Remember to Tip

Tipping your drink girl or guy, is important. But its also your gambling money, so tip based on service. A good rule of thumb is a dollar every two drinks, or every other time. Always tip well if your server is fast to get your drink and refill. Dealer, this is another matter, the dealer is not gonna give you any of the money back if you loose it, so do not feel obligated. That being said, I tip based on how my run is going. Or if I like the dealer and they are contributing to my enjoyment of gambling.

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Just in time for our revival trip to Las Vegas on July 7th – 11th, we be post new reviews and content soon.

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Harrah’s New Orleans – Food and Fun Big Easy Style

Last weekend the GtG crew took a trip to New Orleans for a tour of Harrahs.

New Orleans is one of the truly great vacation destinations for
young and old alike. Jazz and blues clubs are everywhere, playing some
of the best music that seems to carry out into the streets. The food is
outstanding and distinctive from other regions of the US, with the
Cajun and Creole influences the different dishes will keep you full at
every meal. Harrah’s offers the visitors of New Orleans gambling excitement and fine food right in the French Quarter

Note: If we mention names in this article that’s because those people stood out due to outstanding service or personality.

Also you might notice that authors are now credited for the sections
they researched and wrote. I am the editor and I write the casino
review, however, I want to make sure everyone knows our other staff
members as well.

The Casino:

Upon entering the Canal Street entrance you are seeming transported
to Las Vegas. The decor is 100% New Orleans, with bright carpet and a
colorful layout. Although some people might never look up, the ceiling
is painted with a great theme of the Big Easy sky, with stars that seem
to twinkle and almost say “”its a good day to gamble””. The Casino is
well lit but not to the point of being bright or harsh on the eyes. As
you enter the casino you are greeted by an ID checkpoint, the staff is
very good about letting those who are obviously over 21 walk right in
to the fun. As you venture into the main walkway a few things might
catch your eye, Fuddruckers Hamburgers, Starbucks Coffee, and
Macalister’s deli. This is a great idea, to allow the casino patrons
fast access to their favorite foods. Funny enough, the Vegas casinos
could learn something from this, rather than walk to the ends of the
earth to find these places, Harrah’s has put them in an easy to access
location. As you continue from the front of the Casino to the interior
a row of table games lines the way. Blackjack, Caribbean Stud, Let it Ride, Three Card
Poker, Roulette and Craps can all be found. We arrived on Saturday
morning, most of the tables were $15 minimum, this included Craps and
Roulette. During Sunday, several tables dropped to $10 minimums, but
the $15 tables still out numbered the lower limits. On Monday a few $5
tables could be found, however the limits went back up to $10 as the
clocks turned the hour at 3pm. Personally, I like there to be at least
one $5 table, so that the casino can say we always have $5 tables.
However, a pit boss explained the casinos view of this, with lower
limit tables there are often 3 and 4 deep waiting to play. This leads
to a higher numbers rotating into the game, which takes time to cash
the new players in and get the game started again. So by having $10
tables they are able to keep the game going and the action at a steady

As we continue our journey into the center of the casino we are met
with a long line of people waiting to cash out from the 1 of 2 cages.
This is mostly temporary as I was informed by a staff member in the
casino cage, the casino is modernizing with several changes to the way
cash and cashing out is handled. The first step is eliminating coins
for the slot machines, you will find only coin less machines that use
the “”Ticket system”” in this casino. I view this as both good and bad,
the good part is that cashing out can now be done at “”ATM”” style
machines that accept your ticket and give you the cash. Another good
point is that there are no more dirty coins to deal with and no more
loud clanking sounds that can be nerve racking. The bad part is that
the machines have been changed to no longer accept $1 bills, only $5
bills and up. The next step is making the ticket cash in stations easy
to access and easy to find. This was being done while we were there, 6
cash in machines (near the main cage) were being installed and set back
within the wall for a nice flush look. After these tasks are completed
the lines for cashing in should be greatly reduced. Even at the longest
line witnessed by our crew we clocked the wait time at 20 min. from end
of line to leaving the cage window with money in hand.

Skipping across the casino floor takes us to the Harrah’s Poker
Room. A nice 20 table area, playing Texas Hold’em (limit and no limit)
Omaha Hold’em (limit, no limit and pot limit), and Seven card stud,
separated from the rest of the casino by a waist high wall that keeps
the number of on lookers down. The noise level at times can be high,
but I think is very tolerable and does not impose on play. Another
great feature is the 5 non smoking tables in back of the room, this
makes play much more enjoyable for those who do not enjoy smoking while
playing. The poker room also validates parking for the Harrah’s garage
and has a nice jackpot for bad beats in Omaha, Hold’em and 7 stud.

Past the poker room we come to the Besh steakhouse and Harrah’s
buffet which will be detailed in the Food section later in this review.

Once past the buffet we arrive at the high limit area, both in
tables and slots. The high limit slots are located in the center of the
room with a short wooden wall dividing these slots from the rest of the
slots in the area. Here you can play $5, $10, and $25 dollar slots,
along with video poker. Set two feet higher than the rest of the room,
the high limit tables offer Baccarat, Pai Gow, and Blackjack for the
higher limit player. These tables range from $50 to $500 minimums. To
make it easier for the people in the high limit areas a cash out cage
is hidden adjacent to the high limit area, this is alot safer than
walking back through the casino for these individuals who might be
carrying higher than normal amounts of chips. Across from the high
limit areas you will find The Earl Turner Theater, which takes us to
the Entertainment section.

The Entertainment:

The Earl Turner show
is the main entertainment item for Harrah’s New Orleans. Earl Turner
has been performing for the last 21 years in various venues in Vegas
and now calls New Orleans home. After 21 years you would expect someone
to tire or maybe their showman ship to drop down a little, Earl Turner
proves that adage wrong. His show is a mix of singing and audience
interaction. Mr. Turner works the crowd to a level that I have not seen
before, he is ready for anything and has a quick response to everyone.
During the show a man who had been drinking, a little more than his
share, stood up and yelled out for Mr. Turner to stop talking to the
crowd and get on with the show. Without loosing a step Earl Turner had
a comment that made the man happy and the crowd laugh. If that was all
the show I had seen I would have returned regardless. However, this was
just the beginning, for an hour and half Earl Turner sang some great
hits of James Brown, Ike and Tina, and Ray Charles to name a few. From
start to finish Earl Turner brings an energetic show to everyone.
Although his show was mainly occupied by an older crowd (average age of
45) the Earl Turner show would also be enjoyed by someone younger and
maybe even younger than 21, Mr. Turner does a great jab to the hip hop
culture, in the form of a small song and dance with a little dress up.
I would also like to do a quick mention of the Earl Turner Band, the
guitarist and bassist were show stoppers, with quick fingers and a
wonderful rich sound they both did amazing solos. The bassist had been
with The Earl Turner Show since it started 21 years ago, he moves and
looks a lot like Chuck Berry, even though he never spoke his facial
expressions and dancing were breath taking. Tickets are $27.95 each,
and shows run Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

The Improve
comedy club is new to Harrah’s, also in the Earl Turner theater this
show performs on Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday. Since we
were not able to see the show because of a computer mix up (Yes I
understand the irony of a computer mix up being a computer person). We
were able to ask a few people coming out of the 10pm show on Saturday,
about how they enjoyed the comedians. Of the six people who stopped and
talked with us, they all had great things to say about the show. Funny,
bust a gut, and left me in tears came a few times. Based on these
peoples input, I am sure the show would be a fun time for any age group
(able to get into the casino).

Future Entertainment:

In construction now The Masquerade evening show, I can not tell you
much about this new entertainment experience but it promises to be the
place for high end after hours entertainment. In the center of the
casino is a construction zone boarded up and painted black with these
words listed: Erotic, Exciting, Sensual, and Stimulating. I hope to
make it back there in Summer 2005 to see what this hidden treasure

Future Hotel:

Harrah’s is currently building its own 450 room hotel just across
the street, next to the casinos parking garage. This new hotel will
offer guests great room accommodations and will include a Michael
Jordon Sports Bar and several shopping venues in order to complete the
package of a world class Hotel Casino.

Drink Service: written by Mike

One big perk about gambling in casinos is the free drinks.  If you
prefer a coke, a cold beer, or a mixed drink, it is always nice to have
one to sip on while playing a slot or sitting out that poker hand.  It
is always nice to have them delivered to you in a timely fashion.  Not
to mention some of the skimpy outfits that the waitresses wear.  I know
when I sit down at a table or a slot I don’t feel so bad loosing my
money if I am able to have a drink or two. I just think oh well, I
bought a few drinks, and move on the next table or slot. Overall the
drink service I received at Harrah’s in New Orleans was poor, and
sporadic.  There were however a couple of times and areas of the casino
that I noticed to have better service.

There were times when I could be sitting at a slot ($1 and even $5)
where I was able to over an hour without being asked by a wait person
if I would like a drink. There were even times when I asked a passing
waiter/waitress and got the response “Sorry, this is not my
section”.  To me this was an unacceptable answer.  I know if
I responded to a client with a similar response I would be looking for
a new job.  This happened on a few occasions to me, and I know of a
similar instance to another member of my crew.  I also experienced
extremely long waits on many occasions when the casino appeared not to
be overly crowded.  These waits were in excess of 10-15min, and in a
couple of cases I had completely forgotten I ordered a drink by the
time it arrived.  I understand that at times when the casino is crowded
such as a Friday or Saturday evening that my wait time should be
longer, but I experienced this in off times such as Monday morning, and
at times when there were only a handful of visible people gambling

That being said it was not a terrible experience. There were a few
highlights with the drink service. Over in the slot area by the Earl
Turner theater, there was a waitress named Marylyn working the early
Monday morning shift (about 3am). Not only did she come by after I was
playing for about 10 minutes, but told me my drink would be out in 5-7
minutes. She actually gave me a time frame of when I could expect to
have my drink. At this point I took it upon myself and timed her. It
took her just a little over 5 minutes to return with my drink. What
great service, and I did not have to spend time wondering when my drink
would come.  I had another good experience playing Caribbean stud in
pit 4 (the area of tables by the main entrance).  It took a little
while to place my first order as there area was busy and there was only
one waiter working the entire pit, so my first couple of drinks came
slowly.  When I saw my waiter (Cory) coming to my table, I wanted to
make sure to get my order in before he walked away.  To my surprise
before I could even say what I wanted to order, he said would you like
another.  When I told him yes he handed me my next drink.  I was
totally in shock.  Not only did he remember what I was drinking, but he
was johnny on the spot with my next round.  This continued the whole
time I stayed in this area.  I also noticed he was doing the same to
other players in the area.  Service does not get much better than this.

When going into the casino, be prepared to wait, and have difficulty
getting drinks.  My suggestion would be to hit Bourbon Street before
you go, or have a drink or two with dinner.  Also, when you get into
the casino look for Cory, or Marylyn as they will get you your drinks
quickly so that you can keep on gambling, and not worrying about when
your next round will arrive.  Kudos to those two. As for the rest of
the staff, there is room for improvement.

The Food: written by Jory

Harrah’s Besh Steakhouse

*please note that all pictures come from the

Harrah’s Website

so the bold GtG explorers were hungry and sought out the fine
cuisine of the renowned Besh Steakhouse of the Harrah’s Casino.
Dudemac, Maximus, Mike & Jory donned their mildly elegant wear and
walked into the chic and classy atmosphere of the steakhouse. The Besh
Steakhouse can be found in the Harrah’s Casino of New Orleans and
displays some excellent Blue Dog art as you enter.

It was early evening of Sunday, February 27th, 2005. The air was
crisp outdoors and the casino was bustling and noisy within. Once
inside the steakhouse though, you would never have believed you were
within such a busy Vegas-style casino. It surprisingly seats 150 people
in amazing comfort. The thick carpeting, heavy curtains and cloth
chairs absorb the noise of the casino rendering a pleasant quiet
whereby one may conduct a business meal or engage in good conversation
while eating.

The GtG explorers settled in for a good meal and some
light-hearted talk and occasionally some verbal jabbing at one
another. They were greeted first by the head waiter, Nelson, and his
quiet assistant (a woman who really needs to smile more often). We were
seated in the center of the steakhouse where we could see the novel
view of the open kitchen, as well as the art and bar. The assistant
laid our napkins on our laps and ensured our large blue glasses of iced
water were kept fresh and full. The GtG crew perused the menu of
delicacies. The French names were lost to most save Scarlet, who is
bilingual. As they pondered on what to order, Nelson arrived and
provided excellent insight into what the chef enjoyed cooking and what
were particularly good this evening. He set down a small token
appetizer of Duck Foie Gras (duck liver) with a light spicing to
its aroma. Maximus was not at all interesting in trying it, disturbed
by the slight discoloration where the air grayed the surface of the
patte.  It was delicious non-the-less according to the others.

A petite woman, who was dressed as one of the steakhouse managers,
stopped by the table to ensure all was well. Soon Nelson approached
with a specialty from the chef, John Besh. It was a small oyster
pastry. As most of the GtGr crew were very uncertain about
oysters, they stared at the tiny pastry for many minutes until Dudemac
courageously cut and tasted his. They were then devoured quickly and
mental notes were made to compliment the chef on this little delicacy.
Ready to order, Nelson listened to each member of the team. Jory gave
Nelson the hardest time with his order, requesting a very small Caesar
salad. Why on earth was that such a difficult request? Well, the Caesar
salads that Chef Besh prepares are made from a whole Romaine lettuce
split in two so as not to bruise the leaves. That makes for very LARGE
salads and taste very good.

The appetizers arrived. Small meat pies with a cream sauce and Sweet
BBQ Creole shrimp were shared around the table, while Scarlet enjoyed
her half a baby Romaine Caesar salad to snickers from the rest of the
crew. No, I am not vegetarian.  There was relatively nothing Vegan
or Vegetarian friendly on the menu. Why would there be? It was a
steakhouse! The Meat pies were well liked by Maximus and Dudemac. The
Shrimp was a huge plate that really needed all four of the crew to eat
it. The BBQ sauce that the giant shrimps were soaking in looked a bit
like Bayou mud, but tasted fantastic is highly recommended to all in
the future! It was slightly sweet with a fine spicy peppercorn hint to
it. Maximus’ Crab Bisque Cream soup arrived and he eyed it
suspiciously finicky eater that he is. In the end, he commented with
surprise that is was pleasantly good! Jory was nibbling his salad
slowly and that seemed to hold up the delivery of the meals, as the
others groaned for solid meat substance and complained to that I should
hurry up. Soon another manager, Greg, an older gentleman, came by to
let them know their meals were ready whenever they were. Jory passed up
the last few bites of salad to placate the hungrier people at the

To the amusement and interest of the crew, the waitress or Nelson
would pass by and deftly remove any dirty cutlery, replacing it
immediately with new forks or knives.

The meals arrived one by one, enticing in their presentation. Each
dish was full of color, different textures and exquisite flavor, works
of art. Divine meals indeed! Preoccupied with the enjoyment of their
meals, the GtG crew ate mostly in silence. Jory ordered the Filet
Mignon well done. It had large crisp asparagus on the side, a rich
sauce over the beef cut and some thinly sliced potatoes (Dauphinoise)
hidden carefully under the meat to soak in the slightly sweet, very
rich gravy. Mike and Maximus ate a 30oz bone in Ribeye with gravy and
vegetables, each meal large enough to feed two! And Dudemac savored his
lamb dish. Jory’s meal was the smallest plate serving of the four,
yet still quite large and filling. All were very impressed with the
presentation, taste and serving size. Too often fine cuisine means
minuscule portions leaving the clients entertained but still hungry.
These meals were excellent.

Dessert was equally exquisite. Pineapple sorbet, chocolate
delicacies, creme brule, and a complimentary dessert were laid before
the crew. Mike had not ordered any dessert yet was presented with the
creme brule and greatly appreciated it, especially with the amazingly
fresh fruit on the side. Dudemac and Maximus each received a dish with
three large chocolates. The cherry tort was wonderful topped with a
sherry sorbet. The liquor chocolate on the other end of the plate was
tasty. The large pyramid was looked at for a long time. Maximus was
very uncertain about eating the gold leafing on the point of the
pyramid as Dudemac teased him how it is good luck to eat it. Maximus
finally ate it and waited for Dudemac to crack his own pyramid and tell
the crew how the banana filling tasted. The pineapple sorbet I ordered
was heavenly and flavorful.

The evening was completed with a round of drinks. Jory once again
challenged Harrah.s Besh Steakhouse staff by requesting a drink mix
they never heard of, an After Eight. She had to describe the mix and
its ingredients to Nelson who assured her they could make it. (After
Eight: 2 shots Bailey’s Irish Cream, 1 shot Kahula, 1 shot Green
Creme de Menthe mixed and poured over ice) White Creme de Menthe was
used as a replacement and definitely sharpened the taste a bit, but it
was exactly what I was looking for to top of the meal. Mike and Dudemac
each drank different types of port. Dudesma’s Fonesca 10-year port
had a good flavor with mellow tones of oak and a fragrant bouquet,
while Mike’s was similar but was slightly less sweet.

The service, save for a few noted moments, was excellent and
courteous. The GtG crew was treated almost like royalty. What was
good to see was that all other customers received similar treatment.
Anyone could show up wearing dressy casual to formal wear and all are
equally treated like royalty. The crew offers high compliments to
Harrah’s Besh Steakhouse and their fine chef, John Besh, rating them
5 stars!

ASIDE: Chef John Besh is a Louisiana-born man having been
raised with the richness of flavor only found here in the heart of the
state. He was formerly a US Marine who served during Operation Desert
Storm. On return, his fascination with the culinary arts called him to
learn and share with a unique gift. He studied in America, Germany,
France, yet has been drawn home to Louisiana leave his mark on the
world in New OrleansHarrah’s Casino in the Steakhouse that now
bears his name.

The Buffet: written by Dudemac

While not as high end as the Besh Steakhouse the Harrah’s buffet
does not disappoint. Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner are all served
daily. With a Champange Brunch on Sundays. The food was extremely
good, with fresh steamed crawfish and gumbo on the menu everyday other
items are also included that give selections for everyone. Asian and
Italian food are both offered up on the menu daily. The deserts were my
favorite with a huge selection of pies, cakes and other confections.
Something I did notice is that on a Monday afternoon several people
from near by offices came in to eat at the Harrah’s buffet. I stopped
one young woman and asked her why this place? She replied “”The food is
very good for a great price, and we never have to settle for going out
to just one kind a restaurant””. To have local people eat at a casino
buffet says a lot for the food and service.

On a side note: Ask to be seated in the dining room of the buffet
area, its a separate room that is decorated like a dining room in a
palace. Fabric and Mirrors line the walls while an elaborate light
fixture hangs from the ceiling.

Overall: written by Dudemac

Having been to Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and the other top gambling
destinations, I would recommended Harrah’s New Orleans for those who
are looking for something more and just gambling. New Orleans offers a
few things that these other locations do not, great food and the unique
New Orleans atmosphere. Even though its hard to get a drink at times,
the food is worth it alone. I would make a trip back to New Orleans
just to go eat at the Besh Steakhouse, there was not one member of our
staff who did not completely enjoy their meal. New Orleans is not like
Vegas or any other gambling get away, people go to New Orleans for the
great food and entertainment, but while there, there is no place better
to gamble than Harrah’s New Orleans.

How to Play Craps for the Beginner

Craps is a game of dice and excitement. There are not too many places in a
casino where you will hear more roar and cheer than at a craps table. Of course
this leads people to come watch the action. At first glace you might see a table
that is moving fast with people throwing money everywhere and lots of different
bets on a table that is very confusing. This leads most people to feel
intimidated about the game and not play because they do not want to “”seem
stupid””. Well craps is a very easy game once you get some basics down.

First the Table:

The craps table may look confusing but if you look at the diagram below you
will see its really 2 tables joined in the center, making it only half as
confusing as you might think.

The table is a mirror image of each side because people stand around the
table to play. This means that everyone standing at the table is able to face
the pass line (the Pass Line is also the most common bet). The table staff will
be arrange around the table as follows:

The Stick man will be located at the bottom middle (of our picture) near the
ANY CRAPS bet, this allows him to control the bets going in and out of the
center and Horn area. The stick man calls the dice and uses a hook like stick to
move the dice from one end of the table to the other. The stick man may also
call “”Foul”” or “”No Roll”” when the dice fail to go the entire
length of the table and hit the opposite end, this must occur for the roll to be

The Dealers are located at the top of the table over the large numbers
(4,5,6,8,9,10) these are the main payers and takers of bets. You may see someone
throw a bet on the table and say something, the dealer will then move the bet to
the right spot. The dealer is also there to help so if you do not know, feel
free to ask. Especially with odds and payout questions. Do not get excited if
you have a bet on the table that has not been paid, bets are paid in a certain
order, they will get around to everyone. But once the payout is finished to not
be afraid to raise your voice about a bet you were not paid out on. In between
the dealers is the box man, you may notice he does very little, his job is to
watch. He watches the dealers and confirms the dice read by the stick man. He is
looking for cheaters, not really the player cheating but the dealers and stick man running a crooked game.

(Quick Note) This is casino etiquette, Never hand money to a dealer of any
kind, place the money or chips on the table and tell the dealer what you wish to
do with it. This is for security and to prevent impropriety on the part of the
dealer or player and so that the cameras can see all the money moving

The Game: Craps is played with two dice, the sum of the dice are used to
determine the number. The first roll is the Come Out roll, the purpose of the
first roll is to get 7 or 11 (win), 2,3,12 which is called craps (loose) or set
a point (4,5,6,8,9,10). On the first roll if a 7 or 11 are rolled, everyone
betting on the pass line wins. If on the first roll the numbers are 2, 3, or 12,
everyone betting on the pass line looses. There can be a long series of Come Out
rolls being winning or loosing without setting a point. This can happen, if 7 or
11 are coming up people will tend to be happy because they are winning. If craps
come up, you will see a table clear out very fast.

If a point is rolled, the dealers on each side will move and flip over a
button “”Off”” to “”On”” over the resulting point. Lets say 5 is
the point, the button would be moved to number 5 showing it was the point to be

This is very important, the game now continues until 5 comes up (winner) or a
seven (7) comes up (looser). Remember that after the point 7 will end the game
and everyone betting on the pass line looses. Once the point is rolled or seven
comes up the game starts all over. Games can last roll after roll, I personally
have seen over 20 rolls before 7 came up to end the game.

Bets: There are a lot of different bets in the game. The most common and
easiest to make is the Pass Line bet.

Lets look at this part of the pass line, the white and red dots represent chips.

The first bet to make is right on the pass line, make sure its clearly in the
middle of the lines that outline the pass line. This bet is made before the
first roll (The come out roll). Quick review, first roll is a 7 or 11 you win
even money, first roll is a 2,3,or 12 you loose.

Now lets say that the first roll made a point. 5 for example. Now you place
your Odds bet (the chips behind the pass line) The odds bet is your way to make
more money, some casinos have different amounts you can bet behind the pass
line, some its 10x and others 100x (this means that for a 5 dollar bet on the
pass line on a 10x table you can bet up to 50 dollars as your odds bet) Should
you always bet the odds? I think No. The good odds bets are 6 and 8 the next
most frequent numbers besides 7. So it pays the worst odds, but is also the
safest bet. 5 and 9, pays better odds. 4 and 10 pays the best odds at 2 to 1,
but these are bets that carry the most risk, so bet these only when you are head
so you do not hurt your bankroll too much.

The field: This is a section of the table (above the pass line) it has a
series of numbers 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12. This is a one roll bet, the next roll
must read one of these numbers for your bet in the field to pay out. Notice that
the 2 and 12 read “”double”” this means that if you are betting the
field and 2 or 12 come up, you win double your bet, otherwise it pays even
money. Some people like the field others do not, I tend to bet the field on
hunches or when the feeling hits.

The come bet, this is a more complex bet that I am not going to go into
because as you become proficient you will understand the Come bet.

The numbers: you can bet the numbers just as you bet anything else. the 4 and
10 pay the best. The 5 and 9 pay close to even and the 6 and 8 are the standard
bets. Put six dollars on 6 and six dollars on 8. This means that every time a 6
or 8 come up you win, six dollars pays seven dollars. Your original bet stays on
the numbers until you ask to take it off or a seven is rolled ending the game.

Note: At anytime on a craps table before the dice are rolled you can call all
your bets off, and pick them up and walk away. Once the dice are in the air the
bets are solid.

The middle of the table bets:

The Hard ways: These are simple, bet on these when a hard
six (3 , 3) or hard eight (4, 4) come up you win 10 to 1 odds. The 10 (5, 5) and
4 (2, 2) pay out 8 to 1. These are nice bets to
lay 1 dollar each on, if the point is one of these numbers, especially 6 and 8.
But they have high odds because they do not come up allot. These bets stay until
a seven comes up ending the game or the easy way comes up (6 , 4) to make 10. If
a non-hard way is the point, and you are betting the hard way, you will notice
that when the point comes up the dealer will ask you if you want your hard ways
working on the come out roll, this means do you want them “”on”” for the
first roll. This is a bad idea, but many people do have their hard ways working
since its just as likely that a hard way is rolled.

The Horn: There are several different bets in this one
area. you can bet the 2, 3, 11, or 12 straight up (money right on the number)
and this will pay the odds listed (ex. 2 pays 30 to 1) You can also bet Horn hi,
or Horn Low, this means that with a 5 dollar bet the extra dollar goes to 12
(hi) or 2 (low). Horn bets are for the next roll only.

Hope this helps, just remember don’t be afraid of the game and ask the
dealers if you have a question they are more than happy to help.

Review of the Grand Casino Coushatta in Kinder, LA.

This past weekend I was able to take a look at the Grand
Casino Coushatta
in Kinder, LA.

When you live in Texas there are very few choices for gambling. More to the
point its hard to find great places to gamble. Well there is a jewel in the
desert just a short drive past the boats. Here you can find a lone casino that
would make you think of Las Vegas.

Before I get into details I want to thank Paula over at the Grand Casino for
all her help in setting this review up.

When I go to gamble I like a place that is comfortable, offers a lot of
games, and is visually appealing.

The Casino:

As you walk in to the Grand Casino you may want to walk back out and be sure you are not in Las Vegas.
Inside the neon, carpet, and layout are very reminiscent of the fabulous Vegas
strip. The ceilings are vaulted with bright neon lights traveling up the walls
and signs that point you in the right direction. Entering through any door will
quickly have you on the floor in a matter of steps. First thing you might notice
is the large number of slots and video poker machines. Not only do they have
plenty of games but they also have several denominations from nickels to the
high roller slots of $100 bucks a pull. The casino also has some of the newest
games like the multi-denomination slots that allow you to play quarters through
dollars. They also offer a wide variety of slots with secondary games (my
favorite). A quick note on the slot club “”Our Grand Advantage Players Club
members are our favorite folks! Every month we feature a promotional giveaway
based on play. Slot players who earn 250 points in one day receive the item
free; table players whose play is rated at $15 average bet for one hour receive
the item free. This month (March) is a great set of travel bags. Otherwise, like
to get a comp meal at the buffet: Â slot players earn 200-250 points; table
players play $15 avg. bet for 4-5 hours””(GCC). Beyond the slots are of
course table games, Craps, Blackjack, Roulette, Pai Gow, Let It Ride, Caribbean
stud, and Three Card Poker, are all available to play. Most of the time you can
find tables with a $5 minimum, however Saturday nights those minimums go up to
at least $10 at most of the tables and $15 at some of them. Even at its most
crowded point, there were at least three $5 craps tables open. Roulette goes up
to $15 dollars min. inside or outside bet, however they have perhaps the only
single zero wheel in all of Louisiana. Why is this such a big deal? Well I play a lot
of roulette, and a single zero wheel gives you better odds against the house. If
you like to play larger dollar amount table games, then with a $50 minimum bet
you can go into the Salon, a high roller area set apart from the noise of the
slot floor. The room is easy to find, with very artistic glass to give a glimpse
of the room and at the same time hinder on lookers. The poker room is a little
hard to find even with the signs, but just look for the circus big top and you
can not miss it. Located of to one side is an older section of the casino that
is all slots except for a small poker room even further back. There are ten
tables running several different games, 3-6-12 Texas Hold’em, 10-20 Texas
Hold’em, 20-40 Seven Card Stud, and 10-20 Omaha are the games available. There
are a lot of locals who bring a fair amount of competition, but there are also a
lot of first time players and players who just do not take the time to think
before they bet. No matter what your game the wait is small, fifteen minutes was
the most I had to wait for a 3-6-12 table. Cashing in or out is made very easy
since the poker room has its own cashier window. Don’t miss the weekend
poker tournaments, every Friday and Saturday
. Play just a short while using
your players club card and get a $5 meal credit, that’s one of the best poker
room deals I have seen let.

The Food:

In Louisiana you will most likely find river boat
gambling, this means a walk from the casino floor to the dining area of your
choice. The Grand Casino Coushatta being a land based casino is able to spread out and offer several places to eat,
so you can get back to gambling asap. They offer 2 small cafe type places, with
short order food and sandwiches, one is on the main floor just a few steps away
from the slots, if they line is long enough you can even play a few spins. The
other quick order cafe is located right next to the poker room, this is a great
idea, because poker players do not like to stop playing because of a little
thing like hunger. The Grand Casino also offers a fine dining steak house, the
prices were right about what an average meal at Outback would cost. A fine
Italian food restaurant and a coffee shop also are on the property. The
Seven Tribes buffet (where I ate all my meals, and lets face it, if you are
going to a casino then you have to eat at the buffet.) is easy to find located
in the rear of the casino with great prices. Breakfast runs $7.25, Lunch will
run $10, and Dinner is $13 weekdays; Fri-Sat dinner features seafood buffet for
$17. At any given time there are about 100 people getting off buses, so the line
for the buffet can get very long, so jump in rather than waiting till you are
starving. So what about the food? Amazing, for the breakfast buffet were several
fruit selections, waffles, pancakes, eggs, bacon, and an awesome omelet buffet
that include among the selections crawfish, and shrimp. The lunch buffet can
only be described as vast, the selections are too many to list here, but the
high lights are peel yourself (crawfish and shrimp) several Chinese food
selections, pork tenderloin, a few Italian dishes, and remember we are in Cajun
country so there is plenty of down home bayou favorites, like blackened crab,
red beans and rice, boudin balls, and crawfish etouffee. Skipping to desert, is
an ice cream bar with eight flavors to choose from, the highlight of the ice
cream bar is the chocolate fountain. This fountain is special, its Magic Shell
chocolate ice cream topping, if you do not remember, magic shell is the syrup
like topping that hardens when poured on top of ice cream forming a
“”shell””. There are also several selections of pies, cakes, and
cookies. I did not get a chance to eat dinner, however one regular said the
dinner was excellent and encouraged me to try it, but at the time I had just
eaten lunch and was still full at midnight.

The Accommodations:

The Grand Casino is located in the small town of Kinder,
you will not find a huge selection of places to stay, but there are a few hotel
and motel chains near by. We stayed at the Coushatta
Grand Inn
, located about 200 yards from the casino. They offer a shuttle too
and from the inn to the casino, but I found the short walk to be a nice break in
the action. The walk way is a nice cobble stone path lined with different
plants, many of the plants have signs to tell you what kind of plant it is. This
is a nice little addition since many of us should take the time and smell the
roses or read the plant sign. Back to the Inn, check-in is at 4pm, and check out
is noon. Walking in you would think of a fine hotel rather than an Inn, they is
a baby grand piano, sitting area and fresh flowers to greet you. Check-in was
very easy and even with four people ahead of me, the wait was not long. In the
room, two very comfortable beds and cold blowing air conditioner. The cold a/c
is almost of must during the muggy bayou summer. The beds are very comfortable
and the tv has cable including two movie channels. The bathroom is spacious with
plenty of room for two people to make ready in front of the large mirror. In the
bathroom you will find a hair dryer, coffee maker (and 2 coffee packets with
everything to make a cup or two), hand soap, hand lotion, as well as a large
bath bar and a conditioning shampoo bottle. The tub/shower combo has plenty of
room, however be careful the water can get really hot with just a small turn of
the dial. A big plus about the bathroom is the second roll of toilet paper, this
is often over looked by other hotels and I wish I knew why, especially if you
have 4 people in a room, more than one roll is needed. Some notes on the hotel
and inn, “”Our room rates are based on availability. In general, a good rule
of thumb is Weekday specials for our Grand Advantage Players Club members start
at (Sun-Thurs) $29 at Coushatta Inn; $49 at Coushatta Hotel. Otherwise, rates
begin at $79 weekday for the Inn; $109 at the Hotel. Weekends: Â Inn $99; Hotel
$129. Chalets
start at $69 weekdays; $99 weekends. These rates are based on
availability.”” (GCC)

The downsides:

Ventilation in the main casino is excellent, but the poker
room and big top area are in serious need of more exhaust. Around 11pm on
Saturday the smoke was billowing around the lights and a cloud was suspended
overhead. On the other hand the drink service in the poker room was on the spot,
in contrast getting a drink in the main casino was near imposable at times. At
one point I timed it as one hour from a drink server coming by one of the craps
tables till the time they came by again. The casino is packed during Saturday
night and as such the wait staff could use an increase during this time. While a
few of the other guys were playing blackjack, I sat at a near by slot machine
(just around the corner of the waitress/waiter drink station) as a server was on
her way to the station, I asked for a drink, she sharply informed me this was
not her section. Well as I sat there it turns out that no one has that section
at the same time the guys at the blackjack table were just as out of luck as I,
so there is a whole section of tables and a few slots where it seems no one was
taking orders. I also understand that some people can have a bad night, but a
few of the drink servers and dealers must have been way off, as they were very
short on courtesy and quick to raise their voice. Want to avoid this? Be nice to
your drink person and dealer. Dealers and drinker severs, don’t carry your anger
on the floor with you or keep it from the customers altogether.


Aside from a few small things that are easily corrected,
the Grand Casino Coushatta is a great
place to visit, well worth the drive past Lake Charles. The rooms are affordable
and very nice, with several amenities not to mention nice staff. The casino
offers several different table games to choose from along with a high roller
room if you would not like people rubber necking at your black chip bets. There
are a number of slots to choose from and even at the busiest time there were
slots open and do not forget the high roller room here as well. The poker room
although small is not cramped at all, there is plenty of room to move in and out
and the drinks come quickly. If you are a slower paced person, the weekend is
not for you, I would suggest going on Sunday or during the week. Food is available
at several places depending on your taste and budget, although I highly
recommend the buffet for selection and the magic shell fountain. No matter what
your preferences are when it comes to gambling the Grand Casino is able to accommodate
you and with the players club card, you can earn points while you play, for free
gifts, food, or rooms. (depending on play)

Good luck and happy gambling.

Casino and Gaming Television! How sweet is this?

If you are like me you love to gamble. Well if you are like me you have cable

The Travel Channel has been at the
forefront of Casino and Gambling for years. If you ever watch The Travel Channel
you might notice that its 75% Vegas and gambling. This week in fact is Vegas
Week on the Travel Channel

Soon to debut is the new Casino and Gaming
Television Network
, that will be devoted 24/7 to the gambling arts.

Call your cable provider and ask for them to carry the Casino
and Gaming Television Network

Dudemac and Crew hit Vegas Bathrooms

It just
so happens that myself and a few co-workers were able to take a free trip to Las
Vegas this past week. So while there I thought why not do a review that is in
high demand but, info not easily found.Â

Which is the best casino to take a dump?

Well this was not easy to do, in the first place I am by no means a high roller.
So this meant walking from place to place. Here is a bit of free advice for you
all who have never been but, plan to go. The casinos (on the strip) look close
together, when in fact its their enormous size that gives this false impression.
Its so long we think instead of calling “”the strip””, we decided that
“”the striiiiiip”” was a better name. So pack some good shoes and lots
of socks.

To start off, the places we reviewed where all open to the public and no special means
were used to access these facilities. The bathrooms were rated on, cleanliness,
look, function, overall comfort, and amenities. Grades were given from A+ thru F.

The Crew: Mr. Pantolinoes, Matty Blue eyes, and Johnny T. Each were good
testers, stuffing themselves at the buffets in order to test the facilities to
the max.

” ”

Grade F

Binion’s Horseshoe (downtown) bathroom located near poker area.

places was scary. The florescent lights were only half working so the
place was very dim. I had this vision of being mugged and left to die, like in
some cheap B movie. The whole bathroom is small and very unclean, which was a
surprise since
Binion’s is the home of the world championship of poker. The only good
thing I can say is that the toilet had alot of power, flushing with
ease and could suck an arm off if needed..

Grade C


Downstairs bathroom, near to hotel check in.

The glitz
of years past have hurt the Riviera bath rooms again bad lighting, but it was
still good if you wanted to read something. The toilet again was powered very nicely
allowing for large loads. But the toilet paper is of poor quality and is hard to
get off the roll. The restroom was clean and on a whole very nice. However, the temperature
was rather high which made it hard to truly relax.

Grade F

(downtown) Bathroom in back.

So dirty and smelly it is not even worth going into detail. If you really have to
go and you are downtown go into the Golden Nugget.

Grade A

Caesars Palace (Strip)

This palace has bathrooms built for a king. The bathroom near the theater where Celine
Dion performs is a little hard to find at first, that’s because its located one
floor down, in a sunken oasis, these wonderful facilities are a short escalator ride away. I think
this is a great idea, having the bathroom in the center of everything but at the
same time out of sight. When you go in you may be a little shocked not to find
any toilets but a short right hand turn reveals all the amenities. The men’s
room is split off so that if you are washing your hands you do not see anyone relieving
themselves. The urinals are separate from the stalls , which I think was done to
keep lines for the stalls and urinals organized and defined. There is no restroom attendant but
there is a speedy cleaner so that the area is kept very clean and odor free. No auto flush commodes
here but the sinks and urinals both offer the high-tech feature of auto flushing.
2 ply toilet paper, that easily spun off the roll. The seats are very comfortable and the temperature
was perfect.

A+ (Strip)

When you spend 1.8 billion dollars on a resort, then you know some coin is going to be dropped
in the bathroom.

We looked at 2 bathrooms in this super casino. Coming from the shops if you keep walking toward the main
cashier you will be there quickley, once you arrive at the cashier take a left turn and go around
till you find the bathrooms. The other is nearest the wonderful Bellagio buffet,
if you want good food this place is for you. To get back to the bathrooms, these
places are nice. From the walls to the stalls. Clean must be very important to
management , as expected these bathrooms have a full time attendant (but not the wash your
hands for you ones, which I do not care for personally.) However, these
attendants keep the place clean and the sinks dry. Besides clean, the toilets
were comfortable and the paper was 2ply. Also the temperature was cool but not
to the chill point. The only thing we could think of to make these bathrooms
better was a tv on the stall door, maybe sports or casino information. Beyond tv’s the
Bellagio has got perfection down.

B- (Strip)

(but points were deduced for unclean bowls and porn cards in the bathroom.) the
mirage is a great tropical casino with wonderful decorations , this theme flows
into the bathroom with cabana style stall doors and elegant marble. However, the
bathroom near the wonderful buffet left much to be desired. Several of the
stalls were unclean and stopped up. The walls of 3 of these stalls had multiple
call girl flyers and gang signs on the doors. The temperature in the bathroom
was very warm and the airflow was poor. On the good side, there is a shoe shiner
waiting to do a wonderful job at making your shoes glow. There is also a
restroom attendant, but his job must be more stocking than cleaning. The toilet
paper is 2ply and the seats that were clean were very comfortable.

On a bad note: at the buffet, the receipt from the buffet has the full credit card number
on it. Not the row of x’s and the last 4 digits like most places do. Since this
is Vegas, I would haves expected more protection against credit card theft. So beware!!

Bossier City and Shreveport, LA

Well this is a brand new topic for eyejabber. Since I love to gamble I
thought “”might as well share with everyone””.

This past weekend, I visited the Bossier City/Shreveport, LA area. Great
combination of two close cities.

From College Station, it took about 3 1/2 hours to get there. From Dallas I
think its about a 2 hour drive. Once in the city you have many casino choices. I
wanted to make a quick stop at the Isle
of Capri
for my free $20. (Dudemac tip and almost everyone’s tip: Join the
Slot Club, Players Club or what ever they call it. You will get a card with your
name on it, and they will send you stuff like cheap room rates or free money)

The Isle is a nice casino, however if a lot of smoke bothers you then this
place will kill you. But the buffet is very good, we ate lunch there for 8 bucks
per person. The food was good, fresh, and hot. Lots of good ol’ Cajun cooking
here. The deserts were the best part, of course I always think that. On Saturday
around noon, there were a good number a $5 tables and the place was not very
crowded. If you have never been on a river boat, the smaller area might not
appeal to you. However, the Isle does have plenty of waitress on hand to keep
you from going thirsty. Waitresses were so-so, some good looking so not so.

After about an hour at the Isle, we drove 100 yards down the road to BoomTown.
Newly remodeled on an old casino site, boomtown in the place I liked best. As
soon as we walked in, I knew we should have eaten here instead. The buffet
smelled great, I took a quick look to see that it was overflowing with goodies.
Boomtown like the Isle is smoky, but not as bad. Right as you walk in, the first
thing I noticed were all the latest Slot games. Then I came to my senses and
noticed the hot and sexy outfits the waitresses had on. Picture this, Corset
top, with cleavage overflowing, some type of shoulder jacket, then butt less
chaps with satin panties covering their ass. My jaw dropped, then my wife’s jaw
dropped. These are the best outfits of any casino I have been too, including Vegas.
Most of the ladies were in their 20′s and great looking. Of course you will
always see the older ones there trying to fit into that outfit one last year, or
the girl who should loose around 50 pounds then get a new outfit. No matter
where you go, these waitress variables are always there. But I have gotten a
little off track. The casino is nice and bright, with lots of table games well
spread out and several $5 tables. At 2pm it was not very crowded until the
midday drawing of Clinko came around. Everyday at Noon, 3pm and 6pm there is a
drawing for a random person to play Clinko (you drop a puck into this maze of
spikes trying to win money) Again here is where that players card comes into
play. You have to sign up to get entries. After not winning Clinko, I sat down
at my favorite game of Roulette and was doing very well for a couple of hours.
My wife messaged me on my phone and wanted to go check into the hotel. I found
one of the other girls we came with and cashed out. I found the wife and the
last member of the quartet at the bar on the outside of the casino. Be warned,
inside the casino drinks are free, outside they cost. This was not a big
problem, the two ladies had chips, salsa and two 24 oz. margaritas for about
$12, that is a pretty good deal to me.

Off to the hotel, we stayed that the Holiday
, in Bossier City. Not a bad place, check in was quick and through Expedia
the room was only $69 a night. The room was nice and clean, the highlight for
the ladies was the hot tub near the pool. I stayed in the room and worked on a
cat nap. Well everyone out of the pool and back to the casino.

Note on dress attire for the casino: Some people wear jeans and a t-shirt,
some were a nice shirt and slacks, others were sweats and t-shirt. What you wear
in my opinion, makes little difference is all on what you gamble and what you
loose. However, if you look like a bum, the chances are you are not going to be
able to ask for all the perks with confidence. Most of the time I wear jeans and
a collared shirt. But its all on what you feel comfortable wearing.

Dinner time: We arrive at the Horseshoe
thinking food, the line to the buffet is long and the wife was not
feeling like a buffet again anyway. So we walk over the the restaurant called
Jack Binion’s Steak House. Prices were very reasonable and the food was good,
their website recommend reservations, we had no problem with a party of 4 being
seated right away on Saturday night at 8pm. There is a downside, the service was
horrible, our server was slow. It took 30 min to get our salad, and then an hour
and half after that to get our meal. Drink refills were very slow 30 min (and
the manager filled our drinks one time as well), now keep in mind I was needing caffeine
at this time to get me through the long night of gambling. All in all, I will
most likely never eat there again. Unless they would like to e-mail
with an apology and maybe a free meal :)

The rest of the Horseshoe, I enjoy all of the Jack Binion’s casinos. To me
its the old Vegas feeling, even when in Bossier City. As we walked into the
casino, they had the traditional million dollars behind glass. I think its a
great site, there have been many a time in Vegas that I walked past their
million dollar glass block and thought of winning it all. But not tonight,
Horseshoe was hoping with people. There was only one $5 table with 4 people
lined up to play and roulette and craps were packed even with $15 tables. This
was not the night to be there. The popular casinos are always packed on the
weekends, and the Horseshoe is no exception. Why you ask? good comps. In Vegas
we were playing roulette for around 5 hours at $1 bet each spin, about as low
roller as you can get, however the pit boss was still nice enough to offer us
breakfast comp for our patronage. Unable to find a seat we took off out the
door, as we left I checked out the Cigar stand. Nice selection with prices that
you would expect for a casino smoke shop around 40% higher than you would pay at
a local shop.

We decided to head across the river to the Shreveport side. Our destination
was Harrah’s. Nice place, not to smoky with
alot of tables. The place was not too busy since it was now 11 pm. Unlike Vegas,
Louisiana gambling seems to slow down after 10 pm, this is mainly do to the day
trip busses leaving. Of course do not get me wrong its still very busy. I was
able to find a good $10 roulette table and hit several times for some quick
wins. The table next to me was hot and hotter, fourteen actually hit five times
in a row, one guy won in the area of $2600 from one of the hits. After the wheel
went cold I went over to try some craps. I enjoy the game and the high energy,
but to bad for us, that there were alot of people at one end betting on the
Don’t Pass Line. I hate that, its like chanting “”I hope you loose
Sucker!””. Too bad for them this one guy threw four points in a row
including a 10. I walked away from there with $100 extra. I sat down to fade the
night away at blackjack. I do so-so, Maximus is the real blackjack wizard. He
has all those rules down, when I tend to go with my gut on when to hit and stay.
At 5am we called it a night and went to sleep.

All in all a great trip and a fun time. I will be going back there soon, I