Station Casinos got its start in 1976 by operating the Bingo Palace (now Palace Station) and went public with an IPO in 1993. A year later, the company opened the Boulder Station Hotel & Casino on Boulder Highway to serve the community on the east side of the Las Vegas Valley. Focused primarily on the locals market, the property competes directly with other gaming venues along the so-called “Boulder Strip,” featuring a 90,000-square-foot gaming space with 52 table games, most of which are set up exclusively for blackjack.
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Boulder Station Tables & Games
All of the blackjack games at Boulder Station are played by the same rules. The dealer must hit on soft 17, doubling down after splitting (DAS) is allowed and re-splitting of Aces (RSA) is permitted. However, there is no option. The House edge depends upon the number of decks in play, with the best version being the $5~$1,000 double-deck game with a margin of 0.40%. There is also a $3~$100 game available with six decks in the shoe, which gives the House an advantage of 0.57%.
Boulder Station advertises a $5 single-deck game, but players should be aware that it pays only 6:5 for a natural blackjack, not the usual 3:2. Also available in the pit is a double-deck version of Super Fun 21. Most of the regular tables offer the “Lucky Ladies” side bet. Among all off-Strip casinos, Boulder Station ranks in the middle in terms of average overall House edge at 0.63%.
The pit area at Boulder Station is constantly coming up with new promotions and bonuses to keep local players coming back for more. One of the most recent of these is a drawing for an HDTV held every Saturday at 4pm and 10pm. Entries are earned for playing blackjack as well as other eligible table games, such as craps, roulette, Pai Gow poker and more. The pit has also introduced a “Bet the Set Progressive” side bet at one blackjack table. Payouts are made for pairs, suited pairs and four-of-a-kind, and four-of-a-kind with all cards the same color wins the progressive pot upwards of $5,000 for a $1 wager. Anytime the progressive is won, every side-betting player at the winner’s table receives a $50 “envy bonus.”
M Life for Frequent Blackjack Players
Because Boulder Station is part of Station Casinos Inc., it shares its “Boarding Pass” player’s club with such sister properties as Palace Station, Sunset Station, Fiesta Casinos, Wildfire Gaming establishments and more—some 18 Las Vegas-area properties in total. The loyalty program allows “points” to be earned for slot play at a rate of three points for every dollar played. Whenever players move up in tier status, from Preferred to Gold, Platinum, President and Chairman, they can earn even more benefits, from dining and merchandise discounts to VIP events and services. Blackjack players must show their Boarding Pass card to the dealer before playing in order to be rated for comps.
Online Loyalty Programs
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The Inside View
Until 2008, Boulder Station held one of the best weekly blackjack tournaments in the Valley, with a $25 buy-in, a prize pool of $3,600 and $1,700 awarded as first prize. In recent years, the casino has organized “free” $10,000 tournaments, which require prequalification through regular play during a specific promotional period. Players become eligible by gaining a “table score of 300.” The table score is calculated by multiplying the average bet times the hours played, so 300 could be $300 wagered on average over an hour or $10 bets placed over the course of 30 hours. The top prize at these free tournaments is $5,000.