Casinos / Gambling, Las Vegas
Don't simply jump into a casino game at Vegas without knowing how to play. First off, you'll probably lose your money doing that, and secondly it's considered inconsiderate to the other players. I'm certainly not saying you have to be an expert to gamble, but do a little 'research' before you play. Just watch a game for a while to see how others play. While it is OK to ask the dealer a question or two, don't expect an in-depth tutorial...especially when its busy! Also, many of the casinos have free 'classes' that will teach novice gamblers about the various games.
If you are gambling be sure and get a Players Card for every casino you are gambling in. They cost nothing but if you are a gambler the points soon mount up and can earn you free buffets and free accommodation. For example my 11 night stay at Christmas 2000 just cost me 1 nights accommodation. All the other nights plus the food was 'comped'. Mind you I gambled a fair amount!! (and lost despite 5 progressive jackpots). My last stay for 10 nights (April 2001) cost me not a penny in food and accommodation and I still lost, this time I managed just 2 progressives (one pictured above).
Not so much a cultural tip but more of a gambling tidbit. I am not much of a gambler but speaking to locals they can verify that your chances of winning big is not from the slot machines. In fact, slot machines is what pay for casinos overhead. If you want to try your luck, your best bet is with craps. (Craps table pictured) Besides, people at the craps table are always making noises so you would think they are having the most fun out of all the gamblers. If you're going to lose, you might as well make a ruckus.
This city doesn't sleep - and neither should you. Go to Vegas with the mentality that you're there to party, and you can't go wrong. In the casinos, patience is key to winning big. My personal favorite game is black jack, and if you play by the rules, you'll be alright.
not sure gambling (or gaming as it is officially called) can fall under 'culture'.
Yet IF you intend to gamble here are a few additional tips
Slot machines do not have good odds.
-- Why is it that the same people who will seek out a bargain hotel will then spend $20 to $50 a night on slot machines?
There is NO SUCH THING as a 'hot machine' everything is controlled by a computer chip and it will determine mathematically when the slot with pay. Some slots are set to pay smaller amounts frequently and some are set to hold for bigger payoffs
read signs carefully. If a sign says the slots pay 99% -- (1) see if it says in small print 'up to...' (2) regardless, the sign may mean that just ONE of the slots in the row pays 99%!
the three table games with better payoffs are...
for each game learn the basic strategy and you can AT LEAST play for awhile without losing all of your money. Strategy cards are sold in most casino gift shops.
ask a dealer before using a strategy card at the tables.... some allow it and some don't. I try to remember the strategies and I usually practice on the computer before I go
Bacarat is slow, ritualistic, and fairly easy
Craps puts all players rooting for a number and is also pretty simple
Blackjack requires thought but thus you can feel like you are a bit more in control!
BY THE WAY -- roulette may look easy but is WORSE ODDS for the player
You can get free drinks in any bar or casino if you are gambling. Ask for twenty dollars in quarters at the bar and they will give you drinks at no charge. You can cash all $20 worth of coins in when you are done and end up having spent nothing!
Don't take gambling tips from homeless guys in MacDonald's. The way I see it, if they know so much about gambling, they wouldn't be hanging around MacDonald's