Harrah’s Casino PA Review
Harrah’s Casino in Philadelphia is located in the city of Chester, PA. The ride to the brick-and-mortar casino takes approximately 30 minutes from Philadelphia. In order to reach it you need to drive down south along the I-95 highway.
Actually, the Harrah’s Casino in PA is a racino because it combines a racetrack and a casino in one.
The racetrack was launched first in September 2006 and second came the casino in January 2017.
Harrah’s Philadelphia is one of the six racinos who are licensed to operate in Pennsylvania. The casino has a huge selection of around 2900 slots together with a variety of table games. It is considered to offer the most diverse collection of games throughout the state of Pennsylvania.
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Harrah’s Resort Overview
Unfortunately, there is no hotel accompanying the Harrah’s Casino but it’s still welcoming and cozy. If you want to stay for the night, you need to find your own accommodation. Most visitors prefer one of the hotels at the airport of Philadelphia because it’s closer to Harrah’s than the city center. It is about a 10-minute ride from the casino to an airport hotel.
Harrah’s Casino Philadelphia is known for its welcoming and friendly staff. And this fact compensates for the not-so-warm decoration of the premises. But the attitude is more important than the furnishings at the casino. Visitors really appreciate a nice host over high-end interior design.
There are live races on the racetrack from March until December. However, fans can watch and wager on other horse racing events from around the country which are broadcasted on a daily basis. The casino itself operates non-stop throughout the whole year.
Dining and Entertainment
Visitors of Harrah’s Philadelphia can take advantage of the following amenities:
- 5 restaurants: Caffe Napoli, Guy Fieri’s Philly Kitchen & Bar Restaurants, Mien (an Asian restaurant), Philly Steak Shack, Riverview Tavern, and Cove Steakhouse & Raw Bar;
- 2 gift shops
- The Block Entertainment Center
The dining service at the restaurants mentioned above is not of the highest quality but it comes at reasonable prices. If you are a fan of the fine dining, read the online reviews first to decide which is the best option for you.
The Block Entertainment Center provides premium entertainment with performers such as Goo Goo Dolls, Tony Orlando, famous comedians and more.
Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino Overview
Who is eligible to play in the casino?
In order to play at the Harrah’s Casino you must be at least 21 years old. The minimum age for wagering at the racetrack is 18 years. During the races children are allowed in the grandstands given that they have a guardian with them.
Is Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino secure?
Harrah’s Casino, together with all other licensed casinos in Pennsylvania, is regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). This means that the casino strictly obeys the rules set by the PGCB for games and payouts.
The Harrah’s brand has been on the market for a long time and has a lot of history behind it with the first casino established in 1937. It has set high standards, so security and fairness are ensured at all of its properties.
Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino Games
The casino provides a huge variety of games, including table games, slots, video poker, regular poker and more. If this isn’t enough, you can always choose the live or broadcast race events.
There is a slot game for every type of player – from one-cent slots to 100-dollars-slots. You have the ability to choose from over 2900 different games and ensure entertainment for hours and hours.
The themes also vary and you can enjoy progressive jackpots, retro-looking slots, high-end video slots, gargantuan and many more.
Some of the most famous slot games available at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino are:
- Jackpot Party
- Wheel of Fortune
- Monopoly Prime Real Estate
- Wizard of Oz
- Michael Jackson, King of Pop
- 50 Dragons
You can find a separate section for the new games, as well as a designated area for high roll players which has custom VIP service. Next to the Mien Restaurant you can enjoy the new Asian slot games. If you don’t like smoking, there is a separate area for non-smokers where you can play without being bothered by the cigarette smell.
Payouts of slot games could be bigger
One of the biggest issues at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino is the low return to player rate (RTP) of slot games. Unfortunately, all casinos located in Pennsylvania face this problem.
Since a lot of players prefer to wager on table games due to the higher RTP, the casino has no other option but to tighten the slot machines. Another reason for the low payouts on slots is the gigantic 55 percent tax rate on these type of games. So casinos in Pennsylvania don’t have an incentive to offer higher payouts.
The RTP at Pennsylvania casinos is between 89 and 90 percent which is lower compared to other jurisdictions around the country. But actually it’s higher than the one set by the PGCB which is only 85 percent.
The fans of video poker will be more than happy at Harrah’s Philadelphia because the casino has a diverse selection of this type of games. One of the most popular video poker games is Game King which offers multi-denomination.
Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino has a great selection of table games as well. Below you can find some of the most popular options:
- EZ Paigow
- EZ baccarat
- Four card poker
- Let It Ride
- Midi and mini baccarat
- Mississippi stud
- Paigow tiles
- Spanish 21
- Stud poker
- Three card poker
- Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em
Make sure to be familiar with the rules of the game you choose to play. We can share several strategies with you. For example, when playing roulette, go for the European version because it has just single zero and the house edge is only 2.70 percent. In comparison, the American roulette has single and double zero as well as a house edge of 5.26 percent.
Blackjack is a game played internationally. In order to win you must obtain the ideal combination of skills and luck. When you play blackjack you should follow certain rules, some of which are in favor of the player and other – in favor of the casino.
However, when you play in a Pennsylvania casino, you don’t have to worry about these rules because the PGCB has set some of the best rules in the country. We’ve listed them below:
- Blackjack pays 3:2
- Dealer stands on soft 17
- Doubling down after splits
- Doubling down permitted on any two cards
- Late surrender
- Splits up to three hands (except aces)
When you use the right basic strategy, you will take advantage of a house edge which is only 0.40 percent. Have in mind that low stake tables with a minimum of $5 are hard to find. Sometimes there are so many players who want to wager at blackjack that all $10 tables get fully packed. It might be quite difficult to find a free spot and often you’ll have to sit at $15 tables on weekdays or $25 tables on weekends.
People who play blackjack can take advantage of the Lucky Ladies side bet. It provides additional payouts when the sum of the first two cards is up to 20. Find the corresponding payouts below:
- Any 20: 4-1
- Suited 20: 10-1
- Two matching cards: 25-1
- Two queens of hearts: 200-1
- Two queens of hearts vs. a Dealer Blackjack: 1000-1
Good news for poker enthusiasts: Harrah’s Philadelphia is the only casino in the district owning a poker room which is part of the World Series of Poker (WSOP). It operates 24/7 and has 28 tables. You can play the following poker games at Harrah’s Philadelphia:
- Limit hold’em
- No-limit hold’em
The wagers at the no-limit games vary from $1 to $25 and from $2 to $40 at the limit games. The casino also organizes poker tournaments and High Hand giveaways on a regular basis.
Total Rewards Program at Harrah’s Philadelphia
There are numerous casinos in the state of Pennsylvania, but what makes Harrah’s Philadelphia stand out is its amazing rewards program called Total Rewards. It’s a program used by many other casinos throughout the country which are owned by Caesars Entertainment.
To get your own Total Rewards card simply visit the Total Rewards Center at the Harrah’s Casino or any other casino which is part of the program. The card is issued completely free and you can use it immediately. Just remember to show it in advance before beginning a table game or insert it in the slot machine before hitting the start button.
No matter if you play in a brick-and-mortar or online casino, you collect points for rewards. There are certain places and times when you can redeem your rewards. For example, if you play at the Harrah’s Philadelphia, you can use the collected points for a meal in one of the restaurant in the premises. This applies to all Caesars Entertainment casinos.
Credit and tier categories
Based on your play, you can earn either reward credits or tier credits. The reward credits can be exchanged for cash or you can use them as cash to pay for the following things:
- Gift shop items
- Hotel stays
- Other facilities at any participating Caesars property
100 reward points are equal to $1. Depending on the amount of money you spend on the above mentioned benefits, you can receive even more reward credits.
The Total Rewards program has four different tier levels:
- Gold – the entry level for all new card holders
- Platinum – you need to collect 5,000 tier points for this level
- Diamond – 15,000 tier points
- Seven Stars – 150,000 tier points
The tier level is determined by the tier points you have collected throughout the year. This number is reset to zero at the first day of every new year. The more points you earn, the more benefits and bonus offers you receive.
One of the most common rewards is hotel stay. But we already mentioned that there is no hotel facility at the Harrah’s Philadelphia. So the player will receive a discounted rate for a night at a hotel which is close to the casino.
Benefits for Diamond and Seven Stars players
Usually, there are special lounges for the top tier level players. However, there is no Seven Stars Lounge at the Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino. This means that players from this level can take advantage of the Diamond Club as many times as they want. Diamond tier level players can visit the same club just once per day.
Strangely enough, the alcoholic beverages in the Diamond lounge are not free and this fact makes patrons very angry given the huge amounts of money they spend in the casino.
However, top tier players can benefit from the following rewards:
- Getaway vacations
- Invitations to exclusive events
- Meals and shows
- Priority service
- Special gifts
Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino is trying hard for compensating its patrons for the lack of hotel amenities and dedicated Seven Stars lounge. That’s why the casino offers special rewards which can’t be found anywhere else. For example, top tier players can have a racing horse named after them every year. When the horse participates in a race and wins, the patron can immediately take a photo with it. Another benefit is food credit for $125 and additional $25 credit to bet on more race events.
On Saturdays, Seven Stars players are invited to a special Happy Hour party with cocktails and appetizers. During this event there is a special drawing of a $100 award for free slots which can be won by five members.
Total Rewards program is suitable for everyone
High roll players definitely have amazing privileges provided by the Total Rewards program at Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino. But small bettors can also benefit from the frequent player program. They can earn enough reward credits to receive variety of casino compensations or real cash.
There are special promo offers in the casino for this type of players along with numerous discounts for the restaurants located at the premises of the casino.
So far there isn’t any casino in the US which can satisfy the needs of all visitors. Harrah’s Philadelphia is no exception here and there are certain disadvantages mentioned frequently by players:
- The slot machines are quite tight.
- The minimum bets at table games are very high.
- There is a distinct smell of cigarettes in the casino premises.
- The quality of the food can be improved.
- The beverage service can also be faster.
- There aren’t any free drinks at the Diamond lounge.
On the other hand, there are numerous reasons why to choose Harrah’s Philadelphia Casino:
- The hosts are very friendly, welcoming and pay attention to issues reported by customers.
- There is a huge selection of games, race events and nightlife option.
- The casino offers the perfect combination of gambling, good food and overall pleasant experience.
- All players can take advantage of the Total Rewards program.
Although there is no hotel facility at the Harrah’s, the casino has an amazing location with its proximity to the city of Philadelphia. So overall we consider the casino’s advantages to top the disadvantages making Harrah’s a great choice for the fans of gambling.