -- Actually closer to the Bally's casino than Paris, I thought this build-your-own burger (beef, chicken, turkey, lamb, and veggie styles available) was really pretty good, and their petite (thin) fries were excellent. My tip here is to make sure you have your Total Rewards card for this place, as you get the usual $1 off your meal but also $1 off per topping if you like to load up your burger. The TR card can really save you some money here. Also 2 for 1s during the 4-7 and 9-close happy hour at the bar, where they will also serve the full menu.

    I didn't do the Paris buffet this time. They have a new (?) pizza slice takeout window near the crepes place that I think was open 24 hours. It looked popular.

    Jersey Boys -- at the Paris theater. Story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons if you didn't know. I thought it was fabulous and combined the story and the music really well. The set was really cool with things flying in and out all the time.

    Paris casino -- I've never liked the light blue sky, but they did offer at least one $5 craps table during the day, but too much 6:5 blackjack. I like the sports book location way better than Bally's however.

    Other casino observations --

    Margaritaville casino at the Flamingo -- way under-rated. This is what they put in that hallway (that used to house the 46 Steakhouse) between the Flamingo and Margaritaville. One $5 craps table, a few $10 3:2 (!) blackjack tables, a $5 roulette table, and then the usual three card poker, 6:5 blackjack, and so on. Notable for cheap gaming right off the strip and exceptional drink service from waitresses that have not been there nearly as long as their Flamingo waitress sisters.

    Flamingo -- still has the high rake but easy to win 2-4 limit hold 'em game all the time, which still makes it the lowest limit poker on the strip for beginners. Also, Carlos and Charlies took over half of the race and sports book, so the once very nice book now feels very crowded. Had breakfast buffet here and while the food was very adequate, the service was a total joke.

    Quad -- I am totally confused about what, if anything, was there before. I remember always having to go WAY BACK to get to the IP. If this was the old O'Sheas spot, then I don't know where the new O'Sheas is going to go. In any case, it was way cleaner than either O'Sheas or the IP was, but not very busy yet. Perfectly adequate, but bad drink service so far was my experience.

    Casino Royale -- still running a $3 packed craps game with 100X odds.

    Venetian -- Cantor book looked great. The only Caribbean Stud table that I saw (running at $15 min -- eek!). They also had the only "bubble pop" sic bo table I've seen....like those electronic craps tables with the big bouncy dice.

    Wynn/Encore -- dead. Dozens of $25 tables sitting empty. Poor drink service at the machines, which is the first time I've ever had issues from Mr. Wynn in that area. Probably just a bad day.

    Riviera -- WAY DEAD. Eeek. I did see someone playing the $200 minimum blackjack table. No craps going mid-day on two observations. They still have the classic pinball machines which are still great. Can't get a cab out of this place....you'll almost certainly have to go over to CC.

    Circus Circus -- hadn't looked in years. PACKED with families and tons of kids. I had never looked at the Adventuredome, and it was quite busy with lots of families. I can't imagine staying at the Skyline Tower and making that walk every day. Surprising number of modern slot machines. No craps game running at noon. Very few tables open, and they were packed. Note Slots of Fun is advertising craps and blackjack on their sign, but it is all still the electronic variety. The great sidewalk craps game is still dead and gone.

    Stratosphere -- dead in the day time. Wives looking like "where exactly did you book us again honey?"

    PlanetHollywood -- Miss USA contest on Sunday meant busy with high limits. Still grooving pretty good mid-week. PH looked like they were doing well. I like the casino look a lot. Beware of many 6:5 BJ tables. Craps was all $10.

    Cosmopolitan -- brunch at the Wicked Spoon with unlimited Bloody Mary/Mimosa upgrade was $50, but still worth it. Lovely bride and I took our time and waiter Tony was great with that. Still a great looking crowd that still doesn't seem to be gambling at the tables a ton. Great pocket bars all over the place. Love the small Cantor sports book on the 2nd floor.

    Monte Carlo -- front is all torn up now. Once you get in, casino looks the same as it always has. I still like this straightforward casino quite a bit.

    Aria -- Actually looked pretty busy for a mid-week, mid-day look. I still can't bring myself to have that long a walk back to the strip. I wish they had put Aria where the Harmon is, and put the condos and Crystals behind it. I do like the vibe of the casino once I'm there, and people looked like they were having a good time. Excellent drink service.

    Bellagio -- It looked to me like the trusty $5 five seat BJ game was gone.

    Hooters -- ok, it was 9AM, but I think I was the only customer on the floor, and the whole back of the casino was devoid of machines or anything. They could have been swapping out, but boy that was a depressing place.

    Silver Sevens (ex-Terribles) -- 10 AM and we had a good selection of locals, and the craps table was open (with no one playing). They're trying at least.

    Well, I popped into others as well, but those are the places where I spent enough time for real observations. Overall I loved having a little more space that mid-week allowed. Also, all bartop bartenders were very friendly and had a drink for me before I even put any money in the machine. They were mostly happy to have someone there. Many places offering surrender now at 3:2 BJ tables (even CET properties), so that is worth learning. More outdoor bars for people watching. Overall I think Las Vegas will be fine holding my money for me until next trip. Sorry for the length!
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2013
  2. swanny

    swanny Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    285
    Location:
    Outside of Philly (PA)
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    Very good information. Thanks for posting.
     
  3. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Messages:
    5,267
    Location:
    Northern Nevada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    204
    Yeah... thanks for posting! Lots of good info!!! I've always like the casino at Bally's...
     
  4. xmarksx

    xmarksx VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,310
    Location:
    Bloomington, Illinois
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    38
    Linc, do you remember if Hooters had a craps table open? If so what were the limits? Also interested in the Silver Seven's limit for craps. Thanks!
     
  5. Lincster

    Lincster Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    136
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Hooters did not have an open craps table on the Wednesday morning that I was there.

    Silver 7s minimum was $5. I didn't play, so I didn't check the odds. I do just stroll by to see the minimums, however.
     
  6. StormHawk

    StormHawk High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 13, 2011
    Messages:
    944
    Location:
    Des Moines, IA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Cosmo has had $5 craps on weekday mornings recently, fwiw. Always at the end of the pit before you hit the Marquee elevators when coming from Bellagio side.
     
  7. xmarksx

    xmarksx VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,310
    Location:
    Bloomington, Illinois
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    38
    Thanks Linc and Storm, always looking for the lower minimums.
     
  8. dewey089

    dewey089 Guru of Value

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2001
    Messages:
    4,202
    Location:
    averill park (near albany) ny
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    29
    Nice informative overview. Thanks.
     
  9. JasmineJo

    JasmineJo Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Messages:
    42
    Location:
    Washington state
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    26
    Thanks for the report. We will be staying at Bally's the last week of July and are looking forward to it. We enjoy the casino, and actually like the fact that it is fairly small and rectangular, and you can't get too lost in it.
     
  10. Darreningreenwood

    Darreningreenwood Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Indiana
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    Interesting, I didn't think Bally's or any of the CET properties had 3:2 blackjack anywhere, no matter the minimum.
     
  11. USCHawks

    USCHawks High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Messages:
    896
    Location:
    Kennewick, WA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    9
    Flamingo had a few 3:2 tables at $10 during the morning, $15 the rest of the day, 8 decks I believe, and were further back in the casino by the cashier. The party pit up front were all 6:5, as were the tables back by the sports book.

    This was back in late January.
     
  12. Darreningreenwood

    Darreningreenwood Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Messages:
    284
    Location:
    Indiana
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    Sweet. I've finally grown up enough to have a bankroll that allows me to play $15-$25 a hand. While that's not quite an ideal game, I'll take it, since I lean pretty heavily on CET for free/cheap rooms.
     
  13. Lincster

    Lincster Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2009
    Messages:
    136
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    FWIW -- both Flamingo and Ballys have their 3:2 BJ games near their respective cashier cages. As you wander farther from those pits, you are more and more likely to encounter 6:5. I also fault CET for not making the 6:5 rule very prominent at all....I really had to squint to find it at most tables (not party pits obviously where it is right on the table).

    I agree with USC -- I saw $10 min during the morning into early afternoon, and $15 after that. I'm almost certain it was 8 deck. Bally's at least had a $25 double deck game going all the time at 3:2 if you are interested.
     
  14. mdee

    mdee VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Messages:
    1,373
    Location:
    Orlando
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    28
    I haven't stayed at Bally's but maybe someday I will. Bally's Casino reminds me of The Showboat in Atl City for some reason. I've never heard of a fee charged just to use the in-room safe - that's odd!
    The Wicked Spoon IMO is the best thing about Cosmo. Too bad they are tearing up Monte Carlo. I always hate to see changes made to icons like; removing the Fountain outside Paris. I miss it. Oh well.
    I'm all for progress but at some point Vegas needs to stop all the construction and leave things be for awhile. The place is too ugly for taking photos anymore.

    Thanks for the info!
     
  15. LV_Bound

    LV_Bound VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    4,915
    Location:
    Florida
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    Did you notice that the Bally's Craps tables were always packed yet you can walk to Paris for the same $5 table and it be empty? That is usually the way it is when I go by there.

    Ate at the Le Burger place a few times and can agree the burgers are great and so are the fries. I also tend to get their milkshake as well.
     
  16. Joang

    Joang Tourist

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Messages:
    63
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Thanks

    Great information will be staying at Bally's mid July.
     
  17. bassman69

    bassman69 Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2013
    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Youngstown, OH
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    18
    nice update!
     
  18. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,824
    Location:
    South Texas
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    22
    Very fine post. Thanks for the info.

    later, GVJ
     
  19. JWBlue

    JWBlue VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,660
    Location:
    Irvine, CA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    I get why Monte Carlo is doing what they are. I couldn't put my finger on it, but I always thought they could do a lot more with it.

    That front area always seems dead. Considering the location it should be a high traffic area.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.