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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Harrah's Joliet Gets Low Rollers in the Game

18 August 2010

I've always been an advocate of low minimum bets at table games. Whenever I'm in Las Vegas, I always enjoy going to the "locals" casinos and other off-the-Strip establishments to play $5 (or less if I can find them) blackjack, roulette, and craps tables.

The law of supply and demand keeps $5 tables to a bare minimum at properties in the Chicago area in Illinois. If there are enough gamblers willing to play for $10 and up, the minimums will not change as long as the seats are occupied.

It isn't that low minimums alter the house edge at the games. The edge is a constant no matter what you wager. What low minimums do is allow gamblers on a budget the opportunity to stretch their bankrolls by giving them playing time.

There's even an upside for gamblers who don't shy away from $10 and up minimums: Dropping your bet when things get cold and raising the stakes when you're on a roll extends playing time and gives you a batter chance to stay ahead of the game.

Harrah's Joliet Casino & Hotel is giving "low rollers" a rare opportunity to step up to the tables on Tuesdays during August with a promotion the property calls "Twosdays". The casino on those days is offering limited space for $2 minimum bets on craps and roulette.

When the minimum bet at the craps table is $10, bettors have to wager at least $10 on the pass line. If you choose to back up the bet with odds, the total investment can be $30 or higher on that one hand.

When the table minimum is $2, you can play the pass line and back your bet up with double odds ($4). For a total investment of $6, you're in action at one of the most exciting table games any casino has to offer.

At a $10 craps table, a buy-in of $100 leaves no room to weather bad streaks. When the dice are cold, a "Benjamin" can evaporate in only a few passes of the dice.

That same one hundred bucks will keep you in the game at a $2 table even when the cubes aren't cooperating, giving gamblers on a budget or even casino goers who are on the thrifty side a rare opportunity, in the Chicago area at least, to enjoy the table game experience.

Similar economics hold true for the roulette wheel. When the minimum is $10, you have to have at least that amount in chips on the layout to be eligible for a spin. Again, when the numbers aren't going your way, even $100 will have a short life span.

Take that same C-Note to a $2 table and time will be on your side, even if the spinning wheel isn't. Playing two numbers straight up with hopes for a 35-to-1 payoff and placing two bucks on red/black or odd/even for an even-money return represents just a $4 investment on the spin.

Aside from the bargains at the tables, there is even more to like at Harrah's on Twosdays.

Select domestic beers and wines, plus cocktails at all bars and outlets are $2. So are hot dogs at Aces Diner on the casino floor. If you want to head over to Union Station Buffet for a more substantial meal, two can dine for $20, a significant savings off the regular price.

Remember, all food and drink retail specials are cash-only purchases. See servers or outlets for complete details.

If that isn't enough to entice even the most bargain-hunting gambler, every Twosday a sidewalk sale where all merchandise is $2 and up will be held in the pavilion at a location just outside Destinations Gift Shop.

John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp