Daily poker players are known as “grinders,” because they steadily build up their bankrolls, making big bets when they’re ahead and being patient enough to fold when they’re beat. But South Florida poker rooms have seen a recent spate of get-rich-quick promotions, including one that pays $25,000 at Magic City Casino.
Players are picked at random at 2 p.m. and 11 p.m. weekdays at the Miami card room, with a longshot chance of scoring the $25K. A dealer turns over a card, then awards the player $100 if the next card is lower than the first. The prize goes to $200, then $400 for the next card, and if a player wins a fourth round, the $25,000 is paid out.
It’s happened twice in the 18 months or so of the promotion. One player’s cards went J-10-8-5, then a 2 for the jackpot. Rodrigo Rodriguez scored what has to be a dream start, with an ace, king, queen and jack. A final 9 gave him the Weekday Draw Down loot.
Meanwhile, 15 Florida card rooms are faring well with 3-card poker, which can pay 200-to-1 for those who hit a mini-royal flush. That payoff has made 3-card poker one of the faster-growing games in Las Vegas, as well. And most card rooms offer high hands that pay $500 ever 30 minutes for having the best hand in the building.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
Super Hand Poker
A quiet room beyond The Casino @Dania main slot floor has electronic craps, roulette and (rarely seen in Broward) baccarat, flanked by about 50 video poker machines. Most are the multi-use Game King models, but the casino also has Super Hand Poker, a new game released by IGT currently offered only at Dania.
The game is a twist on video poker. Players who max bet five coins (easy to do because denominations are 5, 10 and 25 cents) across three pay lines are dealt five cards, formatted with pay tables from their favorite video poker game. Super Hand offers Jacks or Better, Double Bonus, Double Bonus, Bonus Deluxe, Triple Double Bonus and Deuces Wild.
Players then pick one of the hands to play — i.e., decide what to throw away and what to keep. The machine then draws to that optimal hand you’ve chosen. I tried it, and enjoyed having three shots at turning my two pair into a full house, for example, and the one time I was dealt three of a kind, got three shots at hitting quads. (Alas, they all missed.) WizardOfOdds.com puts Super Hand at a 95 percent-plus payback, when played with correct strategy.
Dania officials caution, though, that there’s only one machine currently at the casino. So it might be occupied. The game likely will be offered soon at other casinos.
Saturday is the Preakness, and Gulfstream Park and Hialeah have related events. Gulfstream has live racing at 1:15 p.m. and gives away hats for those who purchase seats in Silks, Grandstand or Ten Palms, which has a buffet for $59.99 (includes a Black-Eyed Susan in a collectible glass).
Hialeah has viewing at its Champions Simulcast Center and Sports Lounge. The casino gives away $10,000 in cash and free play each Saturday in May. Players’ club members receive free entries and can earn more entries with every 25 points earned. The prizes are $1,000 in free play hourly from 2 to 4 p.m., $2,000 cash at 5 p.m. Then it’s $1,000 in free play hourly from 9 to 11 p.m., and $2,000 cash at midnight.
In honor of Armed Forces Day, active or retired military can come to the Calder Casino players’ club for up to $500 or other prizes from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday. There is no minimum slot point requirement, just military ID and a driver’s license.
Casino Miami has “Cash Frenzy” Friday and Saturday nights, with a total of $100,000 to be given away. The big drawings are at 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. each night, with $2,500 as the prize. On Sunday, slot players can qualify for scratch-off tickets worth up to $300 in free play.
Miccosukee Resort & Gaming poker has “Progressive Mania,” where quads and straight flushes are paid according to a chart. From 10 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sundays through Thursdays, it’s “Spin for Cash,” where the hourly high hand spins the wheel and wins $50 to $1,000.
Get daily gambling news at SouthFloridaGambling.com. Follow Nick @NickSortal