Play for fun not for payouts
If you like to gamble and don't mind no wins or payouts and want to unload some cash then just visit the Cherokee Harrahs Casino. From Chattanooga it's a 2 1/2 hr drive to the Cherokee Casino and we have been several times since October because of the comps. Everyone talking about "TIGHT SLOTS" are telling the truth with this casino. I was lucky enough to win $1000 at Wheel of Fortune before they changed them to all new machines sometime towards the end of last year. On the new Wheel of Fortune $1 slots I counted 37 spins back to back at $3 max bet (which has to be bet in order to get a spin bonus) and I did not get 1 credit back in those 37 spins. This was not the only slot machine that takes numerous spins to get even 1 credit back.
A few years ago when visiting this casino they would often announce big winners (say $5000 more or less) over the intercom but...we have noticed in our last several visits that we have not "ONCE" heard any big winners announced at the casino and we play from 7 at night until often noon the next day.
The hotel rooms are nice if you get the Creek Tower Junior Suite but it's very hard to ever get a room with any date you try to select yet the casino is not crowded unless there is a big event for the weekend. If you are expecting alcoholic beverages then make sure to bring extra money to pay for them. You can get water, soda or coffee for free but you will have to go get it yourself from the bar unless you wait 2 hours or more for a waitress. We did get room service breakfast during one stay and I can say that was absolutely wonderful! The casino staff are friendly and offer help when needed.
If you have free play coupons or comps and looking for entertainment then make a visit and decide for yourself. I would suggest playing between 6pm thru 1am for better luck because we have played til morning on every visit and after 1 to 2am it's as if the machines get locked down or something.
Oh, one last thing especially for new players. Be careful of your max bets on even penny, nickle and quarter slots. For example: we often play the $1 slots (triple 7's, one line payout, 3 credit max bet) for total of $3 max bet and we decided to switch to the .25cent slots for a few hours. We played .25cent (same triple 7's, but 5 credits, 5 line payout ) for bet of $1.25....so here you would thing that we were saving some money on spins moving to a .25cent slot...WRONG...the max bet turned out to be $18.75. So for those new to slots be careful on your max bets even on small penny, nickle, quarter slots because many of the games here require the max bet to get bonus features.
I won't go back
Visisted last week for the 2nd and last time. Spent the night and found things are not quite right here. People sleeping in 3 chairs at the slot machines (workers working around them), people sleeping all over the fireplace loung area (all night), dirty carpets, scary parking, machines were dirty, very little service, charge too exorbitant fees to cash a check, one person for the non-diamond members, 3 for them, poor customer service don't know how you redeem comps (3 different people). Ive been to many different casino's and several Harrahs - first time I ever saw people sleeping at the slot machines in the lounge, and on the stairs. They have a security guard at the hotel entrance but they never ever asked for an ID or to see the hotel room key - anybody and everybody can walk up. The food is definitely nothing to right home about. We will never be going back and in this may have just changed my mind about gambling. When you allow people to use your facility like a drunken sleepover you will lose customers quickly. In fact the security guard at the hotel entrance was the only one I ever saw.
IT'S A SHAME....////
Having moved to Charlotte from NJ about 8 years ago, the only close casino was Cherokee, so I've seen it grow from a few buildings to a huge gaming complex. It's a 3 hour one way trip and it's surprising that no one has offered a regular scheduled bus trips more than one or two a month....
But putting travel aside, I go (my wife occasionally) to Cherokee to get away and (let's be honest), try to win some money....
After having played in Atlantic City and 'felt' the payouts there, Cherokee is VERY disapointing and I honestly didn't know/realize how little a percentage the casino pays out on the slots til a few months ago. I never thought to check as I just assumed they paid a fair and decent payout.... How WRONG I was... I went all of last year without winning or even getting close to a decent payout... I attain Diamond status so it's not like I am not spending substantial mooney. In the back of my head, I always thought it was strange and the slots could be so 'tight' for me... but have since found it's not only me... but EVERYONE.
The new casino is just about finished and is beautiful but the problem with that area, is lack of ample people to work. Last few trips it was evident in hardly any slot personnel around, restaurants understaffed, housecleaning slow, etc. this eventually will hurt.
The food and restaurants NEED upgrading, even the NEW ones. Paula Deans has sub standard food, The downstairs buffet is just OK...nothing special and the fast food area just plain stinks. Ever get a Johnny Rockers at Harrah's in Atlantic City? Cherokee's is like dog food. And none of the other fast food places serve really fresh food.... the Uno's pizza is warm and has been sitting for a whle and the quality of the deli meat is mediocre at best. I have not tried Ruths Chris or Brio yet but Both are Expensive eateries.... I don't get ANY food comps like I do in AC, so, it just depends on my mood ( and winnings) if I will frequent them.
From what I was told (and I'm not sure if this is true), Harrah's, although in charge of most of the operations, only owns approx. 12 percent of this Casino, so the problem lies with the Indian Gaming Commission to makes all of the decisions. And in my opinion, they could care less about who attends their casino or how to treat the guests. They just appear to want to make as much money as possible.
As a patron, I would like to feel at least a little special, don't you?
well, at lest I have vented for the one or two people who will read this. I certainly don't want to come across negative but until there is a positive attitude and changes at Cherokee, I am seriously considering weekend trips to AC offered by the likes of Pair-a-dice travel, etc.
Anyone know of any other sites ... I truly believe word has to get out about how little their slot payout percentage is....
At least I know I'll have a better chance of coming home with some money in my pocket and I can enjoy a real Atlantic city funnel cake on the boardwalk.
Great Unless You Like to Win
We are long time customers since the days the first casino opened in Cherokee. You could actually win back then! Seems the more they spend on expanding into their "Resort", the less you will win in the "casino". We used to win jackpots with some regularity. Then the more construction that went on, the less jackpots we won. That includes my husband, me, our friends, and pretty much anyone I talk to at Harrah's Cherokee. They used to announce jackpots won but now they don't bother since there are so few of them. The only free drinks are soft drinks or water. They have begun to get stingy with them as well. I was on casino floor for 4 hours before being offered a drink. A recent stay in a comped hotel room (we are 7 stars) found a room with no room service menu. We called front desk they told us menu was on the TV. No it isn't and we knew as much from being a frequent guest. About an hour later they finally brought a menu to our room. We do enjoy the room service and find the food pretty tasty. They always ask us on check-in if we would like to have some soft drinks/water brought up. We tell them what we want it, but at least 75% of the time, they never show up. So why ask??? The hotel and newly remodeled casino are beautiful. We enjoy our rooms. However, we go to gamble and to win. Each year gets worse and worse. Don't take my word. Look at these other reviews. Believe them! Cherokee is the only casino for hundreds of miles. No competition. Built in customers because of location in the Smokies. Most people just wonder into casino having never gambled before and I think this is who they want. They care little about their loyal customers and the feeling is becoming mutual. We are going to play elsewhere even though we have to drive/fly farther. In the end, it will be worth it. Sorry Harrah's Cherokee. You have lost long loyal customers.
Nice Casino -- nice hotel
We visit Harrah's Cherokee every couple of months. We are always given a free premium room. The hotel is nice, the staff is professional, friendly, and helpful. They have a large variety of slots, and we have fun playing $5 blackjack when a table is available. The dealers are all friendly, as are the pit bosses. The buffet is a bit pricey, however, the food is excellent. Selu (pronounced Shay-loo) Cafe is excellent. The Total Rewards club provides good comps (free rooms, free slot play, cash). Overall, we like the casino and the hotel!
As a Vegas regular, I can attest that the slot payback percentage in Cherokee is terrible. I never expect to win and in fact rarely if ever win, but the machines are so tight in Cherokee there is no entertainment involved. The Catawba Indians are trying to get a Casino in North Carolina and the Cherokee are fighting it because they know competition will force them to offer a decent gambling operation. The facility is really nice and the table games are good, but stay away from the slots unless you like donating money without having any fun along the way. Sure people win jackpots, but you have the same chance with that as playing the lottery. Good slots provide hours of entertainment and only slowly grinds away your money.
I would encourage the Cherokee Tribe to be transparent and release their slot payout percentage because I think it is low 80s.
Stay away from the roulette tables, the dealers can hit a number with in 2 of what they are aiming for. You will never see a big chip stack on a number hit more than once. I believe the dealers are paid commission on what they take in. Don't bet until the dealer release the ball in you want to WIN ! ! !
STAY AWAY WHILE RENOVATING!
I agree with most of the reviews, except that the payouts have gotten increasingly worse with the renovations.
I also live in Atlanta and have no idea what casino John is referring to that is only 3 hours away, but please let me know! I like to drive up for the day on the weekends - beautiful drive, great scenery, but the gaming sucks.
It's really not gaming - it's just taking. Are there any regulations as to what the percentage of return should be? Complete waste of time, other GAMING destinations at least make it fun. At Cherokee, you just feed the machines money.
BE FOR REAL
Well we have been going to this casino regularly for almost 3 years. As we are both diamond members we brought money home only a couple of times. WOW ok so we get to eat 1 meal per day free of not the best food in the world and they will give us a room if we beg but not on the weekend we get 3 five dollar coupons to use each month and we are just now smart enough to get online and find out that this casino has no laws on payout percentages and can do whatever they want so that explains why one minute the machines might be playing good and then they just stop all together. Not even a small return. Shame on us lol. If you go here don't expect to win a dime. Take what you plan to lose and be done when your playing money runs out. Don't go get more because you will just lose it, also they really could treat players better than that but they just don't care.
Harrah's Cherokee Casino Has No Minimum Payback
Indian casinos are free to set payback percentages as low as the tribes and their casino operators wish in order to maximize profits. They can change the payout percentage at any time to any level they wish. A recent letter from the National Indian Gaming Commission states "The NIGC does not establish minimum pay out percentages; that is up to each tribal operation to determine for themselves."
A 1999 decision in the federal case :Missouri ex rel. Nixon v Coeur D'Alene Tribe" preempted all states in which Indian casinos are located to regulate gambling. This information was obtained fron the North Carolina Attorney General's Office. The 1994 compact between Governor Jim Hunt and the Eastern Band of Cherokees requiring a minimum payout of 83% was preempted by thus court decision. On a recent trip to Cherokee, I played $100.00 in a dollar machine a dollar per spin, and did not get a single win. this was a payback of 0%. Based on my experience, and reviews of other Cherokee patrons on the internet, the payback is probably well below 50%.
Anyone planning a trip to gamble at an Indian casino should be prepared to lose their money in a short period of time.
This is why it is impossible to get an Indian casino to tell you their minimum payback percentage-THERE ISN'T ANY MINIMUM!
Don't Go! My husband and I live 20 minutes away. He likes playing poker. I like the slots. Several times I've comped a room I need the hot tub for my body aches. About a year ago I filled the tub..got in..turned on the jets..and black mold spewed out all over me. We changed rooms and the manager said it would be taken care of. We got a a $25 dinner ticket..we had so many comps ... that was a slap in the face. Then, just this last weekend..it happened again! . the housekeepers and their supervisor came to the room and promised the the tub would be cleaned and taken care ot. The housekeepers told my husband that this happens all the time..that we weren't the first. We left while they 'cleaned'. At 3 am I came back needing the jets..and the black mold came out again!...covering my body! After calling and having to beg for another room..and the manager coming to my room and telling me not to drain the tub..another room was assigned. I took pictures..both times. Meanwhile, I filed a complaint and all I asked was to be able to comp a premium suite..which I felt was less likely to be neglected than the regular rooms...when I stayed. The reply was my "host'...whom I've not spoken with in over 2..at the least...years...was the only person who could help me. Folks...as much as I like playing at the casino...I think I'm ready to talk to a lawyer.
Will be back
We stayed this month for 3 days and were very lucky with the slots. Several big wins on the penny slots. Ate at Ruth Chris and Brio both excellent...we will be back.
I live a little over two hours from cherokee. visit at least 4 times a year. went new years day- won $1400 jackpot on eightball video poker. stayed overnight and played the next day- won a jackpot on toucheasy keno for $5483.00. in the past (15 years) visits i have only won two other jackpots in the range of $1000-1200. Overall it's a great getaway with my husband. Food is good. Staff is very friendly. Don't let negative nancy posts keep you from visiting and seeing the beautiful mountains on the trip there. enjoy!!!
We enjoy Harrah's Cherokkee
I've sat here and read all the comments and reviews posted by past visitors to Harrah's Cherokee. After seeing most postings gave negative feedback I felt obligated to add my comments. I have been visiting Harrah's Cherokee for years, during the times of video only gaming up until the present time where they have a state of the art casino. Wonderful accommodations, great food and friendly staff. I'm not saying the things folks complained about such as mold coming out into the bath tubs, poor slot pay outs and hotel room availability being difficult didn't happen I can just assure you they have never happened to me. I win some times, I lose sometimes.....that's gambling. My room has always been clean and the staff have always given great customer service. My casino host contacts me regularly, informing me of special events and helping with reservations, in which I have never had a problem. Yes, I am a Diamond card holder and I may get some special treatments/comps but folks the casino is a business and it's more profitable to be able to offer a room to someone who plays $1000 a day in their casino than to give that same room to someone who may play $100 a day in a penny machine. If you owned the hotel who would you rather stay in your casino and give the comp to. There are lots of hotels rooms available in the area so staying outside the casino compound is a option. As to food, if you think the choices or prices in the hotel aren't sufficient and fair there are other choices available in the area. As far a gaming, I've won good money at blackjack, won large amounts on both regular slots and video poker, even enjoyed the craps table with reduced odd. I don't mind taking a bottle of my favorite bourbon with me and having a few drinks in the room before heading to the River Bar and having another drink downstairs in the casino. I think the drink prices are very fair and I have never waited very long for a friendly server to wait on me. Try giving them an extra nice tip every now and then , I assure you they will take better care of you. All in all my experiences at Harrah's Cherokee are right up there with other casinos I have visited in AC and Vegas. If you're only going to Cherokee to " strike it rich" .....most likely you will be disappointed. Like they say, these places won't built on people winning money. My advice is to go and enjoy the fun and the adrenaline rush you get from gaming, knowing that the next spin of the wheels, the next card or the next roll of the dice may be the one to make you a big winner but do so realizing the odds of a win may be less than you want to accept. Lady Luck be with you my friend. ........
It's got it all now
I'd really like to know where the people go and always win at slots at a casino. I come here at least 3 times a year and it has grown into a beautiful casino. The buffet is great, the scenery is beautiful, but they have removed some slots for the tables. I go for the enjoyment of the slots, I win some and lose some, as long as you stay in your limit gambling is the norm, I don't expect to get rich and I don't LOL. All in all Cherokee could be looser, but that can be spoken of the casinos in Las Vegas too. I'll keep coming back until they open one closer to me and as long as they keep comping me rooms!!
Had a Great Time!
We stayed at the hotel 7. 8 and 9 May and had a great time. First day wife hit penny machine for a grand. Second day I hit .25 cent poker machine for a grand. Got a lot of play on machines. Hotel accomodations were excellent, housekeeping staff does a marvelous job. The
Chef's buffet is one of the best we have encountered. Would not recommend Paula Deen's. The food court is the worst place of all to eat. We will be back.
OK blackjack conditons
Very good blackjack conditions for a stand alone in the middle of nowhere casino.
8 deck, 3:2, resplie pairs, DAS. Nice dealers and pit bosses.
Have been here three times. I always win early and if I stay, the money goes.
I recommend only a hour at a time here. Then you get to keep what you won. I liked the place. You have to learn how to play their machines, though.
Love the Total Rewards comps. Buffet is excellent. Disappointed JOB only 6/5, but the Triple Play video poker is a decent 8/5.
Love the non-smoking area. Hotel facilities are very good. Free self-serve soft drinks are a plus. Lots of extra promotions. Nice mountain setting.
Green Light For Alcohol!
They have approved alcohol in restaurants, as well as on the gaming floor now..Maybe with that said, it will be a BIT more enjoyable? I mean, we have heard for years that harrah's cherokee needed to get alcohol.. well, now they have it.. So don't give up completely.. It's not such a bad place.
I failed to give the update I had promised and I'm kind of glad I did. I visited on October 26th and again today. First and foremost, I found lots of players hitting small payouts and heard several others comment of how the machines seemed to be paying better. From my own experience, I'd agree. I played for hours both days and went away ahead both days. And so did everyone with me. I even hit a 5 of a kind on the 50 cent Shamrock 7!
There has been a big, big change in the buffet. The old buffet has been closed. I ate there on the 26th & there was a sign advising it would close and be replaced by the new buffet upstairs. I ate at the new buffet today. There's several things you need to know. First, it is only open for dinner on Monday through Thursday, 4:30 PM to 10 PM. It is open all day on Friday, Saturday & Sunday. It is a bit pricey when compared with the old rate, $23.50 I think. It has only been open a week and they are still experiencing some newness pains. For instance, they opened two pay lines but one line had two cashiers and the other had only one so it took twice as long if you chose the wrong line.(I did). I will say in all the years and all the casino buffets I have visited, I have never seen such good service by the staff. It was better than most 5 star restaurants. They also have a full bar in the buffet for those who need it. There is an excellent choice of meals, so much that it will take several visits just to sample everything. I ran out of room far before I had tried everything I wanted. The grilled salmon is a must and the pastas were great. But stay away from the sushi. It needs some work. And the desserts are a little plain but who had room left. I had a small piece of really good pecan pie.
I'm going to go back again right after Thanksgiving and I'll give an update.
50 TIMES THE MONEY
I went to this casino last year, and had a great time. I started out playing dollar slots, and was losing.
after losing about $50 I moved to the penny slots, spent about the same amount and won about $500
My guess is to play the slots for a quarter or less, you can play longer and if you lose it probably won't be so much.
for $100 you can play a long time. If you go for the fun of it, and don't play for too much money.
It is a great place. I live in Georgia, and play the lottery, I bought five $10 tickets and didn't win anything.
I lost my money in less than 10 minutes. I could have played the penny slots for at least 2 hours.
I love it up there!!!! It is all about FUN!!!!
A different "casino"- not what one would expect
Cherokee is the closest casino to my itchy hands. I have been to other native run properties on the west coast and hit the both Atlantic City and Las Vegas. While I am an occasional slot person, craps and blackjack are my games of choice. This place is a different animal - the dealer is paid to push a button and not touch real cards at the table. It is a whacky hybrid of a laptop game and a true table. While you are paid in chips, your hand movements are on a glass top and not the green felt of comfort.
Additonally, it is without a one of the most smoke filled places I have been in my entire life. Bring an extra set of clothes!
Was there last month and my slot jammed so the slot worker came over and opened up the machine with her key. She had trouble getting the machine back on line and had to re-boot the system. It displayed a PC DOS like script on the screen, which I wasn't supposed to see, and it had all the stats and data about that machine scrolling by. I distinctly saw the payout % that the machine was set to. 84.6%... I thought most slots were usually set to 90-95%. If I play long enough to bet $1k I will lose $160 on average. However, I do believe the high roller area has more loose slot %'s based on my experience.
Video Killed the Radio Star
Mixed feelings on this Casino. First, let me say that the hotel accomodations are absolutely wonderful! The hotel is very clean. Staff is friendly and helpful. Rooms were great. Indoor pool and gym were suprisingly very nice and easily accessible. Had the most fun in the hotel game room playing air hockey.This casino is litteraly in the middle of the mountains. Great views, clean air. The buffet was fantastic! The free drinks are a great idea..don't have to sit around for a waitress to offer it up.
As for the gaming... Sub-par at best. If you don't mind sitting at a video game using little or no brain activity, its great. Not a single card being dealt in this casino. Everything is video. Certainly would be nice to see a live poker room(poker being the only skill game in the casino). I did hear people winning over the loudspeaker but personally did not see anyone jumping up and down. I got a free room comp through Harrahs Total rewards, so all is not lost. If you want a nice place to stay and view the mountains...great place. As for gaming, you might as well hand over your cash at the door.
I last visited Cherokee in late July but plan to visit again tomorrow. I thought I would post my last visit and then post again about tomorrow's visit. I parked my motorhome down by the river in the old parking lot. Now that the new parking garage is open, there is no bus service so the only way to get to the casino is to walk. I had suggested last year they put in a call for pickup box, but no action was taken. I entered the casino through the new valet parking area and walked through bank after bank of empty $1 machines. I finally found where all the players were, at the penny machines. It always amazes me when I see empty areas of $1 machines and all the penny machines are full. However, my major is not in casino marketing so I guess they know better. I ate at the Fresh Market buffet and the food was absolutely great. This used to be an only fair buffet but it certainly has turned around 100%. My complements to the chef and management. I played some slots but found most everything to be tight. I guess someone has to pay for the new addition and new hotel! More to come after tomorrow's visit.
Harrah's Cherokee Recent Trip
Visit date- 3/17/2012
Just got done a middle of the night trip at Harrah's Cherokee. Here is a update- The hotel construction is finished and beautiful. It is very hard to get a comp room at this property unless you play here specifically often, so we didn't stay. The restaurant choices are limited and priced at standard casino rates.
Gaming- There are live Black Jack tables with a computer screen card setup. Video craps, and no roulette. Slots are everywhere of course and that is what 99 percent of people play there. If you are smart and watch people for a while you will easily see what machines are paying and what are not. Play smart and you will have a payout comparable to AC. This is a pay for your alcohol casino, and non alcoholic drinks are free. We played for about 6 straight hours and came out even if that helps for payback purposes.
Video poker, which is my game, is plentiful and not crowded. Mostly 8/5 JOB and 8/6 DDB throughout. Good bartops with bar service if you choose.
Overall, unless this property is close to you, you might want to go elsewhere. Only because of no free alcohol and limited table experiences. I will only go back if they send me free room deals. Beautiful location, but not much else to do.
TAKE IT FROM ME AS 'USED TO BE' A LOYAL CUSTOMER
I visit this casino at last twice a month since year 2000. The hotel improved a lot after the renovation. I believe this is about the same time Caesars took over management. However, the games are UUGHH ! In the last 3 years, the slots have become worse, to the point that you won't even have an adrenalin rush because you'll know you have less than 1% chance of winning. Before you'll see a lot of hand pays, but now you'll seldom see casino staff handing out payments. Even card games that uses a shuffler/dispenser are fixed, but we know this already anyway. They also used to give at least $50 birthday coupon for food purchases, now $5. They used to print cash vouchers for you when you forget them, now they won't do it. Caesars is obviously getting some of their losses from this casino location, as they have been bankrupted and their Vegas Casino is not really earning much. STAY AWAY, unless the tribe regains management. This casino beats most if not all casinos in all of America in revenue before Caesars took over. Now they still probably do, but once everyone comes to realization that this place is now just like one of the Vegas casino where it will just take your money, this place will fall, hard ! And I can't wait for it to happen soon, so the tribe can run it again.
Friendly atmosphere, not so great payouts
Just returned from Harrah's at Cherokee. I found the dealers and personnel to be the friendliest I've encountered in a long time. The blackjack dealer at one table advised a couple of newbies on each hand. He seemed genuinely sympathetic for our losses and enthusiastic for our wins. Overall I won at blackjack, but I didn't get to play often enough. I won't sit down at anything higher than a $10.00 table, and the casino only offered one such table each time I was there. I tried several different time slots, but still...one $10.00 table and many $25.00 tables. I will never go to that casino again for blackjack. Since the renovation, the slot areas are very high tech and offer a good variety. The stools are comfortable, and many of the games I'd never seen before. But I didn't win - not once in five trips to the casino. And I would have quit if I'd ever gotten significantly ahead. I hit no big bonuses, though my husband did a couple of times. Overall, the atmosphere of this casino is clean, comfortable, laid back. But I didn't see too many winners. If you're in the mountains anyway, stop for an hour or so. But I don't know if I'd make a special trip.
bj at Cherokee
My wife and I just returned from Harrah's Cherokee. We also visited in early December. I didn't play the slots and the only table game I played was the multi-player blackjack, not the one with the live dealer. I mostly played blackjack on the Pot O' Gold machines and did well. We left with more $$ than we arrived with. That, along with comped rooms made for a good trip.
Our room was in the Creek tower and was excellent. The only thing lacking was reasonable good food.
The gaming floor was still in the midst of renovation, as well on our previous trip in December.
We'll probably be making the trip again soon as Cherokee is only 3 1/2 hrs from our home in Marietta, Ga. Next time we'll try to figure out how to find better restaurants, at Harrah's or maybe in Cherokee.