Horseshoe Casino, Hammond (Whiting), IN

Overview:

– Smoking is allowed in the entire casino. A couple of mini-baccarat tables are designated non-smoking, but they are situated in a corner of the main baccarat annex, which can get quite smoky, especially during peak hours.

– Baccarat: an entire annex is devoted to baccarat, and even an additional sub-annex next to the main baccarat annex to handle overflow. The large arena is decorated like a Chinese pavilion, obviously to cater to the 90% Asian players there. (Chicago’s Chinatown is minutes away.) Even the dealers wear Chinese vests to look the part. The beverage hostesses wear full Chinese dresses. There are about 20 tables, mostly for mini-baccarat, a few big baccarat, and a few EZ-baccarat. Over-the-top betting and on-the-top betting of another player’s bet is allowed.

– Tote boards: big and mini-baccarat tables have the standard, vertical tote board showing the results of the last dozen or so hands. EZ-baccarat uses computer LCD displays to show the entire history of the shoe in the horizontal method (a new column for each P/B switch).

– Shuffle: after a machine shuffle, a player cuts the cards with the yellow card. Dealer’s final cut is usually deep (last 10 cards or so). Burn cards are dealt face down.

– Table limits: $10 min/$100,000 max (yes: $100,000 max!). Some higher minimum tables are $25+/min. But all tables are $100,000 max.

– Sample Shoes I’ve played recently (full shoes):

1: B211114225211158222142112112113141121
2: P11111111211231111213111712121115113213132213
3: P3112211155231211211222431111321114112211

– Hours: open 24 hours a day, year-round.

– Volume: It starts getting busy in the early afternoon. In the evenings and weekends, they open up the sub-annex where there’s at least 5 more tables to accommodate the volume . Even early in the morning, there are at least 5 active tables. I can tell some players are there all through the night. Most of the players are actually not sitting, but wandering around the room, searching for whatever trigger they’re hunting (usually anything streaky, as a popular strategy seems to be to follow runs).

Since over-the-top and on-the-top betting is permitted, two to three times the number of seated players can be betting at a “hot” table, and then the shoe’s progress becomes glacial. An average shoe takes more than 2 hours to complete. I once played for 7 straight hours, only to complete 3 full shoes. If you’re one of the standing players, be sure to bring your shoulder-pads, since you get jostled and pushed around a lot by players rushing from one table to the next. (Here, baccarat is a full-contact sport!) If you’re one of the seated players, get used to seeing arms reaching over and to each side of your head. There’s usually nearly empty tables available, though they have higher minimum limits ($25+).

Also, the whole arena can become pretty much a gas chamber during peak hours, because many players are chain-smoking smoke stacks.

– Dealers & Staff: some are nice, some are not-so-nice. One barks at the table if new bets are placed before the old bets have been paid off. Others don’t mind. Some reject bets after “No more bets” is announced. Others allow last-second bets even while the cards are about to be drawn. (Some players like to place their bets at the very last possible micro-second.) Some dealers are nice, pleasant, and professional. Others yawn a lot, bark a lot, and look like they’d really rather be doing something else. The dealers are mistake-prone, often forgetting to pay out and updating the tote boards wrong. I haven’t seen an error on the draw, though, and many of the players keep vigilance over the draw. I saw an instance when a draw was contested, but the dealer played the hand correctly.

– Comps: Harrah’s Total Rewards. Pit-bosses are generally overseeing 2 tables each, so if you play around at different tables around the arena, hand over your comp card again to be rated there.

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4 Responses to “Horseshoe Casino, Hammond (Whiting), IN”

  1. […] was there on Wednesday night between 8 P.M and almost 3 A.M.  Just like at the Horseshoe in Indiana, 95% of those playing were Asians, and they were stacked deep around the tables.  Even on a […]

  2. […] went to the Horseshoe Casino in Indiana last night.  When I got there, 18 baccarat tables were playing, even though relatively few players […]

  3. […] were joking that Rivers should start charging for scorecards, or that they should borrow some from Horseshoe.  It was […]

  4. […] played another session at Horseshoe yesterday.  It seems like I’m zig-zagging back and forth between Rivers and Horseshoe. […]

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