Located just over a mile west of Las Vegas Blvd. on Flamingo Road, the Palms casino provides easy access to drivers needing the I-15. It is across the street from the Rio and Gold Coast, and across the parking lot from the Palms is Palms Place, a luxury hotel. Though you have to go outside to get to it, the Palms Place joins the Palms the same way the Encore joins the Wynn, or The Palazzo joins The Venetian.
The Palms opened in late 2001 and was owned by the Maloof family, but ownership has recently changed. In 2016, Station Casinos bought them for $313 million.
There isn’t exactly a theme here, but as it has gradually made more and more renovations it is now one of the most modern off strip venues in town. Since it is close to the strip, it attracts tourists that want a nice resort that allows them to get on and off the strip with ease. However, because it is off the strip and also has a 16 theater movie house, it brings in locals too.
Valet and self-parking outdoors or in the garage are still free, and there is a free shuttle bus to and from the strip that transports hotel guests only. The shuttle runs every half hour and makes its only stop at the Caesars Forum Shops. The downside is its hours are only 11 AM – 8 PM.
Casino at Palms
Since the gaming floor space is built more in length than in width, its 95,000 square foot size is deceptively large. Slots are spread out everywhere, but if you are entering from the self-parking lot, it’s a bit of walk before you reach the table games. The table games are all in one area and form something like a circle. Since this casino tailors to the locals and also expects to draw tourists who prefer to spend less, $5 minimums are ususally available for most games.
The Palms put, by far, its most emphasis on baccarat. There is a large section of about 10 tables and several of them were going during our last visit. Beginning at $25 a hand, the $25 min. tables offer either a normal baccarat game or one with a bad beat jackpot. All others are just regular baccarat with $50, $100, and $500 minimums.
What really stood out was their large virtual baccarat section located right beside regular baccarat. There were 16 machines and they were all taken. There was a large screen at the front split into four screens, but there was also an actual person in charge of dealing the game. It’s definitely one of the neater table game varieties in Vegas. We couldn’t find out the minimum bet because we didn’t want to intrude anybody’s space, but as virtual variations of table games are always cheaper than the original, we expect this is the case here too.
A view of the virtual baccarat section at the Palms:
We were hoping to see 3-2 on all blackjack games, but that was not the case. The table limits were $5, $10, or $25. You could get 3-2 at the $5 game, the $25 game, and some of the $10 games as long as you are diligent and check before sitting down.
While some $10 games had 3-2 odds, other tables had 6-5, but there you weren’t allowed to double down when splitting. The dealer must hit on soft 17 on all tables.
Crap games were set at a friendly $5 minimum and the odds were 3-4-5. Virtual craps is also available in the slots area with a $2 minimum.
The Palms features standard double zero rules with a $10 minimum. Virtual roulette with a live wheel can be played for $3 in the slots.
Other Palms Table Games
– Ultimate Texas Hold’em ($5 minimum)
– Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive ($10 minimum)
Having just these two extra games was a serious letdown. Even the other Las Vegas casinos that have relatively few additional games have at least four or five. They advertise having Three Card Poker and Blackjack Switch, but during our visit, they were nowhere to be found.
High Limit Table Games
The high limit table games section was still behind the curtain (under construction) but is set to open on May 4. We couldn’t get the scoop on what games they would have, but most casinos with gaming floors comparable to the Palms have blackjack and baccarat only. We figure the $500 baccarat games will be put in there and that blackjack will probably be a $100 minimum where the dealer must stand on soft 17.
Slots at Palms
Out of the 1,300+ slots, many of them were new and unique. Among their selection were newer machines for Wheel of Fortune, Monopoly, Buffalo, The Big Lebowski, Britney Spears, The Godfather, Megabucks, Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead. Wagers here are pretty standard. They begin at a penny and go up in tiny increments to $1. From there you can go $2, $5, $10, of $25 a pull.
High Limit Slots
High limit slots were also curtained off, but they will be opened again starting on May 17. It’s hard for us to say how secluded the section will be as some are and some aren’t, but we think limits will get up to $100.
Video Poker at Palms
We were impressed with the volume of video poker machines. These are commonly played for comped drinks at bars, but they were also spread all over the main casino floor. Like the slots, you can play low limit hands for a nickel per credit, and then move up slowly to $0.50, $1, $2, $5, $10, and $25.
There are lots of variations to choose from, and payouts climb as high as 99.73% and only as low as 98.91% depending on the game type.
Sportsbook at Palms
What used to be a smoky dump has now been beautifully renovated. Even though Station Casinos now owns the Palms, their sportsbook is still run by CG Technology. It is non-smoking, and located across from the food court and movie theater, right by the entrance to self-parking.
Its TV picture quality is fantastic. The majority of the book that seats close to 90 people in its normal seating is allocated to sports, but there are still a bunch of TVs for the racebook including some big screens. All the couches and swivel chairs are made from premium leather, seating is entirely made up of desk rows with their own high definition TV, and there is VIP seating for horse players to go with the large VIP section for sports bettors.
The main drawback are the bet requirements to get a drink ticket. We accept this is the standard now, but $200 for sports and $50 for horses? Do your best to schmooze with the cashiers and especially the cocktail servers.
If you care about live betting (betting on games while in progress), the sportsbook doesn’t offer it, but you can do it by downloading the CG sports betting app. Opening an account is fast and free and you can do it right inside. The app has access to all the same lines and will have some live betting lines, but only for a few of the most popular games.
Hotel at Palms
The hotel has 703 rooms with a variety of suites and penthouses. AAA members receive a 10% discount, and 15% is given to active military members. The Palms’ standard Premier and Superior rooms are 440 and 510 square feet. They are updated to contemporary living luxury and modestly priced, typically averaging between $60 and $80 a night.
Keep in mind that there is also the hefty and nightly $36.73 resort fee (tax included). The resort fee’s main inclusions are Wi-Fi, pool, and fitness center access.
Beyond the normal rooms are the Studio (615 square feet), Salon (800 square feet), and Ivory Suites (1,000 square feet). They have tremendous views of Las Vegas, and their prices tend to average upwards of double the normal rooms. If your goal is to get your hotel bill extremely north, the Palms offers a whole fleet of large suites, penthouses, and villas that break well into the thousands of square footage.
It’s a really nice hotel, certainly one of the nicest off the strip. Most people who stay in these magnificent rooms are there to gamble for big money and get them comped. Even if you are willing to spend the money, they’re not always so easy to get since they’re probably reserved. If you’re hoping to gamble your way into one of these rooms, try and link up with one of the casino hosts. Depending on availability they might be able to do something for you.
Spa and Fitness Center
The Drift Spa is a five minute walk from the Palms to the Palms Place. It is $25 a guest and $45 or $50 for drop-ins on Friday-Sunday. Monthly and yearly memberships are also offered. The spa offers a wide variety of massage, facials, and body enhancements. There is also a salon and body heat tanning beds.
The fitness center, also at the Palms Place is open from 6 AM – 7 PM and comprised of state of the art cardio and free weight equipment. Classes are held each day.
Restaurants at Palms
You certainly don’t have to liquidate investments to eat at the Palms. Outside the movie theater is a food court, several of which are open 24 hours. If you want other modestly priced casual dining, Lucky Penny is also open 24 hours. Then there’s the A.Y.C.E. Buffet, and the Laguna Pool House & Kitchen is on the 6th floor at the Palms Place.
Full List of Eateries
– Nove Italiano
– A.Y.C.E. Buffet
– 24 Seven Café
– Backroom Burger
– Simon Restaurant and Lounge
– Laguna Pool House & Kitchen
– Earl of Sandwich
– Panda Express
– Nathan’s Famous
– Famous Famiglia Pizzeria
– Blizz Frozen Yogurt
– Chronic Tacos
– The Coffee Bean
To our surprise, these were the only eating options available. Seeing as this is in fact a very solid hotel and casino, at the very least we figured there would be more choices even if none of them were especially high-end. The Laguna Pool House is the closest thing to it based on its pricing. If it does deliver the real deal quality, $30-$40 a person for a great meal easily makes it one of the best values in town.
Bars at Palms
There are several bars around, none of which get especially rowdy which is ideal for video poker players. Tonic is open 24 hours. Other places to hang out, drink, and lounge are The View which is at the top of the Palms Fantasy Tower. Additionally, the Camden Cocktail Lounge is expected to open Memorial Day Weekend.
One additional place is the Rojo Lounge. Swanky in its red-lit design and signature drinks, this can be enjoyed at the Palms Place.
Nightlife at Palms
Currently the Palms, which used to have four nightclubs is in the midst of a major renovation process. There is no nightlife at present but that will be changing soon. The Apex Social Club, formerly known as Ghost Bar will be located on the 55th floor and is set to kick off May 17th. The cover is $20 for locals and $30 for tourists.
The nightclub called Rain is also undergoing major renovations and will be reopening during the winter with a new name. Lastly, the club once known as Moon has been closed but is still available for private parties. Located at the top of the Palms Fantasy Tower, it’s a relatively small venue with its max capacity topping out below 500 people, but gives a tremendous view of the city.