Here’s the thing about casinos from a worldwide perspective:
There are over 9000 of them to choose from.
How to choose just 7 of them?
I have my own list based on my own criteria. For one thing, I’m a low roller – I don’t have the money to afford some of the ritzier properties in the world. For another, I don’t travel much outside of the United States.
So, my list of casinos in the world I want to gamble at focuses on casinos with low limits and is limited to casinos that are friendly to a provincial gambler like myself.
I’ve included why I want to gamble at each of these casinos below:
1- Arizona Charlie’s on the Boulder Strip
As far as I know, the best odds you can get in video poker are on the rare full-pay Deuces Wild games. And when I say “rare,” I mean that they’re rarer than hens’ teeth. Arizona Charlies is one of the only casinos I know of which offers this variation of video poker.
If you play with perfect strategy on a full pay Deuces Wild game, you actually have an edge over the casino of 0.76%. That’s almost as good as the edge you’d have if you were a competent card counter in blackjack.
Don’t think you’ll get rich playing this game, though. It’s only available on the quarter machines, which means you’re betting just $1.25 per hand with the max coin bet. If you’re an average video poker player, you’re probably playing 500 hands per hour.
This means you’re putting $625 per hour into action. Your expected winnings per hour are 0.76% of that, which only amounts to $4.75/hour.
That sounds terrible, but think about it this way:
Most gamblers spend plenty of time losing that much per hour, and they keep playing, don’t they?
2- El Cortez in Downtown Las Vegas
I think El Cortez might be the best casino for low rollers in Las Vegas. They offer baccarat, which requires no skill and has a low house edge, with a betting minimum of just $10 per hand. That’s excellent. Most casinos in Las Vegas have a minimum bet of $25 or $50 per hand in baccarat.
The blackjack games at El Cortez are even better than the baccarat games. There’s a $5 minimum, and they deal from a single deck, which means that the house edge is lower. I understand that they’re quick to back off counters, but I don’t count cards anymore, anyway.
The craps games are also good. They have a $5 minimum and allow an odds bet of 10X your original pass/don’t pass bet. This reduces the combined house edge of your pass line + odds bet down to 0.18%. I defy you to find a table game with a lower house edge.
Finally, guys like me like to kick it old school. That’s what Downtown Las Vegas casinos are all about – old-school Las Vegas.
3- The Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip
Okay, so now I’m indulging in a little bit of fantasy. I can afford to stay at the Bellagio, but I can’t really afford to gamble on the casino games there. That being said, I still want to go.
For one thing, it’s the most famous casino in the world. For another, it’s as luxurious a casino as I’d ever need to stay at. In fact, for this level of luxury, the prices for the rooms at the Bellagio are a bargain. And the water show in front of the casino is legendary.
The Bellagio also offers a huge variety of slot machines to choose from – over 2300 different machines. I’m not generally a slots player, but the return to player for high-end slot machines on the Las Vegas Strip are about as good as you’ll find. I’d probably stick with the dollar slots here, as they average a payback percentage of about 92% on the Strip.
The real draw at the Bellagio though is the poker room. They offer no limit, pot limit, and limit Texas holdem at reasonable limits. I played the $4/$8 limit games last time I was there. They also have a variety of pot limit Omaha games and mixed games, too.
Best of all, they offer 7 card stud. Sadly, the limits ($20/$40, at the lowest) are above my bankroll. Still, it’s nice to see that stud poker – my favorite – is being played somewhere.
4- The Choctaw Casino in Durant, Oklahoma
I live near the Winstar Casino these days, so I get plenty of gambling done there already. A decade ago – which seems like a lifetime now – I lived east of here, and Choctaw was closer to my house than Winstar, so that’s where I played.
But You Know What?
When I was playing at the Choctaw, it was still pretty rinky-dink. I know the casino has been renovated and expanded since the last time I played there, and I’d like to see what the new, improved version of the Choctaw Casino in Durant is like – it’s a combination of nostalgia and wanting to see how the world has changed.
I don’t generally play any of the table games at the casinos in Oklahoma because of their silly, so-called “ante,” but I enjoy the poker games in Oklahoma. In fact, the poker games at Choctaw used to be incredibly soft. I suspect they still are.
Of course, the entertainment options at Choctaw are right up my alley, too. As I write this, upcoming concerts include Hank Williams Jr. and Loverboy.
5- The Grosvenor Casino’s Taxi Cab With Casino Games
A few years ago, more as a publicity stunt than anything else, the Grosvenor Casino kitted out a taxi cab with casino games you could play for real money. At the time of its launch, it was touring various cities to provide publicity for the Grosvenor.
During normal operations, the cab would provide a complimentary trip to the Grosvenor, although you could also pay to go to other destinations in London. The casino offered multiple slot machines via internet gambling websites, but it also came with a small table and a dealer so you could play table games.
I’m sure that given the worldwide health emergency, the taxi cab casino isn’t now in operation, but I’m hoping it makes a big comeback so that I can say that I played blackjack in the back of a taxi cab in London, England.
6- Casino Baden-Baden in Germany
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a pretty provincial gambler, and I recall a joke one of my teachers told me once. If you speak 2 languages, you’re bilingual, and if you speak 3 languages, you’re trilingual.
You know what you’re called if you only speak one language? An American.
That being said, I did take 2 years of German in high school and 2 more years of German in college. I love the food, the attitude, and the aesthetic of the German people. So, if I had to choose one international casino to visit, it would probably be the Casino Baden-Baden in Germany.
It’s also the oldest casino in the country. How old is the Casino Baden-Baden?
It’s old enough the silver screen legend Marlene Dietrich said it was the most beautiful casino in the world.
It’s such an old casino with so much history that it even offers guided tours of the facility so you can get a real sense of the history of the place.
They focus mostly on table games there, which is ideal, since table games offer better odds to the player anyway.
7- Any Underground Casino Anywhere
I used to gamble at a tiny bar in Dallas, Texas that only had 3 slot machines. In Texas, they’re called 8-liners, and they’re not supposed to pay out cash.
Here’s the Truth, Though:
If you were a regular at the bar, you could pick up an envelope full of cash at the end of the week from the owner. Heaven forbid you try to pick up an envelope full of cash if the owner didn’t know you, though.
That bar is still open, but the owner has long since retired. I don’t know anything about the new owners, although the last time I was there, the slot machines were still there.
I understand that throughout the country you can find other underground casinos offering a wider variety of casino games. I’d love to play casino games in such an illicit place.
I’ve participated in plenty of underground poker games at cardrooms throughout Texas, but I’ve never played blackjack, craps, or roulette at a shady casino where you’d need a password to gain admittance.
But I’d love to do it.
I imagine a place like Rick’s Café Americain in Casablanca.
If you know where I can find such a place, would you please let me know?
There’s my list of the 7 casinos in the world where I’d like to gamble. As you can see, it’s an eclectic list based on my personality and experiences.
If you decide to make your own casino bucket list, I’d encourage you to be just as quirky and unique with your list of casinos as I was when I created mine.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …