Gambling Advice, Las Vegas
Favorite thing: when in a casino it makes no sense to buy a beer or a drink at a bar. here's why, a beer with a $1 tip will cost you $7.50 and a mixed drink probably more. put $10 in a video poker game at the bar and you will get a free beer. now let's do the math. you tip the bartender $1 and start playing the quarter machine. if you are losing cash out after you have lost $ 2. now the $7.50 beer has cost you only $3. if you are winning cash out after you are $3 ahead and the casino now has paid you $2 to drink a beer. some bars expect you to play max bet ($1.25) to get a second beer. just cash out and move on to another bar and so on. i call this a casino crawl. the last time i was in vegas i drank several beers each night for four days and my total beer expenditure was $8.
I enjoyed playing the slots, but I really limited myself. Not having the guts to sit at the tables for blackjack (I love that game!), I resigned myself to playing the electronic version, but it definitely seems regulated. There were way too many 14 and 15 combos doled out!
At the bars you can play and get free drinks, at the other machines you sometimes have to wait a while for the nice lady to come around. Leave while you're ahead!
Fondest memory: I won 84 bucks!
Many visitors to Nevada often wonder if casinos cheat. With the games rigged in their favor casinos really have no need to cheat (as long as they have enough customers and they can afford periodic losses at stakes offered.) In fact, the corporations that own the casinos have a huge investment in their properties and gaming licenses and are not likely to risk loosing either by getting caught cheating even to a very high roller.
The smaller joints may have less incentive as they have less to loose if they got caught. However, even the small joints would not want to loose their gaming license. Nevertheless, it may be best to stick to the larger clubs if you are a very high roller.
One type of cheating by a casino staff person, like a dealer, is to make an accomplice win money that will be divided up later. In order for their table not to show a loss and alert casino management, they would cheat other customers so their table has a net win. But casino surveillance, with their ever watching eye-in-the-sky, is always watchful to spot this behavior. If such business is discovered, it would be stopped and the culprits would be arrested and prosecuted.
So is it highly unlikely that a casino would cheat you. But if you suspect something funny is going on, just stop and play elsewhere just in case. That way, you don’t need to worry and can concentrate on your game.
I won't get into specific advice for particular games because there are too many to count. But a few pieces of advice to keep you from getting into trouble. Trust me, I found out the hard way on these. I do the research for you.
- Don't use your cell phone at a table. Don't even try it, especially at the MGM with a pit boss named Leonard on the floor.
- Don't call pit bosses by their first name. They don't like it.
- Don't touch your winnings until everyone has been paid out. This rule is slightly different for different games, but, in general, it's not a good idea. The casino looks for cheaters moving money around while the dealer is paying everyone out. You don't want to be put in the group.
- No photos on the casino floor. This seems like common sense, but many people try taking photos at the tables. Don't do it. Or Lenny might come after you.
- Gamble late. The most fun you will have gambling is at 3 a.m. with a table full of people you don't know. This is one of the best times you can have gambling. These will be your best friends for a few hours. It can even take the sting out of losing.
- Don't curse at the tables at Tropicana. I didn't understand it either, but I'm serious. If you must curse, make sure you curse in a language that the dealer doesn't understand (German seems to work well for many).
- Play at tables somewhat near a restroom if you will be drinking. It saves you time after you've had that 19th gin and tonic. You don't want a 10 minute walk through the casino maze everytime you have to go.
- USE a player's card. This is how most casinos give comps now. Use it every time, even if you're only playing four or five hands. There are usually signs that will point you in the right direction if you need to get a player's card. Get one the second you set foot into the casino.
That's it for now. I'll add more at a later date.
Favorite thing: Two suggestions about using players club cards that might seem obvious, firstly remember to put the card in before you start playing and more importantly DON'T walk away from the machine without it. I've lost count of the number of times I have foolishly done this. To combat this you'll see a lot of people who have their cards on an extendable keyring clipped to their belt. It seems like a good idea but I'm afraid I was never that organised.
Fondest memory: If you are not a gambler but you really fancy your chances on the tables then take my advice and attend the half hour lessons that most hotels offer . Just half an hour can save you from the embarrassment I suffered at the Roulette table. Never having played the tables before and thinking I was being kind of cool, I slid onto a stool at one of the tables and tossed 100 dollars to the croupier who pushed me a stack of red chips. I slightly raised my head to glance at my table companions, they all looked pretty professional to me with high stacks in front of them. The croupier called and we all placed our bets. NO I didnt know that there was a minimum bet on certain parts of the table....red face for the first time! NO I didnt know you could place chips covering 4 numbers and sort of placed mine neither on a line or in the middle and the croupier had to call my attention to this....red face second time. Then I placed a little stack on a single number and it came up!! Wow, I screamed as he pushed a high stack of chips to me. Fellow player on the right said.."nice one Red". I was beginning to feel like a high roller. Then I went and made the biggest mistake ever. As my brother and sister came up to see how I was doing I suddenly started scooping up the chips and filling their hands ....I wasnt going to lose it all. Everyone stopped and watched in amazement as we left the table full of chips spilling everywhere. I approached the Cash Desk , piled the chips into the drawer and asked for them to be changed. The cashier took one look at me and said... " Gee I bet the croupier is happy with you, your are supposed to change them with him" Oh God now I had to go back and face them all again! I sidled up to the table and dumped my chips in front of me. No way was I just going to ask for change so I played another couple of rounds...and lost! This time I quietly got up off my stool and very politely asked for my chips to be changed please and left.....VERY red faced!
Prime the pump. I've watched dealers basically coach people playing blackjack by telling them what to do in the form of a question "Hit?" "Stand?" Just nod and you're set.
Also, pit bosses sometimes can clue you in on a slot that hasn't hit in a while. Kill 'em with kindness and you just might run into some luck..........
Fondest memory: Standing at what I thought was a quarter slot=machine, hitting the payout (I was up over 80 credits) and seeing these cartoonishly large coins come tumbling out.
Apparently, when I shoved my $10 bill into the big, bad slot=machine and hit "Max bet" I blew the whole thing right there. That's what happens, I guess, when you throw your money at a $5 slot=machine! Can you imagine the luck?
Later, after everyone split I found myself alone with $400 burning a hole in my pocket. So, I threw a $20 into a REAL quarter slot, and played it almost out. Suddenly, that dang machine started spitting quarters into the bin and a light starts blinking on top. I'm dumbfounded, and then a big burly guard parks on my right. "Oh, sh!t. What did I do? I didn't even cash out. It just started throwing 'em at me." Heh-heh, quite the novice I am. I walked outta that RESORT casino with a $1100 smile on my face. Paid for my wife's entire trip. Thank you, higher power!
Always remember to push the 'CASH OUT' button, you may have credits remaining that you're unaware of. Don't leave your hard earned winnings for someone else.
Fondest memory: the music the slot machine plays while you wait for the slot attendant to give you your win.
Favorite thing: My friend and I happened upon Casino Royale by accident, but I'm really glad we did. It's a bit grittier than the surrounding casinos like Venetian or Caesars, but I liked it that way. The dealers were really great - lots of fun and helpful if you need it. The waitresses were there with the drinks constantly. The crowd in general was loud and fun (well, at least our table was anyway). I also hit 4 aces on the Video Poker machine!! I'll be going back again.
Do not pay for Alchoholic drinks on the strip. Gamble and they will bring the drinks to you for FREE!
Even if you are not a gambler you just have to sit at a slot machine for awhile with some quarters and eventually some nice casino employee will offer you a drink and there you go-free Alcohol!
If you want to go to Vegas and skip paying for a building - stay in Old Town, Downtown Las Vegas. Sure everything smells of cigarettes and is dingy - but you can't beat the price or that the casinos are so close to each other.
Admittedly some of the best places to eat aren't there - but yu can get a great deal and gamble on low limit tables all the time downtown.
My preference if the Horseshoe, but you may find something that suits your taste more.
Fondest memory: What isn't there to like.
Go and play in a casino (you have more then enough choice. But be carefully! If you're an addictive gambler, this is the most dangerous place on earth. If you're not you should not be surprised to go home with a lot less money. Try to reckon out front how far you will go with spending at the Roulette, Black Jack, Dices, Slotmachines etc. etc.
Fondest memory: Temptation ... in various forms.
I always find it difficult to tip dealers after I lose (which is most of the time). The last time I was in a casino playing Blackjack, I decided to "pre-tip" the dealer a dollar. The first 6 deck shoe was profitable (up about $25). So I decided to "pre-tip" as the dealer shuffled the next shoe.
During the game, there was a time when the dealer had a ten showing, and therefore knew the second card because they always need to look for potential blackjacks. I had a five, and was pausing what to do, and she did not really give me a chance to take a card, and I took that as assistance that she had a "bust card" (which she did). I ended up winning a hand, I probably would have lost.
I will probably continue to pre-tip dealers because it can be profitable (at least in certain games), and also makes the dealers friendlier.
Favorite thing: obviously the huge hotels and opulent casinos in las vegas were not built by winners. in the long term the odds against the player will always favor the house. if you are lucky and manage your stake you may leave las vegas with more money than you arrived with. your stake is the amount of money you plan to gamble on a given session or day. in order to increase your winnings and decrease your losses you must manage your money. i personally use the 50/50 rule. for example if my stake is $1000 and i lose $500 i am out of the casino. on the other hand if i win $500 i take my winnings and go. the biggest mistake a gambler can make is to get into the hole and keep trying to win the losses back. also when ahead there is the urge to keep gambling because now you are playing with the "house's" money. over time you will give your winings back. never gamble more money than you can afford to lose. if you manage your stake you will have less stress and more fun at the tables.
Favorite thing: poker is the only "sure bet" in las vegas. in poker you are playing against other people at the table and not the house. you are basically "renting" a table for the opportunity to play others. poker is a game of luck and skill and skillful players will almost always win over less skillfull players. this game is not for novices, there are many professional poker players in las vegas. to hone your skills there are a number of poker websites where you can practice for free. many of these sites offer or advertise online gambling. don't do it! many of these sites are unregulated and are rip offs.