L. Cargill, Medical Laboratory Scientist, ASCP. Retired Blood Banker and Laboratorian. Loves to write about a wide range of subjects. Enjoy!
Vacation in Vegas!
Buy a ticket to fabulous Las Vegas and have the time of your life! There is so much to see and do that one trip, unless it is a very long one, is definitely not enough. You will want to come back time and time again to visit the city of lights and action.
Think of Las Vegas as Disneyland for adults. Every conceivable form of entertainment is located on or off of the "strip" in downtown Vegas. There are circuses, zoos, rides, shows, clubs and water fountains. It's lavish, bright and focused on catering to vacationing adults, and to a lesser extent, children.
According to the Las Vegas travel bureau, about 35 to 36.5 million people come to the city in the desert every year. Las Vegas, Nevada is considered to be the gambling capital of the world. But even if you don't gamble, high stakes attractions abound. You won't be bored in this town.
1. Be Prepared and Do Your Research on Las Vegas
There are a thousand and one things to do and see in Las Vegas. There are thousands of websites dedicated to vacationing in Vegas. There are books, magazines, TV shows, guides and YouTube videos.
You can learn all about the hotels. Seventeen of the biggest 20 hotels in the U.S.A. are located in Las Vegas. There are about 114 hotels with about 125,000 hotel rooms. That's a lot of vacationers! Check out the features you want in a hotel and research each hotel separately.
Since just about everything you have ever dreamed of exists in Las Vegas, all you have to do is decide which hotel will meet your needs. Even that is difficult to do with so many choices. You may have to decide with your budget. But remember, bargains and discounts are available, so do as much research as you can. Try to determine the best bang for your vacation buck.
Almost every hotel in Vegas is a great hotel. Choose your hotel by dining choices, entertainment choices, pool and spa choices, casino play or special attractions. You won't spend a lot of time in your room, and you won't spend a lot of time walking around town. It's too hot in the summer and too cold in the winter.
2. Winning Games to Play in Las Vegas
According to Jean Scott, author of The Frugal Gambler, the best and most winnable gamble in Las Vegas is the Video Poker Game. It is also currently rumored that the best video poker game machines are in the Palms hotel.
Whichever rumor is true, it is imperative that one must learn to play the game well before ever attempting to play it for the money.
Video Poker—Signs You are Playing a Winning Machine:
- The pay schedule for a Full House should be nine or higher, and for a Flush, the pay schedule should be 6 or higher.
- Look for signage in each hotel telling players where and how to play to win.
- Make friends with the pit servers and bosses and tip them well. They will bring you free drinks.
- Always use a club card that fits into the machine while you play. It awards you with comp points redeemable for merchandise and food.
- Don't try to bluff a video poker machine - machines don't do bluffs!
- Practice with a home computer game before ever going to Vegas and using real money.
The other winning gambling game to play is Black Jack. Black Jack is a table game. You must study diligently in order to win at this game, but it is the only game that gives the player a fair chance to win instead of lose.
Practice as much as possible before your trip. Use a computer game geared to teaching you the ins and outs of the game.
A few other tips from the pros for Black Jack:
- Be sure to have your gameplay "rated" by the pit boss for comp points
- Find a table that has many players (this slows down the game and allows you time to think about it).
- Obtain and use a guide card. This tells you when to hold and when to hit. Based on mathematical odds, your chances of winning increase when you use these cards. They are supplied by the casino or are available for purchase.
- Never, ever take "insurance" on a deal
- Look for a table using the lowest number of decks to a shoe. Better yet, look for a single deck game that is hand dealt.
- Double down whenever possible to increase your winnings.
3. Games You Win by NOT Playing!
Enter any airport, café, convenience store or casino in Las Vegas and you will find a slot machine. That's because slot machines pay for all the glamour and glitz in the city! Nearly 200,000 slot machines take in about 70% of the total revenue for the city. Players dutifully put in money and get only bells and whistles for their effort.
If you must play the slots, play only at the ones that say the payout is greater than 100%! Believe it or not, you can still lose money at these odds. Play slot machines only for fun! They aren't called "one-armed bandits" for nothing.
Roulette is another game that will take your money quickly. The only safe bets are the "outside" bets. If you are going to play, put your money on the four squares that say:
These squares play even odds. All other bets favor the house!
4. Las Vegas Comps
Complimentary (comp) items abound in Las Vegas. It's the city that loves to pamper its guests! The professionals say that they can get just about anything in the world for free here. Lavish hotel suites, Cuban cigars, fancy automobiles and expensive wines are normal "gifts" for the big gamblers.
But there are lots of ways to get plenty of free stuff in Vegas if you know where and how to look.
- Look for coupons! Some of these can save you a ton of money. Some cities offer coupon books that are worth purchasing to get "buy one, get one free" deals.
- Check for specials! Every hotel runs specials on their websites. Sometimes these are offered on travel sites as well.
- Play nickel and penny slots and get free drinks!
- Don't forget discounts offered by AARP, AAA or other organizations that you belong to.
- Use those Club Cards (Player's Cards)! Never gamble without a club or player's card that pays you points for gambling. You can get some good deals that way. Be sure to tip well and make friends with the pit bosses. They can offer you bonus points that you won't get any other way.
A friend of mine goes around to several ice cream places in Vegas just to ask for free taste spoons. They are generous, and you can try two or three flavors before they get suspicious. It's probably ok to ask for free samples in boutique cookie and candy stores too!
5. When in Las Vegas, Do as the Las Vegans Do
There are tips that only insiders know. If you know someone from Las Vegas, ask for their tips! Watch for TV shows featuring professional gambling tips. Check YouTube for insider information on where to gamble, eat, and sleep.
According to a recent TV show, there were several tips the Las Vegas insiders were willing to share:
- The best hotel for gambling is The Stratosphere.
- Arizona Charlie has incredible good and cheap food, especially the steak and eggs breakfast.
- Mr. Lucky's Food court at the Hard Rock Hotel has a local's favorite of steak and shrimp for $5.95. It's not on the menu, locals know to ask for it.
- The very best eatery in Las Vegas is a Thai place called Lotus of Siam Restaurant. Locals claim it is the very best Thai food in the whole U.S.A.
Do your research and be prepared for your vacation in Las Vegas.
Practice ahead of time to win at video poker and Black Jack.
Only play slot machines when you want entertainment and free drinks. No one wins at slots! The same is true for Roulette.
Find and use coupons, discounts, specials and complimentary deals.
Go where the locals and professionals go and do what they do. Eat where they eat and enjoy insider tips.
Have fun! Enjoy! That's what vacations are for!
Tell me about Las Vegas!
Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on February 07, 2014:
Vegas is fun entertainment. The best show I ever saw was there at the Mirage. It's not just for gambling.
Yoleen Lucas from Big Island of Hawaii on February 07, 2014:
I've only landed at the Las Vegas airport, so I've technically been there. The only reason I'd want to go is for the shows, and to visit Ringbolt Rapids Hot Springs. It is along the Colorado River, in a cave. It is a 25 foot waterfall a natural outdoor shower! You have to hike 26 miles or sail 4 miles up the river to get to it.
I don't gamble, because I don't consider myself a lucky person. Once I went to Reno, and when they gave me coins, I pocketed them, and when they gave me chips, I played them. I won nothing. I told my co-workers about my adventure. One guy asked me how much I'd pocketed, and I told him $3.50. He said, "Then you won $3.50. LOL!
Sondra Rochelle from USA on November 24, 2013:
It has been my experience that the best way to win in Vegas is to stay home!
Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on September 20, 2013:
I'll add you to the mailing list! Hope you can make it.
Jim Higgins from Eugene, Oregon on September 19, 2013:
I can't absolutely commit right now but am really interested!
Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on August 07, 2013:
Oh Nell, I'm so sad that you don't have access to Las Vegas. It's one of the funnest places ever. There is so much to do and see in one place. It's affordable too. Our rooms are only going to cost less than $50 a night and they are fabulous rooms! Awesome views.
The city never sleeps either. There is something to do at every hour of the day. Just people watching is amazing. There are free shows and displays everywhere.
I wish you could join us. But I know how it is. I may never get to England either.
Nell Rose from England on August 07, 2013:
Sounds awesome, and I would love to visit Vegas, not that I have the money, but to just soak up the atmosphere would be great! fascinating read!
Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on August 06, 2013:
Only luck can help you win in Las Vegas! So, luck be with you...
Mark Johann from New Zealand on August 06, 2013:
I like slot machine, roulette and poker. If you help me win, someday I may contact you.
Nice hub and helpful. :)
carol stanley from Arizona on August 05, 2013:
I have been going to vegas since my early teens. My mother loved to gamble and I still do..However, the only way to win is to get up and leave a table when you are ahead...and not get caught up in the hype. I gave up on all the table games and now just play live poker..It is the only game you can really control...However I do love this city and hope to take a trip there soon..Great hub..now we just have to follow the advice.
DATALOAD from Michigan on August 03, 2013:
Thank you for the tips. I might be going to Vegas this Winter, and could use all the help I can get.
Cacey Taylor from San Diego, CA on August 03, 2013:
Such great advice and I will be sure to look up the stratosphere :)
drbj and sherry from south Florida on August 03, 2013:
I love Vegas, too, Lela, for all the fabulous reasons you mentioned. Thanks for the great tips. I'm bookmarking this hub so I can memorize them before the trip. Keeping my fingers crossed so I will be free to be there with you-all early next year.
Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on August 03, 2013:
I wish you could be there too Bob. You are so much like my own Bob that I feel like I know you. You guys could be brothers.
Money is for spending in my opinion. I worked all my life to put away a few dollars for retirement. Now, I need to spend it before I get too old to have fun. Of course, I'll have to change my spending ways soon and I may run out of money quickly, but I'll have my memories after that.
Did you give up on your plans to move to Mexico?
diogenes from UK and Mexico on August 03, 2013:
To me, despite the many negatives, Vegas is the essence of what is wonderful, good and exciting about the United States. I went many times when I lived in California and miss those days. The drive across the desert, finally seeing the lights of Las Vegas in the distance is one of life's great moments.
Although the lifeblood is the loss of your money, Las Vegas is never mean and makes you aware that your eventual empty pockets merely remind of dollars well spent.
Nowhere else in the world comes close to Vegas in the total experience of the casino and entertainment life.
Wish I could be with you all there, but I cannot.
Mary Craig from New York on August 02, 2013:
Went to your forum and said count me in.
Lela (author) from Somewhere near the heart of Texas on August 02, 2013:
I'm also trying to organize a hubbers trip for January. Who wants to go?
Mary Craig from New York on August 02, 2013:
I love Vegas! I've been there several times and wrote a hub about it BUT I wish I had your advice before my trips. I've broken even which to me is winning ;)
Voted up, useful, and interesting.
Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on August 02, 2013:
When are leaving?
matt_elmore from San Diego on August 02, 2013:
Wish I had read this the last 20 times I've bombed in Vegas.