The Orleans Hotel is an interesting hotel, with a very large casino. While the hotel is not on the strip, it is only about a mile and a half west of the Tropicana Hotel - which makes it easy to get back and forthe (about a $10 cab ride to the Caesar's Palace area).
The casino has very affordable blackjack/poker tables, with lots of slot machine.
Also, check out the Bourbon Street Cabaret, as the free live entertainment is quite good. We were lucky enough to see The Jukebox Heroes and they were awesome.