Downtown Las Vegas Blackjack
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Downtown Las Vegas is home to some of the best blackjack games in Las Vegas. In addition to the low house edge blackjack, the minimum bets are often $5 or less. Combine this with great drink service and ease of earning comps, and Downtown Las Vegas can be a great blackjack experience. Downtown Las Vegas is anchored by the Fremont Street Experience.
The Fremont Street Experience is a large pedestrian mall over what was once the actual road. There are often multiple concerts running in the pedestrian mall and there is a light show on the Viva Vision screens 90 feet above Fremont Street every hour after dark. There are also dozens of vendors including street acts, bars, and merchandisers. When not enjoying the Fremont Street Experience, there is plenty of good blackjack to be found.
The best blackjack in Downtown Las Vegas is just east of the Fremont Street Experience. El Cortez, at the corner of 6th Street and Fremont Street, offers a single deck blackjack game where the player may double down on 10 or 11. The player also receives 3-2 on blackjack which is uncommon in Las Vegas on single deck games. This game has a $5 minimum bet. El Cortez also offers one of the best double deck blackjack games in town. The double deck blackjack game has a $3 minimum, allows players to double after the split, and pays 3-2 on blackjack. The Golden Nugget high limit area offers a great double deck blackjack game. During off peak hours the minimum bet is $25, but during peak hours it may be $50. Players can double after the split on the double deck at Golden Nugget. Comps are earned quickly in the high limit area at Golden Nugget. The D, formerly Fitzgeralds, offers a similar game with a $10 minimum, but comps are not earned quickly.
While there are some great blackjack games downtown, there are also some games to avoid. Many blackjack games at Binion’s pay 6-5 on blackjack. Most of the blackjack games at Four Queens also pay 6-5 on blackjack. Boyd properties Fremont, California, and Main street Station, all offer poor double deck games compared to El Cortez, Golden Nugget and The D.
There are several unusual blackjack games offered downtown. These games include Burn 20 at Binions, Most Liberal 21 at Plaza and Vegas Club, Blackjack Attack at El Cortez and Super Fun 21 which can be found all over Downtown Las Vegas.
Downtown Las Vegas Blackjack Survey
# of Decks
# of Tables
House Hold %
|El Cortez||6||3||300||H||-||-||-||-||1||No||No||No||No||Double Attack BJ||-||2||4||4||4|
|4 Queens||6||10||500||H||-||-||-||-||2||No||No||No||No||BJ Switch||-||2||3||3||2|
|Golden Gate||2||10||1000||H||-||-||-||-||1||No||No||No||No||Super Fun 21||-||2||2||4||3|
|Golden Nugget||1||5||500||H||-||-||-||-||1||No||No||No||No||Super Fun 21||-||4||3||4||5|
|Golden Nugget||6||10||1000||H||-||-||-||-||1||No||No||No||No||Free Bet||-||4||3||4||5|
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Downtown Las Vegas Casinos
Binion’s offers the worst blackjack downtown and some games rival the worst in the city. Many blackjack games inside Binion’s pays 6-5 on blackjack. Binions does offer one 3-2 single deck blackjack game with a $25 minimum bet. This game allows players to double down on 10 or 11 but does not allow double down after splitting. There is also an unusual game called Burn 20.
The smoke at Binion’s is thick due to the low ceilings and packed together tables. The tables are mostly worn and uncomfortable to sit at and play. The drink service makes up for some of this as servers come around often. One advantage that Binion’s offers is a large parking deck. Regardless of whether you play at Binion’s you can validate your parking ticket at the two cashier cages and receive three hours of free parking.
California specializes in one blackjack game. Their most popular game is a $5 minimum double deck that hits soft 17 and does not allow double after a split. They also offer a $5 single deck Super Fun 21 and just one 6 deck game with a $3 minimum. Even in the 6 deck game you cannot double after the split. Everything about the environment at California is average. The tables, the dealers and the drink service are all as expected for a casino with a $5 minimum. California offers free parking or you can walk over from Main Street Station which has a bridge connecting the two casinos.
El Cortez – Editors Choice for Best Blackjack in Nevada
Once known as one of the biggest dumps in Las Vegas, El Cortez has been completely remodeled. It is now one of the classier casinos in downtown Las Vegas. When you enter you are met with a perfumed air that masks any smoke in the air. There are three blackjack games offered. There is a single deck, double deck and a new game called Blackjack Attack. The single deck is one of the best blackjack games in Nevada. This $5 minimum blackjack game pays 3-2 and the player can double on 10 or 11, but not after a split. The $3 minimum double deck, which is dealt out of a shoe, allows players to double anything, even after a split. El Cortez offers a small parking area or players can park in the city’s parking deck just one block west at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Blvd.
Four Queens is located on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. Four Queens is sister property to Binion’s. Four Queens is old style with low ceilings. The tables are close together. The clientele is an older crowd and there are some smoke annoyances. Drink service varies greatly in quality from one shift to the next. There are a total of 15 blackjack tables with four different types of blackjack. The best game is the double deck which has a $10 minimum and pays 3-2 on blackjack. There is no double after the split in this game. There are two different six deck games with identical rules. Both games allow double after the split but some of the 6 deck games pay 6-5 on blackjack. Make sure to read the table felt, placard, or ask the dealer if the game pays 3-2 on blackjack. All of the single deck blackjack games pay 6-5 on blackjack.
To visit Four Queens by car park in the city’s parking deck at Las Vegas Blvd and Fremont Street or park in the Binion’s parking deck located on Casino Center Blvd. If you park in the Binion’s parking deck make sure to get your parking validated there for three free hours of parking. The parking deck and valet at Four Queens are for hotel guests only.
Fremont is a Boyd Gaming property in Downtown Las Vegas on Fremont Street. The casino is old and crowded. The tables are very close together and the walkways are narrow. This creates an unpleasant playing environment, especially for those that are bothered by cigarette smoke. The drink service is very poor in Fremont, possibly due to how crowded the casino floor is.
The blackjack action is below average. While the minimums are as low as $3, the payback on the games are also poor. All games hit soft 17. The best game in Fremont is the $5 minimum double deck but players cannot double after a split. The other games include a 6-5 single deck blackjack, a $3 minimum 6 deck shoe, and Super Fun 21.
Golden Gate is a quiet casino during the day. At night, it becomes one large party. The entire table games pit is a party pit at night. There are 13 blackjack tables at Golden Gate. Six of those tables are $5 minimum and six are $10 minimum standard blackjack games. The rules are the same on both tables. Dealers hit soft 17 and players can double anything and double after the split. Unlike party pits in other casinos, blackjack pays 3-2. The lower minimum tables use a continuous shuffle machine. There is also one Super Fun 21 table.
The casino is smoky due to its size and the number of tables shoved together. The ceilings are low too, causing issues with clearing the smoke from the air. Drink service is average and the condition of the casino is above average, especially compared to other downtown Las Vegas casinos. Golden Gate offers a small parking area. Players may want to consider using the valet at Plaza or the parking deck at Binion’s where players can get 3 hours of parking comped just by getting their ticket validated at the cage at Binion’s.
Golden Nugget – Best High Limit Blackjack Downtown Game
Golden Nugget is the highest end casino in Downtown Las Vegas. Golden Nugget offers some of the best blackjack downtown as well. The limits are reasonable and so are the rules. The dealer hits soft 17 on all games at Golden Nugget, even in high limit. The best game in the house is in the high limit area. The minimum bet is usually $25 on the double deck game. The game offers double after split but no other special positive player rules. Make sure to play double deck blackjack in the high limit area. The double deck tables on the main casino floor will typically have the same minimum bet but do not allow double after the split. The six deck games have very liberal rules. Players can double anything, double after the split, surrender and resplit aces. There are also two party pits although blackjack pays 6-5 in those pits on most games. Golden Nugget also offers Free Bet Blackjack.
The casino is classy and so is the clientele. The drink service is excellent most of the time and the smoke is only a minor annoyance. The tables are quality and the seating is comfortable. The Golden Nugget has a small parking deck off of Bridger Avenue to use but there are times the deck is restricted to hotel guests. Valet has the same restrictions although a $5 tip tends to get the attention of the valets. If all else fails, valet at The Plaza or park in the Binion’s parking deck and get three hours free by getting your ticket validated at their cashier cage.
Goldspike is a very small casino located on Ogden Avenue in Downtown Las Vegas. There are only four blackjack tables at Goldspike, all of which are in the party pit. The game is a double deck that allows double after the split and pay 3-2 on blackjack. While the casino has some sketchy customers, the casino is surprisingly clean and virtually smoke free. There is some street parking and a small parking lot but your best bet is to park in the Binion’s parking deck and walk two blocks east down Ogden. Do not forget to get your parking validated at Binion’s before going home.
Main Street Station
Main Street Station is above average for Downtown Las Vegas. Main Street Station is just north of the Fremont Street Experience on Main Street. Main Street Station is surprisingly nice considering its location. The casino is somewhat smoky at times and the drink service is hit or miss, depending on the time of day. Make sure not to walk north of the hotel as the Las Vegas homeless corridor is just across US95 from Main Street Station. Do not worry though, the casino is perfectly safe inside and so is walking south or east.
The blackjack games are identical to the games that can be found at sister property California which is attached to Main Street Station. The minimums are all $5. All games hit soft 17. There is a double deck and a six deck; neither allows a double after the split or anything else that would benefit players. There is also a $5 minimum Super Fun 21 game.
The Plaza just reopened in 2011 after being closed for almost a year. The casino had a complete face lift. There are three blackjack pits in the casino although only one or two are usually open. The customer base is an interesting bunch. There are retirees taking advantage of the new rooms at a great rate, partiers that enjoy Fremont Street and the crowd that spills over from the neighboring bus station. The casino is new and in good condition. The tables are comfortable except for some annoying smoke. Cocktails are provided in a very acceptable time frame at the tables, although no high end liquor is comped.
The blackjack games offered in Plaza are average at best. The double deck, dealt out of a shoe, has a $25 minimum and allows doubling after the split. The 6 deck shoe games have a $5 minimum and allow doubling after the split. Super Fun 21 and World’s Most Liberal 21 are also offered with a $5 minimum. Do not be fooled by the World’s Most Liberal 21 game’s name. It has a house hold that rivals most 6-5 single deck games.
The D – (Formerly Fitzgeralds)
The D has been completely transformed from a dumpy downtown casino to a hip party casino. The blackjack games become party pit games at night with the same rules used during the day. This is the same feature offered by sister casino Golden Gate. The second story of The D offers players a glimpse into the old style of Las Vegas. All of the machines upstairs operate on coins. This includes a Sigma Derby virtual horse racing machine, the last of its kind in Las Vegas.
The D offers a double deck and a six deck game, both with $10 minimums. Both games allow doubling down after splitting and all games hit a soft 17. Some six deck games use a continuous shuffle machine.
The Vegas Club, also referred to as Las Vegas Club, could be the most disgusting place to play blackjack between downtown and The Strip. When you walk in from Fremont Street, the first thing you smell is sewage. Once you get past that smell, there is an overwhelming stench of cigarette smoke. Those that are sensitive to smoke should avoid the Vegas Club. If you walk in from the back of the casino then you will notice that much of the property has been abandoned. The entire rear of the casino has been closed.
There is nowhere to park at Vegas Club as the deck is only for hotel guests most nights. The sign always says the parking deck is for hotel guests only, even though the hotel only opens when The Plaza, sister property to Las Vegas Club, is 100% occupied. The Binion’s parking deck is once again your best bet.
There are five different blackjack games offered at Vegas Club. All games offered hit soft 17. The best one is the Royal Match video blackjack machine. There are two of these machines and they accept player’s cards that pay .2% cashback or .3% in free play. This game has a $2 minimum bet and allows doubling anything, doubling after the split and surrender. The table blackjack games all have a $5 minimum. The 6 deck games allow doubling after the split. Some of those games use continuous shuffle machines. There is also one double deck blackjack game in the party pit. Vegas Club is also home to World’s Most Liberal 21 which is not that liberal. The house hold is well over 1%.