The M Resort and Casino Review
The M was officially opened on March 1st, 2009, making it one of Las Vegas’ newest properties, and we feel it’s currently one of the best casinos located off the strip. Its address is in Henderson and technically the casino is on Las Vegas Blvd, but it is approximately 10 miles south of Mandalay Bay (which is where the strip truly begins). If you are driving into Vegas on I-15 North, The M is the first major casino you’ll pass, and effectively marks the beginning of Las Vegas.
Most of The M’s traffic will come from the city’s locals, but since plenty others are looking to quietly enjoy a high quality Las Vegas resort without all the hubbub, this is a popular choice for tourists as well. It is also a popular destination for conferences, due to their large event center.
Since The M is located just off the strip, valet and self-parking are always free. The M offers a parking garage, but you may also park in the outdoor lot which is conveniently located right next to the sportsbook.
Casino at M
Run by Penn National Gaming, The M’s main casino floor comes in at 92,000 square feet with its table games occupying a relatively small piece of that. Not because it’s packed in too tight, all games are merely near each other and therefore easy to access. Like many off-strip Las Vegas casinos, you can often find $5 min blackjack and other table games. With that said, don’t be surprised if you only come across tables with $10 min bets and higher.
There are just two baccarat tables out on the main gaming floor, but that seems to be more than enough to accommodate players on a daily basis. From our experience playing at The M the baccarat tables are generally not too crowded. If you want to bet more privately, two other tables are available in the high limit section.
As the most commonly played casino table game, blackjack is a popular choice due to its fast action and easy to follow rules. When walking The M’s main floor, there is almost always a seat open at one of the many blackjack tables. At most tables $10 is the minimum bet, you may only split once, and blackjack pays 3-2. However, if you are playing the $5 table a blackjack only pays 6-5. In other words, by playing this table you are giving away money unless you never want to bet more than $5 per hand. The dealer must hit on soft 17, and if you like some of the recently invented blackjack variations that have some totally different rules, Free Bet Blackjack is also available.
There are a handful of craps tables available on both weekdays and weekends, but usually there are no more than three games going at one time. Minimum bets will be $5 or $10 and the rules are standard.
Like craps, there are only a few roulette wheels but that will still be plenty. They use normal roulette rules, and the wheel has two zeros. Minimum bets are $1 on the inside and $5 on the outside.
Other M Table Games
The M will definitely not blow you away with a huge array of other games. In particular, we have rarely seen Let ’em Ride poker and only the occasional 3 card poker table running during our visits. With that said, there are several games to choose from, but whether or not the tables are running is another story. These games include:
– Pai Gow Poker
– 3 Card Poker
– Ultimate Texas Hold’em
– Heads up Hold’em
– All-in Stud
– High Card Flush
M Resort does not have the widest variety of table games, and the selection tends to feature the staples, with little focus on less popular games, like Mississippi Stud or obscure blackjack variations, like Spanish 21. The redeeming element of M is found in its low minimum bet sizes, which are usually $5, even for single deck blackjack (even though it pays 6-5 on BJ, which is standard for single deck). Other games like Pai Gow and Baccarat are readily available with $10 minimums.
High Limit Room at The M
The high limit room is secluded, but at the same time, it’s also very close to the main table games pit. It is small and has only four tables of blackjack; usually two are running (one 6 deck game and one double deck game). High limit baccarat seldom (if ever) has a game going, but blackjack certainly does.
At blackjack, $50 is usually the minimum bet, but every once in a while it will be raised to $100 and the rules are a little bit different compared to the main floor. The dealer must stand on soft 17, aces can be re-split, and you can split all other hands up to four times. This makes M’s high limit double deck game the single best blackjack game in all of Las Vegas.
Slots at The M
We couldn’t get an exact count of slot machines, but let’s just say there’s a lot. They are dispersed all around the casino, all of which are up to modern standards. You can find low limit, mid limit, and high limit, with a cocktail service button available on most machines.
M Resort also offers slot tournaments for players using their Marquee Rewards card. These tournaments are frequent, and there is usually one, if not more events per week. Entry is typically free for qualified players (based on slot play) and the prize pools are usually in the thousands of dollars.
High Limit Slots at The M
The high limit slots section is fairly small and located in the midst of all the other slots, right next to the Jayde Fuzion restaurant. The limits here are definitely much lower than we are used to seeing in a high limit room, and they don’t quite reach nosebleed status.
While players can find low limit games in the M high limit slots room, in the $2-$5 range, the majority are $10-$50. The room is near an even split in terms of video poker vs. slot machines. The payback on slots in the high limit rooms is very competitive, as is the general slot machine return to player. M’s high limit slot room, both in terms of size and quality, is well above average for an off-strip casino. In fact, this high limit slots room would be competitive with most strip casinos. The quality player program combined with the excellent game selection of new and classic slots makes it one of our most highly recommend casinos for mid to high limit slots.
Video Poker at The M
The M brings 14 different types of video poker machines which you can find all around the casino floor (including in the high limit section and at its bars). While most of its payouts stay within the low to high 99% range, some of them drop into the 98% range, as low as 98.01% for low limit players. This isn’t great, but compared to what some of the higher end strip casinos offer it’s not so bad. The machines that pay as great as 99.8% are typically found near the restaurant Jayde Fuzion and the Ravello Lounge.
Sportsbook at The M
The M sportsbook is one of the finest that you’ll find off the strip and it’s one of the better sportsbooks overall. Futures odds will pay better here than they do on the strip, and the daily betting lines are also likelier to be a little cheaper. All of its seating entails a leather swivel chair with its own desk space and TV, and you can park right outside the sportsbook in the outdoor parking lot.
Including all the action for horse racing, the sportsbook is symmetrically built allowing a clear view of everything. There are plenty of TVs including some big screens, and The M’s VIP sportsbook seating is as secluded as any of Las Vegas’ sportsbooks. The M has an on-site Cantor Gaming sportsbook, which also features an app which you can download for free. Here you will have access to all the same lines from your phone and will also have numerous live betting options (games that have already started). The sportsbook area is totally non-smoking and there is food right beside it at The Vig Deli.
Perhaps its largest drawback of The M’s sportsbook, is that to obtain a single drink ticket you must bet $300 on sports or $50 on horses. Having to wager to drink is now standard for Vegas sportsbooks, but as the off strip casinos tend to be much more lenient regarding drinks, both of these bet minimums are among the highest in town.
Hotel at The M
The M has a boutique hotel providing 390 rooms. There are up to five different types of rooms which include:
– The M Resort Room
– Executive Room
– Classic Suite
– Flat Suite
– Loft Suite
Considering what you get, the rooms are reasonably priced. Though prices are likely to rise during busier times, the smallest rooms are approximately 550 square feet, with its largest Loft Suite getting up to 2,400 square feet. All hotel rooms at The M offer either a mountain or strip view. However, note that the finer suites are often reserved for the casino’s VIP players.
Unfortunately, most Las Vegas hotels now charge a resort fee on top of their standard room price, and the resort fees at The M are at least a less than dreadful $25 (year round). The resort fee allows you access to the DayDream Pool Club, parking, internet (WiFi and Ethernet), and fitness center. This fee is not declinable. However, being that this is an off-strip casino, local visitors (who can receive 30% off the regular hotel price) or its higher end players “might” have an easier time than new guests in getting the resort fee waived.
Discounts of 30% are also offered to those coming in from California and anybody who is a new member signing up with the M Life Rewards Program. Military veterans are always given 10% off their rate, and The M is frequently offering different packages for multi-night stays that would include room upgrades, discounts on spa services as well as dining credits.
Spa and Fitness Center
The fitness center and Spa Mio Facility are open every day from 6 AM to 7 PM, but unfortunately, the spa is not included in the resort fee as you must pay an additional $25. Non-hotel guests may also use the spa services at a higher fee. The spa area also has a salon open from 9 AM to 7 PM, and a barbershop available at the same hours on Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
Each month the spa offers a package of some kind for a massage, face, and nail treatment. It also includes 16 treatment rooms, a sauna, steam room, and hot tub.
Restaurants at M
The M supplies you with seven different food options, most of which are relatively inexpensive by Vegas’ standards, including:
-Baby Cakes Artisan Bakery
-Burgers and Brews
-Marinelli’s Pasta Bar
-Studio B Buffet
They begin with Baby Cakes Artisan Bakery is which is open 24/7. Then there’s the Vig Deli to accommodate its sports bettors. You’ve also got Burgers and Brews, Marinelli’s Pasta Bar which is only open from 5-10 PM, plus the Studio B Buffet. This buffet is one of the best in Las Vegas and is only $25 for dinner or $42 if you want to do the Seafood Buffet which is only open Friday through Sunday. Child prices are discounted for all. Room service is also available to all guests at the hotel.
If you want to raise the standard of eating, The M provides two additional options:
-Anthony’s Prime Steak and Seafood
Jayde Fuzion offers a very reasonably fixed price for either all you can eat sushi, all you can eat specials, or you can have both for just a little more. Lastly is Anthony’s Prime Steak & Seafood. The dress code is business casual and while nothing on its menu or full wine list is cheap here, it is comparable or of better value than any of the higher end strip casinos.
Bars at M
There are several places where gamblers can wind down and drink at The M, with its most notable bar being 32 Degrees. Located right near the sportsbook, each of its 96 beers on tap are given at the freezing 32 degrees Fahrenheit. There is no nightclub at The M, but if you want to dance the Ravello Lounge obliges every Friday and Saturday night and sometimes Thursdays.
The M’s other drink and dance venue is The Hostile Grape which is open Wednesday-Saturday. They have over 400 wine selections and have live music on the weekends.
The M’s other bars are The M Bar open 24/7 and Happy Hours which naturally offers a daily happy hour. As is the standard for Las Vegas bars, video poker is available at most of them and can be played for comped drinks.