Trip Report Day Three: Detroit and Toledo

Greektown Casino in Detroit, MichiganInside Greektown Casino in Detroit, Michigan. May 2021

We stayed the Friday night in Ann Arbor. Our first Saturday stops were in Detroit. However, Kristina is a Michigan fan. She had never been to Ann Arbor. We stopped at Michigan Stadium and took some pictures.

Day one and two trip report

MGM Grand, Detroit, MI

Table game felt at MGM Grand Detroit in Michigan.
This table game is 2 Way Monte at MGM Grand Detroit I had never seen it before No other casino on our road trip had it May 2021

We headed to Detroit after Ann Arbor. Our first stop was MGM Grand. It was a late Saturday morning. The casino was mostly empty. That made it easy to look around. 

The best video poker that I found was at the bar. It was $1 9/6 Double Double Bonus. I played that for about 10 minutes and broke even. The bar was closed and nothing great happened on the machine so it was time to check out the tables.

The table game selection at MGM Grand Detroit is massive. It has Pontoon and 2-Way Monte. I had never seen either game in a casino. It also has every major table game, including craps, double zero roulette, several versions of 3:2 blackjack, Let it Ride, I Luv Suits, Mississippi Stud, baccarat, pai gow, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Criss Cross Poker. The minimum bet was generally $20 or $25. Free Bet Blackjack was $35. I had never seen a table with that limit before.

Craps odds were 10 times. The field pays triple on 12. That is the case at all three Detroit casinos.

Results: Even, trip -$98

MotorCity, Detroit, MI

Car display at MotorCity Casino in Detroit, Michigan.
Car display at MotorCity Casino in Detroit Michigan May 2021

MotorCity was my favorite of the three Detroit casinos. It is in an old Wonderbread bakery.

There is a decent variety of video poker variants here. I played a few and got up $50 quickly. I decided to buy in $200 to a $25 stand on soft 17 3:2 blackjack table. Not much happened and I ended up down $100 at the table for a $50 net loss.

The table game selection here is above average. The minimum bet for all games open early on a Saturday afternoon was $25. This included 3:2 traditional and Free Bet Blackjack, 00 roulette, craps with 10 times odds, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, baccarat and Three Card Poker. The Casino War, Chase the Flush, Criss Cross Poker and Mississippi Stud tables were all closed, though it seems like $25 was probably the minimum when they opened later. I had not seen Chase the Flush in Las Vegas since 2018. I never saw it again on this trip.

Results: -$50, trip -$148

Greektown, Detroit, MI

Greektown Casino in Detroit, Michigan.
Inside Greektown Casino in Detroit Michigan May 2021

Greektown had the most character of the three Detroit casinos. It is built within a historic district. It incorporated several buildings on both sides of the street. It was the most unique design of all the casinos we visited.

I immediately found banks of old Bally’s Gamemaker machines. I was happy to see that it had quarter Let it Ride on it. I played this for $20, which took about 15 minutes. These machines also have Pick’em Poker and a few other poker games. I checked out other video poker in this entry area. I did not find anything that I wanted to play.

There were several variants in the main building. I passed on those, too.

The pit had $15 and $25 games. The $15 games were double zero roulette, Mississippi Stud, Three Card Poker and Four Card Poker. A few other poker games were closed. 

The 3:2 blackjack tables were $25. There were some 6:5 games but none were open. Craps was $25 with 10 times odds. 

Result: -$20, Trip -$168

Hollywood Casino Toledo

Sign for Hollywood Casino in Toledo, Ohio
Sign for Hollywood Casino in Toledo Ohio May 2021

This was our first of many Hollywood Casino properties. I was not expecting to find much here considering its monopoly in town. It was much better than my prediction. Hollywood Casino Toledo is a great regional casino. This brand has several locations along our route. Most were among the best values in the market.

This was the first casino on the route where I found a game better than 8/5 Bonus Poker. Hollywood Casino Toledo had that game, but also had 8/5 Super Double Double, both in quarters up to $2 denominations all over the floor. There is $5 8/5 Super Double Double, 9/6 Bonus Poker Deluxe, 9/7/5 Double Bonus and other good games. These machines are in the high limit area by the $50 tables.

The table game limits were in the expected range. It took $15 to get blackjack. All pay 3:2. Most other games, like double zero roulette, 10 times craps and house-banked poker games were $15. Baccarat and pai gow poker started at $25.

High limit six-deck blackjack stands on all 17’s. There is a double deck game in the salon with double down only on 9, 10 and 11. It hits soft 17. Both have a $50 minimum bet.

I played some video poker variants and lost another $10. The trip has not been kind to me so far. 

Results: -$10, trip -$178

MGM Northfield, OH

MGM Northfield Park in Ohio
Outside view of MGM Northfield Park in Ohio May 2021

This was our first Ohio racino stop. The casino is entirely video lottery machines. Most are video slots with a few keno games mixed in. We did not play. It was very busy and there is no video poker.

It was a race day. Kristina and I had never been to a racetrack. We bet a couple of random horses to show that turned out to be huge favorites. We won $0.75 combined. It was fun to watch, and we would do it several more times on the trip.

Results: +1 (change gets rounded), trip -177

JACK Thistledown Racino, North Randall, OH

JACK Thistledown Racino in Ohio
Outside view of JACK Thistledown Racino in Ohio May 2021

This racino was identical to the MGM one. All games are lottery slots and video keno. However, there were no races during our visit. Even the simulcast betting was closed. It was busy. We moved on quickly.

We hoped to get to the JACK in downtown Cleveland. We got there too deep into a Saturday night. The parking situation was chaotic so we got a room a few miles away and returned on Sunday morning. That is where the day four trip report starts.

Day Four: Cleveland, Erie and northern West Virginia