Harrah's Cherokee Casino Hot
by Steve Bourie Learn more about the author read more »Steve Bourie
Toll-Free Number: (800) 427-7247
Rooms 1,108 Price Range: $99-$359
Suites: 107 Price Range: Casino Use Only
Restaurants: 5 Liquor: No
Valet Parking: $8
Buffets: B-$9.50 (Sat/Sun)
D-$18.00/$22.00 (Fri)/ $26.00 (Sun)
Games Offered: Slot Machines, Video Poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Mini-Baccarat, Poker
Overnight RV Parking: No
Special Features: 1,500-seat entertainment pavilion.
I Had a Bad Experience
After having planned a anniversary gift for my wife to the Harrahs Cherokee casino for over a month and having everything booked I passed the worst experience in my life. They had a security officer at the main door and he was the most discriminating person I have known he treated me as if I was from a different species or something, as soon as I entered he stopped me and my wife and asked for the ID I had lost mine and showed him my passport (which by the way I'm 41) but that was his excuse, that I didn't have my ID to not let us in. He said we could not enter the building and ended up ruining all my vacations, being in the place where they are located I had to drive 8 hours to get there and he ruined all our anniversary. Let's be serious he didn't let me in because I was (LATIN) that was his reason because having white hairs already he had no reason to say he could not prove my age that's ridiculous he discriminated us and I would have never expected that from such a distinguished casino that can't hire efficient people that are over the age era. Worst casino to go to, you can't enter the place if your from a different racial background, can't talk from the people inside because didn't have a chance to enter but hope there are more from the 21st Century.
It is so sad that the fun has been taken out of playing the slots. I saw this change coming about in 2005 and it has gotten worse and worse. After watching a documentary on tv, an interview with a Casino 'big wig', he made the comment, "The elderly don't care about winning jackpots - they just want to play, so we give them enough to play." I wondered which planet he was on when he 'interviewed' the 'elderly' because the elderly that I know love winning jackpots and here's a news-flash-they are just as disgusted as everyone else is with the Casino's greed. I predicted that some casino's would be closing....if we wanted to donate, we'd donate to a good cause...
Horrible to me
Worst casino from a slots perspective that I've ever been to. Harrahs AND the Cherokee Indians need their cut so the payback percentage is reflected in that. You will lose money at the slots so if you play em just be prepared to lose a ton of cash.
Same as the others
Let's just say that I am in 100% agreement with the tight slots feedback here. It actually goes beyond just tight slots. The slots are so bad that it is ridiculous and no fun. Most slots are fairly tight but this is beyond that. Stay clear of this place. You've been warned.
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.
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!
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. ........
Why so sad?
Despite reading the other reviews warning me to stay away, I visited Harrah's because I was in the area. The reviews of the horrible payouts were absolutely true. They're angry awful...so awful you get angry at them. I was playing a slot for $1.50, and it took an hour to get a bonus, and the bonus gave me an additional fifty cents. Granted, you expect to lose money at a casino, but sheesh, give some playing time Harrah's!
Most casinos are full of excitement and you can feel the energy when you go in. This one is sad and smoky. From the downtrodden employees to the chain smoking hanging-all-over-each-other couples, everyone looked so sad. If Disneyworld is the happiest place on earth, this place is its evil twin brother Grumpyland.
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.
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 ! ! !
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.
I have to agree 100% with Tim M. The hotel is nice, the slots are the absolute worst from here to the northeast and over to the West Coast. I've played them literally all over the country and it's not even close. I kid you not, I have been to Harrahs Cherokee numerous times and their slots are BY FAR the worst/tightest you'll find. Complete waste of time, unless chunking a few hundred bucks in a 1/2 day is something you enjoy doing.
Go for the food or the hotel as both there are decent but unless you just have money to burn, don't bother with the slots. I suppose the Injuns need some way to pay for those new restaurants and hotel.
Listening, just not enough
We hadn't been to Cherokee in months, and thought we would re-visit it this long weekend. The new additons were great, I highly recommend the buffet and Italian place. Some of the nicest folks we have encountered in our years of gaming. However, If you are looking for a modest rate of play for your bankroll, go somewhere else. I play table games and my wife bets on the slots and poker machines. The house's cut at the poker room is about 2 to 1 compared to other Harrah's operations. If you shoot craps, dont even bother. Their odds bets are ridiculus compared to others. The slot payouts are about 50 percent less than the Tunica casinos (per our calculations). Average rate of play for me and my wife was $400 per hour-$1 slots and poker machines. Watched my wife put 300 in one penny machine (2.50 per spin) never got a bonus, and had only four spins with greater than money back (@ 30 minutes). The lady next to us was hitting bonus after bonus on a true 5c bet! Nice place for dinner, but stay away from the gaming there. Most disappointing were these "counters" placed all along the casino, showing total payout for the day. It was in the millions. Just insulted our intelligence. Evidently they count every "money back" or "playback dollar" as a payout. It was a nice time, but for 4 grand in 24 hours of gaming, it wasn't that nice! We will be going to Tunica next trip. Even some of the locals there are livid about how the payouts have decreased and the jackpot amounts have increased on the progressive machines. Damn shame, such a nice place but its a "one visit" casino for most. Really surprised Harrah's has its name on this one.
Harrah's Cherokee really needs some competition. They can do whatever they want. I can't comment about the slots because I do not play them but they have recently changed the rules on the craps tables that shows the extent of their greed. They have now started charging the "vig" upfront when you are buying the 4, 5, 9 & 10. For those of you who don't play craps, when placing the 4&10, it pays 9 to 5. Placing the 5&9 pays 7 to 5. When buying the 4&10, you pay a 5% commission but it pays true odds, which is 2 to 1. 20 dollar bet after the commission pays 39 instead of 36. The 5&9 pays 3 to 2 , 29 instead of 28 on a 20 dollar bet. Now you must pay that upfront, regardless of whether or not you actually hit the number. If the shooter craps out before hitting that number, you have now lost your original bet plus 5%. That is a complete rip off! I will not play any more table games at Harrah's Cherokee unless it is changed back. Even though I live in North Carolina, it is still closer for me to go to West Virginia or Maryland than Cherokee anyway and Philadelphia is only 20 - 30 minutes farther. So long Harrah's Cherokee!
Not a great place anymore
Not the Harrahs Cherokee of years past.. I get room vouchers but a room is never available those dates. I have played there consistently since they opened but the casino experience and customer service has dropped steadily ever since. Finding a drink host is like trying to find Waldo, you know they exist but never find one. It is surprising how many pot of golds that do not work properly, either screen is not aligned right or bill accepters don't work. You expect this once in a while but now every time I go I have to move machines several times looking for a proper working one. All the food places close by midnight except Johnny Rockets and it is marginal at best yet line is always long and slow. The pizza place is good but closes at 12:00. The buffet is about like all buffets and is pretty good but not sure it's worth $25.00 person but considering a slice of pizza is $7.00 buffet maybe not be such a bad deal. The Starbucks there has service with a smile more than any other place in casino. Staff in suits always walking around but act like they would break if they said hello to you or smiled, kinda cocky attitudes. I have played in many casinos but this place don't even feel like a casino no more, almost a cold arrogant feel. People cleaning machines are always friendly I will say. Chances of winning anymore is almost zero, and it's not just me, everyone is complaining about it but I really don't go expecting a big win but it would be nice to be able to play for awhile instead of it just eating my money fast. I wish they would have service and feel of like some of the sweepstakes places I played in hickory/lenoir before they made them close, they could learn a few things from them. I and a lot of regular small players ($500 or less a visit) would like to feel appreciated by Cherokee but guess our little amount of money doesn't matter to them? I do miss the sweepstakes, they made us feel like kings and took care of us. I really don't mean to sound so negative but the place doesn't feel like a casino, not a happy happy place no more. I found out it's not that much further to Charlestown WV if i have a long weekend off and there it does have a good casino feel but Cherokee is only couple hours away so sometimes close is better. Just wish it was like it was years ago but doubt it will ever be. So we got what we got but noticed me and a lot others go less and less.. Cherokees not been real busy in a long time, guess I'm not only one that's feels like this.
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.
We have been to the casino a few times, never win and always have a problem getting a room. Going to try again and bring a few couples with us. It's the closest casino to us and we work so all we have it the weekends. Let's see what the slots have this weekend!
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.
What Does Granger Know?
Obviously works for Harrah's.
Plain and simple, this place is not to my liking.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
someone has to pay for it
We go to Cherokee aprox. every 2 months. Only because there is nothing closer. Pre new construction, the slots seemed to have better payouts and you were at least given a cleaned room every day, a decent coffee pot with real coffee cups etc etc. Now under the "GREEN" word, they don't make your bed, clean your room, (unless you stay longer than 3 days) I can understand not changing the sheets, to save on water, but how does NOT making a bed or cleaning your room fall under "GREEN" dah!!!!! Even some of the house keepers say Harrah's cut back on staff. Reading financial reports Cherokee revenues were down 6% well, no wonder. DON'T NICKEL DIME.
BTW, those of you that live in the NC area, there is a REAL casino in West Virgina called MARDI GRAS.
LE'S GET THIS NEW BUILDING PAID FOR SO HARRAH'S MANAGEMENT MIGHT GO BACK TO "KEEP YOUR CLIENTS HAPPY ATTITUDE"
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.
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.
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!!!!
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.