Reno in July – No Crowd – So Sad

Well, this is just a little scary for Reno – on July 7th at 1 pm. If you don’t know the scene, this is Virginia Street with the Eldorado on the right (Circus Circus behind and Silver Legacy forward). Many moons ago I spent my first night in Reno at the Thunderbird Motel, and I was happy to get a room.

Why was I happy? Because the town was full of gamblers. No, it wasn’t Hot August Nights, or a Bowling tournament week, or any other event – it was just a weekend in Reno during the summer, long before California and dozens of other states offered casinos and poker games. Things have changed.

I will admit that there were some rainstorms around the Fourth of July this year and that may have had an impact, but the empty street is so sad to me. I learned to play Texas Hold’em in Reno, starting at Mr. C’s casino attached to the Sands on a 25-cent to $1 table. At the time there were lots of places to play and more than 100 tables in town. Today, just a few clubs still have live poker.

Your best bets are the games at Grand Sierra (formerly the MGM/Bally’s/Hilton), the Peppermill and the Atlantis away from downtown. Right downtown there are games at the Club Cal-Neva and the Eldorado. This particular day the games at the Eldorado included what they said was the last 7-card stud game in town and a couple Hold’em games. They were $3-6 limit and $1-2 blind no-limit and that was that.

On the other hand, there are still plenty of good blackjack games in town, whether you want to play $3 or $100 a hand (many clubs still hold the upper limit at $500, but several offer $5 to $1,000 games). And, for those of you who want a game to yourself, there were plenty of empty tables all across the downtown corridor.

As for myself, the best games I saw were at Circus Circus, mostly because I won, and because my girls were having a great time upstairs in the Big Top Arcade. Eventually, they had a plastic bag filled with stuffed animals and candy, and the gaming paid more than the arcade games cost. Yup, you can still make money in Reno!

Thanks for reading – Al W Moe


37 thoughts on “Reno in July – No Crowd – So Sad

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  2. Thanks for sharing such an informative article. I really enjoyed it. It was quite interesting to read the different perspectives of your ideas and keep updating us with more posts like this.


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  6. Nice post. I also think it's kind of sad to see less activity in Reno than there used to be. I'd like to return to the time when there were many casinos open with lots of action. Fortunately, I got to see a little of that when I was there about ten years ago. I'd love to return. I think I probably need to adjust my expectations a little and find some other things to do there in addition to gambling so I'm not disappointed.


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