As part of my recent visit to Florida, I checked out Calder Casino, located in Miami Gardens, about a half hour drive from the airport area.
Compared to the other two casinos I checked out, this felt more like an actual casino. The place felt more purpose built with one large room with about 1100 machines, and things like food options, self-service drink stations, a bar, the player’s club and so on around the perimeter. The décor, while not too elaborate, also felt more casino-like.
Calder, like Casino Miami, advertised $50 in free play to players as a welcome bonus. However, the website didn’t make it entirely clear that it’s over the first three visits. I brought two friends with me to the casino and we each only got $10 on our first spin. There were a lot more (and higher) values on the wheel, but it was clearly weighted to those $10 spaces.
Along with more modern décor, the facility also had a good selection of modern games. They had All Aboard, for instance, a game the other two didn’t have. But, like the other two facilities, where were also a lot of older and classic games on the floor too.
There are certain Florida-centric games that all three casinos had in volume, including Calder. There was also a lot of current favorite selections, including games like Ultimate Fire Link, Buffalo Gold Revolution, Cash Jolt and Quick Spin, so it struck a decent balance.
I checked out a video poker machine for Jacks or Better that had 6/5 at nickel denomination, 8/5 at quarter and 50 cents denomination, and 8/6 at the $1 denomination. That puts it not quite as strong as Magic City Casino, but still pretty decent, especially compared to Casino Miami.
They had a small table pit that was focused on poker games, including carnival table games derived from poker like three card poker. Like the other facilities electronic table games is all they can offer otherwise.
Along with some quick service food items, they did have one restaurant with a pretty strong menu. One of my friends ordered salmon from the restaurant to go and said it was quite good. So from a food perspective this did seem like the strongest choice of the three as well.
I had some good luck at Calder, and basically broke even after being there for 90 minutes. They were doing hot seat drawings every half hour while I was there, awarding two players $200 in free play, a pretty generous promotion. It seemed like they had a variety of different promotions going on, which should certainly keep players engaged.
Overall, Calder felt the most at home as a casino player, and I enjoyed the game selection. It’s location being a bit further away from Miami and putting it closer to Hard Rock Hollywood may have something to do with the more casino-like setup, but it was certainly an acceptable choice for enjoying a shorter casino run.