What was originally the MGM Grand in 1973, Bally’s has anchored the corner of Flamingo road and Las Vegas Blvd. since 1986. Owned by Caesars Entertainment, Bally’s central location is second to none, and its self-parking and valet entrances can be accessed from either the strip or Flamingo road. You will have to pay to valet or park unless your tier status is Platinum or higher, but Platinum is not hard to attain (even if you’re not a gambler). The most popular way for guests to get into the Platinum tier without gambling is applying for the Total Rewards credit card.
To put it frankly, Bally’s is not particularly aesthetically pleasing. Though it isn’t necessarily ugly, there’s nothing about it to really remember – even with all of its recent renovations. Since the property has no official theme (unlike other properties such as Caesars Palace), we’re just going to say its theme is “neutral.” If you want to play at a casino with a more exciting theme and decor, Paris Las Vegas is connected directly to Bally’s.
Despite its bland presentation, it is still heavily populated by tourists due to its centralized location. Its crowd type will either be slightly older folks or young people looking to spend their budget conservatively. Locals, however, definitely do not make a point to go here regularly.
The gaming floor is not huge, but is still big enough at 66,000 square feet, with the table games being located in one central area. This makes Bally’s particularly easy to navigate. The smell of cigarette smoke is controlled well, and since Bally’s is not there to captivate the eye, most of its games have friendly table minimums of $5.
All of Bally’s $15 and $25 min. blackjack tables pay 3-2 whether it’s a full shoe or double deck. The dealer must hit on all soft 17s. We thought we would see at least a $10 table if not a $5 table, but out by the slots is a virtual blackjack game with a live dealer for $1.
In addition to traditional blackjack, Bally’s also has a rare variation of blackjack called Double Attack.
Standard odds of 3-4-5 are the payout on the $10 and $15 craps tables. Virtual craps is also available with a $1 minimum.
All roulette tables at Bally’s had $15 with standard double zero rules during our latst visit in 2018. A virtual roulette game with a live wheel can also be played for $3 a spin.
High Card Flush ($5 minimum)
Three Card Poker ($5 minimum)
Crazy 4 Poker ($5 minimum)
Mississippi Stud ($5 minimum)
Three Card Lowball Poker ($5 minimum)
Ultimate Texas Hold’em ($5 or $10 minimum)
Texas Hold’em Bonus ($5 minimum)
The Big Wheel ($2 minimum)
Pai Gow Poker with Progressive ($25 minimum)
We were happy with the variety of the mixed games and the fact you could play them inexpensively. Bally’s clearly and understandably expects to see more action on the most common table games, hence the higher minimums.
For what it’s worth, the dealers were in a noticeably better mood than what we’re used to seeing at other Las Vegas casinos. We can’t say if they do this every day, but many of them were casually bobbing and weaving to the music. No gimmick to it, they were just having a good time.
The high limit table games room is large as it combines both the table games and the slots. There was no baccarat on the main floor, but $25 mini-baccarat is available in the high limit section. Blackjack tables start at $50. The rule changes are the dealer must stand on soft 17 and you can split aces four times.
Slot limits are $1, $2, $5, $10, $25, and $100 with popular games like Wheel of Fortune and Megabucks. Most of the machines were slots, but video poker players can also get their fix with limits of $1, $5, $10, $25, and $50.
A view of the high limit room at Bally’s:
As you get near the high limit section you’ll find limits of $1, $2, and $5. Around the rest of the casino limits start at a penny and get up to $1.
We couldn’t find out an exact slot count, but we figure there’s at least a thousand. There are many older slots grouped together, but there’s also a large section of newer slots. Some of its noteworthy popular and unique games are Game of Thrones, Buffalo, Lock it Link, The Walking Dead, The Bachelor, Tim McGraw, and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.
Besides the bars which you can play at for comped drinks, most of the casino floor had very little video poker. However, there is a very large section of it that is marked – something you don’t normally see. It’s at the front of the casino next to the keno lounge which is right outside the poker room. Payouts climb as high as 99.54% for Jacks or Better. Most of the games have limits of a quarter, 50 cents, or $1, but some games allow you to play for a penny, nickel, or dime.
A view of the video poker section at Bally’s:
The poker room is small and $1/$2 No Limit Hold’em is its primary game. The buy-in is $100-$300 and they run every day. Comps pay $1 an hour and earn 17 tier credits, but they also sometimes run promotions where three hours of cash game play gets you a free buffet comp at Le Village at Paris.
Bally’s will also deal a $2/$3 No Limit game where comps pay $2 an hour and earn 34 tier credits, but these games pretty much never happen except maybe during the World Series of Poker.
The main appeal for Bally’s poker room are its six daily tournaments occurring at 9 AM, noon, 3, 5, 8, and 11 PM. All buy-ins are $75 with prize pool guarantees for $800 except for the 5 PM which is a $60 buy-in and $500 guarantee. Every Saturday night at 8 is Bally’s largest tournament with a buy-in of 135 and $7,500 guarantee.
Bally’s sportsbook is among the most bizarrely located in all of Las Vegas. Many sportsbooks are right near their poker room and/or off the beaten path. This one isn’t near poker but is certainly off the beaten path as you must go all the way to the back of the casino, down the escalator, and then all the way through its mini shopping mall. The very large and symmetrical sportsbook is vertically built and also right near a food court, but they are separate from Bally’s and don’t accept comps from the casino.
Given the sportsbook’s isolated location, if you’re going there just for that you should park off Flamingo road as the entrance to the sportsbook is right there. There is a lot of seating and at least 10 rows of all desk row seats with their own TV. This sportsbook seems to be pretty dead most of the time, but we imagine it must get busy during major events since it’s so big.
Their policy on betting for drink tickets isn’t too bad. $20 for horses is a little high but $50 for sports is tough to beat. You can also bet at Bally’s by opening an account for free right inside and then downloading the Caesars Entertainment sports betting app. Live betting, which is betting on games once they have begun is still a work in progress for both the app and over the counter.
The hotel has over 2,800 rooms and 10% discounts are given off the lowest priced room to students, teachers, first responders, government employees, and military members. With its newly renovated standard 450 square foot rooms with rates often being just $40-$80 during the week and $100-$200 on the weekends, Bally’s is clearly one of the best values on the strip.
Indigo Tower King (450 square feet)
Indigo Tower Queens (450 square feet)
Jubilee Luxury King/ Two Queens (430 square feet)
Jubilee Premium King/Two Queens (430 square feet)
PetStay Room (size N/A)
Indigo Tower Suites (size N/A)
Bally’s Townhouse Suites
Celebrity Suites (1,700 square feet)
Penthouse Suites (2,567-3,425 square feet)
Beyond the standard room are the Studio Suite which is 590 square and also often priced for under $100 during the week. Only when you get into the larger suites, like the Premium or Presidential Suites do room rates finally break into the $200s during the week and $400-$500s on the weekend.
In addition to the room rates is the infamous tax inclusive mandatory resort fee of $39.68 which includes pool, fitness center, Internet, and even spa access along with a handful of other minor services that you probably won’t care about. Not having to pay an additional spa entrance fee is a rare benefit rarely given by strip hotels.
Since the room rates are so modestly priced, we figure that getting yourself a comped room should be easier than most places. If you know you are going to gamble a considerable amount, it is wise to link up with a casino host first.
The salon and 13,000 square foot spa only allows its hotel guests to use the facility, and Bally’s and Paris Convention guests get 15% off. The spa is open daily from 6 AM- 6 PM and its services are cheaper than other strip spas. In addition to its steam rooms, jacuzzis, and dry center is the fitness center with the same hours.
Altogether there are nine restaurants at Bally’s, most of which are either quick eats or casual dining. LavAzza is a 24 hour coffee and pastry shop, and Buca di Beppo, SEA: The Thai Experience, and Tequila Taqueria Bar & Grill round out its casual dining for around $15-$30 per person.
If you are into upscale food, Bally’s has two options: BLT Steak which averages $50 per entrée and Sterling Brunch which is only open on Sundays. The brunch stands out with champagne along with a buffet style selection of sushi, other seafoods, meats, cheeses, along with plenty of breakfast options.
There is no nightclub at Bally’s, but it has three major bars which tailor well to video poker players. Sully’s Casino Bar is open 24 hours, and the Indigo Lounge is great for hanging out with a cocktail and live music. Its final choice is Shiver which is located in the Bally’s/Paris crossover. Shiver specializes in frozen cocktails which get as large as 46 oz and refill are only $10. If drinking is your activity of choice, you will not find a better value anywhere else on the strip.