Again in the journalist spirit of sacrificing money for the greater good of Las Vegas gaming, this daring but continually luckless vagabond stumbled by accident upon a video poker game not previously seen in 17 years of defying the odds.
The place was Longhorn Casino on the Boulder Highway between Flamingo and Trop. The bartender, Frank, and charming waitress, Miss L, are two of seven original employees in the 25-year history of Longhorn, dating back to New Year’s Eve 1989.
And the game was blackjack poker. Now I certainly know blackjack and have had way too many losing bouts with double double bonus, deuces wild and deluxe poker. But I’ve never seen blackjack poker the game.
The object is really quite simple – to get four of a kind and a black jack (either of spades or clubs). The big payoffs come if you can put together four aces and either the jack of spades or clubs, four 2’s, 3’s, or 4’s with a black jack, any four of a kind and a black jack, four aces or four jacks.
Of course, the grand poobah is the royal flush, which I haven’t experienced at any game I’ve played in well over a decade. I’ve given up on that one.
So I played blackjack poker for the first time, investing $20 and hoping for 4-of-something. The only 4 that came up was 4 get about it. There were three occasions of a black jack and 3 aces, three 2’s, and three 10’s but I never could get that fourth one with the black jack.
I lasted about a half hour before the $20 expired, but it was a fun game that gets a thumb up in terms of entertainment and just being different from what you normally see at your average casino or sports bar.
Will I play it again? Maybe on my next trip to Longhorn, which by the way has great food and low prices compared to the competition.
So try a burger or the NY Strip. Say hey to Frank and Miss L if you feel like taking a drive Henderson way. I’m heading back to the mancave to devise a better plan to win NFL bets.
Mark Mayer has over 35 years covering sports events and is the sports editor at GT. Reach him at [email protected].