What does this have to do with the Golden Gate Casino and you? The Golden Gate is a small but comfortable casino located at one end of the Freemont Street Experience, across from the Las Vegas Club. When you need a break from the crowds and the long odds on the Strip, spend a few hours at Freemont, where the casinos all seem to have better odds and cheap eats abound. At the Golden Gate in particular, you can actually have fun playing blackjack and knock back some free drinks and joke with the other players at your table. I played for the first time in years and had a great time - in fact, I didn't go home until the sun was beginning to come up! Very late at night seems to be the best time to play; the casino is busy but not overcrowded, you can meet interesting people from around the country at your table, and the dealers and floor people are very friendly.
And although they aren't as liberal with the rules as I used to be as a kid playing for pennies, the blackjack is very liberal by casino standards - allowing you to split any pair with or without doubling down, for example.
In addition to gambling, you can get a great margarita on the rocks at the bar, and the bartender who came on after midnight made them especially good in a glass the size of a fishbowl. Play video poker at the bar and it might not even cost you anything.
The piano player also adds to the fun, and you can hear him over the din from any of the gaming tables. It's fun to play "name that tune" as he plays; I was able to identify Billy Joel, Elton John, and a very upbeat version of "Hotel California", among others.
And if you start to get hungry after hours of blackjack and margaritas, grab a snack at the deli, which serves a very good 99-cent shrimp cocktail.
To make the deal even sweeter, there are coupons in the Las Vegas Advisor coupon book for a 2-for-1 food item and one hour of bonus payouts for every blackjack you are dealt. Park at the Las Vegas Club on Ogden street, validate your ticket at that casino, and your parking is free.
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SAN DIEGO, California
August 21, 2009
From journal Las Vegas 2009
by Scott S.
Atlantic City, New Jersey
August 30, 2001
From journal Las Vegas tips, tricks, and best deals