Railroad Pass is the oldest operating casino in the country. It was the third casino to receive a gaming license. Railroad Pass opened on August 1, 1931. It was created to cater to the men building the Hoover Dam. The casino is located just west of Boulder City, the government town created for Hoover Dam workers. Gambling and alcohol were illegal in Boulder City in that era. Alcohol was legalized after the repeal of prohibition, but Boulder City remained dry until the construction of Hoover Dam was completed and the town became privately owned. This helped Railroad Pass remain a successful business during and after the Great Depression.
Boulder City never legalized gambling, one of only two cities in Nevada where it is banned. Railroad Pass is the closest casino to Boulder City. It sits just west of the city limits near the interchange of US 95 and US 95.
Hotel rates are consistently $55 on weeknights and $75 on weekends. There are 120 hotel rooms at Railroad Pass. There are three restaurants. A buffet is open for lunch and dinner, as well as brunch on weekends. The steakhouse is open Thursday through Sunday. There is also a 24-hour café that offers some of the best dining deals in Las Vegas. Blackjack players can stay in the hotel and eat for free for giving action as low as $10 or $15.
Railroad Pass Tables and Games
The table games pit at Railroad Pass is much smaller than it used to be. There are just four blackjack tables these days. Three are double decks where players may double down before and after splitting. The house edge is 0.4%. The limits are $5 to $200. There is one six-deck shoe game where players may also double down before and after splitting. The house edge there is 0.63%. The limits here are $3 to $200. The shoe game is hand shuffled.
Players looking to take a break from blackjack have two other table game options. There is a $1 craps table with 10 times odds. The Field pays triple of 12. There is also $2 roulette with $.25 chips. The roulette wheel has two zeros.
Player’s Junction Comps for Frequent Blackjack Players
Railroad Pass uses the Player’s Junction players card. No other casino uses it. Blackjack players that give any amount of action above the minimum bet will receive three free nights per month. Higher volume players will gain access to the top floor suites with action. Food comps are very easy to receive. Part of the reason for this is that the prices are so cheap, even for a locals joint.
Railroad Pass offers $3 3-2 blackjack. That is hard enough to find these days, but this one also permits players to double down on any two cards and after splitting. The $5 double deck allows double down after splitting, which is hard to find at some casinos with a higher limit. The ease of receiving free food and hotel rooms should also be noted.
The Inside View
Railroad Pass is the only real casino these days in the Boulder City area. Hacienda was acquired by Dotty’s. Hacienda used to have the best blackjack game in Clark County where a 3-2 single deck allowed double down before and after splitting. Dotty’s decided to pull all of the table games and become a large slot parlor. Boulder City residents must now visit Railroad Pass for blackjack.
The blackjack games at Railroad Pass are decent, especially considering the minimum bet. The $5 double deck is by far the better option. The house edge is 0.4%, while the shoe has a 0.63% edge. Both permit double down after splitting. The double deck with double down after splitting typically takes a $25 minimum bet in Las Vegas.
Make sure to get the Player’s Junction players card. It is very easy to get free rooms and meals. Check out The Steakhouse at the Pass, which also qualifies for comps from the blackjack pit. If you need a break from blackjack, try the $1 craps with 10 times odds.
The age of Railroad Pass may annoy some visitors. There are no modern amenities. The casino’s ventilation is very poor. Those bothered by smoke may be more annoyed by it at Railroad Pass than they are at most other casinos.