Don't let the Mardi Gras theme fool you. This place rarely, if ever, fills up with drunken college coeds taking off their tops for beads. Rather, it attracts a moderate crowd. The rooms are a good value for the location.
Coupons Available for Harrah's Casino:
$5 off buffets for up to four people. (Click Here For More Info.)
Room Quality: In the older tower (Mardi Gras) you will find the rooms to be standard-size, and have flat screens and better appointments. The newer tower (Carnival Tower) has smaller rooms. Bathrooms are plain; the tubs and showers are combined. The two bed rooms have two queens. Views can be excellent if you swing a Strip view. The way the place is laid out, however, there is a good chance to get a view of the other tower or the air-conditioning vents. The location, right across from several other major casinos in the center of the Strip, is hard to beat.
Service Quality: Good. The hotel sits right over the casino which is right on the Strip, so it's a short walk to other casinos and anywhere else on the property. The staff is somewhat friendly. The parking structure in back is somewhat confusing to get in and out of. Check-in waits can be brutal at peak hours. Try to do it before three or after ten p.m. if possible.
What You Get Bottles of in the Bathroom: Shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. It's decent quality stuff.
Clientele: Young to middle-aged. They draw people with a moderate gambling budget who want a well-located hotel. The folks here mostly aren't flashy and they aren't tacky.
How's the Pool? It's a big rectangle, surrounded by an sundry stand and a bar, where you can get a martini. The pool is not heated and is closed from October to March or April.
Table Games: They have all the games. The feel is action-packed and exciting in there because so much happens around you. The dealers are more friendly than usual here. There is also a sports pit that combines lots of televised sports with blackjack and other games. Nothing like multi-tasking your gambling.
Bet Minimums: They usually want $10 minimum in this place for blackjack and craps, but it can be higher on weekends. Roulette has $1 chips with a $10 minimum, and craps runs $10 and higher with 3-4-5x odds. Other games start at $10.
Machines: From pennies up to at least $100. They used to have these electronic roulette things that were fun, but they got rid of them (they do have a roulette wheel where you bet electronically, though).
Cocktails? Good. The cocktail waitresses wear silly costumes (they all do) and deliver drinks with decent speed.
Who Gets Comps? Table players may get food at $25 to $50 play for several hours. A room may be comped to $100 and higher players. Harrah's rewards loyalty. More than any other casino, they comp you well for playing.
Cafe at Harrahs: It's a coffee shop that has no specials you will trample people to get to. The lines, like those for the buffet, can be long on weekend mornings.
Carnaval Court Bar and Grill: This is a great place to have lunch while sitting right on the Strip. It's outdoors and the parade of oddballs and kooks that will walk by will be worth the price of admission. The food, which is just stadium and pub stuff that's greasy and mediocre, is not the point.
Flavors Buffet: It's a better-than-average buffet with a slightly costly price tag. That means you should go for it if you're not in the mood to seek out one of the super-buffets. The most interesting thing in it is the Brazilian BBQ. The gelato is cool, too. The waits, however, can be as long as an hour.
KGB - Burgers: Kerry Simon, celebrity chef, has opened the latest fancy burger joint. There is vintage-era Russian stuff on the walls of this massive joint, even though the initials stand for Kerry's Gourmet Burgers. Expect fancy ingredients on the burgers, and very fancy meats all ground up.
Ming's Table: It's cuisine supposedly covering all of Asia with Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Thai, but really, it's mostly Chinese. Look for a wide range of seafood dishes and prices that run the gamut from affordable for most everything to out of this world for the chef specials like shark fin soup or Peking duck.
Oyster Bar: The cleverly named restaurant is, surprise!, an oyster bar. They have steamers, calamari, salads with squid in them, and everything else that the typical oyster bar that refuses to be different has.
The Range Steakhouse: One of the better steakhouses on the Strip, and the view is terrific, if you like watching people walk by on the sidewalk. It's upstairs and has nice windows where you can gaze down upon the great unwashed without getting dirty yourself! Prices are the typical $20-$30 for the entree, and then you pile on the desserts, drinks, appetiziers and slip a little something into an envelope for us.
Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill: The country crooner has opened this bar and grill to serve down home southern cookin' like fried baloney sandwiches, "freedom fries" and other meals.
A Starbucks serves up coffees. Icepan lets you make your own sundaes and serves other frozen treats. There is a food court outside of Harrah's on the way to Casino Royale
Carnaval Court: It's an outdoor bar beside the casino and they have free Mardi Gras style entertainment at night.
Defending the Caveman: Men and women are different, see? Men like sports and women like shopping. This is a one-man comedy monologue about the differences between men and women.
The Improv: Trying to preserve some shred of dignity for the dying art of stand-up comedy, the Improv is usually the home of America's best up-and-comers. You almost always get a good show, if stand-up comedy is your bag. $25 per person.
Legends in Concert: This is an impersonation show with acts like Stevie Wonder, Elvis, the Righteous Brothers, etc. It has been playing for over a dozen years and still packs them in. It skews toward acts that will please a middle-aged and older crowd.
The Mac King Show: It's an afternoon magic/comedy show with a guy who wears a wacky plaid suit and does a lot of wacky double-takes. To be fair, his sleight-of-hand magic is pretty good (although it's still just sleight-of-hand magic). And, there are plenty of coupons around for free admittance with the purchase of a single beverage.
Piano Bar: Karaoke and dueling pianos fill this medium-sized bar off the casino floor. We know what you're thinking because we think it too: how do they get the pianos to fight? What do they tell them?
Number of TVs: There are 42 flat-screens, two of which are big, in the "sports pit" which is a sports and race book, plus has table games and slots.
Number of Seats: There are about 50 sports seats combined with table games to create something called the "sports pit". To us, it's just sort of annoying and busy. Hey, when we're watching curling we need to concentrate.
How Many Betting Windows? Eight windows to serve everyone with money, whether you like sports or races or just the thrill of handing money to people on the other side of the counter.
Free Drinks? Fair.
Snack Bar? A Nathan's hot dog cart is in the book.
Minimum Wager: $5 sports, $2 for racing, like just about everyone else.
Other Notes: The seats are nice, green leather (maybe vinyl, our fannies aren't sophisticated enough to feel the difference). The layout and lounge seating in the sports bok make it a very social room.
Number of Tables: There are twelve tables, and more than half are usually running from afternoons on.
Comfort of Chairs: Pretty dang typical. While the room is pretty nice, the chairs have no wheels or adjustments.
Closed Room or Open to Casino? A truly closed room with two doors that let you out to the bathroom or sportsbook. There are windows, though, so don't worry about feeling like your playing in a closet.
Game Spreads and Limits: Mostly Hold 'Em of the no-limit variety, with limit games at $2-$4 and $3-$6. They have a frequent mixed-games table at $4-$8, but they don't include Dogs On The Table as one of the choices.
Beginner Games or Classes? Nope, but they get a lot of newbies and the dealers will help you catch up. Still, we don't recommend this for a beginner's room.
How Crowded is the Room? There are 12 tables and usually not much of a wait. They have a computerized wait list, but you'll rarely be on it longer than 20 minutes.
Comps? Harrah's typical $1 an hour plus points on your Harrah's card to help you gain some fancy status.
How Good Are the Players? On weekdays there are lots of tougher older guys who usually don't even pay to the see the flop. On weekends and late at night, the tourists flow in and the games can get ridiculously loose. There are daily low-buy-in tourneys.
What Else Do I Need to Know? Lots of TVs on the walls in this joint, all of which show sports. The rake is steep at $5 max, so you'll have a hard time beating that at the limit games. They have some very deep stack tournaments most days.