Xela Casino Review: Fantastic Video Loteria
By Chris Perras
You came to Guatemala to get away from it all. The rat race. The commercialism. The greed. And here we are telling you to check out a casino. Shame, shame.
In our defense, we’re always looking for new things to do around Xela to enrich your visit. And nothing says enrich like doubling down on eleven against a dealer’s six. Given our thirst for investigative journalism, once our writing staff heard about a casino in town, they piled into the XelaWho towncar and sped over post-haste. And talk about fact checking. Many of our writers stayed late and even came in on their days off to bring you this, a review of the finest – err, only – casino in town.
Located above Pizza Hut and Panaderia San Martin in front of Hiper Paiz, Fantastic Video Loteria is a gambler’s oasis on the blackjack and bookie-free streets of Xela. As for table games, they offer blackjack, Caribbean stud and LR, a poker spinoff. With a mere Q10/hand minimum bet – compared to $15 minimums in Vegas – their blackjack is a certified XelaWho bargain. If you like blackjack but don’t have the pisto to sit down at a table, they offer video blackjack for Q5/hand. Caribbean stud and LR are a bit more expensive, with minimums at Q25/hand, and not as good a play. In fact, short of slot machines, Caribbean stud is one of the most heavily weighed games against the player you can play at a casino, with house odds over 5%. Blackjack, on the other hand, offers a house edge under 1% if you know what you’re doing (and between 2-4% if you don’t).
If you’re more of a video poker or slots junkie, they offer both starting at one quetzalito per spin, with a variety of themes. If you’re itching to play roulette but left your gun at home, they’ve got you covered there too. Its reputation as a game for suckers is undeserved; with a house edge under 3%, it’s one of the most player-friendly games you can play.
As far as perks go, they won’t offer you a suite and a steak dinner for losing your bankroll, but, like Vegas, they’ll serve you free drinks (beer, rum, whiskey, etc.) while you play. It sounds like a scam to keep you there and get you drunk – and it is -but with such low minimums, it doesn’t turn out to be a bad deal at the end of the night.