Photo by Quentin Bacon

A Big Play in Reno, Dollar Oysters, and More Football Deals

Sometimes you have to travel for a deal. Chances are you’ve never heard of the Wa She Shu casino in northern Nevada, but there’s a rebate-on-loss deal there that’s better than anything available in Las Vegas and one of the best to run anywhere in some time. Wa She Shu is located 50 miles south of Reno in Gardnerville. But it’s worth the trip for a $1,000 loss-rebate deal (lose up to $1,000 and get it back in free-play) that requires only one return trip within six weeks to cash the rebate. It’s for new club members only. Aside from the good promo, Gardnerville is a cool place to visit, home to more than one acclaimed Basque restaurant.

There’s an oyster happy hour at the new Black Sheep restaurant at 8680 W. Warm Springs. Good west-coasters (kumamotos when I went), served with a tangy mignonette, are just $1 from 5 to 6 p.m. It’s a cozy little place where you can set up at the bar for the oysters and a $5 beer. On the downside, one of Vegas’ great happy hour plays (and a former dollar-oyster outlet) is no more: McCormick & Schmick’s on E. Flamingo has closed.

Now that football season is underway, the only contests worth playing are the free ones with weekly prizes, of which there are about a dozen. They are Boyd’s Pick the Pros, Stations’ Gridiron Glory, the Wildfire’s College Football Clash and Rampart’s Red Zone to Riches, along with smaller contests at Ellis Island, Hard Rock, Longhorn, Klondike Sunset and Silverton. You’ll also find weekly card contests at PTs Pubs ($1,000 weekly and $50 at each bar) and O’Aces Decatur ($200 weekly).

Again this year, Westgate Las Vegas is offering -105 pricing (bet $105 to win $100, as opposed to the standard $110/$100) for football on Thursdays. What time on Thursdays depends on when the special betting sheets are available, roughly from 3 p.m. to close. The reduced juice is available on sides only, and be sure to use the betting numbers off the -105 sheets.

Home Plate on Warm Springs Rd. has settled into a schedule of $20 match-play promos during Monday- and Thursday-night football games and all day on Sundays. The Monday/Thursday promotions run from 5 to 10 p.m. and require $40 in play to get the bonus. The Sunday promo is a straight $20-for-$20.

Brando’s on Blue Diamond Rd. has an anytime offer of $20-for-$20 for new club sign-ups. Good Chicago dogs here, too.

You never know what you’ll find when a bar owns its machines and makes all the decisions. Such is the case at Madison Avenue Bar & Grille (855 E. Twain), where the machines have 20-cent denominations. You don’t see that very often in bars and there’s nothing particularly special about it, except you’re playing at a 20 percent lower loss rate (from 25 cents) while you get free drinks. There’s value in that.

Anthony Curtis is the publisher of the Las Vegas Advisor and