Monday, March 07, 2011

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Orleans boilerplate information

My favorite at Al's Oyster House is the oyster chowder.  It is not on the menu, but they will make it for you if you ask.

I am a very poor judge of rooms, because I am too easily pleased, but I always think of the Orleans as having the best standard rooms in Vegas.

It was once the gem of many discussion boards.  Then the gambling declined.  In particular they took what was their signature VP, full pay 10/7 DB out of everywhere and replaced it with 9/6DB.  That seemed crazy because 9/6DDB was everywhere.  I think they now have 9/7DB is some places scattered around the casino.  The only other full pay game that I know of is 8/5 Bonus and that is not such a great game, even if that pay table is considered  full pay.  

That said, I like the 9/7 DB nickle progressives. I think there are two banks of them and sometimes it is hard to get a seat as they are favorites with the locals.  Sometimes the progressives (three of them all different) can be high enough to make this a very attractive game.  And for only 75 cents a pull we get three lines to play.  So I find them fun.  the bank I play is located near the buffet and to the right of Brendan's and the bathrooms.
I also found last time a quarter 9/7 progressive and I played it for a while, but it was not in an advantage place as the progressive was low.  
There is no JOB 9/6.  You can find that at the sister casino Gold Coast and earn points there that can be used at the Orleans.
I don't play deuces but this was noted:

They have a couple of NSUDs (99.73% payout). Though they removed the ones in front of the buffet. (Heard there are some 3-play ones still there, not sure).
So the nsuds left should be found somewhere all back where the pokerroom is and there very far to the back. And you can find them near the bingo.

I have enjoyed their shows.  Often you will have a two for one.  Last time Wild Bill and I went to use a 2 for 1 for $55 seats and we were just given free tickets to $65 seats and told, "this is your lucky day."  That makes me think that if you went a little late to the ticket box and asked if there were any good deals on seats, they might have a freebie.

The used dice and the used playing cards are good deals in the gift shop.  Unlike most other cards they are clipped at the corners but not black marked so they are good for poker.  They are white backed.  there are sometimes great deals in this giftshop.

Their all-day deal on food is a good deal($24 on everyday except Friday when it is $27) especially when breakfast is expensive.  It is not 24 hours, but you get a wrist band and can use until 9PM and it will let you skip lines and enter at the VIP side.  I like the buffet there.  If you have the experience of feeling you feel encouraged to eat too much at a buffet because you are there and then you are gone,  but like the selection, this is a great deal.  I play poker or VP and just skip out for a half hour of  fruit and coffee, and back to the game as often as I like.

The poker games are fun, but not the softest.  2/4 is not very difficult and can be soft.  4/8 attracts good players who know one another and may be hard to beat.  No limit is not for me there.  The max buy ins seem too steep to me.  But they have Omaha and many people like this venue.  They do comp and you can earn your oyster stew there.  I have.

Orleans  has an Irish pub, Bendan's with some Irish music at times announced , but there is also an Irish bar right behind called the orleans and across the street called McMullen's
that has great homemade potato chips with dips, good food in general, and a fine ambiance.  Sometimes has coupons. Smithwick's is on tap.  And as you can tell they have some fun events although when I have been there it was never noisy.

You can bowl at the Orleans.  You can do "dance, dance, revolution" there.

The jacuzzi is not just a little outside hole in the cement, it is really pretty with rocks in the center and plenty of room. Reminds me of the Flamingo jacuzzi.

When the coffee place near the check-in was Seattles, there was free wifi there and in the morning it was never crowded, and you did not even have to buy coffee if you did not want to.  Now it has a different name, but I expect there is still free wifi.  High seats along a counter looking toward the casino offered a pleasant place to do a bit of email and catch up. 

The fitness center had nice machines and was pleasant.
There is a spa, with a $15 daily fee.  I have used it years ago and liked it.  It was free then.

Nightly music in the lounge is usually good for dancing.  As I remember, not on Monday.  Usually it is uncrowded.
I like parking in a small outside lot that is just to the right of the hotel entrance (beyond a cement divide) and I just park there to check in if I have a car.
Without a car the free shuttle takes you to Bill's on the strip or to the Gold Coast. 
But just across the street the Tropicana city bus takes you in uncrowded comfort to the strip at Tropicana casino or will take you all the way to the Pinball Hall of Fame if you like.  For me, that means great location. 

If you find yourself too late for the last free shuttle, getting the bus in front of NYNY right in front of the porte-cochère is an easy way back, or getting a cab in the NYNY circle is cheap and convenient.  The cabby  just pulls  from the NYNY circle under the porte-cochère out on Tropicana and in less than $10 he is at the Orleans.
I find some interesting inexpensive shows in that Tropicana/strip area.   On the South side of Planet Hollywood is a little theater.  I saw [URL=""]Hypnosis Gone Wild[/URL] there and loved it.  By checking all the coupon free magazines you can find $10 off.  I saw a comic in that same little theater and that was fun.
I think this little theater might change its name because I don't remember it as being Empire Theater.  

Anyway, I like the easy bus access.

Also, from Excalibur there is a free tram to Mandalay Bay with a stop at Luxor.  So a room at the Orleans gives very good access to most of the strip.

Don't walk from the strip to the Orleans.  Working women you do not want to know walk there.  Sometimes they meet at Denny's for an early breakfast half way between the Orleans and the strip, so skip the graveyard special there as well.  Wild, Wild West is not a local's place you want to explore unless you are training for a night at the Western downtown.
But the walk across the street from the bus stop feels comfortable to me.  Walking across the street to McMullen's seems easy even after dark.

Senior days have been on Tuesday.  5X points on VP and 7X points on slots until 4PM, cheap movies, half priced buffet deals and a few cash drawings.  I like that day.  I hope it won't go away before May when I go, but did not see it in Vegas Values this week.  The last time I called it was still a working promo.
American Casino Guide has enough coupons for Orleans and Gold Coast to pay for the book.  However, one person gets a coupon deal once in a year.  No use having two books unless you have two people.

Down Arville (a road parallel with the strip, but where the Orleans is) there is an easy laundromat. CalleWizard of Suds It is safe to walk there in daylight, but it is a half hour walk.  It generally is uncrowded and you don't need to bring anything but clothes.  You can buy the rest.

Okay, that is all I know.

Thebeat coffee house.

Here are some very informative reviews about one of the most exciting new places around the El cortez.

Me and Rocoe at Main Street Station

 I caught a Vegas board thread moaning that Main Street Station had raised the price of its microbrews from $1.50 to $1.75.  Of course, we can still get my favorite Black Chip Porter at the Boars Head bar playing video poker.
Here was my thread response:

Yeah, a hell of a thing to raise the price of that beer.
Why should we go to Vegas and pay $1.75, when for just $4.50 we can have a similar porter right down the street??

And consider the tip.
If the beer costs $1.75, and we tip a buck, well...then we are tipping 57%

But if we tip a buck for our local beer, then we are tipping pretty close to the conventional 20%.

Read a few of the tipping sites. No one recommends tipping 57%. It's outrageous! Tipping in Vegas has gone way out of all sense. How can the same tip on the same beer be 37% higher??
They raise the price of the beer and then they want a 57% tip.
How does that make sense? How is it fair?

And if you want one of those "free" beers that MSS Boars Head folks are always raving about, why you gotta play one of those complicated video games.
So you gotta do work, and you might lose money doing it. You might win a thousand dollars, but you might lose twenty.

And they still expect you to tip!!

So I was at the Boar's Head one night with my pal Rosco and I get the free black chip porter and start doing the work of the video game and Rosco says, "Don't forget to tip, Dew."

"Well," I says to Rosco, " the beer is free, right?"

"Yeah, but you gotta tip."

"Okay, " I says, " You know that I never have any problem with tipping, and I always tip 20%."
"Fine," Roscoe says. "So tip already"

"Well, no, it ain't fine at all," I answer." If the beer is free, what is 20% of zero?"
I had old Roscoe stumped there, so he gets out his calculator and starts to try to figure this out and he keeps mutterin' and sayin'
"Damnit, that can't be right 'cause it says it is nothing." And sayin' a few other things that I won't report.

Now right there you can see that Vegas beer is just a lot of trouble. Either the tipping is through the roof at 57%, or it ends up with two of you doing mathematics while the beer gets warm. Why poor old Roscoe never did have a chance to tell a story or go into a political rant because he was too busy with the calculator.

So, I figure, it is a lot better to just go down to the local pub and pay $4.50 for a pint of porter. That way I can tip the correct 20% without all that mathematical work.
And tipping there saves me 37%. That has to add up over time.
And if I have too many.....well.... at the Boars Head I am a drunk trying to do mathematics and remember advantage play. At the local pub I can actually fall asleep, wake up in an hour and not have missed anything. In fact, I can wake up in the middle of one of Roscoe's stories or political rants and know exactly how to finish it, because I've heard the same damn thing sixty or seventy times from the same guy, so I know it by heart.
Hey, try to do that at the Boars Head in Vegas!!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


I think the key to the Four Queens is staying in the South Tower and asking for a room away from the Freemont Experience noise.
I have been comfortable doing that, but I can't speak for the rooms on the North Tower.
The Binions pool is not fancy, but it was fine when I was last there. It is really not much different to walk a short distance across the street, as it is to take long trips to find the pool in larger hotels. If you like helicopters there is one time of day when they fill the sky, sunset.
A half priced ticket place is located right there in the Four Queens, so if you get bored see what is cheap that day.
The RatPack show at the Plaza is good.
Live poker at the Golden Nugget will get you ten dollars off the buffet for four hours of play, and you can enter in the VIP section and avoid the buffet line.
I think they are still having morning tournaments.

Playing late at night, just ask for the voucher to be dated the next day.
There is a coupon in the American Casino Guide that will get you ten dollars extra on your buy in. Also, unlike the strip casino coupons, downtown coupons in this guide will support a nice matchplay run with freeplay at the El Cortez. Downtown easily makes the book pay for itself.
Main Street Station has guides to its antiques. Ask at the desk. A good daytime activity.
While you are there, running $1000 or so dollars through any of the full pay video poker can get you a free buffet with no reduction in points. Just ask at the Player's club. This is a good buffet.

Sam's Town at Boulder offer a free shuttle from California out to Sam's Town on the Boulder Strip.
You can get a 2 for 1 buffet there as well.

The new SDX bus just steps away makes it easy to escape and play other places during the dull daytime hours. Avoid the Deuce as it is reported overcrowded and slower than ever.

If you bring a computer, free wifi can be had not far away at Krispy Kreme and you can sit outside. But bring a mouse pad or something to use as one as the tables have a metal grid.
Another source is a new unique coffee house called TheBeat which is on Freemont just shy of the El Cortez. Wifi with the sound of old vinyl records. Or just coffee with that sound and maybe breakfast or a sandwich.

Here is a pretty upbeat view of downtown that might give you some ideas

Not certain when this opens, but keep an eye peeled for another non gambling diversion up near the El Cortez