Colorado gaming ‘high’ in fun

Sep 13, 2005 4:18 AM


Colorado had Tribal gaming long before it passed a limited stakes gambling bill in 1991 that allowed casino-style gambling ($5 maximum bet limit) in the historic gold mining towns of Blackhawk, Central City and Cripple Creek.

In the beginning everyone stressed that the historic districts would remain intact and wouldn’t fall away just because a new and healthy industry came into the area.

Some purists think historical landmarks have been ignored in favor of pumping up an economy. In any case, Colorado casino gambling is growing by leaps and bounds.

For those unfamiliar with "low stakes" gambling, the casinos in Colorado offer virtually everything the casinos in Las Vegas offer — but with a maximum bet limitation of $5.

The ceiling really doesn’t affect the majority of players, who are slot and video poker players, since very few customers can afford to play a machine with a $5 bet.

So, the machines, which are available in low denomination (penny and nickel) as well as quarters and dollars, offer about the same games as in other venues.

There are plenty of slots to choose from in Colorado. Most are manufactured by IGT or Aristocrat machines. There is plenty of video poker, too from Jacks or Better to just about anything you want. Payback rate is pretty good, too — with perfect strategy! There are statewide progressive slots and in-house progressives in every denomination from penny slots to five dollar slots. There are rumors of the stakes (limits) being raised sometime soon.

If you are a poker player or enjoy blackjack, you will feel right at home in Colorado casinos. Table game play is virtually the same, and the poker parlors feature the same kinds of games (Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud) as played nearly everywhere else.

There is even the highly-popular three card poker available with live dealers. Texas Hold’em seems to be the most common and popular poker game played in the gambling towns.

Black Hawk is the largest and most flashy of all the Colorado towns. It’s historic downtown is intact but the big casinos have all but ignored the historic guidelines it seems. Naturally if you had to compare one of the three Colorado gaming towns to Vegas, Black Hawk would be it. (but all Colorado gambling is different than Vegas).

If you drive less than one mile up the road to Central City, Colorado you’ll find a great little hide-away. Central City has all the amenities of Black Hawk but no crowds. Plus Central City really is a cool place to be. Home to the Central City Opera, the Teller House and other historic places Central City is a family pleaser (over 21).