Las Vegas is one of the premier gambling destinations, and for a good reason too. Sin City is home to a whopping 104 casinos, so it’s no surprise “Vegas” and “gambling” go hand in hand.
Admittedly, Vegas has been introducing more and more activities in recent years that aren’t closely (or at all) related to games of chance. Nowadays, you can go on a helicopter ride above the strip, shoot zombies with special operatives, and enjoy a myriad of shows and events.
However, no trip to Vegas would be complete if you didn’t at least try a few casino games. Even if you’re not an avid gambler, can you imagine telling your friends you’ve been to Vegas and haven’t wagered a single dollar?
There’s no need to worry even if you’ve never stepped foot in a casino. That’s precisely why we wrote this Las Vegas gambling guide. There are literally hundreds of games to play, so you’ll undoubtedly find one you’ll enjoy. Just keep the tips from our guide in mind, and you’ll be ready to partake in this fun, thrilling activity.
Here are all the things you need to know about gambling in Sin City, as well as a few interesting Vegas facts:
Most people never try a single game of chance because they’re intimidated by the way casinos look and feel. Admittedly, the flashing lights, sounds of slot machines, professional staff, and cameras can be a bit daunting.
But you don’t have to dress a certain way or wager a specific sum to enjoy a few games in a Vegas casino. In fact, most first-timers and casual gamblers prefer penny slots. With $20, you can easily have an exciting, hour-long play session.
Furthermore, if you’ve never been in a casino before, it might look like everyone inside knows exactly what they’re doing. The reality is that this couldn’t be further from the truth. Sure enough, some games have specific rules that you should know before playing.
However, slots, for example, don’t include any strategy. They are pure games of chance, and there’s no specific way to play them. You just pull the lever, and the reels spin automatically. Pretty straightforward if you ask us.
All in all, there’s no reason to be intimidated by the Vegas casinos. They are here to provide entertainment for you and other players. So if you’ve ever wondered what the big deal was with Vegas and games of chance, the best course of action would be to enter a casino and try a few.
Even if you want to play exotic table games, Roulette, or Poker, there’s no reason not to try just because the games include specific rules. Most, if not all of these games aren’t nearly as complex as they might appear on first glance.
Think about it; if the games were too difficult to grasp, not many people would play them. The casino wants to make their games accessible, easy to get into, and most of all — fun.
This is the reason why most casinos in Vegas offer free game lessons. The goal is to introduce new players to specific games and get them to wager some money. In most casinos, these free lessons are held in the early morning. However, it’s best to inquire with the hotel and the particular casino whether and when these lessons are available.
And even if the casino you opt for doesn’t offer these introductions or you happen to sleep through them, you can always chat up other players. Most people who are passionate about a particular game will gladly explain it to others and gain a new playing partner.
Furthermore, you don’t need to know every single rule to get in on a game. For instance, there are a number of Blackjack variants available at almost every casino. You don’t necessarily need to know when the dealer “stays” to be able to play a hand. And you can always ask the dealer to explain the specific rules or refresh your memory.
Some tables even feature the rules on the tablecloth itself. Baccarat is the prime example, where there are quite a few different rules that affect gameplay. Naturally, nobody expects the players to know them by heart.
That’s why they’re readily available on every table. You can always glance over them to ensure that the gameplay is fair.
On one side of the coin, there’s the fear and feeling of being overwhelmed. The other, arguably more dangerous side, is gambling addiction. Some people tend to enjoy Vegas casino games a bit too much. In the adrenaline-fueled craze, they tend to bet a bit more than they can afford.
That’s why it’s vital to set and stick to a gambling bankroll. If you’ve got $100 extra you can wager, then don’t go over it, even if you lose everything within 15 minutes.
Likewise, predetermine a sum you’ll be happy to win. Whether it’s $200 or $1,000, it’s important to know when to stop. Otherwise, you’ll likely end up playing all of your winnings.
Before you enter any casino, not just the ones in Vegas, you must adopt a certain mindset. First and foremost, you should only gamble for fun. Gambling is not a reliable way of making money.
Sure, you might hit the jackpot and come back home from your Vegas trip a millionaire. However, that’s highly unlikely. If people were to win more than they lose, every Vegas casino would be out of business by now.
Therefore, it’s best to view gambling as a fun, exciting way to pass the time. If you win — great. If you don’t, there’s no reason to feel down. You’re paying for an activity, same as you would for a show or the helicopter ride we’ve mentioned.
So don’t ever chase your losses. It’s easy to lose track of time and money, so you might end up in a sticky situation if you don’t walk away in time. Remember to have fun and always gamble responsibly.
This is likely another reason why many people find casinos daunting. They believe they have to behave a certain way. If they simply jump into a game, they’d quickly be rooted out as impostors by other players and the dealer.
However, casino etiquette isn’t that layered. So you won’t have to learn two dozen rules and behave in a specific way in certain situations. Essentially, it boils down to being a decent human being. As long as you don’t annoy other players or actively spoil someone else’s fun, you’ll be just fine. Interactions in the casino aren’t that different from your everyday ones.
If you intend to play a slot or video poker machine, there’s not much to learn. Just don’t be obnoxiously loud, don’t swear too much, and don’t hit the machine. Of course, no one is going to tell you to tone it down when you start screaming with joy after a big win. Just keep in mind that there are other people around you who trying to enjoy their own casino experience.
However, if you’re playing a table game of any kind, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you can always chat up other players and even the dealer. Just don’t talk about previous winnings and/or losses. Focus on the game at hand.
Secondly, don’t give advice to other players if they didn’t ask for it. Everyone has their own playing style, and you shouldn’t try to enforce yours on others. Finally, always remember to tip the dealer. In Vegas, it’s a rule of thumb to tip $5 per hour of play or half of your minimum bet every hour.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should never order drinks at the casino bar. Nearly every casino in Vegas provides free drinks and snacks to their players. Admittedly, some casino hosts might take a while to get to you, but still…
You should read up about a particular casino and their staff, rather than wasting money on drinks. Potentially, you could wager the $10 you’d give on drinks and win big.
That said, this is also where etiquette comes into play. Although the drinks are ‘on the house,’ it is customary to tip the server at least a dollar per drink. You might not be too keen to tip, but keep in mind that these people work exclusively for tips. So not only will they be more likely to come around and take your order multiple times throughout the night, you are effectively contributing to their paycheck. So don’t forget to tip them!
Apart from free drinks & snacks, playing at a Vegas casino can have many other perks. But first, you’ll have to join the specific casino’s players club. Think of it as a loyalty program of sorts. By joining, you effectively let the casino know that you intend to play with them and not one of their competitors.
To ensure that is indeed the case, casinos offer various benefits to gamblers. The rewards are typically proportional to the amount of money you wager. So these perks aren’t consolation prizes per se. You can win big and still accrue enough club points to earn a free night at a hotel, for instance.
For our guide to gambling in Vegas to be complete, we must answer the question of “where to play in Sin City?” However, the answer isn’t as straightforward as most people would like it to be.
As we’ve mentioned, there are a total of 104 casinos in Vegas. Most of them are excellent, so the answer is a bit more complicated than picking out the top 3. There are a lot of variables in this equation. For starters, which games you want to play, how much are you willing to bet, which hotel you’ll be staying in, etc.
So the first half of the answer is that you should read hotel & casino reviews and see for yourself which resort will best suit your needs.
Before you can determine which casino would be the best choice, you need to know what you’ll be playing. Now, we’re not saying you need to know the names of every slot machine you want to try your luck at. Quite the contrary, even “I don’t know, I want to try them all out” is an acceptable answer.
Still, whether you want to play Blackjack, Roulette, slots, or bet on sports events is a crucial aspect that should largely impact your final choice. For instance, if you’re into exotic table games, it would suck to find out the casino you chose doesn’t offer Pai Gow Poker, for example. Or it might only house three craps tables, so you might have to settle for a different game that you don’t enjoy as much.
Here are a few recommendations based on game selections, views, location, and other factors:
The list above should be enough to get you started on your journey. To round out this Vegas gambling guide, here are a few Las Vegas casino facts that you might find interesting.
The largest casino in Vegas is part of The Venetian Resort. The Venetian’s enormous gaming floor covers over 120,000 square feet of space and houses 1,200+ machines and 159 table games.
If you truly wish to go on an adventure and enjoy exploring and trying out all kinds of different games, the Venetian is always a great choice. However, we wouldn’t recommend this casino to people who don’t like crowded places. So if you want to avoid the hustle and bustle and would rather play in a more relaxed, quiet atmosphere, we suggest some of the smaller casinos on the Strip.
Another solid choice is Wynn Las Vegas, the casino that is consistently Sin City’s most profitable. This alone should speak volumes since both casual gamblers and high rollers tend to frequent this casino despite their losses.
The oldest and the first casino in Las Vegas is the Golden Gate Hotel. First opened in 1906, the hotel is still operational to this day, providing luxurious accommodations. The hotel’s vast gaming floor offers a superb, comprehensive casino experience in Downtown Las Vegas.
Apart from being the first, Golden Gate holds the title of the Las Vegas casino that hosted the largest Roulette bet in Sin City’s history. Namely, in 2010, a group of friends put a total of $125,000 on red. After winning, they proceeded to bet the quarter million. Unfortunately, the money stayed with the house after the ball landed on black.
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