Gambling Advice, Las Vegas
Las Vegas is my city. I love coming here, I love gambling here. Here's why...
I ALWAYS ration my gambling dollars. If I go for five days, I take five envelopes, with each day written on the front ie: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 etc. I divide my gambling money by five, and place an equal amount in each envelope, with an additional $100 placed in the last envelope. Each envelope is then sealed, and placed in the safe in the room, or at the front desk.
I start with Day 1, and break the contents into three playing sessions, (morning, afternoon, and evening). As each sesson is played, I take half of the winnings, and place it in my fanny pack in the section that is the most difficult to get at. If I have no winnings, I sulk a bit, but, more importantly, do other things until the next session time comes around.
I NEVER, NEVER borrow from another session, even if I think I may hit a 'good one' soon. Plus, if my session was a healthy one, 'most' of the the sessions winnings and 'all left over cash' go into my fanny pack.
At the end of the day, the contents from my inaccessible portion of my fanny pack is returned to the original envelope, and sealed.
Day two, I start all over again. Day three, the same, and so on. When the last day arrives, I do my sessions as usual, but then take that additional $100 I had tucked away, and play the Progressives. At this point, I play to win, not to sustain.
I've never had days with no gambling money. I've had sessions where it all went in the first half hour, and I've had trips where I got to know the nickel machines quite well. It's all part of the deal.
Most important, always keep your day to day cash separate from your gambling dollars. I go to win, and if I feel 'down', or my luck doesn't seem to be holding, I stop playing. That's it. I wait until the next session, if my luck still 'feels' lousy, then I still don't play. I believe if you feel unlucky, you will be unlucky. My opinion...and it works for me.
Fondest memory: Getting on the return flight with lots more cash than when I came. That is my fondest memory, and I have been fortunate to have had a couple of trips like that.
On the trips where Lady Luck and I had obviously had a falling out, I at least escaped the clutches of Las Vegas by having lost exactly what I had allowed for. That is what I mean about 'being a winner'.
Gambling dollars are considered by me to be the price of admission to Las Vegas. If you can't afford to 'lose' those dollars, then you should reconsider your holiday destination. You would go to Europe and expect to spend money, it's the same as Vegas.
The big losers in Las Vegas are those who are desperately trying to 'hit the big one', in order to remain afloat once they return home.
Okay, you go gambling just for fun. But that does not mean you should throw your money away. Be aware of what each casino game's house advantage is.
If a game has a 10% house advantage you are VEY likely to lose money. Look for games with a small house advantage.
For the player, the best games to play are bbalckjack, Craps and Baccarat. These are the games where the house advantage (odds in casino's favor) are most reduced, meaning in the short run you can beat them.
Stay away from Wheel of fortune and other exotic games. They are there to get your money as easy as it gets.
Sportsbook: The Caesar's has an extensive sportsbook, the best for me. But if you plan to wager a big chunk of money on a game, do some little researches and check the odds at at least 5 different hotels. A half point spread difference sometimes is huge.
Stay away for suckers bets. In craps, above all if you are not an expert stick with the Pass or Don't Pass line, don't get involved in the exotic bets where the odds are hugely against you.
Get information but be wise. learn about the games you plan to play but don't waste money in stupid books offering "systems" to beat the casino. They are trash. There is no system, because gaming is based on math.
If you are at the roulette table and a red number came up 6 times in a row, remember: the possibilities/odds of a black or a red number showing up in the 7th draw are the same. The roulette has no memory.
Same thing with the slots. If the slots just gave away a jackpot, the odds of having another jackpot following are the same as before. They are not reduced because the computer chip inside the slot does not "remember" it just paid off a lot of money.
Fondest memory: Other quick gambling tips:
- learn the basic strategy before playing blackjacks. it will reduced the odds against you.
- slots: the Palms Hotel offers the best pay-outs. For slots fans, that is the place to go.
- Use your player card every time you play (table or slots it makes no difference). You will build comps.
- If you are winning, it's time to quit. If you are losing big, it's time to quit.
- Know how much you can afford to lose. Create a gambling budget and stick with it.
If you are wandering about the casino looking for a certain denomination slot machine to play, be aware that the lights on 'most' of the machines are color coded...
Fondest memory: the tingle I get prior to playing a winning machine....always happens, however sometimes I mistake my fear for 'THE TINGLE'
Favorite thing: A rule that was shared with me many moons ago by a die hard gambler was to make sure you fill your gas tank and park your car before you decided to gamble. This way if your out of money or had your credit cards taken away, you can get home. Sounds silly, but in this die hard of a gambling town, it makes sense.
Having been to Las Vegas seven times I have learnt (sometimes the hard way) a few tips for gambling. I am only talking of the slotties here because that's all I do but my experiences have culmunated in one year winning the price of my holiday is 25cent slots!! My top tips are:
Use the slot machines nearest the doors. They are prgrammed to have better odds to make you enter deeper into the casino.
Set yourself an affordable limit for each evening and only take that amount with you.
All the time you are gambling you are entitled to a free drink. Keep an eye out for the waitress, order your drink and dont forget to tip. YouI'll find some Casino's are better than others at this and dont think I mean the up market ones!!
If you are there for more than the weekend the odds are higher on Sunday and Monday night and it's quieter and easier to access your favourtite slot machine!! We usually give up gambling on Friday and Saturday and have a nice meal - then start again on Sunday when everyone else is boarding their plane home!
And lastly remember although you would like a photo of you winning that jackpot, it's actually illegal to photograph people gambling in the state of Nevada - so be warned there are cameras all around you!
Fondest memory: I actually miss the sound of the slot machines!!
I will highlight here some of the Casinos and what they offer in CASINO GAMINGBALLY'S - 739-4111
Over 1,900 slot and vedeo machines, 90 gaming tables
BELLAGIO - 693-7444
Over 2,700 slot machines, a poker room and 173 table games
CAESARS PALACE - 731-7100
2,000 video and slot machines and a wide variety of gaming tables
CIRCUS CIRCUS -734-1410
Over 2,700 slot machines and 85 gaming tables
EXCALIBER - 597-7777
Over 2,500 slot machines and 83 gaming tables
HARRAH'S - 369-5000
Over 2,300 slot and video machines and 67 gaming tables
IMPERIAL PALACE - 731-3311
1,000 slot/video machines and 52 gaming tables
MIRAGE - 791-7111
Over 2,200 slot and video poker machines and 126 tables games. high limit table lounge and baccarat lounge
PARIS - 946-7000
Over 100 gaming tables and 2,000 slot machines
PLANET HOLLYWOOD - 785-5555
Offers 2,800 slot and video poker machines and 87 gaming tables
TREASURE ISLAND- 734-5110
Over 1,800 slot and video poker machines and 82 gaming tables
2,500 slot and video machines and 37 gaming tables
WYNN - 770-7000
111,000 square feet of casino gambling space
Gambling. Hmm. The only way to bring home a small fortune from Las Vegas, - is to bring a large fortune with you. Be aware that everything, - and I mean everything, - is set up and geared to seperate you from your money. Examples: You will never see a clock anywhere in a casino. You will never be able to see outside when in the casino. It is always late evening in the casino, no matter what time it is. Cashiers are really hard to find. The idea is that while you are wondering around looking for one, - something else will draw your attention, - like the money burning a hole in your pocket. The city has an effect on your cerebral cortex, - it makes you initially stupid. Your decision making facilities go in the toilet. Remember that you are out of your comfort zone, - initially a fish out of water, and the flash and bells and whistles are bombarding your brain. Consider this: 75% of all money lost in Vegas, - is lost on the first day!!!
My advise, - and I do know this, - when you get to Vegas, book in to your hotel, clean up, have a nice dinner, see a nice show, get drunk and party, and go to bed. The next day, after breakfast ( brunch, really.....), go strolling, and - now that your brain has adjusted and acclamated to the town, - gambling is much more of an enjoyment, - particularly knowing that you recognized their ways, and counteracted. This does not guarantee a winning trip, but you are way ahead.
Don't forget to sign up for FREE Player's Club Cards at each casino, especially if you are a slot player! Luckily, many of the cards are good at many of the resorts so you don't have to sign up individually at each one, and can use your comps at any one of the participating hotels! (Example: Park Place Connection is good at Flamingo, Paris, Caesar's, Ballys and LV Hilton)
Comps, for those of you who aren't gamblers, are points you earn by gambling that can be cashed in for free hotel nights, free dinners and other perks!
Be sure to purchase a bungee cord to keep your cards on for ease and convieniece if they don't provide you one with the card. I lost one when I forgot it in a slot because the brightly colored, long cords also serve as a reminder the card is in the machine!
If you are a nongambler who would just like to get in on the Las Vegas experience a little or, like me, enjoy "gambling" but don't have a lot of money to lose, the important thing is to decide ahead of time how much money you are willing to lose, and stop there. Just consider it part of your recreation budget.
I'm a very low roller, and usually play 5c or 25c video poker -- though some of the new "penny" slot machines are fun. (Believe me, you end up putting more than pennies in.)
The trick is I budget $20 to $25 per day (it could be even less, or considerably more, especially if you like blackjack or real poker).
Sometimes people will give me money to gamble with in LV, and once I double $20 playing on a stud poker machine and was able to return $40.
Gambling is only one of many things there is to do in LV, but having won my first poker hand as a nine-year-old, I've always enjoyed it. But I've never gambled what I wasn't ready or even expecting to lose.
I also have a video poker game (zamzone.com) on my computer, which is not only fun to play but teaches you the way to play to get the best odds.
Fondest memory: My fondest gambling moments, are of course the times I've won -- coming out $25 or even $10 ahead while you are playing nickel video poker is pretty darn exciting.
----- Video Poker!
Video poker machines do not all have the same payouts for various hands. Look at what is offered and select the game with the best payout. This game might be in another carousel (a group of machines) or the casino next door.
At jacks or better draw poker, you may encounter a machine that payer 8 coins for flushes and 5 coins for straights, whereas nearby another machine may pay 9 coins for flushes and 6 coins for straights. Or a progressive jackpot for one group of twenty-five cent jacks or better machines might be $1,200 when nearby there could be another group with a jackpot of $1,900. The chances of hitting the royal flush are the same, so why not play the game that pays the best?
One should review the payout schedule of a slot machine if not intending to play for the maximum coins. Some machines might pay a jackpot of $600 for three sevens if three coins are played, $400 for two coins, and $200 for one coin. On these machines the payouts are all in equal proportion to the size of the wager. On these machines the player is not loosing any additional percentage of the amount wagered for playing less than the maximum amount.
However, other machines might pay equal proportions for the smaller payout of bars and cherries and such, but not pay the jackpot (say of $1,000 for three sevens) unless three coins are paid. Imagine your grief when you if you hit the three sevens and get nothing because you were a dollar short of wagering the full amount. If you want to play for less than the full amount possible on a slot machine, then be sure all the payouts are proportional to the amount bet.
Fondest memory: ----- Shop Around!
In a gaming town, it is advantageous to shop around for the best games offered.
---- Ever have a $200 beer? ----
When gaming for anything but the smallest of stakes, it is best to reserve you drinking until your gaming is complete for the evening. The casinos liberally provide their customers with alcoholic beverages drinks not only to keep the players happy, but also to loosen them up. With impaired judgment players will gamble too long, risk more money than intended, and make mistakes in their play. Don't drink and gamble, your bankroll may depend on it. Would it make sense to get liquored up before rebalancing your retirement portfolio?
I'm a slots person ... it's easy and I don't have to think too much. I had a good luck at the MGM Grand and the Monte Carlo.
It's a good idea to take some of the wet wipes after you cash in your coins ... your hands will be filthy.
Another plus to gambling is the free drinks. A casino waitstaff person will walk around and take orders. Be patient because sometimes it takes a little while for them to come back with your drink ... but you can't really complain since it's free.
Fondest memory: Winning $92! I won a total of 3 times. One time I put in a quarter and won $40. My friends were not amused since I won more than they did! =)
------ The Felt may be Greener over at the Next Table...
It has always amazed me how so many people who, when in a grocery store, will deliberate over a potential savings of twenty-five cents on a roll of paper towels, will then head to a gambling town and play a poor game when a better one is available at the very next table or machine. They will risk a lot more money on that poor game than the savings made from a lifetime of deals on paper towels and other groceries.
When in a gaming town, it is advantageous to pay attention to the various games offered. If you choose to play, select the game that offers you the best odds. Here are some examples:
The rules for blackjack games often vary within the same cluster of tables, called a pit. This can be true even for the same table limits. Differences in the games can include variances in player options, number of decks in play, side bets, and availability of insurance. The horrid rule of 6:5 payoffs for a blackjack might be mixed among the normal 3:2 games. It is a good idea to see what is offered before getting into a game.
The standard game of roulette has a wheel with numbers from 1 to 36, half of which are red and half of which are black. It also has a 0 which is green. When the zero comes up, all bets on the other numbers 1 through 36, black, red, even, odd, etc are all lost. (One could bet on zero but they the house would still be at an advantage.)
American Roulette is common in the United States. In addition to the green zero, this game features a green double zero making the house advantage twice as bad as standard roulette. I have seen two roulette tables, side by side, in the same casino. One was standard roulette and the other was American roulette. Both had the same stakes, both had equal amounts of players. Guess which players were having a better time?
Fondest memory: ----- Limits!
Table limits can vary wildly throughout a gaming town or even a single casino. They are often higher on the more populous gaming areas, like the Las Vegas Strip, as well as during special events or holidays. The time of day will influence them also. They tend to be highest in the evenings and lowest in the wee hours of the morning. Never play for stakes that you are not comfortable with or can not easily afford to loose. If you don't like the stakes, look around!
Beware of 6:5 Blackjack!
Traditionally the game of blackjack pays 3 bets for every 2 units wagered for a natural. A natural, also called a blackjack, is when the first two cards consist of an ace with a ten value card and is an instant winner. Of course, they can push if the dealer has a blackjack.
In recent years, a 6 for 5 payout for a blackjack is spreading through casinos like cancer. These are most prevalent on single deck and lower limit games. What might seem to be a minor rule chance will destroy your bankroll.
If you play a single deck at a $25 dollar minimum table, you will likely vary your bet as the game progresses, say with your wins and loses. You might spread your bet so that your average bet is twice the minimum, or $50 per hand. If you play a 6:5 game instead of a traditional 3:2 game, you will then receive $15 less per blackjack on your average bet.
Say you hit the gambling town for a weekend and will play 4 hours Friday night, 6 hours on Saturday, and 2 hours on Sunday for a total of 12 hours. If you play at crowded tables, you might receive about 60 hands per hour. With unopposed (no push) blackjacks occurring at an average frequency of 1 in every 20.5 hands, you would end up winning over $500 LESS over the course of the weekend (than you would have from a normal 3:2 game).
If you play head to head with about twice as many hands played, you would be giving up over $1,000 dollars. Blackjack with a 6:5 payout is a bad game to play. I would recommend avoiding it at all costs even if that means playing in a different club or playing craps instead.
Put a dollar in a slot machine from every casino you go into. Then cash out and keep the token. They make great souvineers. When you get home, run them through the dishwasher to clean them off.
Fondest memory: Winning 250 bucks on a slot machine that I had to play because someone else was sitting at my favourite machine.
I think I may have over-filtered this shot...