Most taverns in Las Vegas offer the same games. Most bar-top devices are Game Kings with pay tables that return less to players than locals casinos. Many players still choose taverns over full-service casinos. The quick drink service, top-shelf liquor, promotions and ease of earning food comps are among the reasons for this.
Tavern gamers no longer have to choose between good service and promotions and player-friendly returns. They can have both.
Golden Entertainment installed StarBar machines at eight of its Las Vegas locations. The games offer video poker, keno, slots, and table games. Craps, blackjack, roulette, and baccarat are all available on StarBar machines.
StarBar Craps Best Tavern Game in Las Vegas
The craps game offers the lowest house edge of any game located in a Las Vegas tavern. It offers 3-4-5 times odds. This means a player may place three times the Pass Line bet in odds on a 4 or 10, four times on a 5 and 9 and five times on a 6 or 8.
The house edge for the Pass Line and Come bets is 0.37% when taking full odds. The Don’t Pass and Don’t Come bets have a 0.27% house edge when taking full odds.
It gets even better if you consider the house edge on each roll. A Pass Line and Come player will experience a 0.11% house edge per roll. The Don’t side goes down to 0.09%. Combine this with the excellent drink service at Golden Entertainment taverns and you will have a fun night without giving up much in the way of theoretical losses.
The Field pays triple on 12. This is unusual for video craps. That is half the house edge of a typical video craps game’s Field bet.
The Hardway bets display how long it has been since a roll was called. Players are not permitted to bet both the Pass Line and Don’t sides at the same time. Buy bets come down after winning. Place and prop bets do not. The minimum bet is $.50.
Blackjack Pays 3 to 2
Most tavern blackjack games only pay even money on blackjack. That is not the case with the StarBar machines. Players receive 3-2 on a winning blackjack. Players may double down on any two cards and after splitting. The dealer hits soft 17. The house edge for this game is 0.63% with perfect play. There are two versions of this game. One is single hand while the other allows the players to receive up to three hands. The minimum bet is $1.
Baccarat is dealt with the typical 5% commission on the Banker. The Player bet pays even money. The tie pays 9-1. The minimum bet is $1.
Roulette is double zero with normal payouts. The minimum bet is $.50.
There is nothing special about the video poker on the StarBar machines. The pay tables are identical to the Game Kings located in Golden Entertainment taverns. This includes 6/5 Bonus Poker, 9/6/4 Double Bonus, 8/5 Double Bonus, 16/13 Deuces Wild, and 7/5 Jacks or Better. There is a slight difference in a couple of these games. The 8/5 Double Double Bonus is better than the 7/5 Game Kings. The StarBar machines are not included in the Game King progressive so it has a 1% higher return with the larger full house payout.
The denominations are $.25, $.50, $1, $2 and $5. Players must bet five coins for the full pay royal flush. The minimum bet is one coin.
There are two keno games. Each has the option of up to 10 cards per deal. One game is of the super ball multiplier variety. The other is traditional keno. Denominations are $.25, $.50 and $1. Players must wager at least one credit.
StarBar Features Players May Find Annoying
The StarBar has a few features players may find annoying. These should be known before getting into action. There is a feature that allows hands to be played in the table games without betting any money. This is done by pressing the “Deal” button. This seems appropriate for baccarat but can cause problems in other games. A player that fails to click the “Rebet” button before the deal will end up in a hand without a wager.
There are a few issues related to the craps game. A player that bets the Don’t Pass or Don’t Come will need to replace the bet when a 12 pushes. Don’t Come bets will need to be called on after a point is made, something that is automatic in a live game. If the next come out roll is a 2, 3, 11 or 12, the Don’t Come bets will need to be called on again.
The Rebet button includes the previous odds for the Pass Line and Don’t Pass bets. For example, a player that bets $1 and $5 in odds on an 8 from the Pass Line will find that the re-bet is $6, not $1.
These problems are easily resolved as long as players are aware of them and act accordingly.
StarBar Machine Verdict
The StarBar machines are fun. It is a nice change of pace from the traditional tavern gaming options. The house edge on craps is the lowest a player will find in a bar. The blackjack game also offers a reasonable edge. Baccarat is available with traditional rules and an edge slightly higher than one percent.
StarBar machines are perfect for tavern players looking for low limits and house edges. The great drink and food service at Golden Entertainment taverns is a great compliment to the quality games.
The only problem we found is accidentally hitting the deal button without making a bet. Just make sure to pay attention while gambling.
Where to Play StarBar Machines
- Pt’s Gold – 5630 S Hualapai Way
- PT’s Gold – 10075 S Eastern Avenue
- PT’s Gold – 6570 South Buffalo Drive
- PT’s Gold – 1661 East Sunset Road
- PT’s Pub – 4424 Spring Mountain Road
- PT’s Pub – 9050 West Post Road
- Sierra Gold – 2400 North Buffalo Drive
- Sierra Gold – 6515 South Jones Boulevard