Binion’s is better known to old school gamblers as the Horseshoe. It was founded by Benny Binion in 1951. It occupies the space that once hosted Hotel Apache and The Mint. Both hotels are still on the property, but neither is inhabitable and have since shuttered. The last hotel at Binion’s closed in 2009. The hotel is not up to code and will require substantial renovations to ever reopen. This includes completely new electric wiring and plumbing.
Harrah’s Entertainment bought the property from the Binion’s family in 2004 after it closed due to financial difficulties. It was reopened and quickly sold to MTR Gaming, a racetrack owner. Harrah’s Entertainment, now known as Caesars Entertainment, retained the Horseshoe name. It also kept the World Series of Poker.
TLC Casino Enterprises acquired Binion’s in 2007. The company also owns 4Queens. The hotel at 4Queens hosts Binion’s players.
Binion’s Tables and Games
Binion’s has always been a grind joint. That was Benny Binion’s claim to fame. He offered small players a great game with low limits. That attitude no longer holds true at the casino that continues to use his name.
There are 14 eight-deck shoe tables. The cards are shuffled by a machine. Players may double down on any two cards and after splitting. Surrender and re-split aces are not permitted. Even worse, the tables usually pay 6-5 on a blackjack. The dealer hits soft 17. These 6-5 tables have a house edge just above 2%.
The house uses signs to disclose this rule at most tables so it is not impossible that you may find a higher limit table that pays 3-2. You may have to ask the pit boss for it. If you can get a 3-2 game with these rules, the house edge will be 0.65%.
Some of these tables are in a party pit. The cards are dealt by cowgirls that use the Texas theme as a tribute to Benny Binion. The bet limits are $5 to $500. The minimum bet goes up to $10 on weekends.
There are two tables that offer decent rules. These use a single deck. Players may only double down on 10 and 11. The dealer hits soft 17. The limits start at $10 for these games. A $15 minimum is common during higher traffic hours. On weekends, it may take $25 to play the Binion’s $25 single deck game. The max bet is $500 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The house edge is 0.55% at this single deck blackjack game.
Binion’s offers a Throwback Thursday where players can sit at a $1 to $100 table with these same single deck rules.
Binion’s Players Club for Frequent Blackjack Players
Binion’s gives free hotel rooms and slot play to blackjack players. A $10 player can expect some free slot play and maybe even a room. The hotel at Binion’s is closed. Players are referred to 4Queens for a hotel room. It is located a block down Fremont Street from Binion’s. Players that are not offered a free room will still get one for $24 per night on weeknights and $52 on weekends. Make sure to mention the casino rate to get these rates. There are no resort fees. The hotel room cost is waived to players that are rated high enough from blackjack action.
Binion’s is the worst place to play blackjack in downtown Las Vegas. It is a shame because it was once the best place. There is no other casino in downtown Las Vegas that spreads 6-5 blackjack at all of its shoe games. The single deck action is reasonable, but it takes $15 or $25 to sit at it on most nights. Its sister casino, 4Queens, at least offers 3-2 games most nights if you look for them.
The Inside View
There is little reason to play blackjack at Binion’s unless you want to play the single deck game. Even then, the shoe games across the street at Golden Nugget offer the same return. Benny Binion would be embarrassed to know his name was on a casino that spread 6-5 blackjack at most of its tables. We recommend playing anywhere but Binion’s unless you are willing to play the single deck. Even then, the El Cortez single deck allows double down on any two cards, as opposed to only 10 and 11 like Binion’s. We suggest walking down to El Cortez if single deck blackjack is your game.