Walk on the ‘wild side’ of Black Hawk

Jul 11, 2005 1:42 AM

Among the gaming venues in Colorado, Black Hawk is perhaps the most popular because of its variety of casinos and historical landmarks.

While Black Hawk is famous for its exciting gambling saloons and newer Vegas-style casinos, the town is rich in history. It was once a booming gold mining town, as was Central City, just one mile away.

Black Hawk has two distinct sections of town — old downtown which has many historical buildings intact, and the new Black Hawk.

Visitors arriving from Denver pass into the new, South end of town where they will find several of the state’s larger casinos, including the Riviera, Isle of Capri and The Lodge casino. The latter two have very nice hotels.

Not all casinos in town have hotels, though. Many have bed-and-breakfast facilities, something you couldn’t find in Las Vegas!

Worth checking out is the Mardi Gras Casino, right next to the Lodge Casino and Mountain High Casino.

The Mardi Gras provides excellent Colorado entertainment for the gambler who likes lots of action. Here you’ll find authentic Creole food in the restaurant, lots of slots, poker tables and live blackjack.

Those three are pretty much the extent of Colorado gaming. Most of the slots are manufactured by IGT or Aristocrat, and include reel-spinning slots, video poker and video keno.

As noted last week in GamingToday, the slot machines in Colorado have as high a payback percentage as any venue in the country.

Live blackjack and poker are available in the larger casinos, as well as a few of the smaller ones. The only other table game in town is Three Card Poker.

As it is everywhere else, Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker game, and you’ll find the largest poker room in the Lodge Casino.

When visiting Black Hawk, it’s best to leave the kids at home. There’s not much to do nor places to go for anyone under 21.

If you can’t leave your children, you might find more to do in Central City or Cripple Creek. Black Hawk is a "party town," and they have the police force to prove it!

Continuing through Black Hawk along Highway 119, you’ll pass into old town, where you’ll see plenty of historic houses and buildings, most of which have been restored and house high-stakes gambling inside.

Some of the old town gambling halls include Bullwackers, Bullpen Casino, Black Hawk Station, Wild Card, Fitzgerald’s, Gilpin Hotel & Casino, Canyon and Bull Durham.

Continue driving and you’ll enter Central City, where you’ll find more old time gambling halls.