Recent Decline of Las Vegas Video Poker

Las Vegas has always been the home of the best video poker in the world. While that is still the case today, it is on a downward trend.

BConnected players club lowered video poker rewards 

Boyd Gaming’s players club was altered about two years ago. The biggest change affected video poker players. These players do not earn points until a tier above Ruby is acquired. This requires 750 base points. The return for free play is now 0.05%, half of what it was before this change.

Skyline removed full pay Deuces Wild

Skyline Casino dropped full pay Deuces Wild from its coin games in early 2019. There were about 20 quarter 10-coin max machines in the Deuces Wild Corral in the rear of the casino. These dropped coins and required a hand pay on four deuces or a natural royal flush. The machines are still there, but with a pay table that is about 2% worse.

The 10-coin bet made it equivalent to the half-dollar denomination. That made it the only one of its kind as all other full pay Deuces Wild in town were on five-coin quarter games.

Aliante Casino dropped full pay Deuces Wild and other 100% games

Aliante Casino was acquired by Boyd Gaming in 2016. The number of full pay machines there dwindled over the years. In 2019, the last three with full pay Deuces Wild, Loose Deuces and Double Bonus all vanished. There are three quarter 10/6 Double Double Bonus machines left.

Station Casinos removed full pay Deuces Wild and Joker Poker

Station Casinos removed full pay Deuces Wild from all its casinos in early 2020. A few of these properties offered full pay Joker Poker, which also vanished. Both were spread in the quarter denomination.

Loose Deuces remain in the quarter denomination, as well as quarter, half-dollar and dollar full pay Double and Double Double Bonus Poker. These games no longer pay points to players. These were awarded on a discounted basis before the closure.

This move left Sam’s Town as the last Las Vegas casino with full pay Deuces Wild. Plaza became the last home for full pay Joker Poker. Both are only available in the quarter denomination.

Circus Circus ended last 100% video poker game on Las Vegas Strip

In February, Circus Circus removed its unique half-dollar Aces and Eights game. It returned 100.25% before the progressive jackpot. It was the last 100% game on the Las Vegas Strip.

Station Casinos slashed video poker returns on its Boarding Pass program

The Station Casinos players club is Boarding Pass. Upon reopening in June, video poker players discovered a substantial change from the previous perks. Players that had a qualifying tier or swiped their card at a kiosk previously earned 0.3% on video poker play. Multiplier days would return about double that amount.

In June, Boarding Pass video poker returns dropped to one point for every $2 in coin-in. That is the equivalent of 0.05%, making it one of the worst programs for video poker players. Multiplier days bring the return around the old level or slightly higher.

Plaza removed higher denominations from 100% games

Plaza, and before that, Las Vegas Club, spread half-dollar full pay Joker Poker for most of the last 15 or more years. That changed a week ago when the half-dollar denomination was removed from the machines. I figured the changes at Station Casinos between its games and players club made the Plaza machines more attractive to serious players than in the past, bringing more expert action to the games than it could absorb. Luckily, the quarter denomination survived.

Plaza also spreads two 10/7 Double Bonus machines that go up to the $1 denomination. The $2 denomination was removed from these games in early 2019.

El Cortez ends 100% games

The video poker at El Cortez declined over the past few years. The most notable change was the removal of the last 100% game on the property over the summer. That was 10/7 Double Bonus. There is not a 99% or better game on the property that uses ticket-in/ticket-out. All of the good games at El Cortez are coin droppers. 

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