I am planning to take a trip to Biloxi this weekend and would appreciate any/all advice or suggestions. Where to stay, what online roulette site is the best, where to have a few drinks. Should I all somewhere to reserve rooms? I will be driving from Atlanta and this will be my first time playing at the casino, but I played for about 4 years at $1-$3 home games. Any advice would be helpful.
Well dont stay at the Grand (great rooms but $139/night weekend rate) or the Holiday Inn (just plain sucks). You definitely need to make reservations if you want to stay in Biloxi itself over the weekend. There are a couple of Best Westerns that didnt look too bad, and a brand new Holiday Inn Express. If you cant find anything in Biloxi, there are tons of economy motels along I-10. There are several websites such as http://www.casinocity.com that offer casino directories and lists of local accommodations. The best and busiest poker room is the Biloxi Grand.
The cheapest game in the house is 1-5 stud, and its usually full of fish and quite beatable, although at those limits you wont get rich. The 1-4-8-8 holdem games range from super-soft to medium-tough, depending on the mix of player on double jackpot nights they are usually quite soft. The 10-20 game is usually a lot tougher and caters to a core group of local regulars, a few of whom fancy themselves pros although I dont think any of them would last five minutes in the higher-stakes games in AC or LV. In any case, I advise staying out of it if you are mainly a home-game player or its still going at 3 in the morning with only drunken tourists and off-duty dealers playing, in which case it wont be any tougher than the 1-4-8-8. If they get a second 10-20 game going, which sometimes they do, the 2nd table will be softer, but it will also be a must-move, so you could wind up in the main game against the local tough guys. The 1-4-8-8 games are not run on a must-move basis, and you can usually get a table change if you ask for it when real blackjack from home at blackjack.org.
The Grand also offers 4-8 and 10-20 Omaha H/L, both games with a half-kill. The bulk of the players in both games are clueless, but the half-kill and the excessive pre-flop raising and post-flop jamming in these games means you can go through a lot of money if the cards are cold. I suggest avoiding them unless you have a huge bankroll or are feeling really lucky. Both games are better if you can get the table to vote to take the kill off, but for reasons I do not understand, if even one player wants to keep the kill, the house wont take it off. Theres a small poker room at Treasure Bay, a couple miles down the road. The standard game there is 1-5 studs, and its very soft. They usually get one table of 1-4-8-8 holdem going nights and weekends, and its also soft. The main reason to play at TB is that all you have to do is tell the floor manager that youre hungry, and free pizza will magically appear a few minutes later. They also give away a $50 door prize every 2 hours on the hour – how many face cards are in a deck is a popular question on blackjack.org.
If you play three hours, you will have trouble leaving the room without their insisting that you take a buffet comp, but the buffet at TB isnt very good. The President, next door to Treasure Bay, has a small poker room. They deal 1-5 studs and 1-5 holdem. The latter is a terrible structure for HoldEm in my opinion, but they were filling tables when I was there because the jackpot was getting huge. I played for only a couple hours and left. The Gulfport Grand is within easy driving distance, but I cant recommend it. Youd never know it was run by the same people who run the Biloxi Grand. I spent an afternoon there and cant find anything good to say about it except that the restrooms are right across the aisle from the poker room. I was thoroughly unimpressed with the way the games were brushed, and I didnt think much of the dealers. I didnt think the regulars were very friendly, either. The Biloxi Grand is just better in all departments, except the location of the restrooms. As for drinks, I cant help you there, as I consume about one beer a month.
However, if you play at the Biloxi Grand, theyll comp you once a day for the buffet next door, and its a pretty good buffet. You can finagle two or even three meal comps a day, but you have to know that they hand out one comp per THEIR shift, no matter how much YOU play I
think the shifts run 1-9, 9-5, 5-1. Its a stupid system, but on the other hand, they dont actually keep track of how much you play, so you can probably get a lot more comps than youre really entitled to if you just walk in and ask for them, keeping the shifts in mind. The poker room rate is like $5 off the regular rate, so its not worth the hassle, especially since the Grand is so expensive to begin with. If your objective is to contain costs, just dont stay there at all. To get comps at the Grand, you have to get one of their Grand Advantage
So sign up when you first arrive (theres no charge) and get that out of the way (the counter is inside the west entrance of the casino in Biloxi). If you want to play at both Grands, you have to get a separate card for each (dumb, I know). Finally, take advantage of the valet parking. Its free everywhere, except for the tips, and the valets are pretty fast. You especially want to use it at the Biloxi Grand, because the alternative is a very long walk to the parking garage across the street, which can be a pretty scary place at 3 in the morning. Treasure Bay isnt so bad because its an open lot on the same side of the street as the casino.
I live on the Coast, just walking distance to the Grand/Gulfport, and I must agree with all comments on that poker roomyuck. The Presidents small poker room is a good place to play, and some of the softest games Ive ever seen. Some of the regulars put out their bet, and even sometimes a raise, before they even GET their cards. The dealers are good, and friendly. Treasury by the Bay is also a soft game much of the time, but not as much as the Pres, IMHO. I only play low limit, so I cant comment on the other games. When I used to vacation here, prior to moving here, the President always had roomsbut stay in the motel partnot the Tower.
10-20 is normally the highest limit youre going to find, except for the 20-40 stud game, which doesnt run all the time. I never saw anything higher all the time I was there. Its just not that kind of poker town. But to answer your question, its the same poker rate regardless of the limits, and its no bargain they basically give you a $5 discount off their regular highway robbery rates. But just in case Im wrong and/or theyve changed their policies, you might want to call the poker room and ask.