In 2006, the venerable Hôtel San Rémo on Tropicana Avenue permanently shuttered its doors and reopened as the first Hooters Casino Hotel in the world. According to the Florida-based chicken wing distributors, they intended to create a “casual, fun alternative to the Strip’s giants… ‘The Cure for the Common Casino’”. The outcome is a 30,000-square-foot gaming platform with 354 slot machines and video poker machines and twenty table games. The majority of pit area tables are devoted to blackjack, and Hooters is proud to be one of the few casinos near the Strip that offers a $3 minimum game 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
Hooters Games and Tables
The most popular blackjack game at Hooters is a $10–$500, six-deck shoe game where the dealer strikes on soft 17 and doubling down after splitting (DAS) is permitted, but surrender and re-splitting of Aces (RSA) are not permitted. These principles create a House advantage of 0.56%. The one table offering a double-deck game with the same rules and a 0.40 percent house edge is slightly better for players, but players should avoid the single-deck games that allow doubling down only on counts of 10 or 11, pay 6:5 instead of the usual 3:2 on natural blackjacks, and have no surrender, no RSA, and no DAS. These provisions create a House advantage of 1.84 percent.
The $3$500 game is a promotion designed solely to attract amateurs and party animals, not serious participants. It utilizes six decks dealt from a shoe and follows the same rules as the single-deck variant, with the exception that doubling on any two cards is permitted. That means the House has an enormous advantage of 2.12%. The superior option is double-deck Super Fun 21, with a house edge of 1.24%. When all tables are considered, blackjack at Hooters ranks in the middle of the pack on the Strip, with an average house advantage of 0.79 percent.
Many blackjack tables at Hooters offer side wagers, including “Bet Set 21” and “Royal Match.” As seasoned gamblers are well aware, these wagers have extremely poor odds and should be avoided at all costs.
Hooters built its reputation on chicken wings served by its “infamous” Hooters Girls, and indeed there is a beach-themed branch of the restaurant chain in the rear of the casino, reportedly the “#1 Hooters Restaurant in the World”. The Hooters Girls also serve beverages at the blackjack tables, and several of the female dealers wearing hot pants and tank tops are candidates for the next Hooters calendar. Clearly, this indicates that the casino is a magnet for young males, and the high levels of testosterone are readily apparent throughout the gaming area. This may explain why Hooters did not feel compelled to establish a party pit like its competitors; the entire casino serves this function.
Rewards Club+ for Blackjack Frequent Players
Hooters has revamped its “Club Orange” loyalty program and renamed it “Rewards Club+” in order to remain competitive. The membership levels of the new program range from Orange to Gold, Platinum, and Black Diamond. Benefits include free tournament entries, complimentary rooms, meals, casino event offers and discounts, birthday offers and gifts, room improvements, and invitations to VIP parties, among others.
Membership is complimentary for participants over the age of 21. One (1) point is awarded for every $1.50 wagered on slot machines or for every $6.00 wagered on video poker. For table games, “points are awarded based on the type of game and the amount of play.” The earned points are redeemable at a rate of 100 Points = $1.00 Comp. Points can also be redeemed for free play at a rate of 100 Points = $1.00 Power Points, with a maximum $5.00 redemption.
The Inside Perspective
The Las Vegas oddsmakers do not assign Hooters a good chance of survival. Possibly unable to compete with its adjacent megaresorts, MGM Grand and Tropicana, the property appears cursed. This 1973-built property began as a Howard Johnson Hotel before undergoing a number of ownership and rebranding transitions. After a period as the Paradise and the Polynesian Paradise, it became the Treasury Hotel. It operated as the San Rémo from 1989 until it was acquired by Hooters, but by 2011 the casino-hotel was insolvent. Since June 2013, the property has been under the administration of Navegante Gaming Inc., which is “in discussions with other hotel operators about replacing Hooters.” Those who are interested in playing blackjack surrounded by the beautiful Hooters Girls are strongly encouraged to do so as soon as feasible.