For the serious video poker player there’s no better place to enjoy the game at land based casinos than in the Las Vegas area. It’s a pretty simple concept–it’s the most competitive casino market in North America and the only way that some casinos can compete against newer, flashier casinos is by offering better paying games. For that reason, it’s usually a good idea to avoid the casinos on ‘The Strip’ and to ‘go where the locals go’. Locals casinos usually offer great deals on food, rooms and drinks–as well as better odds on slots, video poker and table games.

There are several areas of Las Vegas where you’ll find casinos frequented by area residents (and visitors ‘in the know’). One is Boulder Highway–otherwise known as Nevada State Highway 582 (though everyone calls it ‘Boulder Highway’). For many travelers coming from Arizona and points East the primary arrival route is Boulder Highway. Visitors coming up from Phoenix usually travel this way as does anyone arriving in Las Vegas after heading West along Interstate 40. The route cuts across the Southern tip of the state and after a couple hours of desolate emptiness the traveler comes up on the Boulder Dam. After twisting through the circuitous route and crossing the dam they find themselves in Nevada. Not long after, they’ll be on the Boulder Highway.


Although there are several serviceable locals oriented casinos on Boulder Highway the area itself is slightly run down. Not really dangerous as parts of North Las Vegas can be but decidedly ‘down on its luck’. It’s a primary shopping area for many servicemen and their families from Nellis Air Force Base and there’s plenty of short term and medium term apartments for rent. Bottom line–if you’re coming to Las Vegas to lounge by the pool and enjoy some world class shopping you won’t want to stop on Boulder Highway.

It is a good destination for the serious video poker player. The casino clientele are mostly local retirees and tourists seeking a value away from the nightclubs and volcanoes on ‘The Strip’. Several of the best value buffets in town are on Boulder Highway (Sam’s Town and Boulder Station are both very good) and you’ll also find movie theaters inside a couple of these properties. In other words, while Boulder Highway isn’t much to see there’s some decent casinos offering competitive odds and player friendly rules. You can find even better video poker in Las Vegas but the Boulder Highway properties are good bets and centrally located.


–Railroad Pass Casino: The first casino you’ll see when entering the area from the South via the Boulder Dam is the Railroad Pass immediately across the Nevada State Line. The Railroad Pass is an interesting little casino and is in fact the oldest casino in the state still in operation dating back 85 years. The ownership of the Railroad Pass has been in a state of flux for awhile and it’s been owned by both MGM and Boyd Gaming. It’s now owned by Henderson real estate developer Joseph DeSimone who has done a nice job upgrading the property hoping to lure tourists as well as locals from the nearby Henderson and Green Valley areas. Low limit table games, decent video poker and surprisingly good food can be found here.

–Joker’s Wild Casino:
Next up is the Joker’s Wild Casino, the first major property on Boulder Highway proper. It’s a Boyd Gaming property though with fewer amenities than some of it’s other Las Vegas area locations. Good but not great odds on video poker. You will find all of the latest games here and a good variety of different rule sets along with slots, table games and a sportsbook.

–Eastside Cannery: A locals favorite, the Eastside Cannery has an excellent breakfast buffet along with an interesting selection of vintage slot and video poker machines–these machines actually use coins! Eastside Cannery is the first of three great destinations for the video poker player in very close proximity. It’s casino isn’t as large as some of the other places in the area but a good choice for video poker play.

–Sam’s Town: Sam’s Town is another Boyd Gaming property and along with the Boulder Station the biggest casino on Boulder Highway. A huge casino offers table games and every slot and video poker variation imaginable. The Sam’s Town buffet is good for an inexpensive and generally decent meal no matter what time of day you arrive.

–Boulder Station: Boulder Station is owned by the ‘Stations Casino’ group and while it’s not the most glamorous property it’s arguably the best choice for video poker in the area. All of the Stations Casinos have a reputation for generous payouts and player friendly rules and you’ll find a wide variety of games here including full pay Jacks or Better and Deuces Wild variations. The Stations Casinos also have one of the best breakfast buffet values in town.