Golden Nugget is owned by Landry’s, a large restaurateur that decided to get into the casino business in 2008. Golden Nugget is located in the center of Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas. There is also a Golden Nugget on the Colorado River in Laughlin, NV, as well as in Atlantic City, Biloxi and Lake Charles, LA.
The Golden Nugget became famous under the ownership of Steve Wynn. He brought great gambling to downtown Las Vegas. The casino appealed to low rollers but offered a level of luxury well above the typical grind joints along Fremont Street that catered to small gamblers. Golden Nugget lost some of its appeal to $5 players over the years but still offers reasonable limits, great comps and decent rules in its blackjack games.
Golden Nugget Tables and Games
There are more blackjack tables at Golden Nugget than any other downtown Las Vegas casino. There are 24 tables on the main floor and six in the high limit salon. A wide variety of games are spread. Some are unplayable, while others are among the best that can be found in downtown Las Vegas.
There are two party pits at Golden Nugget. One is by the west entrance to the property. It offers three six-deck shoes and a single deck game. All pay 6-5 on a blackjack. All permit double down before splitting. The shoes also allow double down after a split. The dealer hits soft 17. The limits are $15 to $1,000.
There are four double deck games in a party pit by the front bar. These allow double down before the split but not after. Blackjack pays 6-5. The dealer hits soft 17. The house edge is 2.2% in these games. The limits are $15 to $1,000.
There are three types of single deck games. The dealer hits soft 17 in all of them. The bet limits in all single deck blackjack games at Golden Nugget are $10 to $1,000.
One is Free Bet Blackjack. This game gives free double downs on 9, 10 and 11, as well as on all pairs that are not 10-value cards. In exchange for these perks, the dealer pushes all players that did not bust if 22 is drawn by the house. Unlike a typical Free Bet Blackjack game, a natural only pays 6-5.
Super Fun 21 is another single deck blackjack option. This game permits surrender on any number of cards, double down on any number of cards and aces may by re-split and hit. Surrender after doubling down is also allowed. Double down is permitted before and after splitting. A six-card Charlie also wins. Any count of 21 with five cards or more automatically wins 2-1. The player always wins on blackjack. Naturals pay even money, except in diamonds, where it pays 2-1.
There is also a standard single deck blackjack game. It pays 6-5 on a blackjack and permits double down before but not after splitting. The house edge in this game is 1.6%.
There are six blackjack tables on the main casino floor that use a shoe and six decks. Players may double down before and after splitting. Surrender and re-split aces are also allowed. The dealer hits soft 17. The bet limits are $10 to $2,500. There are three tables in high limit with the exact rules. The bet limits are $25 to $5,000. Expect these games to have a $50 minimum on weekends. The house edge for these shoe games is 0.47%.
There are two versions of double deck blackjack at Golden Nugget. Both hit soft 17.
The main casino floor hosts three double deck tables that start at $10 or $15 during off peak hours and $25 on weekends. The cap is $2,500 on the main floor. Double down before a split is permitted, but not after. The house edge for this game is 0.6%.
High limit double deck blackjack starts at $25 during the week and $50 on weekends. It allows double down before and after splitting. The house edge drops to 0.4% in high limit due to the double down after split rule being added.
24 Karat for Frequent Blackjack Players
Golden Nugget rewards table game players. Playing four hours of minimum bet action should get enough of a rating to get a basic hotel room on the next trip. Green chip action starts to get mailers that include a hotel upgrade and meals through a host invite. It doesn’t hurt to mix up the play with some video poker.
Golden Nugget is the largest casino in downtown Las Vegas. It spreads more blackjack tables than any of its competitors. There are a wide variety of games. Players looking for exotic games like Free Bet Blackjack and Super Fun 21 will find it there, but the house edge is astronomical at these tables. The six-deck shoe games that start at $10 during the week offer great rules. Considering the four-star rating of Golden Nugget, its gaming is still very affordable to most players.
The Inside View
Golden Nugget isn’t the best place to play blackjack downtown, but it is close. Avoid the single deck games and the ones in the party pit that short pay on a natural and you will enjoy decent rules. Avoid the double deck games on the main casino floor. Head to the high limit salon where double down after splitting is permitted. Other reasons to play in high limit include better ratings, drink service, strong drinks and top shelf selections.
Golden Nugget offers the nicest rooms in downtown Las Vegas. These are located in the Rush Tower. If you give decent casino action, push for one of these rooms. The corner suites are a very nice upgrade if you can score one.