Excellent Value in St. Louis – Part II
Last time I talked about our visit to Casino Queen (CQ) in St. Louis and how it’s a great place for non-gamblers because of the RV park (closed until May), low cost rooms, convenient location, shuttle service, and multiple good dining options. If you’re a gambler you’ll appreciate all that as well, plus you’ll also like the gaming, comps and promotions.
For most people gambling is entertainment and in the long run the house wins. What makes the difference is how much value you get from your entertainment budget. Some places offer tight games that return a lower percentage. You’ll usually find these conditions in casinos that have no local competition. They take your money fast because they can — people will still play there because they don’t have any choices other than not playing. Casino Queen is on the other end of the spectrum. They have three major competitors in the St. Louis market and have decided to compete based on value. In my opinion they’re succeeding!
Casino Queen advertises themselves as “home of the loosest slots”. Since we play video poker I wanted to look at their pay schedules. If their slots were “the loosest” maybe they’d offer descent video poker too? We found many games available at 99% and higher with correct play. If you’re a table games player you’ll find all the most popular games here too.
A note about video poker; unlike a slot machine video poker involves skill. There are exceptions, but they don’t apply to Casino Queen and aren’t relevant for our discussion. Machines must deal random cards from a virtual fair deck. They must also clearly display the pay schedule of how many coins you win for each specific hand; a pair of Jacks, a straight, etc. Because of these facts there’s a mathematically correct way to play every hand. This is similar to the concept of “basic strategy” for blackjack players. When I say a game returns 99.1% that means when played correctly the return will be 99.1% of your total wagers over your lifetime. You will still have losing sessions and for a given night your return may be zero. For someone playing on intuition the return will be lower, probably around 95% on the same machine.
Cash Back, Comps and Promotions
I mentioned above that some casinos want to take your money fast. Some casinos are also stingy with that money and don’t invest much to attract you to return. Casino Queen again stands in contrast. They offer cash back on your points, and a variety of promotions including point multiplier days that help to soften any losses. One promo during our stay was for a Macy’s gift card which we earned. On top of this the comps are very good for food and lodging. CQ is working hard for every dollar they keep, and the result is value for the customer.
More about the Comps
Casino Queen still has “discretionary comps” which some casinos have phased out for typical gamblers and only use for high rollers. If you’re an average gambler you can ask at the player’s club desk to talk with a host. The host will evaluate your play and possibly give you free dining, lodging, etc.
Visiting by RV
The RV park is now closed for the winter and will reopen Memorial Day weekend. At this time, CQ doesn’t allow overnight RV parking, so if you want to visit here in your RV over the winter you’ll need to take a room in the hotel. Not a bad deal overall, since at the time I’m writing this you can book a room for as little as $69/night and your room can be comped based on your play
Our tour of the Midwest continues. Next stop Wisconsin!
Happy travels and good luck in the casinos,