El Cortez Review

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el cortez hotelThe El Cortez opened in 1941. It was one of the first Las Vegas resort casinos built. It is located at the corner of Fremont Street and 6th Street.

Jackie Gaughan, one of the former owners of the El Cortez, is a regular in the three table poker room. He lives in the top floor penthouse of the casino. The El Cortez is one of the lower end casinos in Las Vegas, even for downtown. While some of the hotel rooms have been renovated, the casino floor has seen better days.

The main game at El Cortez is Texas Hold’em. It is a 1-3-3-6 spread limit game with a single $1 blind. On Saturdays, there is also a 1-4 Seven Card Stud game.

Amenities in and Near the Poker Room

El Cortez offers virtually no amenities in their poker room. There is one single TV. The tables have automatic shufflers. Both the restrooms and sports book are long walks from the poker room. While there is cocktail service, poker players may only have well drinks and beer. Overall in terms of amenities, El Cortez is probably close to the bottom of the scale of poker rooms in Vegas.

General Playing Area

The El Cortez Poker Room is essentially just a poker area. It is backed up into a corner in the middle of the casino. That causes the casino smoke and noise to be a factor. There is also a heavy perfume scent to the casino that some may find annoying.

Poker Comps

Players receive that play 5 hours may request a $5 food voucher. El Cortez does not have a poker rate for the hotel. That said, the rates are very competitive without any discounts, in many cases cheaper than hotels even after the 20-30% poker player discount has been deducted.

Non Hold’em Games Spread at El Cortez

Every Saturday morning at 8am El Cortez spreads a 1-4 Seven Card Stud game. The ante is $.25. The Seven Card Stud game tends to run until about mid afternoon. This game has been a tradition in Las Vegas for over 50 years.

el cortez poker room

El Cortez Tournaments

Due to its size, El Cortez does not offer any poker tournaments. Out of our 32 room survey of Las Vegas poker rooms, El Cortez is one of only two rooms that do not offer tournaments. Boulder Station is the other.

Waitlists at El Cortez

Everything is done on paper at El Cortez. There is nothing electronic about clocking in, creating waitlists, or starting games. Players may call to get written into any waitlist.

Rake and Jackpot

The rake is 10% up to $3.50, 0.50 cheaper than the standard $4 raked by most rooms in Vegas. El Cortez Is the only poker room in the Las Vegas Valley that has a max rake that is not an even dollar amount. $1 is taken from every pot for the high hand jackpot. When the pot reaches $10, $.50 is drop in the jackpot drop. Another $.50 is taken when the pot reaches $20.

The highest hand of the day receives 70% of the drop that day. The second highest hand receives 30% of the drop. Players have 24 hours to claim the jackpot. If they fail to do so, their share carries over to the next day.

How to Find the Poker Room in the Casino

The El Cortez Poker Room is located in the middle of the casino floor. If entering from the front entrance, the poker room is straight ahead. If entering from Fremont Street, walk across the table game pit. The poker room will be on the right.