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Harrah's Hotel & Casino Review (New Orleans, Louisiana)

Harrah's Casino New Orleans

Harrah's New Orleans Casino fits beautifully into the city in which it is located. The casino sits at the foot of world-famous Canal Street, a stone's throw from the Mississippi River and a brief walk from both the French Quarter and the Superdome. While hotel accommodations at Harrah's itself can be quite pricey for someone not rated a Harrah's Diamond Player, especially during one of the many big tourist events hosted by the city, there are a multitude of great hotels nearby. Rooms can be found at quaint bed-and-breakfast nooks, modern hotel chains, or old world elegance in hotels several hundred years old.

Even before entering the casino, the atmosphere in New Orleans is electric. It is not unusual, even on a weekday morning, to stumble across a jazz brass band entertaining, or roadside artists drawing, or sidewalk musicians singing gospel with the voice of angels, joined by acoustic guitars.

The throngs of visitors to the area are always in a mood to celebrate; New Orleans is a twenty-four hour city, much like Las Vegas, but with real charm rather than manufactured glitz. The ambience is infectious, and one can't help but join in the festivities.

Harrah's is well-laid out, with valet parking essential to an area built before the advent of cars. Entrances face each of the four surrounding streets, so that access is no problem whether you are coming from Bourbon Street or the Convention Center.

Harrah's is the one fully licensed, complete casino on land in the state of Louisiana. Not just another slot parlor, table games and high roller areas abound. Celebrities are always around, and they all gather at this one spot, as opposed to Vegas where several casinos are vying for their presence. Crowds from Saints football and Hornets basketball games walk over and fill the casino after the games are done.

The hotel features 450 rooms, and is booked full far in advance, so planning is of the essence.

The buffet at Harrah's tops any at Las Vegas casinos, save perhaps the Bellagio. As New Orleans is rightly known for its world-class cuisine, and many of the best restaurants are located minutes from the casino, Harrah's is forced to serve quality local dishes to attract business. Live boiled crawfish are served in season; gumbo, jambalaya, and ettouffe all are offered. The barbecued beef brisket was among the tastiest and most tender ever found. Al the usual staples were there for those too foolish to try the New Orleans menu items, and service was extremely friendly and efficient.

Slots are available in great number, and play seemed brisk. Loose slots paid out jackpots n the immediate vicinity several times. One winner collected $1400 on his first spin, went three steps away to a blackjack table, and immediately lost so fast that the dealer jokingly told him to stick to slots. The player was grinning from ear to ear, enjoying the excitement too much to squirrel away winnings.

Table games are numerous, and roulette, baccarat, pai-gow, three-card poker, craps, and blackjack are all available. On a busy night, blackjack limits started at $15. Once encouraged to break a respective silence, dealers proved to be quite entertaining, causing the tables to laugh and smile. Play was extremely friendly, and forgiving of newbies unfamiliar with strategy. One drawback was the absence of single- or double-deck games; everything was machine shuffled and played with a seven-deck shoe.

The poker room hosts twenty tables, which on busy occasions fill entirely. The casino also hosts a World Series of Poker satellite event in May.

No trip to New Orleans would be quite complete without visiting Harrah's Casino; and no trip to Harra's would be properly spent without taking in the beauty and style of the city that surrounds it. Nothing can top a trip like, after playing and enjoying the thrills of the casino, taking a short walk up Decatur Street and ending the evening with beignets and coffee as the moon shines down on the mighty Mississippi.

Reviewed by Larry Rutherford, writer for the best gambling website on the Internet.

Harrah's New Orleans Casino
228 Poydras Street
New Orleans, LA 70130
General: (504)533-6000
Toll Free: 1-800-847-5299
Hotel Reservations: 1-800-HARRAHS
Group Sales & Catering: (504)533-6522

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