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Can someone help me Decode the Boulder Strip?

Discussion in 'Off-Strip Hotels' started by Grid, Jun 5, 2017.

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  1. Grid

    Grid Well-Known Member

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    I'm always on the lookout for a better gamble. I thought about Reno for a long time. Logistically its a pain in the asshole to make work coming from Chicago. Direct flights are triple the price of Vegas. Renting a car and flying through vegas seems like a ton of work if I took that route.

    So I have been looking at the Boulder Strip. Here is what I have been stumbling with. With these great odds, do you think that most casinos in that area are on par with each other? Or do the many little casinos have great odds, and the shiny big fancy ones have strip type odds. And the "average" of the 2 make up the below?

    There are only 3 casinos that can foot the bill for my Vegas vacation. They have to be big enough to keep me interested.

    Here are the 3 biggest, but the reporting area is actually made up of 29 other casinos.


    Green Valley Ranch resort and spa 133,659 SQFT casino

    Sunset Station 133,409 SQFT casino

    Sam's Town Hotel and Gambling Hall, Las Vegas 126,681 SQFT casino


    [​IMG]

    So if I wanted those 96% payback odds on nickle machines, do you think the big 3 would offer that? Or would they be more in line with the 92% on the strip and Downtown but the shitty little Boulder Casinos like Jokers Wild & Eldorado might be 97% and the average just LOOKS like the Boulder Area is fair?

    I've stayed at GVR for 3 days before, it did fell a little looser than the time I spent on the strip. I know no one can give a definitive answer, but I'm curious what your "gut" has to say. Do you do that much better, at the big joint, on Boulder?
     
  2. eaglejohn

    eaglejohn VIP Whale

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    not saying which is better. Love GVR but long trek to the casino depending on tower. Stations you lose points at 6 months. Boyds are good for a year.
     
  3. Chicken Dinner

    Chicken Dinner Low-Roller

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    Assuming they are correct, the numbers are the numbers. The problem with those places is that you can't easily walk to another casino.
     
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  4. dukeofdarby

    dukeofdarby High-Roller

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    do not know which games you prefer-----but-----the slot figures also include video-poker games -----places and regions that offer full-pay and even positive return video-poker games will drive up the returns-----we are all aware that the strip casinos have a poor selection of video-poker games and casinos on the boulder highway offer better games-----this could be the difference ,it is possible that actual slot machine returns are the same------not aware of any breakdown on individual casinos or separate slot vs video-poker numbers----
     
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  5. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    GVR and Sunset Station may be in a Boulder Strip reporting area but they are not physically on (or near, IMAO) Boulder Strip.

    There's Boulder Station, and if you fell asleep at Sunset Station and woke up at Boulder Station, you probably would not notice until you could not find your car. :)

    We do Sams Town often and the machines seem to pay better than the Strip, but my guess is those average numbers are skewed, with the nicer and more popular places (for Boulder Strip) such as Sams, Stations, etc. probably paying less than the more earthy ones.
     
  6. vegasdev

    vegasdev VIP Whale

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    that is a big difference on the .25 cent slots between Strip and Downtown.
    I am not sure how accurate that is, and maybe it is because of VP.
     
  7. VegasSchemer

    VegasSchemer VIP Whale

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    Generally agree with what's been said, so I'll just reinforce a few things.

    If you like to move at all, I'd stay at Sam's Town and consider giving Boulder Station and Eastside Cannery some action. Eastside may have the best room options for you. Casino isn't huge but it ain't bad.

    All 3 run decent promos regularly but they are geared toward locals (you'll win gift cards and bottles of wine and stuff like that).
     
  8. Grid

    Grid Well-Known Member

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    Very true, I stayed at GVR before. I really like their rooms and the casino. The wife and kids enjoyed the shopping and arcade. And everyone loved the pools. Maybe my luck wasnt as great as it could have been, I would have expected a better gamble when looking at these paybacks.

    The numbers are numbers but the numbers get lumped in. If 24 of the smaller casinos that make up the Boulder reporting are averaging 97% payback on their 15,000 combined machines. But the big 3 I listed are really only at 92% on their 5,000 machines (same as the strip and Fremont) the average comes out 95.73 (or whatever).

    So my question is, do you guys think the big players on the boulder strip payback closer to the average, or is the fair gaming only at that grind joints no one wants to stay at, and they help bring up the averages.

    And I dont mind camping out at one resort for vacation. When I travel with the kids its actually much easier since I cant casino hop anyway.
     
  9. Grid

    Grid Well-Known Member

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    I agree with Video Poker and I'll even toss in Video Keno helping to drive up the numbers. But I play VP as well as slots. But even the pennies (shouldnt figure in much with VP or Keno) are a couple points better on Boulder.

    This is my assumption. And I know I wont find a definitive answer, so I was looking for anecdotal ones like yours. I agree, the last time I was in Sams I "felt" like my money lasted longer. And that is the experience I'm seeking on my next trip.
     
  10. Grid

    Grid Well-Known Member

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    Probably, but also look at nickles. That isn't usually a VP stalworth. I'm hoping the nickles pay back so well due to a bunch of older titles that are still on the floor. You know, the ones that were made before slot makers ever considered making a game that held more than 10%

    Sadly I learned the locals angle from my play at GVR. I'd much rather have free play like I do on the strip, then a set of pots and pans on the weekend LOL.

    I'm not too worried about moving around. I have a host at GVR, she would come get me from Sam's Town. And I think Sam's Town has a shuttle from the airport. So my rides would be covered. I thought I would get bored just camping out at one casino, but with the family in tow I actually liked the laid back pace of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
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  11. eaglejohn

    eaglejohn VIP Whale

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    Sams does not have a shuttle from airport. Not for many years
     
  12. BlacklabberMike

    BlacklabberMike VIP Whale

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    I stopped in at a joint called heiney's on boulder..... 1st shot was free, then use your own bullets.
    i wonder if it's still in business
     
  13. Grid

    Grid Well-Known Member

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    That sounds like the kind of place with full pay VP and 3:2 1 deck BJ!
     
  14. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    They do have a limo that will pick you up from the airport if you are a "player". I have friends who stay at Sam's and they get RFB and limo. They do play a lot (probably play 12 hours a day on the machines and tables) and are emerald so guess they put in a lot of $$ to get that status.
     
  15. Chicken Dinner

    Chicken Dinner Low-Roller

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    The 3 casinos you listed are some of the biggest in the area. Are you sure abt the #'s of slot machines in each grouping? Meaning, it surprises me that the smaller casinos would total up to 15k machines. For comparison sake - Ellis Island is abt 28k sq ft and has abt 400 machines. Which would place it in the upper half of Boulder Strip casinos by size.
    So, if 15k is too many then, yeah, the bigger places on Boulder would have significantly better payouts than the strip. I think that makes sense common sense wise too.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boulder_Strip_(Nevada_gaming_area)
    http://www.vegastodayandtomorrow.com/casinosize.htm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ellis_Island_Casino_%26_Brewery
     
  16. TJC

    TJC High-Roller

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    I like the VP at Sam's Town but I always get destroyed on their slots. Same at Joker's Wild but I always seem to get one good slot hit or a good blackjack run to get me back to even, so I leave at that point. My money seems to last awhile at Emerald Island in Henderson, too. I have poor luck at Az Charlie's on Boulder every time I visit.
     
  17. Grid

    Grid Well-Known Member

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    I'm ballparking on machines to give an example of how the reported holds might be swayed into looking like all of Boulder pays better. In your link, it says there are 32 casinos that make up the bolder area. Throwing out my 3, the next biggest 10 are listed below. Combined, that's another 400,000 SQFT of gaming.

    We know the big 3 have 7,000 machines between them. I'm assigning 500 machines each for the other 29 (14,500). Some casinos like Boulder Station and Eastside Cannery obviously have more, and the smaller grind joints have less. 500 each was easy math. One thing is certain, the big 3 do not have more machines then the other 29 combined. How far that math swings is just speculation on my half.

    I simply couldn't find the info. My question was if the boards thinks the smaller 29 casinos have higher then the report average hold, and the big 3 have lower then the average hold, and that's why the average is reported at where it is. Or are we all under the impression that "most" casinos in that reported area are roughly averaging the same.

    Boulder Station 89,443
    Fiesta Henderson 73,450
    Arizona Charlie's Boulder 47,541
    Jokers Wild Casino 23,698
    Montelago at Lake Las Vegas 22,000
    Eldorado Casino 17,756
    Hacienda Hotel and Casino 17,275
    Eastside Cannery Hotel and Casino* 65,000
    Railroad Pass Hotel and Casino 12,803
    Club Fortune Casino 11,250

    There is a ton of experience on here. Has someone sat at Jokers wild and slotted for hours on a $20? Do people that usually visit the strip and GVR "feel" like their play is the same? Spend $500 on the machine and usually lose that in 2 hours the same as they would at Bellagio?
     
  18. Grid

    Grid Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for posting TJC. This is the kind of feedback I was hoping for. I know anyone can win anywhere. Or lose anywhere. But if it "feels" like more of the same, maybe there is no salvation.

    The numbers nerd in me sees the 92% nickle hold on the strip, and views that as an $8 loss for every $100 coin. But the 96% hold on boulder means just a $4 loss to match. Twice the time on device!

    But if I have to play in one of 25 shitholes to get those odds, I'm out. But if it seems like your money goes twice as far at most Boulder joints, I'm in!
     
  19. dex844

    dex844 Tourist

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    On the April report, I only see 293 total units in the nickel category for the Boulder Strip area. Those machines could be nearly all video poker, which would align with the 96% payback. I wouldn't expect to find 96% nickel slots.

    It's probably a mixed situation because some small casinos compete on gaming value, others don't.

    Maybe you should consider playing more video poker since you can calculate the EV from the paytable. If you want to play slots, my advice would be to try to maximize promotions. For example, a 10x multiplier is worth 1% at either Sam's Town or Stations/GVR.
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2017
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  20. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Fyi, @Grid, Sam's Town has tightened up their video poker paytables the last year or two. It's possible they may have with the slots as well.

    And would love to say GVR would have loose nickel games, but I'm weary that "nice" casinos would possibly be that loose.
     
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