Best Bets at North Carolina Casinos

There are three casinos in North Carolina. Each offers at least one game that returns over 99%. Find out the best NC games to play here.

There are three North Carolina casinos. All are on tribal land. Harrah’s Cherokee was the first casino in North Carolina. It opened in 1997. In 2015, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River was launched near Murphy. In 2021, Catawba Two Kings opened southwest of Charlotte near Rock Hill, SC. 

Each property has a unique identity. This North Carolina casino guide shows all the best bets available.

Harrah’s Cherokee North Carolina Casino

Harrah’s Cherokee is owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and operated by Caesars Entertainment. It opened in 1997 as the first North Carolina casino and has grown several times since.

The first version of Harrah’s Cherokee was about 500 video poker machines in a temporary building on what is now the tribal cannabis dispensary. In 2002, it moved to its current location. A hotel was part of this expansion. Today, there are almost 2000 hotel rooms, several dining options, a poker room, a Caesars Sportsbook, almost 200 tables, and over 3000 machines. 

While the odds are overall poor at Harrah’s Cherokee, many games return over 99 percent. These are a mix of live and electronic table games, as well as some high-limit video poker machines. Here are the best bets at Harrah’s Cherokee.

Best live and electronic table games

My favorite game is video Ultimate Texas Hold’em. It is near the sportsbook. There are five stations on it. Cards are dealt to players face up. At a 99.47% payout with perfect play, it is the only electronic table game at Harrah’s Cherokee that returns over 99 percent. There is also video baccarat, double zero roulette, 6/5 blackjack, and Three Card Poker. These payouts range from 94.74% to 98.94%.

The best live table game at Harrah’s Cherokee is craps with 10 times odds. Taking max odds at this table returns 99.45%. The minimum bet is usually $15 or $25. There is also Roll to Win Craps with five times odds. This hybrid live and video dice table returns 99.38% at max odds. 

High-limit blackjack stands on soft 17 and returns 99.6% with perfect play. The minimum at these tables is $100 up to $500, depending on business levels. The 3/2 blackjack game on the floor returns about 99.38%. These tables start at $25 or $50. There is $15 or $25 Spanish 21, which returns 99.24% with perfect play.

Ultimate Texas Hold’em tables also return over 99 percent. The minimum bet is usually $15 or $25. 

Harrah’s Cherokee video poker

Harrah’s Cherokee has some of the best selections of high-limit video poker in the country. The best game at $5 is 16/10 Deuces Wild (99.73%). Other options are 9/6 Bonus Poker Deluxe (99.64%), 9/6 Double Double Bonus Aces and Faces (99.46%), 9/6 Double Double Bonus Plus (99.44%), 8/5 Bonus Poker (99.17%), and 9/7 Double Bonus Poker (99.11%). The $1 video poker is in the 97 to 98 percent range. VPFree2 confirms our data.

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River 

With about 1000 slots machines, 70 tables, and a Caesars Sportsbook, Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River is a small version of its parent casino discussed above. The two casinos are about an hour apart. The Nantahala National Forest is between them, making it a scenic drive when visiting both casinos. Most North Georgia residents are closer to Valley River than the main Cherokee. It became the second North Carolina casino in 2015.

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River has many of the same game options as the main casino. The blackjack is identical. Both also have video and live Ultimate Texas Hold’em and craps. These are the best bets.

The video poker is much worse at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River. There are no 99 percent games here. All the video poker above the $1 denomination is 97 percent or worse. 

At last check, there was a bank of video poker just under 99 percent. The best game is 9/6 Double Double Bonus (98.98%). There is also 15/9 Deuces Wild (98.91%). 

There are several banks of $1 8/5 Double Double Bonus machines with five progressive meters. While this pay table is under 97 percent, it can go over 99 percent when the progressives have not hit in a while. 

Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River tip: Don’t play the bar video poker. The pay tables I found are in the 92 percent range. The casino does not comp alcohol, so there is no incentive to play these poor games. 

Caesars Rewards

Both Harrah’s North Carolina casinos use the Caesars Rewards card for their loyalty club. The mailers and promotions are different as if it is two markets. Reward Credits may be used at any Caesars Entertainment casino. Tier Credits count toward Platinum, Diamond, Diamond Plus, Diamond Elite, and Seven Stars tiers. 

Active Harrah’s Cherokee and Valley River players get deals on airfare, hotel, and free slot play to other casino markets, like Biloxi, Tunica, Atlantic City, Laughlin, and Las Vegas

Even if Harrah’s Cherokee players don’t receive offers by mail or email, BetbyState recommends logging into your Caesars Rewards account regularly. There are sometimes offers listed that were not sent. Trying to reserve a hotel room may display surprise comps.

Catawba Two Kings North Carolina Casino

Catawba Two Kings is a temporary casino between Charlotte and the South Carolina state line. It is our bottom choice for North Carolina casinos. It has a sportsbook and about 1000 slot machines. There are no live tables or hotel. Food options are limited.

There is only one 99 percent or better game at Catawba Two Kings. It is stadium craps with double odds. Baccarat, also on the stadium, returns just under 99 percent on the banker and player bets. The other electronic table games are 6/5 blackjack and double zero roulette.

Stadium table games seat groups of players around a central device that deals multiple games. Some games are video, while others may use real dice, cards, or roulette wheels. It is comparable to playing at a casino site.

There are no video poker machines at Catawba Two Kings. All other machines are slots. 

The IGT sportsbook is probably your best bet at Catawba Two Kings if you don’t like table games. There isn’t anything else playable there. That may change in the future as the property develops. For now, it is not much more than a large slot hall.