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Best of Slots 2010

Best of Slots Overall Hotel Casino

 

This one’s the grand prize in our annual Best of Slots issue, since our readers award it to the properties that provide the best overall, top-to-bottom experience in their regions. There were a number of repeat winners from last year, as the finest resorts have a tendency to stay on top of their markets through continual renovations and creative new offerings.

In Atlantic City, Borgata continues to stay one step ahead of the pack. Its $400 million Water Club boutique hotel, which opened two years ago with 800 luxurious rooms, multiple pools, and a two-story spa, has kept this resort on top of the market. In the Chicagoland region, Blue Chip came out ahead, while in the Native Northeast, Mohegan Sun earned top honors from our readers. This gorgeous resort contains massive, multiple casinos; each features its own unique design inspired by nature and tribal traditions.

Las Vegas slot machines

In Las Vegas, the Rio posted a win in the Locals category, while on the Strip, Caesars Palace notched an impressive first-place finish. Meanwhile, the Golden Nugget—the classiest act on Fremont Street—claimed the top spot once again among downtown casinos.

 

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Blue Chip 2 Empress Joliet 3 Harrah’s Joliet • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor 2 MGM Grand Detroit 3 Greektown • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Hard Rock Biloxi • Iowa 1 Horseshoe Council Bluffs 2 Ameristar Council Bluffs 3 Harrah’s Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget 2 Main Street Casino 3 Fitzgeralds • Las Vegas Locals 1 Rio 2 M Resort 3 Sam’s Town • Las Vegas Strip 1 Caesars Palace 2 Harrah’s Las Vegas 3 Wynn Las Vegas • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Edgewater • Missouri 1 Ameristar Kansas City 2 Ameristar St. Louis 3 Harrah’s St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Four Winds Casino Resort 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Soaring Eagle • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Harrah’s Cherokee  3 Silver Star • Native West 1

Best Overall Casino

These are the properties which Strictly Slots readers say have the finest casino facilities. This means strong game selection, player-friendly rules, great atmosphere and service, and an excellent players club.

In this year’s survey, Borgata was again the clear-cut winner in Atlantic City, while on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the mighty Beau Rivage continues its reign as the area’s elite casino. In the Native Northeast, it’s always a tight competition between Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun. This year, Mohegan Sun edged out its chief rival for Best Casino honors.

Meanwhile, in the Native Midwest, our readers declared that Soaring Eagle has the top casino in the region. They also say that in Las Vegas, the legendary Caesars Palace offers the best overall casino experience on the Strip. Golden Nugget once again won among downtown casinos, while Sam’s Town, always a favorite among Strictly Slots readers, took the Locals category.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Blue Chip 2 Empress Joliet 3 Harrah’s Joliet • Detroit 1 Greektown 2 MGM Grand Detroit 3 Caesars Windsor • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Hard Rock Biloxi • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Horseshoe Council Bluffs 3 Harrah’s Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget 2 Main Street Casino 3 Fitzgeralds • Las Vegas Locals 1 Sam’s Town 2 M Resort 3 Rio • Las Vegas Strip 1 Caesars Palace 2 Harrah’s Las Vegas 3 Bellagio • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Edgewater • Missouri 1 Ameristar Kansas City 2 Ameristar St Charles 3 Harrah’s N. Kansas City • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Soaring Eagle 2 Four Winds Casino Resort 3 Grand Casino Hinckley • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Harrah’s Cherokee 3 Silver Star • Native West

Best Casino for Reel Slots

Slots provide roughly two-thirds of the gaming revenue at many casinos. While table games have basically remained the same over the years, the major slot manufacturers are constantly rolling out new products, feeding an insatiable appetite for new games that push the limits of technology. The winners below are the casinos that our readers feel offer the best variety of reel slots, the most favorable payback percentages, and the best environment in which to play.

On the Las Vegas Strip, Harrah’s Las Vegas—where players reap the benefits of the nationwide Harrah’s Total Rewards program—took first place. The company’s Atlantic City property, however, finished behind the always hard-to-beat Borgata.

Our readers continue to sing the praises of Sam’s Town (Local Las Vegas). In the Downtown Las Vegas category we saw a surprise winner with Fitzgeralds, which trumped the  Golden Nugget. And in Connecticut, Foxwoods won bragging rights as the Best Casino for Reel Slots in the area. (Amazingly, this resort complex has more than 7,600 slot and video poker machines!)

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Empress Joliet 2 Argosy Alton 3 Casino Queen • Detroit 1 MGM Grand Detroit 2 Caesars Windsor  3 Motor City • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 IP Biloxi 2 Beau Rivage 3 Hard Rock Biloxi • Iowa 1 Horseshoe Council Bluffs 2 Ameristar Council Bluffs 3 Harrah’s Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Fitzgeralds 2 Golden Nugget 3 Main Street Casino • Las Vegas Locals 1 Sam’s Town 2 M Resort 3 Rio • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 Flamingo 3 Bellagio • Laughlin 1 Edgewater 2 Riverside 3 Harrah’s Laughlin • Missouri 1 Ameristar St Charles 2 Ameristar Kansas City 3 Ameristar St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Hinckley 2 Soaring Eagle 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Silver Star 3 Harrah’s Cherokee • Native West

Best Casino for Video Slots

The most popular video slots found in today’s casinos boast cutting-edge audio and graphics, combined with heart-pounding bonus rounds. According to our readers, you’ll find the best selection of these games at Borgata in Atlantic City; IP Biloxi on the Gulf Coast; and Horseshoe Council Bluffs in Iowa.

There were some surprising wins this year in this category. In downtown Las Vegas, the Four Queens claimed first place for its terrific selection of player-friendly video slots. Among local-oriented Las Vegas properties, M Resort has been garnering raves from players ever since it opened; this year, Strictly Slots readers handed it a win in this category. On the Las Vegas Strip, meanwhile, Harrah’s Las Vegas won praise for its combination of state-of-the-art video slots and generous rewards for frequent players.

Interestingly, the newest casino in Vegas—Aria, which lies at the heart of the vast CityCenter complex—finished second. While CityCenter may be the most expensive and lavishly designed casino in history, Strictly Slots readers say that players of all levels will love its video slot selection.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Casino Queen 2 Jumer’s Casino 3 Argosy Alton • Detroit 1 MGM Grand Detroit 2 Caesars Windsor  3 Greektown • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 IP Biloxi 2 Hard Rock Biloxi 3 Beau Rivage • Iowa 1 Horseshoe Council Bluffs 2 Ameristar Council Bluffs 3 Harrah’s Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Four Queens 2 California Hotel 3 Fitzgeralds • Las Vegas Locals M Resort 2 Sam’s Town 3 Palms • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 Aria 3 Flamingo • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Edgewater 3 Aquarius • Missouri 1 Ameristar Kansas City 2 Ameristar St Charles 3 Harrah’s St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Four Winds Casino Resort 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Soaring Eagle • Native South 1 Harrah’s Cherokee 2 Coushatta Casino Resort 3 Silver Star • Native West 1

Best Casino for Progressive Slots

Slot machines never would have achieved their current popularity if not for the invention of progressive slots: banks of machines that are linked together (sometimes between multiple casinos owned by the same company) in order to offer giant, life-changing jackpots. Every time a player places a bet at any game linked to the progressive network, the amount of the jackpot keeps climbing until one lucky player claims it.

Our readers say you’ll find the best progressive slot games at Borgata in Atlantic City; at Beau Rivage on the Gulf Coast; and at Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood in Florida. Furthermore, they say your best bet in downtown Las Vegas is at the California. On the Las Vegas Strip, meanwhile, Harrah’s Las Vegas edged out the competition due to its incredible variety of progressive machines. Elsewhere in Nevada, the machines at Harrah’s Laughlin and The Peppermill (Reno) were a big hit with our readers this year.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Argosy Alton 2 Harrah’s Joliet 3 Jumer’s Casino • Detroit 1 MGM Grand Detroit 2 Caesars Windsor  3 Motor City • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Hard Rock Biloxi • Iowa 1 Horseshoe Council Bluffs 2 Ameristar Council Bluffs 3 Harrah’s Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 California Hotel 2 Main Street Casino 3 Fitzgeralds • Las Vegas Locals 1 Sam’s Town 2 Palms 3 M Resort • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 Bally’s Las Vegas 3 Bellagio • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Edgewater 3 Aquarius • Missouri 1 Harrah’s St. Louis 2 Harrah’s N.Kansas City 3 Ameristar St. Charles • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Soaring Eagle 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Silver Star 2 Golden Moon 3 Harrah’s Cherokee • Native West 1

Most Innovative Slot Floor

The most innovative slot floors in the industry are using extra imagination—and often, cutting-edge technology—to create new benefits and ways to win for players and casinos alike. On the Las Vegas Strip, the new Aria casino within CityCenter scored a Best Of Slots win in this category. And for good reason: it truly is the slot floor of the future. All of the games are networked together via a central computer server. (One of the many benefits? Each machine can have an entire library of games tied to it, allowing the casino to change its game mix in near real time.)

You can expect to this type of state-of-the-art setup, which was orchestrated by slot giant IGT, to appear in more casinos in the future. For now, these are the other properties that our readers find especially forward-thinking with their slot floors.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Jumer’s Casino 2 Empress Joliet 3 Harrah’s Joliet • Detroit 1 MGM Grand Detroit 2 Caesars Windsor • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 IP Biloxi 2 Beau Rivage 3 Hard Rock Biloxi • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Fitzgeralds 2 Main Street Casino 3 Golden Nugget • Las Vegas Locals 1 M Resort 2 Red Rock 3 Rio • Las Vegas Strip 1 Aria 2 Harrah’s Las Vegas 3 Bellagio • Laughlin 1 Aquarius 2 Tropicana Express 3 Harrah’s Laughlin • Missouri 1 Ameristar St Charles 2 Ameristar Kansas City 3 Ameristar St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Mille Lacs 2 Soaring Eagle  3 Ho Chunk • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Harrah’s Cherokee 3 Silver Star • Native West 1

Best Casino for Video Poker

Video poker has been called “the thinking man’s slot machine” (with all due respect to our female readers, who love video poker as much as anyone), because true skill is required to play these games correctly. You’ve also got to know which type of video poker machine to play, and its optimal strategy. Smart players know that the right games, played properly, offer an extremely low house edge that makes them among the best gambles in the casino.

Below, you’ll find the properties with the best selection of video poker games, according to our readers. There were many repeat winners from last year’s survey, along with some surprises that video poker enthusiasts will want to know about.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Harrah’s Joliet 2 Argosy Alton 3 Casino Queen • Detroit 1 MGM Grand Detroit 2 Caesars Windsor 3 Motor City • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 IP Biloxi  2 Beau Rivage 3 Hard Rock Biloxi • Iowa 1 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 2 Horseshoe Council Bluffs 3 Ameristar Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 2 Montbleu 3 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Main Street Casino 2 California Hotel 3 Golden Nugget • Las Vegas Locals 1 Palms 2 Sam’s Town 3 South Point • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 Bally’s Las Vegas 3 Bellagio • Laughlin 1 Pioneer Casino 2 Riverside Laughlin 3 Edgewater • Missouri 1 Ameristar Kansas City 2 Ameristar St Charles 3 Harrah’s St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Niagara • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Mille Lacs 2 Ho-Chunk 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Harrah’s Cherokee  2 Golden Moon 3 Silver Star • Native West

Casino Where You Feel Luckiest

Readers of Strictly Slots tend to be a lot savvier than the average gambler: they’re familiar with the rules, odds and optimal strategies. But in the end, you won’t walk away a winner without some degree of luck—and we all have a casino or two where we feel Lady Luck gives us a little extra consideration.

Our readers say they feel luckiest when they’re playing the slots at Beau Rivage on the Gulf Coast; at Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City; and at Harrah’s Las Vegas on the Vegas Strip. The rest of the results are below. Have these casinos been lucky for you, too?

Atlantic City 1 Trump Taj Mahal 2 Borgata 3 Harrah’s Atlantic City • Chicagoland 1 Casino Queen 2 Harrah’s Joliet 3 Hollywood Aurora • Detroit 1 Greektown 2 Caesars Windsor 3 MGM Grand Detroit • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Isle At Pompano Park 3 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Hard Rock Biloxi • Iowa 1 Harrah’s 2 Council Bluffs Ameristar Council Bluffs  3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Fremont 2 Golden Nugget 3 Main Street Casino • Las Vegas Locals 1 Palms 2 Rio 3 M Resort • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 Flamingo 3 Bally’s Las Vegas • Laughlin 1 Aquarius 2 Harrah’s Laughlin 3 Edgewater • Missouri 1 Harrah’s St. Louis 2 Ameristar Kansas City 3 Ameristar St Charles • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Niagara • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Mille Lacs 2 Soaring Eagle 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Silver Star 3 Harrah’s Cherokee • Native West

Best Penny Slots

Prior to the mid-1990s, the lowest buy-in you could usually find on a casino floor was a quarter. Then multi-line video slots arrived, which quickly began to replace the traditional slots and their three spinning reels. This new style of game also enabled slot manufacturers to create games with lower denominations.

Penny slots have been the most surprisingly successful byproduct of the video slot revolution. The numbers tell the story: by the end of 2007, penny slots accounted for 19 percent of all slot revenue on the Las Vegas Strip and won nearly $500 million from gamblers—a steep 29 percent increase over the previous year.

Penny slots, which come in an endless variety of themes, are now a major driver of the video slot business—while nickel, quarter, and dollar games remain popular as well. Below are the casinos which our readers say offer the best selection of penny games. After that, we’ll run down the winners in our nickel, quarter, and dollar categories, as well as the casinos with the best $5 games—which are a bit too rich for the average slot player, but sought out by higher rollers for the gigantic jackpots they pay out.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Trump Taj Mahal 3 Harrah’s Atlantic City • Chicagoland 1 Casino Queen 2 Argosy Alton 3 Jumer’s Casino • Detroit 1 Motor City 2 Caesars Windsor 3 MGM Detroit • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 IP Biloxi 2 Beau Rivage 3 Hard Rock Biloxi • Iowa 1 Horseshoe Council Bluffs  2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Ameristar Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Fitzgeralds 2 Golden Nugget 3 Binion’s  • Las Vegas Locals 1 M Resort 2 Sam’s Town 3 South Point • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 Flamingo 3 Bally’s Las Vegas • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Riverside • Missouri 1 Ameristar St Charles 2 Ameristar Kansas City 3 Harrah’s St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Niagara • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Hinckley 2 Four Winds Casino Resort 3 Soaring Eagle • Native South 1 Harrah’s Cherokee 2 Silver Star 3 Coushatta Casino Resort • Native West

Best Nickel Slots

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Casino Queen 2 Argosy Alton 3 Harrah’s Joliet • Detroit 1 MGM Grand Detroit 2 Caesars Windsor 3 Greektown • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 IP Biloxi 2 Hard Rock Biloxi 3 Isle of Capri • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Fitzgeralds 2 El Cortez 3 Golden Nugget • Las Vegas Locals 1 Sam’s Town 2 M Resort 3 Orleans • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas XXXXX Mirage XXXXX Paris Las Vegas XXXXX Bally’s Las Vegas • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 River Palms 3 Riverside • Missouri 1 Harrah’s N. Kansas City  2 Ameristar Kansas City 3 Harrah’s St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Soaring Eagle 2 Grand Casino Hinckley • Native South 1 Harrah’s Cherokee 2 Coushatta Casino Resort • Native West

Best 25¢ Slots

Atlantic City 1 Trump Taj Mahal 2 Borgata 3 Harrah’s Atlantic City • Chicagoland 1 Casino Queen 2 Argosy Alton 3 Empress Joliet • Detroit 1 Greektown 2 Caesars Windsor 3 Motor City • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 Hard Rock Biloxi 3 IP Biloxi • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 California 2 Golden Nugget 3 El Cortez • Las Vegas Locals 1 Sam’s Town  2 Palms 3 M Resort • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 Bally’s Las Vegas 3 Caesars Palace • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Riverside • Missouri 1 Ameristar St Charles 2 Ameristar Kansas City 3 Ameristar St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Soaring Eagle 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Silver Star 3 Paragon Casino • Native West

Best 50¢ Slots

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Casino Queen 2 Empress Joliet 3 Blue Chip • Detroit 1 Greektown 2 MGM Grand Detroit • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Isle of Capri • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget 2 California 3 Main Street Casino • Las Vegas Locals 1 Sam’s Town 2 M Resort 3 Palms • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas  2 Bally’s Las Vegas 3 Bellagio • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius • Missouri 1 Harrah’s St. Louis  2 Ameristar N.Kansas City 3 Ameristar Kansas City • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Soaring Eagle 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Silver Star 3 Paragon Casino • Native West

Best $1 Slots

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Casino Queen 2 Argosy Alton 3 Blue Chip • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor 2 MGM Grand Detroit 3 Motor City • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Isle At Pompano Park 3 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Isle of Capri • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Montbleu • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget  2 California 3 Binion’s • Las Vegas Locals 1 Palms 2 Sam’s Town 3 Orleans • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 Bally’s Las Vegas 3 Caesars Palace • Laughlin 1 Aquarius 2 Harrah’s Laughlin • Missouri 1 Ameristar St. Charles 2 Harrah’s St. Louis 3 Harrah’s N. Kansas City • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Soaring Eagle 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Ho Chunk • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Silver Star 3 Harrah’s Cherokee • Native West

Best $5 Slots

Atlantic City 1 Trump Taj Mahal 2 Borgata 3 Harrah’s Atlantic City • Chicagoland 1 Casino Queen 2 Hollywood Aurora 3 Harrah’s Joliet • Detroit 1 MGM Grand Detroit 2 Caesars Windsor 3 Motor City • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 Hard Rock Biloxi 3 Island View • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Montbleu 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget 2 Binion’s 3 Fitzgeralds  • Las Vegas Locals 1 Orleans 2 Palms 3 Sam’s Town • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 Bellagio 3 Caesars Palace • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Tropicana Express • Missouri 1 Harrah’s N. Kansas City 2 Ameristar Kansas City • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Hinckley 2 Four Winds Casino Resort  3 Soaring Eagle • Native South 1 Harrah’s Cherokee 2 Coushatta Casino Resort 3 Silver Star • Native West

Best Variety of Slots

When some of us visit a casino slot floor, we’ll only play our favorite title. Others want to take the newest, hottest titles for a whirl and hop from game to game. This category lists the casinos which, according to our esteemed readers, offer the best mix of new games and popular classics, in all sorts of different denominations. These properties regularly feature the newest games rolled out by slot manufacturers, which means there will always be intriguing new options to check out when you make your next visit.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Empress Joliet 2 Jumer’s Casino 3 Casino Queen • Detroit 1 MGM Grand Detroit 2 Caesars Windsor 3 Motor City • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Isle At Pompano Park 3 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Isle of Capri • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Horseshoe Council Bluffs 3 Harrah’s Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe 2 Montbleu 3 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget  2 Four Queens 3 El Cortez • Las Vegas Locals 1 Sam’s Town 2 M Resort 3 Red Rock • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas  2 MGM Grand 3 Bellagio • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Riverside • Missouri 1 Ameristar Kansas City 2 Ameristar St Charles 3 Harrah’s St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Four Winds Casino Resort 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Soaring Eagle • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Harrah’s Cherokee 3 Silver Star • Native West

Best High-End Slot Area

You’ll often find the serious slot players, who aren’t afraid to risk a substantial bankroll in their pursuit of jaw-dropping jackpots, tucked away in high-limit areas where they receive special services such as private cashiers, slot attendants, and waitresses. In some casinos, these areas even feature vibrating massage chairs, personal TV screens, and exclusive lounges and buffets. These extravagant touches prove that you no longer need to be a high-stakes table games player to receive the red-carpet treatment.

In the Detroit market, Caesars Windsor clearly goes the extra mile to make its high-limit slot players feel pampered, while in Atlantic City, Trump Taj Mahal earned another first-place finish for the perks it lavishes on its slot VIPs. On the Las Vegas Strip, first place went to the lavishly appointed high-limit areas of Bellagio. And in the Las Vegas Locals category, Strictly Slots readers say the best high-end slot area is found at the Rio.

Atlantic City 1 Trump Taj Mahal 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City • Chicagoland 1 Harrah’s Joliet 2 Hollywood Aurora 3 Empress Joliet • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor 2 MGM Grand Detroit 3 Greektown • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Isle Biloxi • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Montbleu 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget 2 California 3 Fitzgeralds • Las Vegas Locals 1 Rio 2 Orleans 3 South Point • Las Vegas Strip 1 Bellagio 2 XXXXXXX Best Nickel Slots 3 Caesars Palace • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Tropicana Express  • Missouri 1 Harrah’s St. Louis 2 Ameristar Kansas City 3 Ameristar St Charles • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Hinkley 2 Oneida 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Harrah’s Cherokee 2 Silver Star 3 Coushatta Casino Resort • Native West

Best Slot Hosts

A good slot host is like the genie that comes out of the bottle, possessing the power to grant wishes to gamblers. In this magazine, we often remind our readers about the importance of forming a relationship with a host. If you gamble at a property with any regularity, you should be on a first-name basis with a host who can make your visits more enjoyable and rewarding. (You might be eligible for comps and perks you weren’t even aware of!)

Strictly Slots readers are especially fond of the hosts at the properties listed below. They claim you’ll find the best hosts in their respective regions at Harrah’s Joliet in the Chicagoland market; Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood in Florida; IP Biloxi on the Gulf Coast; and at Montbleu in Lake Tahoe.

If you play the slots at any of these award-winning casinos and don’t have a host yet, what are you waiting for? Introduce yourself, find out what type of freebies you might qualify for, and let them do what they best—namely, show you how much they appreciate your patronage.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Trump Taj Mahal 3 Harrah’s Atlantic City • Chicagoland 1 Harrah’s Joliet 2 Blue Chip 3 Par-A-Dice Casino • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor  2 MGM Grand Detroit • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 IP Biloxi 2 Beau Rivage 3 Isle Biloxi • Iowa Harrah’s Council Bluffs  2 Ameristar Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Montbleu 2 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe  3 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 California 2 Main Street Casino 3 Fremont • Las Vegas Locals 1 Rio 2 Sam’s Town 3 M Resort • Las Vegas Strip 1 Caesars Palace 2 Harrah’s Las Vegas 3 Bellagio • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Tropicana Express • Missouri 1 Ameristar St. Charles 2 Harrah’s St. Louis 3 Harrah’s N. Kansas City • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Hinckley 2 Four Winds Casino Resort 3 Soaring Eagle • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Silver Star 3 Harrah’s Cherokee • Native West

Best Cocktail Service

Giving players free beverages is a time-honored tradition at casinos, and the quality of cocktail service is often indicative of a casino’s overall attention to its customers. (Just don’t drink too much alcohol and start gambling recklessly; that’s when those “free” casino drinks can become the most expensive beverages you’ve ever consumed!)

In the casino world, the “best” cocktail service doesn’t only mean providing quick refills; male patrons also appreciate being served by gorgeous, friendly women (who, at some casinos, wear outfits that leave little to the imagination and leap onto stages to perform dance routines!). Borgata in Atlantic City has turned this into a clever marketing strategy; its carefully selected “Borgata Babes” are some of the most attractive cocktail servers in the business, and bring an added jolt of excitement to the casino floor.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Argosy Alton 2 Blue Chip 3 Harrah’s Joliet • Detroit 1 MGM Grand Detroit 2 Motor City 3 Caesars Windsor • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Isle Biloxi • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Montbleu  2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Main Street Casino 2 California 3 Fitzgeralds • Las Vegas Locals 1 Rio 2 M Resort 3 Sam’s Town • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 Paris Las Vegas 3 Caesars Palace • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Riverside • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Hinckley 2 Kewadin Casino 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Silver Star 3 Harrah’s Cherokee • Native West

Best Slot Club

This is unquestionably one of the most important Best of Slots categories for our readers, as it should be for any player who goes to casinos regularly. We’re constantly talking in this magazine (and in its sister publication, Casino Player) about the importance of joining the players club for every casino that you visit. It’s free to sign up, and when you use your player card every time you sit down for a session, the casinos will give you back part of your expected losses in the form of comps and cashback. Whatever your game of choice is, if you’re not using your card and allowing the casino to track your play, you’re missing out on all kinds of freebies and promotions.

This is especially true with slot players, whom casinos reward in various interesting and exciting ways. Many will offer bonus slot points during promotional periods, offering to double (or more) the points you earn for your play. Of course, the more points you earn, the more comps, cash back and other free stuff the casino will give you, to reward your loyalty and retain you as a player.

This year, we saw some interesting results. In the Detroit market, Greektown came out on top, while on the Gulf Coast our readers say the players’ club at IP Biloxi is the best in the region. In our Native Northeast category, meanwhile, Foxwoods claimed a win over Mohegan Sun.

Atlantic City 1 XXX 2 XXXX 3 XXXX • Chicagoland 1 Harrah’s Joliet 2 Grand Victoria Elgin 3 Par-A-Dice Casino • Detroit 1 Greektown 2 MGM Grand Detroit 3 Caesars Windsor • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Isle At Pompano Park 3 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa • Gulf Coast 1 IP Biloxi 2 Beau Rivage 3 Island View • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 XXXXXXXXX XXXXX • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Fitzgeralds 2 Fremont 3 Main Street Casino • Las Vegas Locals 1 M Resort 2 Sam’s Town 3 Stations Casino • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 MGM Grand 3 Caesars Palace • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 River Palms • Missouri 1 Ameristar St. Charles  2 Harrah’s St Louis 3 Ameristar Kansas City • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Four Winds Casino Resort 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Oneida • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Silver Star 3 Paragon • Native West

Best Slot Club Staff

Whether you’re in Connecticut, California, or any gaming destination in between, the most successful casinos are usually the ones who’ve mastered the art of customer service. This means that even with thousands of guests pouring through their doors each day, every player—from the high rollers in the baccarat area, on down to the folks at the penny slots—receive prompt, friendly service from a staff of well-trained professionals.

Slot service is a priority for Harrah’s Entertainment, as evidenced by its wins in both Atlantic City and Las Vegas. Elsewhere, IP Casino Resort on the Gulf Coast; the California in downtown Las Vegas; and Mohegan Sun in Connecticut earned praise for the personalized attention they give to slot players.

Read on for the rest of the winners, and know that at any of these properties you’ll be listened to, and taken care of, to the best of their abilities.

Atlantic City 1 Harrah’s Atlantic City 2 Borgata 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Harrah’s Joliet 2 Argosy Alton 3 Hollywood Aurora • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor  2 MGM Grand Detroit 3 Greektown • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Island View • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Montbleu 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Fitzgeralds 2 Main Street Casino 3 California • Las Vegas Locals 1 M Resort  2 Sam’s Town 3 South Point • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 XXXXXX Best Slot Club Staff 3 Venetian • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 River Palms • Missouri 1 Ameristar Kansas City 2 Harrah’s N. Kansas City 3 Harrah’s St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Four Winds Casino Resort 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Oneida • Native South 1 Silver Star 2 Coushatta Casino Resort 3 Harrah’s Cherokee • Native West

Best Cashback

Cashback, to explain it in a nutshell, is money that a player can redeem for points accrued on their players card. Casinos have different cashback policies and programs; some provide it in the form of “bounce back,” meaning the player receives a certificate good for cash in the mail to be used on their next trip to the casino. Others allow for same-day cashback; reach the next plateau of points while playing a slot machine, and this bonus will be applied directly to your card, for you to draw upon immediately.

As for how players spend their cashback, that’s up to them. Savvy players will learn as much as possible about their casino’s program, to understand how to maximize their points. For example, your points might go farther when applied towards meals or a hotel room, rather than using them for more time on the slot machines (which is how most players wind up spending them).

Every property you see listed below is using cashback the right way—to generously reward players for their continued patronage.

Atlantic City 1 Harrah’s Atlantic City 2 Borgata 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Hollywood Aurora 2 Argosy Alton 3 Par-A-Dice Casino • Detroit 1 Greektown  2 Caesars Windsor • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 Island View 3 IP Biloxi • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Horseshoe Council Bluffs 3 Harrah’s Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Montbleu 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Fitzgeralds 2 California 3 Golden Nugget • Las Vegas Locals 1 M Resort 2 Sam’s Town  3 Green Valley Ranch • Las Vegas Strip 1 XXXXXXX Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 MGM Grand 3 Treasure Island • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius  3 Tropicana Express • Missouri 1 Ameristar St Charles 2 Ameristar Kansas City 3 Ameristar St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Hinckley 2 Kewadin Casino 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Silver Star 3 Paragon • Native West

Best Comps

Casinos have a million and one ways to entice us to come and play. But for many players—especially those of us who’ve been around awhile, and know how the system works—it comes down to one word: comps (short for “complimentaries”).

The question is, if you show up with your bankroll, how is the casino going to reward you for your patronage? How much slot play will entitle you to a free trip to the buffet, or dinner for two at the steakhouse? How long will you need to bet $25 hands at the blackjack table to score a VIP cabana at the pool party tomorrow, or a pair of show tickets?

The next step up might be getting your “RFB” comped: Room, Food and Beverage. And if you’re coming to gamble huge in the high-limit rooms, the casino’s generosity can know no limits. (We’re talking free Ferraris and luxury vacations for you and your spouse—whatever it takes to keep you as a customer!)

The funny thing about is comps is that everyone loves getting free stuff. It doesn’t matter if you’re on a fixed budget and looking to get comped at the coffee shop, or you’re a high roller from Hong Kong who arrived on a private jet and wants to be reimbursed for the cost of his fuel. Players of all sizes make their determinations on where to play based on the quality of a casino’s comp program, and in competitive gaming markets, properties can be surprisingly liberal with their freebies.

According to our readers, these are the properties that really went the extra mile to make their players feel appreciated and rewarded.

Atlantic City 1 Harrah’s Atlantic City 2 Borgata 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Argosy Alton 2 Harrah’s Joliet 3 Par-A-Dice Casino • Detroit 1 Greektown  2 MGM Grand Detroit • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 IP Biloxi 2 Beau Rivage 3 Island View • Iowa 1 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 2 Horseshoe Council Bluffs 3 Ameristar Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Montbleu 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Fitzgeralds 2 Main Street Casino 3 California • Las Vegas Locals 1 M Resort 2 Sam’s Town 3 Palms • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 MGM Grand 3 Palazzo • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Tropicana Express • Missouri 1 Ameristar St Charles 2 Ameristar Kansas City 3 Harrah’s St. Louis • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Soaring Eagle 2 Four Winds Casino Resort 3 Grand Casino Hinckley • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Silver Star 3 Paragon • Native West

Best Slot Club Promotions

 

Being a member of a slot club is about more than earning points for your play and cashing them in; it’s about getting invited to participate in various promotions and events. The best slot clubs in the business always seem to be announcing new promotions for their members—tournaments, luxury car giveaways, “point multiplier” days, you name it. (The other day we heard of a slot club giving away free car washes for a year!)

Strictly Slots readers say these casino resorts have the most creative and generous promotions in the industry. Some winners came as no surprise (such as Harrah’s Entertainment-owned properties winning in Atlantic City and on the Las Vegas Strip); in other regions, we saw some notable surprises. M Resort sure didn’t waste any time winning the loyalty of local Vegas players; it only opened in March 2009, and this year it beat the legendary and much-beloved Sam’s Town.

 

 

Atlantic City 1 Harrah’s Atlantic City 2 Borgata 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Harrah’s Joliet 2 Argosy Alton 3 Hollywood Aurora • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor 2 MGM Grand Detroit 3 Greektown • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Island View • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Montbleu 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Main Street Casino 2 Fitzgeralds  3 California • Las Vegas Locals 1 M Resort 2 Sam’s Town 3 Orleans • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 MGM Grand 3 Venetian • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Riverside • Missouri 1 Ameristar St Charles 2 Harrah’s St. Louis 3 Ameristar Kansas City • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Soaring Eagle 2 Four Winds Casino Resort 3 Grand Casino Hinckley • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort  2 Harrah’s Cherokee 3 Silver Star • Native West

Best Direct Mail

Atlantic City invented the idea of casino “direct mail,” which means regularly mailing your slot club members postcards or brochures that announce upcoming events, or offer invitations to a promotion, members-only party, etc. Some of the best casinos utilizing direct mail send their members colorful brochures which are easy and fun to read, and feature all kinds of different exciting offers and promotions.

In other words, when you open your mailbox to find to find a piece of mail from one of the following properties, it would be a mistake to dismiss it as “junk mail.” These properties send you relevant, valuable offers and information.

Atlantic City 1 Trump Taj Mahal 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Borgata • Chicagoland 1 Harrah’s Joliet 2 Par-A-Dice Casino 3 Jumer’s Casino • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor 2 MGM Grand Detroit 3 Greektown • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa 3 Isle At Pompano Park • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Hard Rock Biloxi • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs  2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Montbleu 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 California Hotel 2 Fitzgeralds 3 Four Queens • Las Vegas Locals 1 M Resort 2 Sam’s Town 3 South Point • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 MGM Grand  3 Venetian  • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Aquarius 3 Edgewater  • Missouri 1 Ameristar St Charles 2 Ameristar Kansas City 3 Harrah’s N. Kansas City • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Four Winds Casino Resort 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Ho-Chunk • Native South 1 Coushatta Casino Resort 2 Harrah’s Cherokee 3 Paragon Casino • Native West

Best High-End Slot Lounge

 

Bring a big bankroll to the casino and play the high-denomination games in the high-limit area, and you’ll be due for special attention and perks—including access to the high-end slot lounge. These lounges usually offer complimentary food, snacks and beverages, and are equipped with private restrooms and cashier cages. They also provide a place for VIPs to unwind away from the hustle and bustle of the main casino.

The resorts on this year’s winners list have taken this concept to the next level. They understand that a classy, super-comfortable lounge will make their slot VIPs feel happy, comfortable and already looking forward to their next visit.

 

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Grand Victoria Elgin 2 Hollywood Aurora 3 Empress Joliet • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor 2 MGM Grand Detroit • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa • Gulf Coast 1 IP Biloxi2Isle Biloxi 3 Beau Rivage • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs  2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Montbleu 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget 2 Four Queens • Las Vegas Locals 1 Rio 2 Orleans 3 South Point • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas 2 Caesars Palace 3 Bellagio • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin  2 Edgewater 3 Aquarius • Missouri 1 Harrah’s St. Louis 2 Ameristar Kansas City  3 Ameristar St Charles • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods 2 Mohegan Sun 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Hinkley 2 Oneida 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Silver Star • Native West

Best Overall Hotel

Today’s top gaming resorts promote themselves as vacation destinations where  gambling is just one part of the experience. The size and quality of their hotels is essential, and the winners in this category really go the extra mile—delivering superior customer service and flawless accommodations even though in some cases, they’ve got thousands of rooms to manage.

Another lock this year was the Peppermill in Reno. The rooms in its Peppermill Tower feature panoramic views of the Reno city lights and surrounding mountains; the newly remodeled Montego Bay Wing offer mahogany furnishings, exquisite marble and granite bathrooms, and wall-mounted plasma screen televisions; and, as part of the resort’s $400 million expansion, the rooms in its Tuscany Tower feature the ambience of Tuscan villas.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Blue Chip 2 Harrah’s Joliet 3 Par-A-Dice Casino • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor 2 MGM Grand Detroit • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 IP Biloxi 3 Isle Biloxi • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs  2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 2 Montbleu 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget 2 Fitzgeralds 3 Main Street Casino • Las Vegas Locals 1 Rio 2 M Resort 3 Red Rock • Las Vegas Strip 1 Wynn Las Vegas 2 Bellagio  3 Caesars Palace • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Edgewater 3 Aquarius • Missouri 1 Ameristar St Charles 2 Harrah’s St. Louis 3 Ameristar Kansas City • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Soaring Eagle 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Harrah’s Cherokee  2 Silver Star  3 Coushatta Casino Resort • Native West

Best Hotel Rooms

In the old days, casinos didn’t see much sense in making your hotel room as cozy and convenient as possible. Why invite guests to surf the Internet on a Wi-Fi connection, unwind in an oversized Roman bathtub, and nap on the plushest beds, when they ought to be gambling downstairs in the casino?

Times have changed. Today, many so-called “standard” rooms would have once been considered luxury suites.  Flat-screen televisions, Internet access, incredibly comfortable beds, bathrooms big enough to sleep in, in-room safes for your valuables, and beautiful contemporary designs…those are just some of the perks offered by our Best of Slots winners, which make sure every overnight guest feels like a VIP.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City 3 Trump Taj Mahal • Chicagoland 1 Blue Chip 2 Jumer’s Casino 3 Harrah’s Joliet • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor 2 MGM Grand Detroit • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage  2 Hard Rock Biloxi 3 Isle Biloxi • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs  2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 2 Montbleu 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget 2 Fitzgeralds 3 Main Street Casino • Las Vegas Locals 1 Rio 2 Red Rock 3 M Resort • Las Vegas Strip 1 Caesars Palace 2 Wynn Las Vegas 3 Venetian • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin 2 Tropicana Express 3 Edgewater • Missouri 1 Ameristar St Charles 2 Harrah’s St. Louis 3 Ameristar Kansas City • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Alleghany • Native Midwest 1 Four Winds Casino Resort 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Soaring Eagle • Native South 1 Harrah’s Cherokee 2 Silver Star 3 Coushatta Casino Resort • Native West

Best Entertainment

Long gone are the days when casinos were considered a final career stop for has-been entertainers struggling with their IRS and alimony payments. Nowadays, you won’t only find the world’s hottest bands and superstars performing in Las Vegas; casino-based concert venues across the country have become a regular stop when the biggest stars in music head out on tour.

Bring in an act like The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Billy Joel or Van Halen (all of whom play shows at gaming resorts when they tour), and a property will draw thousands of people who might not otherwise visit. And of course, high rollers love those comped front-row seats.

In many cases, the showrooms of old have been replaced by state-of-the-art arenas. Mohegan Sun, which took top honors in the Native Northeast, boasts an incredible 10,000-seat arena which hosts professional sporting events as well as mega concerts. On the Las Vegas Strip, Caesars Palace proved unbeatable—and we predict it will stay on top of this category for a while to come. In March 2011, Celine Dion will return to The Colosseum for another three-year run.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata 2 Trump Taj Mahal 3 Caesars Atlantic City • Chicagoland 1 Grand Victoria Elgin • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor 2 MGM Grand Detroit • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa  • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage 2 Hard Rock Biloxi 3 IP Biloxi • Iowa 1 Harrah’s Council Bluffs 2 Ameristar Council Bluffs 3 Horseshoe Council Bluffs • Lake Tahoe 1 Monebleu 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe 3 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget 2 Fitzgeralds 3 El Cortez • Las Vegas Locals 1 Rio 2 Orleans 3 South Point • Las Vegas Strip 1 Caesars Palace 2 MGM Grand 3 The Mirage • Laughlin 1 Riverside 2 Harrah’s Laughlin 3 River Palms • Missouri 1 Ameristar St Charles 2 Harrah’s St. Louis 3 Ameristar Kansas City • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun 2 Foxwoods 3 Seneca Niagara • Native Midwest 1 Soaring Eagle 2 Grand Casino Hinckley 3 Four Winds Casino Resort • Native South 1 Harrah’s Cherokee 2 Silver Star 3 Coushatta Casino Resort • Native West

Best Steakhouse

Today’s gaming resorts offer a cornucopia of dining experiences, ranging from fast food to exotic international fare. But the classic American steakhouse is always a staple. In fact, inside casinos you’ll find of the best steakhouses anywhere—including some incredible hidden gems such as Don B’s Steakhouse at Fitzgeralds in Downtown Las Vegas category, and The Range at Harrah’s Laughlin. This year’s winners also include very high-end steakhouses that bear the names of celebrity chefs, such as David Burke Prime at Foxwoods, and Bobby Flay Steak at Borgata. However much you’re willing to spend on a great steak dinner, this year’s results will give you an idea of where to find the best in the industry.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata, Bobby Flay Steak 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City, The Steakhouse 3 Trump Taj Mahal, Safari Steakhouse • Chicagoland 1 Blue Chip, William B’s Steakhouse 2 Hollywood Aurora, Fairbanks Steakhouse 3 Par-A-Dice, Boyd’s Steakhouse • Detroit 1 Motor City, Iridescence 2 Caesars Windsor, Caesars Windsor 3 MGM Grand Detroit, Bourbon Steak • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, Council Oak 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, Council Oak 3 Isle At Pompano Park, Farradday’s Steakhouse • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage, BR Prime 2 Hard Rock Biloxi, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse 3 IP Biloxi, Farradday’s Steakhouse • Iowa 1 Horseshoe Council Bluffs: Jack Binion’s Steakhouse 2 Ameristar Council Bluffs, Waterfront Grill 3 Harrah’s Council Bluffs, 360 Steakhouse • Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Friday’s Station Steak & Seafood Grill 2 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, Sage Room Steakhouse 3 Montbleu, Ciera • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Fitzgeralds, Don B’s Steakhouse 2 Binion’s, Binion’s Ranch Steakhouse 3 El Cortez, Flame Steakhouse • Las Vegas Locals 1 Sam’s Town, Billy Bob’s Steakhouse 2 Rio, All American Bar & Grille 3 Red Rock, T-Bones Chophouse • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas, The Range Steakhouse 2 Circus Circus, The Steakhouse 3 Bellagio, Prime Steakhouse • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin, The Range 2 Riverside, Ruthie’s Steak & Seafood 3 Aquarius, Outback Steakhouse • Missouri 1 Ameristar Kansas City, Great Plains Cattle Co. 2 Harrah’s N. Kansas City, The Range 3 Harrah’s St. Louis, The Range • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods, David Burke Prime 2 Mohegan Sun, Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse 3 Seneca Alleghany, The Western Door • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Hinckley, The Winds Steakhouse 2 Soaring Eagle,XXXXXXX  3 Four Winds Casino Resort, Copper Rock Steakhouse • Native South 1 Silver Star, The Steak House 2 Coushatta Casino Resort, Big Sky Steakhouse 3 Paragon, Legends Steakhouse • Native West

Best Buffet

Sure, the casinos have their sophisticated gourmet restaurants run by renowned chefs, but the buffet will always remain a staple that players of all types line up for. And some of the buffets that won this category are much more than places to load up on cheap food; these are amazing dining experiences offered in multi-million dollar facilities, featuring colorful themes and delicious cuisine from all corners of the world.

The industry’s best all-you-can-eat spreads are represented in this year’s results. The winners include Borgata Buffet in Atlantic City; the Palette Dining Studio at MGM Grand Detroit; and naturally, the Rio on the Las Vegas Strip, where the Carnival World Buffet has to be seen to be believed. It prepares more than 300 types of dishes daily and more than 70 varieties of homemade pies, cakes, pastries and other delicious desserts.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata, Borgata Buffet 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City, Waterfront Buffet 3 Showboat, French Quarter Buffet • Chicagoland 1 Hollywood Aurora, Epic Buffet 2 Blue Chip, Options Buffet 3 Jumer’s, Player’s Buffet • Detroit 1 MGM Grand Detroit, Palette Dining Studio 2 Caesars Windsor, Market Buffet • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, Fresh Harvest 2 Isle At Pompano Park Isle Buffet • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage, The Buffet 2 IP Biloxi, Back Bay Buffet 3 Island View, Island View Buffet • Iowa 1 Ameristar Council Bluffs, Heritage Buffet 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Fresh Market Square Buffet • Lake Tahoe 1 Montbleu, The Buffet at Montbleu 2 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Forest Buffet • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Main Street Casino, Garden Court Buffet 2 Fremont, Paradise Buffet 3 Golden Nugget, The Buffet • Las Vegas Locals 1 Rio, Carnival World Buffet 2 M Resort, Studio B Buffet 3 Red Rock, The Feast Buffet • Las Vegas Strip 1 Bellagio, The Buffet at Bellagio 2 Wynn Las Vegas, The Buffet 3 XXXXXXXX Harrah’s Las Vegas, Flavors, The Buffet • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin, Market Buffet 2 Aquarius, Windows on the River 3 Tropicana Express, Roundhouse Buffet • Missouri 1 Ameristar Kansas City, Horizons Buffet 2 Ameristar St Charles, Landmark Buffet 3 Harrah’s St. Louis, Eat Up! Buffet • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods, Festival Buffet 2 Mohegan Sun, Season’s Buffet 3 Seneca Alleghany, Thunder Mountain Buffet • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Hinckley, Grand Buffet 2 Soaring Eagle, Firefly Buffet 3 Four Winds Casino Resort, The Buffet • Native South 1 Harrah’s Cherokee, Fresh Market Square Buffet 2 Silver Star. Chef’s Pavilion Buffet 3 Coushatta Casino Resort, Seven Clans Buffet • Native West

Best Coffee Shop

Along with buffets, no casino feels complete without a coffee shop. The winning properties in this category feature coffee shops which put their own unique spin on the concept. According to our readers, the best coffee shops in the business include The Metropolitan at Atlantic City’s Borgata; the Roasted Bean at Beau Rivage on the Gulf Coast; and the cozy Club Aroma at Harrah’s St. Louis in Missouri. You really can’t go wrong with any of the venues that made this year’s list, so if you enjoy a nice hot cup of coffee, be sure to pay them a visit the next time you’re in town.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata, The Metropolitan 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City, Reflections 3 Showboat, Mansion Café • • Detroit 1 Motor City, High Octane 2 MGM Grand Detroit, Palette Dining Studio 3 Caesars Windsor, Pronto • Florida 1  Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, The Constant Grind 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, Hard Rock Café 3 Isle At Pompano Park, Myron’s • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage, The Roasted Bean 2 Hard Rock Biloxi, 24/7 3 Island View, The Coffee Shop • Iowa 1 Horseshoe Council Bluffs JB’s Café 2 Ameristar Council Bluffs, Prairie Café 3 Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Ice Cream Social • Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, American River Café 2 Montbleu, MontBleu Café 3 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, Hard Rock Café • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget, Carson Street Café 2 Four Queens, Magnolia’s Veranda 3 California, Market Square Café • Las Vegas Locals 1 Rio, Sao Paulo Café 2 Orleans, Courtyard Café 3 M Resort, Red Cup Café • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas, Café at Harrah’s 2 Bellagio, Café Bellagio 3 Paris Las Vegas, Café Belle Madeleine • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin, Beach Café 2 Riverside, Ripple Express 3 Tropicana Express, Under The Stairs Cafe’ • Missouri 1 Harrah’s St. Louis, Club Aroma 2 Ameristar St. Charles, Falcon Diner & The Bakery 3 Harrah’s N. Kansas City, Roasted Coffeehouse • Native Northeast 1 Mohegan Sun, Imus Ranch Coffee 2 Foxwoods, Douwe Egberts 3 Seneca Alleghany, Seneca Café Express • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Plums 2 Soaring Eagle, Little Eagle Café 3 Four Winds Casino Resort, Willowbrook Café • Native South 1 Silver Star, Villa 2 Paragon, Roxy’s Diner

Coushatta  3 Coushatta Casino Resort, Terrace Café • Native West

Best Bar/Lounge

You’ll find some of the best bars in the country inside of casinos—from authentic Irish pubs, to rock n’ roll joints and ultra-hip celebrity hangouts. The Best of Slots winners in our “Best Bar” category covered the full spectrum. Borgata’s posh B Bar, a 24/7 hot spot always buzzing with energy and music, took top honors again in Atlantic City. In Florida, Center Bar at the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, another high-energy, music-driven hangout on the casino floor, won in its region. And in the Local Las Vegas category, our readers singled out the Rio’s sky-high Voodoo Lounge, where you can sip signature cocktails while enjoying a birds-eye view of the city.

Another well-deserved win went to Whiskey Roadhouse at Horseshoe Council Bluffs in Iowa. If you’re in the mood to let your hair down and boogie the night away, this 500-seat venue features the area’s best local rock bands, as well as big names that regularly pass through.

Atlantic City 1 Borgata, B Bar 2 Harrah’s Atlantic City, Exhibition Bar 3Taj Mahal, EGO • Chicagoland 1 Casino Queen, Sevens 2 Argosy Alton, The Key West Bar 3 Blue Chip, Rocks Lounge • Detroit 1 Caesars Windsor, VU Bar 2 Greektown, Eclipz Lounge 3 MGM Grand Detroit, INT ICE • Florida 1 Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood, Opium 2 Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, Center Bar 3 Isle at Pompano Park, Fling • Gulf Coast 1 Beau Rivage, Eight 75 2 IP Biloxi, Chill Ultra Lounge 3 Hard Rock Biloxi, Center Bar • Iowa 1 Horseshoe Council Bluffs, Whiskey  Roadhouse 2 Harrah’s Council Bluffs, Vertigo 360 3 Ameristar Council Bluffs, Amerisports Bar • Lake Tahoe 1 Harrah’s Lake Tahoe, Cliché 2 Montbleu, Opal Ultrablounge 3 Harvey’s Lake Tahoe, Cabo Wabo • Las Vegas: Downtown 1 Golden Nugget, RUSH Lounge 2 Binion’s, Benny’s Bullpen  3 Main Street Casino, Triple 777 Brewery • Las Vegas Locals 1 Rio, Voodoo Lounge 2 M Resort, 30° Draft Bar 3 Hard Rock, Center Bar • Las Vegas Strip 1 Harrah’s Las Vegas, Carnival Court 2 Caesars Palace, Shadow Bar 3 Bellagio, Fontana Bar and Lounge • Laughlin 1 Harrah’s Laughlin, Chances Bar  2 Aquarius, Zodiac Bar 3 Tropicana Express, Caboose Lounge • Native Northeast 1 Foxwoods, Kahve 2 Mohegan Sun, Leffingwells Martini Bar 3 Seneca Alleghany, The Casino Bar • Native Midwest 1 Grand Casino Hinckley, Silver Sevens Acts 2 Soaring Eagle, Water Lily Lounge 3 Four Winds Casino Resort, Stage Bar • Native West 1

Best of Slots 2010.

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