With over 40 million visitors per year, Las Vegas is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Reasons to visit Vegas are many, including gambling, fine dining, clubbing, and shopping. But whatever your reason for visiting, it pays to know a few things about Sin City beforehand to ensure that your trip is a great one.
Check out the 7 tips listed below, which will help you navigate Vegas, extend your budget, and improve your odds of beating casino games.
Here's something that many new Vegas visitors don't understand:
Not all casinos offer the same odds on their games.
This is especially noticeable when you compare the big resort casinos to smaller establishments.
Here's an example:
The Alamo truck stop casino features two single deck blackjack tables with player friendly rules that drive the house edge down to just 0.15% with perfect strategy. Vegas Strip casinos, like the Venetian and MGM Grand, on the other hand, have house friendly rules that push their advantage up near 2%.
This may not sound like a significant difference. But if you bet $10 per hand over 400 hands, this is the difference between you theoretically losing $6 with the 0.15% house edge versus losing $80 with the 2% house advantage.
Doing 1 to 2 hours of research before embarking on your Vegas trip could prevent you from losing hundreds of dollars, or even help you book a profit.
If you're going to gamble in Las Vegas, then you should join the player's club at one or more casinos. This allows you to accumulate rewards on your play that can later turn into free play, meals, show tickets, or even a hotel room.
Joining the player's club isn't hard, and you can do so at a casino or through their website. It's especially good to join weeks in advance because this gives the casino time to email you special offers.
Some player's clubs, like the one at MGM, allow you to use your card at any Vegas property they own, which is nice from both a variety and convenience perspective.
One common mistake made by first time Sin City visitors is spending too much on their hotel room, only to later regret it when they have less money for gambling and other entertainment.
The key thing to understand here is that you probably won't spend much time in your hotel anyways. So why spend $300 on a posh suite when you can get good value out of a $100 room?
You can also find plenty of deals on hotel rooms if you look in advance. And if you sign up for the player's club, the casino may even send you great deals through email.
Also be sure to review charges in advance so that you aren't surprised with resort fees that'll ruin your trip.
Las Vegas is often called an "adult playground" because it offers so many different entertainment opportunities, including those that you won't find in any normal city. This is all the more reason to venture outside the casinos at some point to see what else Vegas has to offer.
Some of the different activities that you can enjoy include helicopter tours of the city, day clubs, party tours, go karting, CSI: The Experience, limousine tour, zip lining, and skydiving.
If you go even further outside of Sin City, you can look forward to visiting Red Rock Mountain Canyon, the Grand Canyon, and the Hoover Dam.
Don't let cab fare and rental cars drain your budget; plan your transportation in advance.
You'd be surprised at how many Vegas visitors get a rental car when they won't be venturing more than a block off the strip. If you only plan on visiting different casinos downtown or attractions on the Vegas Strip, you can get to most destinations by walking.
When you want to travel from the airport to the strip or from one end of the strip to the other, consider buses. You can get a 24 hour pass for around $10 or you can take single trips for $2 to $3, which is a lot cheaper than paying for any cab ride.
If you plan on visiting attractions outside the city, like the aforementioned Red Rock Mountain, then a rental car can be worth the price. But if you'll only be taking a few trips within the city, you probably won't need a car.
Unless you're a food connoisseur or shopping fanatic, food and everyday items are two areas where you can save big during your Sin City trip.
You can find convenience stores on the Vegas Strip that offer food, beer, liquor, and souvenirs at a good price. McDonald's and other chains are also located around major Vegas attractions, which will cut your food budget down considerably.
Of course, this doesn't mean that you can't splurge on dining and retail on your trip. But it's always good to save money in a few spots so your Vegas spending doesn't get out of control.
Whatever you do on your Las Vegas trip, don't play casino games just to win back your losses!
While you can win money in any given session, remember that casino games are purely for entertainment and the house holds a long term edge. If you suffer through a losing session and are running low on money, playing more casino games is a bad way to get it back.
Set your bankroll at the beginning of the trip and stick to this amount. As long as you don't gamble past your bankroll, you won't have any worries.
Thanks to all of Las Vegas' attractions and entertainment options, a trip here can be one of the most thrilling experiences of your life, especially if you keep the above tips in mind.
That said, look for the best casino odds, save money where you can and plan out your trip ahead of time.