Travel Fanboy

What’s the Most Underappreciated Casino in Las Vegas?

When I posed this question on the most recent podcast episode, I knew the savvy listeners would focus on the right thing: value. It’s why none of the responses I received mentioned a Strip property. Tallying up the votes, you’ve all determined that El Cortez is the most underappreciated casino in Las Vegas right now.

El Cortez isn’t exactly a hotbed of fine dining and exclusive nightlife. But, we’re all pretty shrewd Vegas visitors, so most of us know how good El Cortez is for stretching the gambling dollar. That’s what matters for most of us. We have to remember that we are not like the rest of the typical Vegas tourists, some 40M + a year. We, more than most, know how to navigate the city to maximize value. El Co allows us to do exactly that. The casino has several different games and banks of video poker above a 99% payback. It also has one of the, if not, the best $5 blackjack game in town.

@wallstreetnole explains further:

.19% – On average, overtime,  If played correctly, the casino will expect to win 19 cents for every $100 played.

That’s the house edge on the single deck, 3:2, double on any 2 cards, $5 minimum blackjack game at the El Cortez.

If Jesus was a gambler he would have played this game. If it were on a strip resort for $5 minimum there would NEVER be an open seat.

This alone is what makes the El Cortez the most underappreciated casino in Las Vegas.

Two things scare the mainstream crowd away from the El Cortez and they really shouldn’t. The first being the local crowd persona with heavy smoke. The second being that the best BJ game in the house is a “pitch” game which intimidates casual blackjack players.

El Cortez is doing a lot to help their image. The vintage but classy feel is the new norm as they try to mitigate the negative persona of the “for locals” appeal. The smoke is what is is and it’s going to be at every downtown casino.

As far as the pitch game, give it 10 minutes to learn if you have never played it before. You may never want to go back to playing face up. The way you hold the card or casually flip your busted cards over. It adds an entirely new element to the game.

El Co has some of the more “creative” promotions and is making strides to improve its food and beverage offerings with both Pizza Lotto and Imbibe Bar. However, make no mistake, you’re not going to rub shoulders with pretty models or be able to show off your bottle service ordering skills. And, sure, it takes a bit of a walk to reach this smoky establishment. Once there, though, you’ll find great, inexpensive gaming and drinks. I think we can all appreciate that. On the other hand, feel free to visit lottoz uk.


Host of the Vegas Fanboy podcast. A reluctant Millennial. An amateur human.