Many players enjoy sitting at the bar in a casino. That is because the best service is typically found there. Nearly all Las Vegas casino bars offer video poker machines embedded in the top. The quality of these games varies drastically from one casino to another.
Most of the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip offer terrible video poker games on bar tops. The house edge is often three or more percent on these machines. Players are better off finding a quality video poker machine on the casino floor and tipping the waitress well on the first drink order or simply paying cash for alcohol over playing poor video poker pay tables at the bar.
Once players move away from the Strip, the video poker quality at casino bars improves drastically. This includes locals casinos and ones in downtown Las Vegas.
The most common playable video poker game at bars in Las Vegas is 8/5 Bonus Poker. This means that a full house pays 8 and a flush returns 5 for each coin wagered. Other decent games include 9/6 Jacks or Better, 9/7/5 Double Bonus and 9/6 Bonus Poker Deluxe.
There are two rules when playing video poker at the bar. Always play five coins to receive comped drinks and get the highest return on a royal flush. The other is to take care of your bartender. He or she may bend the drink rules if you give them motivation to do so. At the very least, being known as a good tipper will get your drink refilled quickly.
South Point Casino has the best video poker of any bar in Las Vegas. Players will find No-So-Ugly-Deuces (99.73%) at bars throughout the casino. The next-best game is 9/6 Bonus Poker Deluxe (99.64%). The same machines also spread 8/5 Bonus Poker (99.17%). The denominations are $.25, $.50, $1 and $2. Players receive 0.3% in cash back through the South Point players club on these games.
Plaza Las Vegas
The Plaza is located at the intersection of Fremont Street and Main Street in downtown Las Vegas. It offers the best video poker at the bar in any Las Vegas tourist area. The games below are at the Omaha Bar near the front of the casino.
The best games at the Omaha Bar at Plaza are 9/6 Bonus Poker Deluxe (99.64%), 9/6 Jacks or Better (99.54%), 8/5 Bonus Poker (99.17%), 9/7/5 Double Bonus (99.11%) and Deuces and Joker Wild (99.07%). The denominations are $.25, $.50 and $1. The players club increases the return by about 0.13%. Slot points may not be used on video poker machines with these returns. They may only be used on slots, which offers inferior video poker returns.
Main Street Station
Main Street Station is on Main Street across from its intersection with Stewart Avenue in downtown Las Vegas. There are two games that return at least 99% at the main bar. They are 9/6 Jacks or Better (99.54%) and 9/7/5 Double Bonus (99.11%). The denominations are $.25, $.50 and $1. The games return an additional 0.1% on the Boyd Gaming BConnected card. Players that make a natural four of a kind will receive a scratch off card worth a few dollars. The top prize in that promotion is $5,000.
El Cortez is located in the Fremont East area of downtown Las Vegas. There are two bars at El Cortez. Both spread 8/5 Bonus Poker (99.17%) and 9/7/5 Double Bonus (99.11%). The denominations are $.25, $.50, $1, $2 and $5. The players club returns an additional 0.2%.
Every bar at 4Queens offers 9/7/5 Double Bonus (99.17%). The $.25 denomination has a progressive. There are also $.50 and $1 denominations that do not have a progressive. The cash back rate is 0.31%. That amount doubles when redeemed for comps.
The higher end Station Casinos all spread 8/5 Bonus Poker (99.17%) at the bar. The $.25 denomination has a royal flush progressive that is tied to all other machines at the bar. There are also $.50 and $1 8/5 Bonus Poker games at these Station Casinos. Some go as high as the $5 denomination.
Station Casinos locations with 8/5 Bonus Poker at the bar include Red Rock Resort, Green Valley Ranch, Palace Station, Texas Station, and Santa Fe Station. The Station Casinos Boarding Pass returns 0.3% in cash, comps or free play to players on these games. These video poker games qualify for point multiplier days.
Skyline Casino is a locals casino located on Boulder Highway near Sunset Rd. Its bar spreads 9/6 Bonus Poker Deluxe (99.64%), 9/6 Jacks or Better (99.54%), and 8/5 Bonus Poker (99.17%). There are $.25, $.50 and $1 denominations. The $.25 games are networked into a royal flush progressive at the bar. Skyline Casino does not have a slot club.