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Golden Nugget Las Vegas
Golden Nugget Las Vegas

Craps at the Las Vegas Golden Nugget

The Golden Nugget (129 E. Fremont St., Las Vegas , NV 89101) has gone through a progression of changes, upgrades, and expansions over the years. The one-time Mob influenced casino opened in 1946 but was struggling in the late 1970’s when Steve Wynn engineered a successful transformation of the facilities into the finest Downtown Las Vegas resort.

Today, the gaming area has been reduced slightly to make room for a new bar (Rush) with live music, a coffee spot (Starbuck’s), and a sound-stage for television’s “Poker After Dark” tapings of live poker games. The casino action is heaviest on weekends and after 7pm, but table games and slots are available 24 hours per day.

The Golden Nugget has four hotel towers and a total of 2345 standard rooms plus suites. Room rates run from $59 to $125 Sunday through Thursday, higher on weekends and holidays. There are no resort fees charged, and free validated parking is available off Bridger Street near the Rush Tower valet and check-in doors (stamp your ticket at the cage or show your room key).

Overall, the resort is upscale and includes eight restaurants, several bars, a 75,000 gallon tropical aquarium outside the Chart House restaurant, and a 200,000 gallon shark aquarium in the H2O pool area that includes a three-story water slide for the kids, and four blackjack tables dealt by bikini-clad dealers for the adults.

The main casino is 50,000 square feet with 50 table games and 1400 slot and video poker machines.

The Craps Action

As the nicest resort property along the Fremont Experience of Downtown Las Vegas, the Golden Nugget does not offer $3 craps (which is available at Binion’s and the Fremont casinos across the street). However, during early morning hours there is often a single $5 minimum-bet craps game in action. The maximum bet on all five of the Golden Nugget craps tables is $5,000 except under special arrangements. The games are all together, close to the poker room.

Unlike some Las Vegas Strip casinos, the crowd at the Golden Nugget is predominantly younger and less involved with the stereotypical, serious craps player mentality. Games are lively, entertaining, and manned by experienced dealers and boxmen. It is not unusual to see upwards of 100 rolls per hour as the dice do stay in action most of the time.

The Stickman – Prop Bets

The stickman handles prop bets like the horn and hard-ways, but you can always tell your inside dealer what bets you want. The dealers are professional and likely to take call bets even as the dice are leaving the shooter’s hand as long as your chips or cash are visible and being sent to the dealers.

Typical Southern Nevada rules apply, with 15 for 1 on “eleven,” 31 for 1 on hard hop bets, and standard U.S. hard-way bets. Hard 6 and 8 pay 9 to 1, while 4 and 10 pay 7 to 1.

The Inside Dealer – Place Bets and Buy Bets

The inside dealers will book your place bets and buy bets. On the $5 minimum game you can take $26 across (one unit per number) to cover all the place bets with a point of 6 or 8. On the $10 minimum game you should bet $52 across (two units) for the same wager. A $25 minimum game will often open with minimum of $130 across. Buy bets are also available.

Buying the 6 or 8 translates to a 23 to 21 payoff, with the vigorish paid in advance (you make a $20 bet, pay $1 in commission, and receive $23 when your number rolls) and a house edge of 1.46%. Buying the 5 or 9 translates to a 29 to 21 payoff (you make a $20 bet, pay $1 in commission, and receive $29 when your number rolls) for a house edge of 1.32%. Buying the 4 or 10 translates to a 39 to 21 payoff (you make a $20 bet, pay $1 in commission, and receive $39 when your number rolls) for a house edge of 1.19%.

Your craps self-serve bets include the big red 6/8,the field (where you receive even-money except on 2 or 12, paying double and triple respectively),the pass/don’t pass, and the come. The Golden Nugget offers 3, 4, 5x odds on pass and come bets. This means that on a point of 4 or 10 you may wager up to 3 times your line bet; on a point of 5 or 9 you may wager up to 4 times your line bet; and on a point of 6 or 8 you may wager up to 5 times your line bet.

You can expect your fellow players to be slightly more talkative than at some other casinos in Las Vegas, but keep in mind that they are there to play craps, for the most part. Dealer hustling for tips is minimal at the Golden Nugget, but don’t forget to take care of your dealers when you play. Regardless of how it looks, if there is ever a dispute, a player who has been playing a long time, or tipping on a regular basis, is likely to get the benefit of the doubt!

Cash is available from ATM’s around the property and at the Cashier’s cage. Credit can be established for players on short notice, but advance paperwork always helps. Marker action on the craps games helps keep players on the game, and cash can play, so make sure you tell your dealer if you are making a wager or exchanging cash for chips.

If you have a lucky run at the table, safe deposit boxes are available at the cage, and some hotel rooms have their own safes. Security escort is always available if you are returning to your vehicle, but crowds are well-maintained and relatively safe. On a busy evening all five craps games will be going with action until after midnight. You can expect a game or two to be closed after that and another likely to fall by 2 or 3am. Cocktail service is free and constant around the clock. All in all, the Golden Nugget is a great place to shoot craps and the best option in Downtown Las Vegas.

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