by Bill Burton

Foxwoods Resort Casino Mashantucket, Connecticut

Foxwoods Resort Casino is owned and operated by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and is located on its reservation in southeastern Connecticut. Foxwoods began in 1986 as a high stakes Bingo parlor.

The casino was opened in 1992 offering table games only. In 1993, the Pequots made a deal with the State of Connecticut that allowed them to install slot machines in return for 25% of the revenue generated from the machine’s profits.

In the following 17 years Foxwoods has grown to become the largest casino in the United States and second largest in the world behind the Venetian Casino in Macau, China. Casino size is measured by actual gaming space and Foxwoods has 340,000 square feet of gaming space which houses over 380 table games, 7,400 slot machines and a 104-table poker room.

Foxwoods is a unique resort/gaming destination set in the beautiful woods of Connecticut, but still close to dozens of Connecticut’s other vacation attractions. It has something to offer everyone including: fine dining, major entertainment, golf, shopping and of course some of the best gambling in New England.

The sprawling resort has been a work in progress since its beginning and every time they expand it is like a new casino has been added. In fact, their web site proclaims that they have six casinos within the property.


Foxwoods Resort Casino Mashantucket, Connecticut

Foxwoods Resort Casino and the new MGM Grand at Foxwoods

The original Rainmaker, Grand Pequot, MGM Grand at Foxwoods and the Newport casinos offer table games and slots. There are also slot-only casinos, including a non-smoking casino. All of the “casinos” are connected and you never have to wander outside. However, be prepared to walk about a mile if you want to go from one end of the property to the other.


Foxwoods Resort Casino Mashantucket, Connecticut

The 12-foot-tall Rainmaker statue is illuminated and features a narrative story about the Pequot tribe’s history.

All of the traditional table games are offered at Foxwoods. The only drawback is that during crowded weekends and holidays the table limits are raised and many times you will be hard pressed to find any tables with minimum bets under $15. Unfortunately, Foxwoods does not “grandfather” a player in at their starting limits so if the table limits are raised you have to either raise your bets or leave the table.

Blackjack – Foxwoods offers mostly eight-deck games with good rules. You can find some six-deck games in the high stakes Newport casino and the high stakes area in the MGM casino. The blackjack rules at Foxwoods are: double down on any two cards, double down allowed after splitting, dealer stands on soft 17 (six and an ace) and they are now offering late surrender. You cannot re-split aces.

Craps – If you like “rolling the bones,” then you will find that Foxwoods is one of the best places to play craps. All of their tables are 12-feet long and they offer 3-4-5 times odds on all of their games. On points of 6 or 8, players are allowed to make an odds bet equal to 5 times their pass/don’t pass bet. Points of 5 or 9 allow a 4 times odds bet, and points of 4 or 10 allow a 3 times odds bet. They also added the “fire bet” to all of their craps games. A player can make a side wager that will pay them if they make four five or six individual points during their roll.

Slots – There are 7,400 slot machines at Foxwoods and the average payback for the quarter slots is around 91 percent. You can find slots in any denomination from the penny slots to the $100 high roller slots. All of the machines are “ticket in ticket out” so you do not have to handle coins. They offer all of the newest slots along with several wide-area progressive games.

Video Poker – The only disappointment with the gambling at Foxwoods is their selection of video poker games. Unfortunately, Foxwoods is a video poker wasteland. You might be able to find one or two 9/6 Jacks or Better games at the $1 or higher denominations, but there are no full-pay games at the quarter level. You would think that one of the largest casinos in the country would offer decent video poker games, but that is not the case.

Poker – Foxwoods has a WPT (World Poker Tour) branded poker room with 104 tables. They hold two major tournaments a year that are stops on the WPT tour which are recorded and televised. You can play Texas Holdem, Omaha and 7-Card Stud 24/7 at any limits. Foxwoods also offers daily poker tournaments as well as satellite tournaments where you can win an entry into one of their major events.


Foxwoods Resort Casino Mashantucket, Connecticut

The entrance to the WPT World Poker room at Foxwoods

Bingo – Foxwoods still maintains its roots with a bingo hall that seats 3,600 players. It is the only place in New England and one of the very few casinos in the country that still offers high stakes games.

Race Book – Foxwoods has a state-of-the-art race book where you can bet on horses, dogs or jai-alai. Races are shown on a 50-foot, high resolution screen. There are also 200 individual betting stations equipped with 12-inch touchscreens for personal viewing. Due to Federal law, sports betting is not legal at Foxwoods.


Foxwoods Resort Casino Mashantucket, Connecticut

The Race Book at Foxwoods Casino Resort

Players Club – The Wampum club was the original name of the player’s club at Foxwoods. When the MGM Grand atFoxwoods opened in May 2008, the Wampum club was renamed to the the Dream Club.  Players can earn comp points on their Dream card by playing any table game or slot machines. The points can be used for food, merchandise, hotel, or any other expenses. One point equals $1 in comps. Players can also earn cashback for slot play, but that is  only paid at a 2:1 ratio. The amount of coin-in to earn a point varies on the game and the denomination of the machine being played. In order to maintain the points on your card you must use it within 12 months. If your account is inactive for more than 12 months you will forfeit your points. 

Hotels and Spas – There are more than 2,000 rooms in the resort’s four hotels. They include the Two Tress Inn, Great Cedars, Grand Pequot and MGM Grand at Foxwoods.  The Two Trees Inn is the only hotel not physically connected to the casino, but there is a shuttle bus. There are also spas, beauty salons, pools and exercise rooms where guests can be pampered, work out or just relax.

Restaurants – A wide variety of dining choices are offered, all the way from the food court and buffet up to the elegant gourmet restaurants. There are over 30 different restaurants to choose from that will fit anyone’s taste or wallet. There is even a Hard Rock Café located inside Foxwoods.

Entertainment – This world-class resort offers entertainment on every level from free shows in one of its many lounges to big name headliners in its 4,000-seat theatre.  There are also several nightclubs and even an arcade for the kids. An area has been built to house touring exhibits such as the “Bodies Revealed” exhibit that is on display during the summer months of 2009.

If you venture to New England, you should be sure to take some time to see Foxwoods. It is truly a modern wonder set in a rustic surrounding.

Foxwoods Resort Casino is located on Route 2 in Mashantucket, Connecticut. For driving directions, more information, or reservations, call them toll-free at 1-800-FOXWOODS, or visit their web site at