More Shark Guides
Las Vegas Casinos
About 87% of visitors to Las Vegas gamble, which is far off the mark from the 5% of tourists who admit that they visited the city intending on it. While casinos will always have a mathematical edge on the players, this spread likely sweetens the pot. Even if gambling is the farthest thing from your mind, you should be familiar with some of the gaming basics just in case.
Gaming in Las Vegas is restricted to people who are 21 years of age and older. Be prepared to show ID at the door. You may take your underage companions and children across the gaming floors in order to get to a non-restrictive areas of the casinos, such as the fast food court at the Palms, but be aware that the 21 and over rule is not flexible, so don't be tempted to give junior a pull of the slot machine arm. The casinos of Las Vegas are private, so if you show up in a questionable state, you can be denied entrance.
Once you're inside the casinos, most serve free drinks - alcoholic and otherwise - to people who are actively participating in games, though some have rules and restrictions, so ask before you order. Some offer free cigars to enjoy also - Vegas casinos still allow smoking, though you'll find non-smoking areas for guests who enjoy cleaner air space. It is customary to tip your cocktail waitress for your free drink.
Cell phones are allowed on the gaming floors, though the reception is spotty. And while they allowed on the floor, there are areas where they are outright banned. If you are separating from your group, it is advisable to plan your future meetup without relying on your cell phones.
Casinos are designed to keep you playing. Most lack clocks and have no windows, giving you no natural clues to the passing of time. The ability to eat, drink, and smoke at the tables and at the slot machines all provide you with the comfort to stay for the long haul - or at least, until you're out of money, and if that happens, the ATMs are abundant. If you sit too long, many of the Las Vegas casinos offer tableside massage services. The chairs are comfortable, the lighting is indirect as to not tire out your eyes, the air is exchanged and kept at a very comfortable temperature. Anything that could possibly cause you to get up and leave has been considered. One way to beat the odds is to set a strict budget and stick with it, or only gamble for short periods of time only.
Whether you plan on casually slipping a few quarters into slot machines or putting in some serious time at the gaming tables, it's in your best interest to stop by the casino's desk to sign up for their player rewards cards. When you swipe your card at a gaming station, you earn points that will get you complimentary perks, or comps. Nearly all Vegas casinos have them and a lot of the big ones will work at other casinos. All of the Harrah's branded casinos use the same player reward card, so you can combine all of the points from several Las Vegas properties, including Caesar's Palace, Rio, Planet Hollywood, Paris, the Flamingo, and more.
The games offered by Vegas casinos are identical to each other, though some of the limits will differ. The Bellagio is well-known for its special high-roller section, where some of the wealthiest individuals on the planet come to duke it out over the felt tables or take their chances on the slots. Other casinos are known for certain kinds of games, for example, Mandalay Bay is the destination for blackjack players of all skill levels for its great selection in tables and limits.