Criteria for Evaluating the Best Casinos

Gambling is massively popular. Millions of players worldwide enjoy the thrill and excitement that gambling provides. There's nothing quite like hitting blackjack, or putting it all on red and winning, or going on a heater at the craps table, or spinning into a big bonus on a slot machine. And with more and more states legalizing gambling, there has been a recent casino boom unlike anything we've seen before. New casinos are being built across the country, each trying to offer their own benefits and advantages in order to attract players. But not all casinos are built the same. Many casinos may claim they're one of the best or most popular or cost effective casinos for players, but a lot of the time that's nothing but hot air. So how can players weed out the unpopular casinos and find the ones that really offer everything that it takes to provide players with a top notch casino experience? Well, we're glad you asked because today, we're going to examine each of the criteria that players should look for when determining their next casino stop.

And to be clear, we're talking about land based casinos. So we're not going to be focusing on only the games that these casinos offer. We'll be diving into everything from accommodations, food, entertainment, security and loyalty programs. So without further ado, let's get into the criteria needed to make a worthwhile casino experience!

The Gaming Experience

When talking the ultimate casino experience, there's no better place to start than with the one thing everyone wants to do when going to a casino - play casino games! Everyone has dreams of hitting it big when they head to the casino - whether that's playing a table game like blackjack or roulette or spinning into one of those massive progressive jackpots on a slot. But there's a lot that goes into offering players a quality gaming experience that casinos need to be able to do. Let's take a closer look at what some of those are…

  • The Variety of the Games Offered

If there's one thing that would result in a casino receiving a negative review from players it's not having enough of a variety of games to play. Everyone loves the classic table games such as blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat. But in order to be considered a worthwhile casino, there needs to be even more game options. Things like keno, bingo, wheel of fortunes, casino war and others are easy games to incorporate and give players a little something different. Sometimes a player will have a rough streak playing blackjack or roulette and want to with things up in order to try and change their luck. By offering players more of these 'exotic' games, they'll be more inclined to try their luck at a wider variety of games instead of just getting up and leaving. Any good casino is going to offer variety. If they don't they're going to be left in the dust and lose our on customer to rival casinos.

And as far as table games go, it's uber important to have multiple tables for EACH table game that is offered. Have 10 tables just for black. Have 5 craps tables. Have 5-7 roulette tables. These are the most popular table games by far and are always the ones players will flock to. By giving players more tables to play at, that will ensure that everyone will be able to find a seat at the table of their choosing. Nothing turns a player off more than when it's a busy night and there's not a seat to be found.

Another must have is poker. Poker is extremely popular with casino players so the more poker tables a casino has the better. There are so many different types of poker that it's easy to offer players a wide variety. Tri card, Texas hold 'em, Caribbean stud - the list goes on and on. By offering players more than just the usual poker games, they'll attract more players to their poker rooms - and keep those players happy as well!

And you can't mention the gaming experience without mention slots. Everyone loves slots. There's something about hitting a big spin or winning a bonus on a slot that is unlike anything else in a casino. And with the amount of different slot machines available now, it's a must that a casino offer players a wide variety. 3 reel, 5 reel, cascading, megaways, progressive jackpots - even classic, one armed bandits. Casinos needs to have a little bit of all of these so that players can switch up the type of slot they play. If a casino only offers 3 reel slots and nothing else, players are are going to grow tired quickly. But by offering a wide variety of different slot types - each offering a different style of play and different winning combinations - players will be more inlined to try all of them.

And by constantly adding or updating games, casinos will keep players motivated to return. If a casino only offers the same collection of games day in and day out, it's going to start to feel old and out of date. But by offering new and exciting games to their repertoire, casinos will keep their players happy and keep them playing!

And for some players, playing on the standard limit tables isn't enough. That's why any worthwhile casino is going to have high limit rooms for both table games and slots. This allows players with bigger bankrolls the opportunity to play on tables and machines that can match their bet sizes. The variety of bet sizes in all types of games is an absolute must for any casino.

  • The Quality and Maintenance of the Equipment

If offering players a wide variety of games is #1 on their list of priorities, then maintaining those games is a close second. In other words - make sure things work! Nobody wants to play a broken slot machine. That's going to do a lot more damage than you would think. If a casino has a poor maintenance history - where slot machines and other machines are constantly breaking down or malfunctioning - players are going to start wondering if they're playing fair games or are getting hustled. Make sure buttons work correctly. Make sure payment options - both depositing and withdrawal - work correctly. Make sure that the machine takes player rewards cards and gives players those player points properly.

And when we're talking about table games, make sure those are working as they should as well. Make sure the decks of cards are crisp and not overused. Make sure the roulette wheels and balls are in good shape and work smoothly. Make sure the dice is the exact weight they should be. Players are risking their own money so by having machines and games that work properly, casinos will be gaining trust with just the simplest of effort.

And make sure everything is clean. Nothing turns a player off quicker than a dirty slot machine or a dirty blackjack table. Casinos see a lot of people come and go on a daily basis so it's imperative that they keep their machines and tables clean and orderly. Players like to talk and if a casino starts to get sloppy with the quality and maintenance of their operations, word is going to spread. And before you know it, those players will be playing somewhere else.

Customer Service

Casinos are a people driven business. They need players in order to survive so keeping those players happy is a must. And one of those ways is to provide top of the line customer service. Players and guests want to know that they are in good hands - and why wouldn't they. They're gambling real money - their own money - so they deserve to have any issues taken care of promptly. Let's take a closer look at how top casinos implement quality customer service…

  • Staff Friendliness and Professionalism

Whether it's checking in at the hotel or sitting down at a blackjack table, the friendliness and professionalism of staff is always one of the first things players will notice. A lot of times, players and guests arrive at a casino after a long day of travel - whether it's multiple hours in a car or having to deal with air travel - so they're often tired and groggy. Having a friendly staff greeting them at the front desk when they check in will go a long way in starting off that player's trip right.

The same goes for the casino dealers and other employees. Having a friendly dealer - whether it's playing blackjack roulette, craps, baccarat or poker - makes all the difference. We're not saying dealers need to be a player's best friend, but having energy - and good energy at that - will make a player want to stay at that table and play longer. If a dealer has a poor attitude that's not going to go unnoticed and will most likely result in players leaving that table - which means the casino missing out on potential money. Remember, some players are going to be going through cold streaks where they're losing multiple hands in a row. The last thing a casino wants is to make that player feel even worse with rude or unhappy dealers.

And professionalism should go unsaid, but a lot of times that's lacking in businesses. It's paramount that casinos employee dealers that know what they're doing and candela hands fast, effectively and correctly. Players aren't risking toy money. They're playing with their own hard earned cash, so having professional dealers who know the rules and are able to handle difficult situations will go a long way in providing a safe a- and fair - gaming experience for everyone.

  • Customer Support and Assistance

Gambling is massively popular and everyday, thousands of players are experiencing the thrill and excitement for the first time. That means that some of these players won't know how certain games or played or to place bets. So having a staff that is both knowledgable and willing to assist players is key. It can be intimidating stepping up to the roulette table or sitting down at the blackjack table for the first time. But if there is a dealer who is calm, supportive and able to assist players in how to place bets and how to change money then those players will feel more comfortable and will be much more likely to stay at the table long enough.

And it's not just assisting players in making bets. Assisting players and guests on where certain things are located within the casino - restaurants, games, hotels, pools - will make a players feel more comfortable. And of course, if there any issues that should arise - whether with a hotel room or issues gambling - being able to take off that issue promptly and professionally is key. Players don't want to have to wait around for hours to get a simple issue solved - or to have to wait to get paid out after a big win. The casinos that are able to handle any issue that might come up are routinely the casinos that top the best of lists.

Amenities and Services

Because going to a casino is more than just gambling - it's an all inclusive experience - what ELSE a casino has to offer players and guests is just as important as the types of games they offer. Players need to be able to rest - and enjoy themselves - when staying a casino, so having amenities and service that go above and beyond is a crucial factor in determining which casinos are worthwhile.

  • Accommodation Quality

Just like the quality of the games and machines a casino offers needs to be top notch, so does the quality of the accommodations. And that starts with hotel rooms. If there's one thing that will turn a player or guest away from a hotel casino fast, it's having poor quality rooms. For however long you're staying, that hotel room is your home away from home. So it's paramount that the beds be comfortable, the sheets be clean, the bathroom be clean and all the toiletries be available. The mini bar, the TV, the lights, all of it needs to be in working order. There's nothing worse than walking into a hotel room and seeing a dirty room.

And just as the quality of the room needs to be top notch, so too do the options. Not every guest is the same. Some will be coming alone, some will be with a partner, some with a group of friends and others with family members. There needs to be rooms to accommodate each and every one of them. Single beds, multiple beds, couches, multiple rooms, different views available. Every detail is important.

And it's not just the rooms either. What other accommodations does a hotel casino offer? Pools? Workout areas? Work areas? Spas? Dry cleaning service? Room service? The more options a hotel gives a player the more likely they'll be to return in the future. Players want to focus on the fun part of their trip, they don't want to have to worry about setting up different appointments or having to look around for different services. If a hotel casino offers everything in house then you know you're in good hands.

Giving players an all inclusive experience is what sets apart mediocre casinos from the top tier. A lack of accommodations isn't going to attract players and guests. Sometimes, players and guests want to do something other than gamble, so it's in the casino's best interest to give them options.

  • Dining and Entertainment Options

And because everyone needs a little food and entertainment in their lives, these two options must be of the utmost quality. These two are very similar in how casinos handle their gaming options. If you have the same games day after day, month after month, year after year, then players are going to grow tired and start to look elsewhere. The same goes for dining and entertainment.

Everyone has different food tastes. What one player likes another won't. That's why casting a wide net when it comes to food options is a must for any top casino. Italian, Mexican, American, Asian, Greek, French - the more options the better. And not every player is going to have the same wallet size either. So it's important that the options not only range in cuisine but also price. A top tier, 5 star restaurant is great, but you shouldn't ONLY offer that kind of restaurant. It's expensive to travel to a hotel casino, book a room, gamble, etc. So it's important that there be cheaper dining options. Buffets, diners, markets. These can be just as profitable as any 5 star restaurant.

Another type of dining accommodation is the bar. Bars on a casino floor can get quite busy so the more the better. And again, variety matters! If a casino has 5 bars but they're all decorated exactly the same and offer the same types of drinks then there's not much for a player or guest to experience. The casinos that offer different themed bars and lounges are the ones players and guests remember.

Entertainment is another staple of any good casino. And just like anything else, there needs to be variety. Rock bands, R&B, pop stars, country singers. They each have their own set of dedicated fans so having a mixture of musical arts would be beneficial to any casino. And a mixture in names as well. No casino is going to be able to book the top A-list musical arts every week, but if they're able to book a few and complement them with talented up and coming acts then players and guests will have more to choose from.

And it's not only musical acts. Booking comedians, musicians, speakers and even classic acts like cirque du soleil are all indications that a casino know how to entertain its guests. But not all guests like to sit in a theater. Some like to be active with their entertainment choices. That's why we're always looking for things like bowling alleys, amusement rides and parks, golf courses, water parks, hiking tours, bike rides and many others.

Every player and guest is going to have different tastes not only when it comes to dining but also entertainment. What works for one won't work for another. So that's why casinos needs to have a well rounded menu of both dining and entertainment options.

Security and Fairness

If there's one thing every player knows it's this: the house always wins. But that doesn't mean players will stop playing. It's when you beat the house that makes things so much more exciting. Players know that the odds of winning are stacked against them, they just want to know that the games they're playing aren't rigged so there's no chance of them winning.

  • Ensuring Player Safety

Players from all over the world come to casinos to enjoy themselves with friends and family, maybe to celebrate a birthday or wedding, and to try and win some money. The last thing they want to worry about is their safety. That's why ensuring player safety is one of the most important - if not THE MOST - important thing a casino has to do. Having clearly marked exit signs, evacuation maps in hotel rooms and adequate security and police officers patrolling the casino floor at all times. Players want to enjoy themselves and by seeing that casinos are taking their safety seriously, they're going to feel comfortable and want to return to the casino in the future.

And that means from all types of threats, not just violent, dangerous ones. It's no secret that a lot of players can indulge themselves in a few too many alcoholic beverages. So it's important that casinos protect players from any unruly guests - that means both physically and verbally. There's no place for any kind of violence or harassment in a casino. Everyone is there to have fun and enjoy themselves. So casinos need to take quick and efficient action anytime there is a disturbance in order to ensure the players who are respecting the rules that they will be safe while in the casino.

  • Fairness of Games and Payouts

As we mentioned earlier: the house always wins. Every gambler knows that painful truth. But that doesn't stop them from playing. And that's where fairness of the games and payouts is a crucial part of any casino operations. For slot machines, that means regular maintenance to make sure the machines are running smoothly and correctly. For table games it's having everything done in the open - from the changing of dealers to the shuffling of cards to the throwing of dice and spinning of a wheel.

Players are risking real money and at the end of the day, they just want to know that the games they're playing are fair. That means any discrepancies that may arise are handled quickly, professionally and explained in detail so that the player understands what happened.

And that's especially important for payouts. There is no thrill quite like hitting a big win on a slot. The bells are ringing, lights are flashing. Your fellow players are congratulating you. You're on cloud nine.

But then there's an issue with your payout. Nothing is more infuriating than that.

We all know that casinos don't like to lose. But when they do, they must be able to pay out winnings in a timely and safe fashion. If there's any delay or hesitation on the casino's side of things that's going to make players question their legitimacy and the fairness in which they're operating.

And when there are big wins, that's where both ensuring player safety and having timely, fair payouts intersect. Odds are, if you win a big time jackpot on a slot that a lot of people are going to notice! That's why making sure that winnings are handed out and handled in a safe manner is a must. Players want to know that if they win big, they're going to be taken care of and their winnings are going to be handled in a secure fashion. That's why casinos that offer safe rooms or vaults where players can store winnings or have winnings sent are always the casinos that go above and beyond.

The bottom line is, when players win, they want to be paid out everything they are owed and quickly. If casinos do that then everyone will be happy.

Player Rewards and Promotions

Who doesn't love free stuff? We know we do! And in the fiercely competitive casino industry, the casinos that offer players the best perks are the ones that are going to come out on top. And there are many ways a casino can take care of its players and guests, so let's take a closer look at some of them…

  • Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs - or player reward programs - are used in pretty every casino as ways to attract new players and to keep them. And the best part is that they are free to join. Most casinos will have kiosks on the casino floor where players can input their information and then be given their rewards or loyalty card on the spot. The way these work is simple - every time you gamble or dine at a casino restaurant or go to the bar - you first give your rewards card and you'll then receive points. The more you use it the more points you will receive which can be converted into free spins, free cash, free rooms or other exciting accommodations.

And the more you spend and gamble at the casino, the more points you'll receive and the higher up in the program you'll go. That's important because the higher up in the reward or loyalty program you are, the better your perks will be. So that means more free spins, more free dinners, tickets to shows and a whole lot more.

That's why a lot of players swear by these programs. Casinos know that there is a lot of competition out there - you can't gamble at every casino. You're going to pick and choose the ones you want to gamble your money at. And a lot of times, the casinos that offer the better loyalty programs are the ones that will attract more players. It's a simple but effective way to make sure players are happy and continue playing at a specific casino.

  • Bonuses and Promotions

And loyalty programs aren't the only things casinos use to attract players. They utilize bonuses and promotions as well, and these can include things from free hotel stays, free dinners, free appliances, free tickets to shows, free cruises, free cars and best of all - free cash! A lot of times these will be free to enter. Just sign up and you're entered to win whatever prize is available.

A lot of casinos will tie in the bonuses and promotions to their loyalty and rewards programs, giving players more of an incentive to join. Another way top casinos will incorporate these bonuses and promotions is by having game play tournaments - most likely slot tournaments. Players will compete against each other for prizes ranging from free dinners to cash prizes.

Anything free is a plus. And when players are spending their own money, it's in the casino's best interest to reward these players with gifts and bonuses and promotions.

Conclusion

So there we have it! Our comprehensive list of all the criteria necessary for evaluating the best casinos. Remember, it's not all about the gambling. Sure, that's important, but you have to make sure that casinos offer more than just games. You want a casino to give you options of not only games but accommodations, dining, entertainment and bonuses. You want to make sure they are upfront about their gaming practices and that everything is legitimate and that in the case of a big win, you're going to receive your payout quickly. You're going to want to make sure your safety is of their concern and that any issue that may arise is handled promptly and professionally.

So the next time you're ready to take a trip to a casino, make sure you go through our list and the casino of your choosing checks them all off!