Joe and Bin’s Excellent Foxwoods Adventure

It had been a while since I visited Foxwoods Resort Casino. My last visit was in late 2019. 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 a day. Our missions? Joe wanted to break the ice on retaining Diamond status, while I wanted to keep my Gold Card. So here is Joe and Bin’s Excellent Foxwoods Adventure.

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 and walked into the Great Cedar Casino. Foxwoods is following similar protocols as all other New England Casinos. There is less plexiglass around slots, but table games all separate 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. But, unfortunately, the entire area was closed. So, the Asian Gaming area is closed now and in the foreseeable future. So Joe and I decided to 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 to get a taste of points. We were both close to even, so up we stood, and away we went.

Next Stop, Newport High Limit

We passed a few slots on our way to the other high-limit area. Joe pointed out his mother liked a specific machine. It was “Fu Nan Fu Nu” made by AGS. In Chinese, “Fu Nan Fu Nu” means “Lucky Boy and Lucky Girl.” It was lucky because I hit $700, thanks to some free spins! Great advice, Joe!

We reached The Newport High Limit Room only to find out Pai Gow opened at Noon. So, we checked out the VIP Lounge for lunch, which was now in the Grand Ballroom.

The VIP LOUNGEWhat’s All the Complaining About?

It was 11:30, and the VIP Lounge (ballroom) still served a buffet breakfast. From some of the comments I read, I had low expectations.

Foxwoods Trip Report Of Bin and Joe's Excellent Adventure.
Foxwoods had moved the VIP Lounge to the Ballroom.

Instead, we had good food at five warm stations, various bowls of cereal, and 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 four 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. At the same time, it felt more like a cafeteria than a luxury lounge. The new area suited its purpose for our 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 the table area on the dealer change with every dealer change.

Foxwoods Trip Report Of Bin and Joe's Excellent Adventure.
High Limit before the plexiglass invasion

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. Steep for a player like me, but Joe had come ready for battle. So, let the gambling begin.

We played for 4 hours, both doing well and holding our own. For me, betting $50 or $60 with the side bet, I spent 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 can spin an electronic wheel for a prize if 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 to $ 5,000, with some offering envy bonuses for other players who paid the side bet. However, it adds some fun to the game and at least has a higher chance of collecting than 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. This time, the pit and dealers were severe about all the rules. I placed a side bet for Joe and was reminded I couldn’t. I made other mistakes, like not keeping my hand over the table and showing my hand to Joe before all the players had set their hands. I guess it had been a while.

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 an actual class act.

Related Posts – Pai Gow Poker Tips for Beginners, and Pai Gai Poker and Gambling Superstitions

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, while I left with half a bankroll and achieved my Gold Card. So it was a successful trip!

NETG gambling friend Joe “Reload” Freda has supported from the very beginning. Knowledgeable in 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 or through Twitter (@ReloadSports).