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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I had a few people ask me for some tips about Vegas. Figured I could just throw up a thread and then others could share their advice as well.

PROLOGUE

For people who are wondering why the hell anyone would ask me for advice: I live 3 hours away and have been at least 50 times in the 5 years I've been of legal gambling age. Last trip I came home up over $2k, got both of our rooms paid for, a free $300+ meal at one of the best steak places on the strip for four of us and did it all in a t-shirt and jeans with holes in them.

First off though, I am a gambler and a borderline alcoholic in my mid 20's. So what I like about Vegas may not be what you are looking for. I don't go clubbing. I don't go shopping. I stay at 'nice' hotels, but not super swank ones. $200 a night is WAY over what I'm willing to pay, and not nearly what would be considered an expensive room at a lot of places on the Strip.

Basically, this isn't targeted toward the Topher's of the world. ;)

PLAYERS CLUB

The biggest thing is to sign up for the "Players Club" for wherever you plan on playing. The best bet here is to sign up for the MGM card if you are going to be on the Strip. Most of the cards only work for one casino. The MGM card works at the MGM Grand, Excalibur, Mandalay Bay, New York! New York!, Bellagio, Treasure Island, Luxor and Monte Carlo which are all on the Strip.

You just stick the card in the slot machine and it keeps track of how much you bet, and how much you win. The cards also work for table games, you just hand it to the dealer when you sit down. For every dollar you bet you earn 1 point. 100 points = $10 in free play to use at machines, or you can let them accumulate and redeem the points for free rooms(or upgrades), meals, show tickets etc. At first it doesn't sound like that great a deal, but if you start winning and playing with house money the points add up really fast. I had wiped out all my points last time I was there and accumulated over 10,000 in a few days when I went just recently. It also helps if you lose your ass, because at least you will have hope of receiving some kind of compensation for all the money you just blew.

The card also keeps track of how much money you are winning on what they call your "Comp Profile". Similar to the points you earn, the higher the rating on your Comp Profile the more free shit they will start to offer you. Hotel staff will randomly approach you and ask if there is anything they can get for you.

Another benefit of the card is, if you plan on coming back, you will get offers for cheap(or even free) rooms in the mail. These offers usually include some kind of free show tickets and cash to use at the slots.

TEH GAMBLING


Now for actual gambling advice. This is where it gets more subjective. I can only tell you what works for me. Definitely no guarantee's that you will have the same luck I do, and I'm sure others will have different advice as well.

The best thing to remember, particularly if you enjoy drinking as much as I, is that you get free booze while you are gambling. Most places will allow you to order 2-3 drinks at a time, especially if you are tipping well. If getting a good buzz first off is your objective, then post up on a machine close to one of the casino-side bars and tip a few bucks each time. If I know I'm going to be at one machine/table for awhile I'll just give the server $20 and tell her to keep 'em coming.

Also, one universal truth is that the odds increase after midnight. Some people will argue this but I always do much, much better late at night. The town is barely waking up at midnight.

SLOTS

My biggest thing with slot machines is, if you plan on actually winning money, forget penny/nickel slots. They are good for killing time making penny bets while waiting for the free drink lady to come by, but that's about it. Quarter slots are good, $1 slots are better. The trick with $1 slots is that you have to be prepared to lose $2-300 before you start winning sometimes. This is why a lot of people stick to Quarters, but hitting even one of the mediocre jackpots on a dollar machine is usually upwards of $500. I also avoid machines with a bunch of paylines, or more than a 3-credit "Max Bet". You ALWAYS want to Max Bet on slots. Not doing so is almost always a waste of your time because the higher jackpots and bonus games don't count unless you Max Bet.

No matter which denomination you choose, stick to slots that have some kind of bonus game. The old school 'reel only' slots never really did it for me. My favorite style of bonus game is the 'spin and win' style, where there is a wheel-of-fortune type wheel atop the slot. Hitting the 'bonus spin' on the reels means you get to spin the wheel. The prizes on the wheel vary between 20 and 1000 credits. So on $1 slots you can win $1000 without even hitting a jackpot. This is how I won my $1500 last trip. The absolute BEST slots I have seen have both the 'spin and win' game, and also a 'Pay 100'(which gives you 100 credits without hitting anything else) icon on the reels. So you have two chances of winning good money even though you don't actually hit any of the reel combinations.

SPORTS BOOKS

Another great way to make some cash is sports betting. Betting on a single team doesn't typically pay very well unless you get lucky and win a major underdog bet. This is why they created Parlays. I usually stick to 3 or 6 team parlays, but you can do more. The gig of it is that ALL the teams you pick have to win, but when they do you win big. A "3 team parlay" pays 6 to 1 odds, 4 team is 10 to 1, 5 team is 20 to 1, 6 team is 40 to 1 etc. It is a bit more complicated than that depending on what sport(s) you are betting on, but thats the jist of it. My last trip I did a 3 team on Lakers/Magic/Yankees and a 6 team on Lakers/Magic/Yankees/Angels/Dodgers/Penguins and won both. $100($80 on the 3, $20 on the 6) made me ~$1000.

TABLE GAMES


I'm only going to lightly touch on table games because there are so many and strategies vary wildly. What I will say is that they have the best odds of anything on the strip. Roulette, Craps and Blackjack are by far the most popular... and for good reason. All of the hotels offer free lessons for all of the table games on almost a daily basis. The only problem is they usually do them around 10-11am, so you gotta be up.

What I like about Craps is you can tell when there is a hot table because you'll hear those fuckers yelling from across the casino. If you find one, try and hop in and even if you don't know how to play just start copying peoples bets. I've seen a lot of people win a lot of money but Craps by far has the longest 'win streaks' of any game I've played.

Blackjack is great with the right people. Biggest thing here is that unless you know what you're doing, for the sake of everyone else at the table, DO NOT SIT IN THE FIRST POSITION. It's really the only game where being a novice can screw over everyone else at the table.

My favorite table game is Roulette, by far. I really can't get into strategy but what I can say is just sitting back and playing red/black isn't usually going to get you very far. Its fun to walk by a table and just throw some cash down on a color and walk away after, but if you intend to try and win money playing the numbers is the way to go.

HOTELS


My favorite hotel to gamble in has always been Excalibur. Its one of the oldest hotels on the strip, so its not really Ritzy, but I always have good luck there. The drink servers are typically awesome there(though mostly in their 40's...) and will serve a group of people even if only one of them is actually gambling. It is also one of the only places on the strip you can find $5 table games. The rooms aren't very nice, but you can't beat $50 a night(or less) on the Strip. I just have always had great luck here, and so have most people I've gone with. When we were kids my Dad always won here as well.

I love staying at Mandalay Bay for a couple of reasons. 1) They send the best room offers of any of the other hotels I have been to. 2) Their pool is second to none. I know a lot of people say Hard Rock, which is also nice, but I prefer Mandalay's "Beach". It has real sand, a wave pool, water slides, awesome cabana's, poolside blackjack and roulette as well as an absurd amount of skantily clad women. 3) The rooms are pretty damned nice, without being $200+. Attached to Mandalay is another hotel called "The Hotel", which is very very nice if you have the cash. It's about $149 a night for a regular room... but their regular room is a nice Jr. Suite anywhere else on the strip. A typical room at Mandalay is $99/night.

The only hotels I would avoid staying in are Luxor and Stratosphere. Stratosphere is so far away from anything else that you HAVE to take a cab to go anywhere. Luxor is just the most dead casino/hotel I have ever seen. Its a ghost town most of the time.

If you like to stay swank both of the Wynn's are amazing, as are Bellagio, The Venetian, Ceasar's Palace and the Monte Carlo. The Bellagio has a really cool glass flower hanging garden in the lobby that is worth checking out even if you aren't staying there.

Continued below...
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
PARTYING

Again, I don't really do clubs. Sorry. I know Drea's is supposed to be pretty awesome, and then anything at The Rio or The Palms as well. I hear the Playboy Club at The Palms is really nice. Not my scene, though. The view from The Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay is incredible... but drink prices are outrageous.

If you like to party there are a lot of smaller casino's in between the giants on the strip. Oshea's is one of my favorite places. Cheap table games, about a dozen beer pong tables and the average age of the crowd is probably about 24. Definitely more of a party crowd than anything.

As for cool bars, they are pretty much everywhere. Every casino has at least a half dozen bars/lounges each. New York! New York! has The Coyote Ugly Bar which can be pretty fun, as well as a dueling piano bar(called "Piano Bar") that is a chill place to grab a drink.

My favorite way to party in Vegas is to just walk around and drink. I like to start at the south side(by Mandalay and Excalibur) and work my way up towards Treasure Island etc. There are SO many people just walking around trashed. It really is a good time. I have met way more ladies just walking around the Strip than at any of the clubs/bars in Vegas. Best part is there is no such thing as "open container laws". Drink wherever, whenever.

There is a TON to explore. As long as this is there is SO much more I couldn't even begin to touch on. So if anyone has questions feel free to ask, and if anyone has something to add by all means do so!
 

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Nice write-up!

I disagree with you on the Luxor. I've stayed there probably 8 to 10 times and I never found it as you described. But hey, you've been to Vegas a lot more often than I have.

Oh, I also love those frozen drinks they sell in the plastic footballs downtown. Quite good. Lastly, I saw Cheap Trick play downtown once and it was great.
 

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The black/red roulette walk-by is clutch.

Moving from blackjack to bar I will usually toss $100 down (go black every time). I've let it ride a few times and ended up with $3200 real quick after a couple lucky switches to red. Roulette has always been my recharge game if I'm low on chips. I've also lost some money doing that too but hey that's gambling.
 

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http://www.gamblersanonymous.org/

just joking, good info contained in here. Hopefully I'll be going to Vegas soon and will defintely take these tips into mind. I would also suggest people not stay at a hotel off the strip called Arizona Charlie's. I stayed there for new year's 2006 and it was pretty lame.

Aero, do you know anything about the Socal Indian casino's? Pechanga, Morongo, or San Manuel?
 

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Boning Hottie

Hot or hot only when your drunk, wrap that shit. Don't ruin Vegas's motto...
 

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Great write up! I plan on hitting up vegas for my first time sometime soon. How exactly does comping work? Do you walk up to the desk and show them your 'points' and negotiate with them, or do they just walk up and offer you free rooms/dinners etc? TIA
 

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Don't know about the comping, but I got a crazy hook up off fatwallet.com a few years ago. I signed up for the "players club" and got a 200+ dollar a night room at the MGM grand for 49.

I spent the difference on buffets (daveship style) and booze.
 

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Don't know about the comping, but I got a crazy hook up off fatwallet.com a few years ago. I signed up for the "players club" and got a 200+ dollar a night room at the MGM grand for 49.

I spent the difference on buffets (daveship style) and booze.
You couldn't afford daveship style.....remember.... you work in a bike shop. Now go true some wheels and save up for Colorado.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Great write up! I plan on hitting up vegas for my first time sometime soon. How exactly does comping work? Do you walk up to the desk and show them your 'points' and negotiate with them, or do they just walk up and offer you free rooms/dinners etc? TIA
Yeah, with the points you earn you walk up to the desk and see what you can get.

The 'Comp profile' is a little different. You can walk up and do the same, but typically if you have a good Comp Profile they approach you when you are at a machine/table.

Technically, prostitution is illegal inside the Vegas city limits. That doesn't stop anyone, though.
 
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