It had been a while since visiting Foxwoods Resort Casino. My last visit was in late 2019. But it was time. COVID-19 had closed casinos, but Connecticut’s tribal casinos reopened in June to Governor Lamont’s dismay. What better way to visit than meeting our friend Joe Freda from Reload Sports. It was also 2X points day. Our missions? Joe wanted to break the ice on retaining Diamond status, while I wanted to keep my Gold Card. So here is a Foxwoods Trip Report Of Joe and Bin’s Excellent Adventure.
The Plan – Pai Gow Poker and VIP Lunch
I arrived a little earlier than Joe, so I walked into the Great Cedar casino. Foxwoods is following similar protocols as all other New England Casinos. Less plexiglass around slots, but table games all separated players. More on that later. Our Foxwoods Trip Report Of Joe and Bin’s Excellent Adventure had just begun.
We were to meet in Rainmaker Casino to play some Pai Gow Poker. Unfortunately, we were greeted by the entire area blocked off. Later, we found out that the Rainmaker casino opens at noon. Also, only slots are available, not table games. So the Asian Gaming area is closed now and in the foreseeable future. So Joe and I decided to take a walk for slots to start this Excellent Adventure.
Next Stop, Hampton High Limit Area
The Hampton room is in the corner of the Grand Pequot Casino. Against the back wall are four video poker machines with 9/6 JOB at $1, $5, and up. We both sat down and played some expensive full-pay JOB before asking ourselves, “how many tier points do players earn on these video poker machines?”
Asking floor staff, we found out – NOTHING! Playing Full pay JOB at Foxwoods earns no rewards points. “0,” Zilch, Nada! This is a change from last October, as Joe played the same machines then to at least get a taste of points then. We were both close to even, so up we stood and away we went.
Next Stop, Newport High Limit
On our way to the other high-limit area, we passed a few slots. Joe pointed out his mother liked a specific machine. It was “Fu Nan Fu Nu” made by AGS. By the way, “Fu Nan Fu Nu” means “Lucky Boy and Lucky Girl” in Chinese. It was definitely lucky because I hit for $700 thanks to some free spins! Great advice, Joe!
We made it to The Newport High Limit Room only to find out Pai Gow opened at Noon. So, we checked out the VIP Lounge for lunch, and it was now in the Grand Ballroom.
The VIP LOUNGE – What’s All the Complaining About?
It was 11:30, and the VIP Lounge (ballroom) was still serving a buffet breakfast. From some of the comments I read, I had low expectations.
Instead, we had good food at five warm stations, a variety of cereals delicious pastries. Servers were behind plexiglass as we went through the line ordering our food. Portions dished out were plentiful, including a Vegas-sized clump of bacon on Joe’s plate.
Distancing was very comfortable. Large round tables had only 4 chairs. Lots of signage gave visitors directions, and it was very open, spacious, and comfy for the COVID protocol. Busy days might feel differently, and weekend nights as well. While it felt more like a cafeteria than a lounge of luxury, the new area suited its purpose for our currently crazy times.
Foxwoods Trip Report Of Joe and Bin’s Excellent Adventure Continues…
Time For Pai Gai Poker
The Pai Gow tables were open, and two seats had our names on them. Only two Pai Gow were open, each with four seats. Plexiglass surrounded you, and each new dealer wiped down on the table area on the dealer change with every change of the dealer.
It took us a while to get used to the plexiglass. Leaning in too much would knock your hat off, and turning to talk to the next person would cause a quick face to the partition. But, having the first five times, I started to get used to it.
The minimum bet was $50. Kind of steep for a player like me, but Joe had come ready for battle. So, let the gambling begin.
We played for 4 hours, both of us doing well and holding our own. For me, betting $50 or $60 with the side bet, I ended up spending only $200. Thanks to six winning hands to close it out, Joe ended up ahead by the end of the session. This included an improbable seven-high on top holding on to collect. This included an improbable seven-high on top holding on to collect.
As usual, with the Newport room, the drink service was stellar. We especially enjoyed some custom-made coffee milkshakes, which kept us zoned into the action.
Bonus Wheel Side Bet – Joe Explains, Foxwoods Trip Report
Foxwoods has notably added a new progressive side bet for Pai Gow Poker, with a twist we had not seen before at other casinos. For an extra $5, you have the chance of spinning an electronic wheel for a prize as long as your bottom hand is King-high or less. Of course, this will not happen too frequently, but it can result in a nice consolation to hedge against a likely losing hand.
The electronic wheel had 12 spots, with the progressive jackpot of over $50,000 looming in one of them. While a 1 in 12 chance at a jackpot sounds enticing, the wheel does not seem like a ‘fair’ one and is just entertainment to find out your fate. Other prizes ranged from $40-$5000, with some offering envy bonuses for other players that ponied up the side bet. However, it adds some fun to the game and at least has a higher chance of collecting than some other Pai Gow Poker progressive offerings.
Mistakes Were Made
I will inevitably switch the high and low cards at least once a session at Pai Gow Poker. But I usually get a redo once by the house. Not this time. As a matter of fact, the pit and dealers were serious about all rules. I placed a side bet for Joe and was reminded I couldn’t. Other mistakes I made – keeping my hand over the table, but under the plexiglass, and showing my hand to Joe before all players had set their hand.
This brings me to the Pit Boss, Fred. This guy has been at Foxwoods for a long time. I would describe him as classy, knowledgeable, friendly, and above all, a gentleman. Not only did he correct me every time, but he did so in a way not to embarrass me. His explanation was with a smile on his face. If you have a chance to play in his pit, do it. He’s a real class act.
The Rest of the Story…
After a great day, I left late afternoon. Joe racked up some reward points and bought some gas cards with them. I left with half a bankroll and achieving my Gold Card. Foxwoods is trying to get people back. I suggest you give them a try.
NETG gambling friend Joe “Reload” Freda has supported NETimeGambling.com from the very beginning. Knowledgable gambling, he brings tried and true tips on maintaining a high level. In addition, Joe has been an avid gambling writer for the past two decades, covering casino and sports wagering. Freda can be reached at email@example.com or through Twitter (@ReloadSports).