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When the Fertitta family started their chain of casinos dedicated to locals, they opened the first, interestingly enough, as close as possible to the Strip. In business since 1976, but known then as simply “The Casino,” Palace Station has stood proud over I-15 near Sahara as a reminder to those hotels located on Las Vegas Boulevard that the locals have a stake in this town, too. Palace’s proximity to the Strip is definitely an advantage, but those looking for a truly luxurious experience might be let down. The rooms are adequate, clean, and comfortable, but basic in terms of amenities and size. In other words, should you take selfies in the room, you won’t be using #highroller as a hashtag unless you’re being ironic.

Though the Courtyard Rooms are lighter on the wallet than the Tower Rooms, they definitely show it (though they have the advantage of being non-smoking). If you can afford it, opt to stay in the 21-floor Luxury Tower, if only because it’s much more comfortable, with pillow top mattresses, 42-inch flatscreen TVs, modern decor, and better views of the Strip.

Palace Station is a required stop for serious players who want to get their money’s worth out of a night of gambling, with lower limits than those a few blocks away on the Strip. More than 100,000 square feet of casino holds the most baccarat and pai gow tile games off the Strip, and an always-busy Asian gaming section. There are more than 1,700 one-armed bandits and video poker machines to chunk your change into (just kidding, machines don’t take or give coins anymore), 44 table games and a 307-seat bingo hall—the closest to the Strip—that runs from 9am to 11pm 7 days a week.

The Oyster Bar remains a popular eatery for both locals and visitors, the 10-seat bar often has long lines of hungry regulars who are there for dozens of raw, plump oysters and giant, seafood-filled pan roasts made to order. This spot, like the rest of Palace Station, is no-frills Las Vegas, but will fill you up.