Video poker entered the casino gambling product mix in the 1970’s and quickly established itself as a staple for any property. At one point, video poker machines accounted for a 70% share of the casino floor but today the mix with slot machines is more equitable. In many markets, casinos have no problem removing video poker machines in favor of slots since they bring in higher revenues. In more competitive environments like Southern Nevada, however, the video poker player has plenty of options to choose from.
In any jurisdiction offering Type 3 gaming video poker is at it’s heart run by the same technology that powers slot machines–a random number generator. Players are dealt hands based on a random number generator and although they have control over which cards they keep and discard the new cards drawn are also just randomly generated. The common convention of playing cards—52 cards in the deck, four suits, etc.–make it easier for most people to understand the odds and payouts of hands and the probability of drawing certain cards. For that reason, it’s easier to walk up and play a new video poker machine more effectively than it is a new slot machine—there are some basic parameters understood by everyone.
Furthermore, the ‘common convention of playing cards’ makes for a more understandable pay table. It makes it possible to figure odds and an accurate payback percentage which isn’t possible with slot machines. The competitive market in Southern Nevada means that even at the tightest casino you’re unlikely to find a machine paying less than 95%. At the best casinos for video poker players in Las Vegas it’s possible to find machines that pay in excess of 100% with perfect play. Note those words ‘with perfect play’–most of the 100%+ payback machines are Deuces Wild or other variants that average players don’t intuitively know the correct strategy for. Among the top video poker properties you can expect to find machines that pay out in the high 90% range. Keep in mind that exact video poker payout percentages change from month to month so it’s a good idea to check one of many websites that tracks this information.
This list takes payout percentage into account but also more arbitrary factors such as number of machines, variety of games, and an overall positive vibe for video poker players. Payout information is from the essential video poker players’ website vpFREE2. Every property on the ‘7 Best Las Vegas Casinos For Video Poker Players’ offers games for experts and novices alike and you’ll encounter both at the machine banks on a given night:
7 BEST LAS VEGAS CASINOS FOR VIDEO POKER PLAYERS
SOUTH POINT HOTEL, CASINO AND SPA
South Point is in many ways a Las Vegas ‘throwback’. Not an idealized ersatz ‘Rat Pack’ throwback but a legitimate Las Vegas throwback to the days where the focal point of every property in town was gambling. Not shopping. Not EDM. Not ‘day clubs’. You’ll find the South Point appearing on Las Vegas ‘best of’ lists frequently. They’ve got one of the best sports books in town, a solid buffet and surprisingly well appointed accommodations. They’ve even got one of the top equestrian centers in the country. They also offer excellent video poker play with payouts of 98 or 99% at virtually every quarter and above game variant. There are hotel/casinos in town that are more flashy and trendy than the South Point but few can rival the experience that they offer for serious gambling enthusiasts.
South Point Hotel, Casino & Spa
9777 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89183
FOUR QUEENS HOTEL & CASINO
The Four Queens Resort and Casino has been in business since 1966 and has been my favorite all around property in Downtown Las Vegas for as long as I can remember. The property has changed ownership several times but has been able to remain relevant during the past few chaotic decades of ups and downs in the fortunes of Downtown Las Vegas. Under the canopy of the Fremont Street Experience things are looking up downtown with new properties coming online and while they may offer a more ‘upscale resort experience’ than the 4Q few can rival the quality of their video poker. The casino has plenty of video poker games most paying in excess of 99%. There are even some games at denominations under a quarter that pay at 98% and above–a rarity. There are plenty of other reasons to go to the Four Queens including arguably the best ‘old school Vegas’ dining experience in town at Hugo’s Cellar. There’s a small but serviceable William Hill run sportsbooks and their table games are some of the best in DTLV.
Four Queens Hotel and Casino
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
PALACE STATION HOTEL & CASINO
Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta took a 5,000 square foot casino called the Bingo Palace that their father had built and turned it into an empire. Along the way they built and sold the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) for a cool $4 billion. The Fertitta’s were one of the first casino owners to cater to Las Vegas’ growing ‘locals’ population and that’s still the case today. There are five ‘Station’ branded properties around town along with several others owned by Red Rock Resorts under other names. With the recent acquisition of the Palms Hotel and Casino more than half of the entries on this list are Fertitta owned properties. All of the Stations Casino branded properties–the Palace Station, Boulder Station, Sunset Station, Texas Station and Santa Fe Station–offer excellent video poker but my favorite has always been the Palace Station due to it’s proximity to The Strip, excellent buffet and dining options and well run sportsbook. Palace Station has seen a big upgrade in recent years but the solid video poker offerings remain. You’ll find a number of Deuces Wild and Bonus Poker variants that pay over 100% with virtually every other machine on the property paying in the high 98 or 99% range. They’ve even got some lower denomination machines with high end payouts.
Palace Station Hotel & Casino
2411 W. Sahara Avenue
Las Vegas, NV 89102
The only entrant on this list located on ‘The Strip’, The Cosmopolitan has remained one of my favorite properties in town since it opened. It was one of the first properties to embrace a more sophisticated aesthetic and now every property in town tries to emulate it’s vibe to some degree. The majority of video poker games at The Cosmopolitan pay at 99% or better with some lower denomination machines paying at 98% or better. Easily the best video poker on The Strip and a host of first rate dining, entertainment and drinking options as well. The property has recently been put up for sale and hopefully any potential new ownership will maintain the player friendly video poker.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
FIESTA RANCHO HOTEL & CASINO
There are two Fiesta Casinos in town both owned by Red Rock Resorts who also own the Stations Casino chain. Both Fiesta Rancho and Fiesta Henderson offer a similar vibe and excellent video poker paybacks. Virtually every machine at a quarter or higher on the property pays in excess of 99% with a few Deuces Wild and Bonus Poker variants at over 100%. You won’t find as many dining options as at the other Red Rock properties but there’s a serviceable buffet that for years was one of my most frequent breakfast spots. The Rancho location also has the only Nevada outlet of a California restaurant chain called ‘Culichi Town’ which offers a unique and interesting hybrid of Mexican and Japanese cuisine. The Henderson location has a similar product mix with a tasty Mexican restaurant called Leticia’s and the surprisingly good Fuego Steakhouse.
Fiesta Rancho Hotel & Casino
2400 N Rancho Drive
Las Vegas, Nevada 89130
GREEN VALLEY RANCH RESORT, SPA & CASINO
Yet another Red Rock Resort property, the Green Valley Ranch features a lush Mediterranean inspired theme and some of the best video poker in suburban Henderson. For all machines at a quarter denomination and above the pay tables are similar to the other Stations/Red Rock Resort properties–there are Deuces Wild/Bonus Poker variants paying at 100% with mot of the other machines at the property coming in at 99%+. All of the amenities you’d expect from a Red Rock Resorts property including a good buffet, highly underrated steak house called Hank’s Fine Steaks and an excellent sports book. The spa at GVR is also among the best in Henderson and a great place for a massage!
Green Valley Ranch Resort, Spa & Casino
2300 Paseo Verde Parkway
Henderson, Nevada 89052
PALMS CASINO RESORT
For many years the Palms Casino Resort was for the most part an excellent property that suffered from a serious ‘identity crisis’. They were trying to go after too many different and in some cases diametrically opposed demographics at the same time. The Palms aesthetic has been streamlined in a recent remodel and is now much more sleek and sophisticated than before. The food and drink at the property has been upgraded while the concert venue and movie theaters remain. Also on the property–an 8,000 foot recording studio just in case you and your heavy metal band want to lay down some tracks. The Palms Race & Sports Book has long been one of the most impressive in the city. As noted above, The Palms has been bought by Red Rock Resorts and that’s definitely going to help them focus their marekting. At all denominations of a quarter or above, the video poker pay tables are similar to the other Stations/Red Rock properties meaning they’re pretty good with virtually every machine on the property hitting in the 98% to 99% range.
Palms Casino Resort
4321 W. Flamingo Road
Las Vegas, Nevada 89103