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Best of John Grochowski

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The Casino Answer Man

8 November 2000

You've mentioned in your Chicago Sun-Times column that Caribbean Stud players get a better deal in Illinois than in Las Vegas. That set me to wondering. Leaving aside the shows, cheap eats and glitz, where would you rather play other casino games? How big a difference is there between the games on the Chicago-area boats and the games in Las Vegas?

Ike

Caribbean Stud is a rarity in that the player who bets on the progressive jackpot gets a better deal in the Midwest than in Las Vegas. That's because casinos in Nevada are contracted to put at least 49 cents of each dollar in the progressive jackpot, while casinos in other parts of the country contribute at least 71 cents on the dollar.

In most other games, the player gets a better deal in Las Vegas:

Slot machines: Payback percentages are higher in Las Vegas. On the Strip, quarter players get about 93.5 percent and dollar players a shade less than 96 percent, while Chicago area returns are about 92 percent on quarters and 95 percent on dollars in Illinois and 91 percent on quarters and 94 percent on dollars in Indiana.

Video poker: The riverboats can't compare to the variety of near-100 percent games offered in Las Vegas. Full-pay Deuces Wild, with a theoretical return of 100.8 percent with expert play, doesn't exist outside Nevada.

Blackjack: Another easy win for Las Vegas. It's not difficult to find single-deck and double-deck games with decent rules. Single-deck blackjack doesn't exist in the Chicago area, and double-deck games have rules more restrictive than you'll find in Las Vegas.

Craps: More Las Vegas casinos offer big free-odds multiples, and low rollers will find lower table minimums there.

Roulette: Las Vegas has many tables with lower minimum bets than you'll find here, and bigger bettors can find single-zero wheels with a lower house edge there.

We have some pretty good gaming options in the Chicago area -- much better than when the riverboats first opened. But the player looking for the most favorable games still is more likely to find them in Las Vegas.

Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski