El Cortez: A Classic Casino in the Heart of Downtown

El Cortez sign
Written by Joshua

El Cortez is another classic Vegas casino, located in downtown Las Vegas a short walk from the Fremont Street Experience (although still on Fremont Street). Advertising themselves as having slots that are 40% looser than the Las Vegas strip, they are definitely part of the downtown “value play” marketing mentality that many people think of when they think of going to Fremont Street to gamble.

But beyond that basic value, there’s a lot to like about El Cortez. Let’s take a look at them in our latest casino review installment.

The Casino Floor

The casino floor is a bit unusually laid out, and feels a bit like a maze if you’re new to the property, despite it being a pretty basic rectangle overall. But there’s a number of zones to it, and there’s quite a lot of good stuff going on.

For one, there’s a Silver Strike machine, which I love, and there’s a good sized section of coin slots still available. They have some banks of classic slot machines that are hard to find in other casinos nowadays. Yet they have a lot of modern games too, which is an excellent balance.

Their table games section isn’t vast, understandable for a property this size, but checks all the core boxes, such as Blackjack, Craps and Roulette, along with Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em.

They’ve also got Keno and Video Poker, with some decent pay tables in the mix as well.

This casino packs a punch in terms of selection and value; this is clearly also targeted at local players given the heavy emphasis on value.

Hotel Rooms

El Cortez hotel room

El Cortez has a mix of older and newer rooms in their inventory, so you have some choices there too, but the general vibe is one of a throwback feel – lots of wood, furniture that would remind you more of a bedroom at home vs. in a hotel, but with modern amenities incorporated like a flat screen TV.

Most of the rooms are pretty simple in setup, but they also have Cabana Rooms which are very colorful and offbeat, so you even have some choice. Like the casino floor there’s a diversity that allows for something for just about everyone.

Comp Program

El Cortez has its own comp program, Club Cortez, which gives you a straightforward way to earn comps. The base level earnings is a point per dollar on slots and most Video Poker, and 500 points can be redeemed for $1 in comps.

However, they run big point multiplier days on a pretty regular basis, so you can rack up points and comps much faster – up to 10x, which takes it down to earning a dollar in comps for every $50 wagered, a very good deal. Points can also be redeemed for cash back, so you have the ability to cash in the points should you prefer, or use the comps towards food, hotel stays and more.

El Cortez may not be in the concentrated zone of casinos where the Fremont Street Experience is, but it’s a short walk away and absolutely worth checking out.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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