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  • June 2023
    M T W T F S S

Advice from the Veterans, Las Vegas Traveler Style…

South End Las Vegas Strip

If you have never been to Las Vegas or haven’t been in decades you undoubtedly have some questions or at least have searched the web for some tips. I can see how a Vegas trip might stress some people out. After all, Las Vegas has tons to offer and has a reputation of being wildly expensive.

Now this isn’t an end-all guide but when I came across this forum topic I immediately thought it would be a worthwhile post. Here’s some good practical advice from well seasoned Las Vegas travelers pulled from the Trip Advisor Las Vegas Forums. I’ve added my two cents worth noted in blue text.

“Drink a bottle of water for every 2 alcoholic drinks- Nothing kills a Vegas adrenaline rush faster than a nasty hangover.” – Remember, water is your friend!

“Distances are farther than they look” – Hotels are huge and sprawling, depending on your abilities you might want to break up the strip in chunks and visit each chunk at a time.

“Set a gambling budget and stick to it!” – Play it smart and set a budget, especially if you have limited funds. Takes breaks if you’re on a losing streak, people watch, hit the pool, window shop, or partake in free entertainment. Remember there’s a ton to do in LV. Return to the game later with better luck.

“Realize the odds are against you winning, expect to lose, and consider it entertainment. But while gambling enjoy the sites, drinks, and freedom. Abiding to this will ensure a better time.” – See above

“Always sign up for players cards – you never know what you’ll get in terms of offers.” – First timers often receive freeplay or other gifts for signing up. Always give them your email address (sometimes worth an extra bonus), I enjoy reading all the email offers they send me and find them valuable when planning my next trip to wonderful LV.

“NEVER chase comps” – just 500 points for a free buffet or every 250 points gets you T-shirt, oh wait just another 100 points get me $5 bucks in “pointplay” (like freeplay) . Not always, but many comp programs, 1 point = $1.00 cycled through a slot machine. If you happen to reach that point amount fine, but don’t chase it because it might just cost you much more than it’s true value.

“Don’t plan any really big event (show, dinner, etc.) for your first night.” – traveling is much more involved these days, especially if you’re flying. Arrive two hours before departure, time to fly, transportation to your hotel, check-in process, and now finally getting to your room. All this can be exhausting. The last thing you need is to be somewhere at a set time. Remember delays happen when traveling. So on your first day/night chill out and just enjoy where you’re at and play it by ear.

“Go to Fontana Bar at Bellagio and ask to sit outside. Have at least one drink (they are expensive) and enjoy the fountains close up. It’s breathtaking.” – This one’s on my to-do list I’ve heard it is fantastic. Also I believe specials can be had after lunch but before dinner.

“Believe it or not I’d say bring comfortable shoes. You’ll be amazed on how much walking you’ll do” – Casino Hotels are large, sidewalk are not straight, escalators to overpasses fail frequently. Walking the strip in high heels or dress shoes at 3:00pm is stupid. Do yourself a favor and WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES!

“Wear comfortable clothes” – Similar to above. If you are going out for a nice dinner, show, or club, fine, dress to impress. Just walking the strip? Who cares! Wear nice, clean comfortable clothes. Remember summers are HOT and winter can be cold, dress appropriate!

“The girls on the front of the slapper’s cards are NOT the ones that actually come to your room” – Hmmm… I have no experience with this one… so I’ll take this persons word for it.

“If it’s your first time to LV, don’t try and do everything because you’ll be back!” – Oh how true, realize there is a ton to see and do. Do a little research before you arrive so you get an idea of what’s available, pick a couple then play the rest by ear. It won’t be long before you’ll want your next LV fix then rinse and repeat.

“Don’t arrive with a plan or agenda to see or do something every minute of every day. Book a show or two, maybe a special meal or two. But leave some time for things to just “happen” depending on what you feel like doing at the moment” – Wish I would have read this before I typed the comment above… yep well said

“Don’t be afraid to try a table game or ask a dealer how to play if they aren’t too busy. They are usually happy to help.” – There are many online and retail casino game simulators to learn and practice on. Also many casino’s offer FREE lessons. Dealer quality varies but many are more than willing to help. Don’t forget to throw your dealer a chip every once in awhile if they’re doing a good job.

“Don’t feel you need to pull all-nighters just because you’re in Vegas. Vegas is 24 hours, your body is not” – The only place time exists in Vegas is on your watch. Be wise and get some sleep because if you don’t it won’t take long before you’ll be walking the strip looking and feeling like a zombie. Now if I could only get my wife to understand this.

“Leave the babies/kids, non-gamblers, naysayers, people without money, and duds at home. If you don’t your fun is in jeopardy.” – Vegas has little to nothing to offer these types, follow this one closely

I hope this post provided some useful advice or at least a bit of entertainment. Anyway, like always feel free to share your own advice in the comments below.

What is a player’s card? What are comps?

Every casino has a Players Club where you can sign up for the casino’s Player’s Card. Signing up involves giving the club host your driver’s license and email address. Usually as a reward for signing up the casino with give you a gift such as a t-shirt, cards, coupon book, show tickets, or food. Many give you some form of free play. Free play is a dollar amount put on your card to play slot machines with. The dollar amount is usually $10 or less.

You use the card while playing table games or slots. By doing so you accumulate points and points turn into comps (compliments) such as point play (like free play), free food, free show tickets, free rooms and other things.

By signing up for the casino’s player’s card you can bet that you’ll be placed on the casino’s emailing list. Casino’s send email on various announcements and special hotel rate promotions (promo’s).  

Note: I have player cards from dozens of casinos from all over the country with each one having my email address. I have never had a problem with “junk mail” from any of them. I actually look forward to receiving casino email announcements.

Note: Casino companies share the same player’s card across all their properties. For example, if you have the MGM Mirage player’s card you will use the same card at MGM, New York New York, Bellagio, and so on.

Always use your card while playing and don’t listen to those people who say that the casino’s monitor you play and make the machine payoff is you are losing or slow down if it’s hitting too much.