In 2006, the venerable Hôtel San Rémo on Tropicana Avenue closed its doors forever to be reborn as the world’s first Hooters Casino Hotel. To hear the Florida-based purveyors of chicken wings tell it, they wanted to create a “casual, fun alternative to the giants on the Strip … ‘The Cure for the Common Casino’”. The result is a 30,000-square-foot gaming floor with 354 slot and video poker machines plus two dozen table games. The majority of the tables in the pit area are dedicated to blackjack, and Hooters takes pride in being one of the very few near-Strip casinos that offer a $3 minimum game 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
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Hooters Tables & Games
The most prevalent blackjack game played at Hooters is a $10~$500 six-deck version dealt from a shoe, where the dealer hits on soft 17 and doubling down after splitting (DAS) is allowed, but there is no surrender or re-splitting of Aces (RSA). Those rules combine to create a House edge of 0.56%. Somewhat better for players is the one table offering a double-deck game with the same rules and a House edge of just 0.40%, but it’s best to avoid the single-deck games that allow doubling down only on counts of 10 or 11, pay 6:5 instead of the normal 3:2 on natural blackjacks, and have no surrender, no RSA and no DAS. Those rules combine to create a House edge of 1.84%.
The $3~$500 game is strictly a promotion to attract novices and party animals, not for serious players. It features six decks dealt from a shoe, with the same rules as the single-deck version, except doubling is allowed on any two cards. That means the House advantage is whopping 2.12%. A better option is double-deck Super Fun 21 with a 1.24% margin for the house. When all of the tables are taken into account, blackjack at Hooters rates somewhere in the middle of the pack among Strip competitors, with an average House edge of 0.79%.
Many of the blackjack tables at Hooters offer side bets, either “Bet Set 21” or “Royal Match.” As experienced players know, these are sucker bets with extremely poor odds and should be studiously avoided.
Hooters built its reputation on chicken wings served by its “infamous” Hooters Girls, and sure enough there’s a beach-themed branch of the restaurant chain at the back of the casino, reportedly the “#1 Hooters Restaurant in the World”. The Hooters Girls also serve drinks at the blackjack tables, and more than a few of the female dealers dressed in hot pants and tank tops could be prospects for inclusion in the next Hooters calendar. What that means, of course, is that the casino is a magnet for young men, and the testosterone levels are highly noticeable throughout the gaming area. That might explain why Hooters has not felt obliged to follow its neighbors and open a special party pit—the whole casino serves that purpose.
Rewards Club+ for Frequent Blackjack Players
To keep pace with competitors, Hooters recently undertook a complete overhaul of its “Club Orange” loyalty program and has reintroduced it as “Rewards Club+”. The new program features tiered membership levels from Orange to Gold, Platinum and Black Diamond. Benefits include free tournament entries, comps on rooms, food and beverages, casino event offers and discounts, specialty birthday offers and gifts, room upgrades, VIP party invites, and more.
Membership is free to players aged 21 and older. Points are earned at a rate of one (1) point for every $1.50 of coin-in at slots or for every $6.00 of coin-in at video poker. For table games, “points are awarded based on game and amount of play.” The points that are earned can be redeemed at a rate of 100 Points = $1.00 Comp. Points may also be exchanged for free play at a rate of 100 Points = $1.00 Power Points, with the maximum redemption limited to $5.00.
The Inside View
Odds makers in Las Vegas don’t give Hooters much chance of survival. The property seems to be jinxed—perhaps unable to complete with its neighboring mega-resorts: MGM Grand and Tropicana. Built in 1973, this property started out as a Howard Johnson Hotel before going through a number of ownership and name changes. For a while, it was the Paradise, then the Polynesian Paradise and after that the Treasury Hotel. Its life as the San Rémo lasted from 1989 till the Hooters buy-out, but by 2011 the casino-hotel was already in bankruptcy. Rumors of yet another make-over and name change have not yet proved true, but since June of 2013, management of the property has been assumed by Navegante Gaming Inc., and the company has been “talking with other hotel operators about replacing Hooters”. The bottom line is that those interested in playing blackjack surrounded by the lovely Hooters Girls are well advised to do so at the earliest possible opportunity.