About the author:
Paul Diamond Blow is a musician, spoken word artist, punk rock star, kung fu master, and part time Space Commander living in Seattle, Washington. Blow is a frequent contributor to the Seattle Sinner magazine and performs regularly in the Pacific Northwest rock club circuit. His book Tales From Outer Space is out now.
Paul Diamond Blow's "Huggy Talk" articles are copyright (c) 2011 Paul Diamond Blow
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Washington State Casino Review
Which Washington State casinos are the best? Which have the loosest slots? Read on...
by Paul Diamond Blow
If you live in Washington State and are looking for a casino to gamble at, you are in luck. There are 16 Indian tribes in Washington which operate over 25 casinos. I personally have visited just a handful of these casinos (I generally stick with the casinos within a 30 mile radius of Seattle), but here I will review each casino I have gambled at. I only play slot machines, so I cannot vouch for any of the table games (cards, roulette, craps), but here I will let you know which Washington State casinos have the loosest slot machines based on my own personal experience. According to the Washington State Gambling Commission seventy-five percent of the wagers received must be paid back to customers for every game set put into play, but most casinos set the payouts much higher than this, so bear that in mind. And yes, you can still smoke inside a Washington State Tribal casino!
The Tulalip Casino is located north of Seattle in Tulalip, WA. It is one of the nicest casinos I have visited in Washington, as well as one of the largest, with 71 table games and 2025 slot machines. The Tulalip features the newest slot machine games -- it even puts most Las Vegas casinos to shame in that department. My only beef with the Tulalip is that they feature very few "retro" games, except for Copper Dropper. Most of my favorite games have been replaced here with newer, more expensive games which have minimum bets of at least 40-50 cents. The Tulalip used to be my favorite casino in Washington -- mainly because it is the closest to where I live in Seattle -- but lately I have noticed that the slot machines at the Tulalip seem to be getting tighter with payouts. It is indeed a tough casino to win money at playing the slots. On a "good" night I will win 30-50 dollars. On a "bad" night I will lose a couple hundred. That being said, if you want to try out the newest slot machine games the Tulalip is the place to go. The Tulalip also offers the most generous rewards program in Washington State -- with a rewards card you earn one point (one penny) for every dollar you wager. The Tulalip also offers the best free monthly coupons to its reward card members -- they give me a 10-20 dollar free slots play coupon each month as well as generous discounts on the hotel room rates. I'm happy to report that the Tulalip finally installed a free coffee and soda pop station in the casino. The Tulalip gets crowded and noisy on weekend nights with the "Jersey Shore" crowd especially when they have live music playing in the show room, so the best times to go are on weeknights or on weekends after 2:00 AM. By the way, the Tulalip has the best buffet of all the casinos I've been to... the food is awesome and you should try it at least once. (Read more on the Tulalip Casino here) ★ ★ ★ Rating: 3 stars out of 5 (Nice casino, generous rewards program, but stingy slots)
Quil Ceda Creek Casino
The Quil Ceda Creek Casino and Nightclub is located in Tulalip, WA, just a mile south of the Tulalip Casino. It is the "little sister" to the Tulalip, actually, as it is also operated by the Tulalip tribe. The Quil Ceda Creek has become my favorite casino in Washington State, mainly because it is one of the few that still have my favorite slot game (Mega Winner) plus I have found that the Quil Ceda has the loosest slots. Put it this way: I have been here over 75 times over the past two years and I walk out a winner 75% of the time! The "big wins" on the slots here are bigger and more generous than at any other casino I've played at, including in Las Vegas. I don't usually chase after jackpots by betting max credits on the slot games, but here I have won four jackpots (Two for $2000, two for $1200) since August 2013. On the down side, the Quil Ceda is rather small, dark, and a bit of a dump compared to the others. It features 13 table games and 800 slot machines. The slot machines are a mix of older "retro" games and some of the newer games, but some of the older games seem to be in less than stellar condition. Some of them don't even have any sound, for some reason. However, I can overlook that since I have had my best slot machine luck here consistently. The Quil Ceda Creek also has several free coffee and soda stations in the building, and their rewards club offers one point (one penny) for every two dollars wagered. Occasionally they mail me coupons for ten dollars or more in free slot machine play, but not every month. As far as slot machine payouts go, the Quil Ceda Creek Casino's payout rate is 93%. I only know this because I have seen the stats displayed on my favorite game (Mega Winner) several times when the slot technicians were changing out the money boxes.
★ ★ ★ ★ Rating: 4 stars out of 5 (thanks to the looser than average slots, which is what matters most!)
The Muckleshoot Casino is located in Auburn, approximately 32 miles south and east of Seattle. The Muckleshoot Casino is the largest Washington State casino I have been to by far. It is a huge, sprawling casino with 3100 slot machines and 70 table games. The slot machine games are a nice mix of the older classic video slot games and also the newest games. The Muckleshoot actually has more different slot machine games than any other casino I've been to in Washington State. If you love Copper Dropper there is a whole section with nothing but Copper Dropper machines. The Muckleshoot also has the largest non-smoking section in Washington State, by far, so if you like to play the slots but hate cigarette smoke, this is the place to go. On the downside, the Muckleshoot Players Club reward card is quite stingy, earning you only 1/4 of a cent per dollar wagered. The Muckleshoot Casino also has several free soda and coffee stations located throughout the building, and another nice thing about the Muckleshoot is that the slot machines are not so cramped together like in most other casinos... there is plenty of space in between rows of machines, so if having some space around you is your thing, this is the place to play slots. I have been here about a dozen times so far and have had many big payouts (and winning nights) playing my favorite slot machines, so the Muckleshoot has become my favorite casino for 2015.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Rating: 5 stars out of 5 (thanks to the multitude of slot machine games, both old and new, plus the large non-smoking section, and the higher than average payouts)
Quinault Beach Resort and Casino
The Quinault is located in Ocean Shores, WA, and is located right on the ocean beach, which is very nice. I go to Ocean Shores for a week each summer, and I spend at least 2-3 nights playing the slots at the Quinault. The Quinault is a rather smallish casino, with 15 table games and 437 slot machines. The slot machines are mainly older "retro" games with a few of the newest games. I have found that -- for some reason -- the slot machines seem to pay out much more generously after midnight with a "window of opportunity" of a couple hours. I have had some good nights here playing at those hours but over all the Quinault slots seem to have about average payout rates. The Quinault doesn't get too crowded on week nights, so that is the time to go. The Quinault has a couple free coffee and soda stations located in the building. The best feature of the Quinault is that if you want to take a break from gambling, the Pacific Ocean beach is right outside! Sadly, the Quinault took out my favorite slot machine in 2014 so I removed one star from their rating.
★ ★ ★ ★ Rating: 3 stars out of 5 (mostly older slot machines, average payouts, and the ocean beach is the best part)
The Clearwater Casino is located in Suquamish, WA (on Bainbridge Island) and is just a ferry ride away from Seattle. The Clearwater offers free shuttle service to and from the ferry dock and will even reimburse you for your ferry fare if you are a rewards club member and earn 50 points on your club card (which equates to $200 of wagering). The Clearwater is a nice, large casino with 34 table games and 1390 slot machine games. The slot machines are a good mix of older "retro" games and the newest games, but the big drawback here is that the Clearwater has the stingiest, tightest slots of any casino I've been to in Washington State. That is, I've been here at least a dozen times over the past 12 months and have only come out ahead 50% of the time. In fact, my worst gambling sessions have been at this casino, which wiped out all my winning sessions. The Clearwater has a few free coffee and soda stations and a small non-smoking slot machine area, but their rewards club card offers only one point (one penny) for every four dollars wagered (the stingiest rewards of all the casinos I've been to). On the plus side, they do mail me coupons each month good for forty dollars of free slot machine play (one $10 coupon for each week in the month) plus a coupon for ten dollars for food (they do seem to send better coupons if you stay away for a while). To their credit, the Clearwater does have one of the most affordable buffets I've had in a casino ($14.95 on weekdays, two-for one on Tuesdays and Wednesdays) and it is quite tasty, so if you visit the Clearwater and are hungry, check it out. Over all, the best part about going to the Clearwater is the ferry trip to and from Seattle, and I would go here more often if the slots weren't so stingy. I will say I was lucky enough to win a $2000 jackpot here in 2013, but lost most of that on my next visits.
★ ★ Rating: 2 stars out of 5 (Nice casino and buffet, but horrid payouts on the slots)
The Snoqualmie Casino is located approximately 30 miles east of Seattle in Snoqualmie, WA. The Snoqualmie is a rather large casino with 50 table games and 1700 slot machine games; the slot machines being a good mix of older "retro" games and the newest games. I've only been to the Snoqualmie Casino a few times, I usually hit it on the way back from visiting the nearby Snoqualmie Falls (which is a must see). Quite frankly I have never won money playing the slots here, although I did not spend a lot of time playing the games here so I cannot really judge how loose the payouts are other than to say they seem below average. Judging by other reviews I've read on YELP, many others seem to agree. The Snoqualmie does offer shuttle service to and from the casino in the outlying areas, but the shuttle service times are quite limited and with a ten dollar cost. Overall, I'd say the best thing about the Snoqualmie Casino is the nearby Snoqualmie Falls.
★ ★ Rating: 2 stars out of 5 (large casino but tight payouts)