Owned by Penn National Gaming, the Tropicana has been around since 1957 and is one of Sin City’s oldest properties. It was really starting to become a dump until it decided to catch up with the times by drafting a major renovation project in 2009. Though its interior is a lot nicer now, the Tropicana still only gives you so much to get excited about compared to everybody else. Its theme is of the tropical South Beach, but if nobody told you that you would probably never know.
Its closest neighbors are Hooters which is slightly off strip and just a short walk west, and MGM Grand, Excalibur, and New York New York which you can get to with a pedestrian bridge. Getting in and out of the Tropicana is easy. Whether you’re heading east off the I-15 or heading west towards I-15 on Tropicana Avenue, you can get to self-parking or valet without having to turn on the often jammed up Las Vegas Blvd. One of the nicer things about the Trop is that unlike most strip casinos, all parking services are still free.
Since nothing really rings about the Tropicana, we only expect locals to spend so much time here. Tropicana mainly serves those who are trying to do Las Vegas for less.
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The Tropicana has a relatively small gaming floor coming in at 50,000 square feet. Its table games are all in one area that is close to the main entrance and The Lounge. Even though the Trop isn’t a “small time” hotel and casino, we still thought $5 would be the minimum bet for most of its games. But to our surprise, the minimum for table games was $10.
We were happy to see $10 baccarat was available on the regular gaming floor. There is also one baccarat table offered in the high limit room, but the minimum here is $100.
If you are visiting the Tropicana to play Blackjack, you might be disappointed to know that 6-5 is the payout for all lower-limit tables. If you are looking for a 3-2 game then you’ll have to play at the $25 min table. The dealer must hit soft 17, and double deck is also available. The Trop offers Bonus Spin Blackjack, but not any of the other recently created variations of blackjack.
You can play craps for $10 with standard strip odds of 3-4-5. Additionally, out by the slots area is a virtual craps game with a $2 bet minimum. Instead of placing a bet on the board and rolling a pair of dice, the machine works by inserting money and pushing the button to shoot the dice.
The minimum at roulette on the main floor is $10 and has the standard two zero wheel. Like craps, a cheaper $3 version of electronic roulette (which has a live wheel) is also offered by the slots.
– Fortune Pai Gow ($5 minimum)
– Three Card Poker ($5 minimum)
– Ultimate Texas Hold’em ($5 minimum)
Seeing just these three games was a letdown. Going in, we expected that we weren’t going to be overwhelmed with selection, but this is poor. It would behoove the Trop to remove some of its blackjack tables which it has more than enough of and replace them with a few extra table games.
Considering how small the normal section of table games is, the high limit area was comically big. The table games available here are baccarat and blackjack. Each game has a $100 minimum, compared to $10 on the main floor. The only difference in high limit blackjack is the dealer must stand on soft 17.
Despite the moderately small gaming floor, the Trop still has well over 600 slot machines. Wager limits are flexibly a penny, two cents, a nickel, a dime, a quarter, a half dollar, and a silver dollar. We couldn’t find any machines that looked like they’ve been there since we (supposedly) landed on the moon. They were new with many popular and unique ones like Wheel of Fortune, Buffalo Gold, Willy Wonka, Walking Dead II, Zeus, Sphinx 3D, Wonder Woman, The Flintstones, Lock it Link, and Mega Bucks.
The high limit slots section is combined with the table games also larger than what seems necessary. It isn’t walled off but is secluded enough by being tucked away in the corner. Limits here are $1, $5, $10, and $25. Most of it the machines are slot games but there is also some video poker mixed in. The video poker limits were $0.25, $1, $2, and $5. A lot of those machines looked old, but Cleopatra was there.
A look at the high limit slots room from our last visit:
Though there is a decent sized section of video poker, its game selection was limited mainly to Jacks or Better, and paybacks topped at a so-so 98.45%. Limits began at a quarter and increased to $0.50, $1, and $2, and it also available at its bars to be played for comped drinks.
You can bet sports and horses here, but Tropicana doesn’t exactly have a sportsbook. What they do have is a kiosk that uses Cantor Gaming betting technology, and on the other side of the casino is The Lounge. The Lounge has a full wine and cocktail menu to go with a bunch of TVs, some round tables and chairs, and a video poker bar.
The kiosk has a betting board and pamphlets showing all the lines for that day, futures, upcoming events, and any props. If you want to do live betting, which is betting on games as they are being played, you can’t do it at the kiosk. However, if you open an account which is simple and free, download the Cantor Gaming app and there you will find some live betting lines in addition to everything else.
No food is nearby, but if you want to drink while watching the game, you don’t necessarily have to buy anything at The Lounge. For every either $50 horse bet or $200 sports bet you make, you can get a free drink ticket. These drink ticket minimums are higher than most sportsbooks (especially the horses), but we suppose it’s better than nothing.
Before we get to the variety of hotel rooms, Tropicana offers a variety of discounts. All California residents receive 30% off. If you book at least 61 days in advance, you received an advanced purchase discount of 15%. Senior citizens get 10%, and AAA members get 5%. Those in the military, police force, or fire and rescue services all receive discounts on shows, restaurants, and room rates up to 15% as well as 20% on the spa. Lastly, though they were not specified, Federal and Canadian government officials also receive discounts on travel among other things. Call 1-888-381-8767.
The recently redone hotel now has almost 1,500 rooms including suites and villas. The hotel rooms do a much better job at capturing the South Beach theme than the casino floor. There are five kinds of standard rooms which have view of the city, strip, or pool:
– Club Deluxe (375 square feet)
– Club Deluxe Plus (475 square feet)
– Paradise Deluxe (450 square feet)
– Deluxe City View (450 square feet)
– Bungalow Deluxe (380 square feet)
Tropicana doesn’t provide an average nightly rate throughout the year, but during the less than insanely busy times rooms are in the vicinity of $120-$150, plus the expensive resort fee which after tax is $39.68. However, the good news about the resort fee is it includes more than just the standard Internet, pool, and fitness center access. Tickets for the Laugh Factory are 2 for 1 Sunday through Thursday, and discounts are also available for other shows.
After the deluxe rooms come the Paradise Suite, Club, Club Spa, and Penthouse Loft. Lastly are the villas. The Sky Villa is available in one or two bedrooms, Pool Villa, and Villa One. It seems a little odd that some of the villas are smaller than the suites, but stranger things have happened.
Pricing on the Paradise Suite is typically around double the deluxe rooms, but you’ll have to inquire further about pricing and availability for the other suites as they are typically reserved for VIPs.
– Paradise Suite (906 square feet)
– Club Suite (823 square feet)
– Club Spa Suite (1,006 square feet)
– Penthouse Loft (1,616-1,738 square feet)
– Sky Villa 1 BR (1,500 square feet)
– Sky Villa 2 BR (2,500 square feet)
– Pool Villa (730 square feet)
– Villa One (1,000 square feet)
The 10,000 square foot Glow Spa and is open seven days a week from 6 AM – 7 PM, and the salon’s hours are 8 AM – 7 PM. Hotel guests enter for $18 and drop-ins can use it for $25. The spa features nine private treatment rooms, a relaxation lounge, and steam room. It also tailors to couples with a Couples Wet Villa and Couples Wet Suite, each having an oversized bath and couples shower.
The fitness center is also open from 6AM-7PM and includes a wide variety of cardio equipment along with weights.
The Trop brings nine different places to eat including a 24 hour food court. There is plenty of variety ranging from Fresh Mix which has salads and wraps, to the Red Lotus Asian Kitchen. Other standouts are the American pub Robert Irvine’s Public House and Bacio, which serves breakfast from 7AM to noon. Savor the Buffet is open every day, and weekend dinner prices compare nicely to the rest of the strip at $33.
– Oakville Steakhouse
– Beach Café
– South Beach Marketplace
Notes: Tropicana is one of the few casinos on the Las Vegas Strip that does not have a buffet. The café will spread brunch buffets on weekends and special occasions.
The Oakville Steakhouse is the lone selection for those interested in high end food. Some of the specialty steaks are a Texas Wagyu, but there is also a wide selection of seafood and wine. The dress code is business casual, and it is open for dinner hours only.
If you want a wide drinking variety, the Trop falls a little short. The Lounge is solid since it has wine and video poker, but other than that we were hard pressed to find any solo bars worth talking about. Besides The Lounge, you will have to go to either Robert Irvine’s or the steakhouse.
A view of the Tropicana lounge from our last visit: