Rio Trip Report, Including More Table Game Changes

All Rio Las Vegas single line video poker returns between 98% and 99%.All Rio Las Vegas single line video poker returns between 98% and 99%. (John Mehaffey/Advantage Media)

Vegas Advantage visited Rio on Sunday, June 23, 2024. The goal was to play somewhere different. We found several notable changes. 

The first thing we noticed was that the table game pit moved. The main pit where craps, poker, and blackjack tables were, was empty. Table games are now where baccarat and pai gow were before the renovation started. The number of table games dropped by about 50% compared to when Caesars operated the property. Pai gow poker, Crazy 4 Poker, Let It Ride, and Mississippi Stud Poker are no longer dealt at Rio. We did not get an answer about whether this is temporary or permanent. 

The table games were mostly $10. It took $25 to play baccarat and 3/2 blackjack.

The electronic table games are also different. Shoot to Win Craps and stadium gaming are out. Heads-up craps and crapless craps arrived since our last visit. Dual wheel roulette is still live from our last Rio survey.

We visited hoping to find $5 Let It Ride, which was available in the past. Unfortunately, not only was Let It Ride gone, so were all $5 table games.

We decided to get players cards. Rio gave us each $8 in free slot play. I also had $15 related to previous play under Caesars. 

Rio Las Vegas video poker

We had not played at Rio in years, except for during our anniversary casino record run. Rio has 98 to 99 percent video poker on all single line games. The available options are:

  • 9/6 Double Double Bonus (98.98%)
  • 15/9 Deuces Wild (98.91%)
  • 13/4 Bonus Deuces Wild (98.8%)
  • 9/4 Double Bonus Deuces Wild (98.61%)
  • 8/6 Bonus Poker Deluxe (98.49%)
  • 9/5 Jacks or Better (98.45%)
  • 9/6 Triple Double Bonus (98.15%)
  • 7/5 Bonus Poker (98.01%)

Once we got our Rio Rewards cards, we went to the main casino bar. We did not find two machines together where the card readers worked. The next stop was Masquerade Bar, which is fitting since we met at the Masquerade in Atlanta. The bar was mostly empty. However, we had the same problem with card readers. Ray, the bartender we later learned is exceptional, had a tip and it worked. The card readers are a bit temperamental.

We started playing. The only annoyance from that point was when someone sat two seats down from us and decided it was a good place to have a loud Facetime without earbuds. That was obnoxious. We never understand how people find that acceptable.  

Double Double Bonus has too much variance for our liking. Deuces Wild is the next best option. That is Kristina’s favorite video poker game, so we played that. Unfortunately, the 98.44% version of Joker Poker is not on the Rio machines. That one pays 17 on four of a kind, as opposed to 20 on the full-pay version. 

We won $38 together. That is about what we tipped our excellent bartenders. It was a fun night out in a place that just a year ago felt like a mortuary. Rio had life we had not seen in years. It seems like it is headed in the right direction.

Closed Rio Las Vegas keno lounge
Closed Rio Las Vegas keno lounge on June 23 2024 John MehaffeyAdvantage Media

Rio keno lounge still not removed

Rio held its last live keno drawing in early 2020 before the casino closure. The keno lounge is still visible. However, there is little reason to believe that it will ever return.

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John Mehaffey
John, a founding member of Advantage Media LLC, got his start in gaming as a prop player at online poker sites. He played online poker from 2001 to 2005. In 2004, he created a site that served as a directory for an online poker promotional method known as rakeback. He sold that site in 2006 and moved his family from Atlanta to Rapid City, SD to work for a similar company. They later moved to Las Vegas in 2010. John’s favorite game is full-pay video poker. His favorite table game is Ultimate Texas Hold’em, though he would rather play it in video form. Currently, John is best known for compiling blackjack and table game data including all Las Vegas and Clark County casinos.