Nearly half of casino visitors go with a gaming budget under $200. In fact, according to a survey by Las Vegas Convention and Visitor Authority 13% of visitors to Las Vegas budgeted under $100 for gaming on their visits last year. When hitting the casino with a limited budget you’re likely going to play low stakes. When you’re looking to maximize your money in the casino you’re going to want to make sure you’re playing the right games.
The casinos make a lot their money on low rollers so you’ll generally see that the lower limits games have the largest advantage for the casino. For example, casinos generally win about 10%-12% of money spent at penny slot machines. That’s the largest win percentage of any denomination of slot machine. You can cut their win percentage almost in half by playing nickel or quarter slot machines instead.
Since the casino returns more money on every slot machine above penny denomination you may extend your gaming budget and possibly take home some money. Compare how much each spin would be in different denominations to see if it’s in your budget. You may be surprised that you can step up from a penny slot machine to a quarter slot machine and spend the same amount per spin. You’ll get greater value from that 25 cent slot machine as the casino wins less over time.
If you’re a blackjack player there are a lot of rules to keep an eye on to get the best games. The easiest rule to spot is what the game pays on blackjack. You want to play a blackjack game that pays 3:2 (paid $3 for every $2 bet) when you’re dealt blackjack. Many of the low limits blackjack games on the Vegas Strip now only pay 6:5 (paid $6 for every $5 bet) when you’re deal blackjack. It may not seem like much but on a $10 game the difference is $3 for blackjack. That’s actually an increase of 300% in the house advantage for the casino.
Have no fear, there are still plenty of casinos where you can find a low limits game that still pays 3:2 for blackjack. You might have to walk a couple minutes off the Strip to Ellis Island or Hooters but you’ll find a 3:2 blackjack game that should let you play longer. You’ll find one of the best low limits blackjack games in Downtown Vegas at the El Cortez. This $5 3:2 blackjack game has one of the smallest advantages for any casino in Las Vegas – and it’s only $5 per hand.
Learning basic blackjack strategy and finding games where the rules are to your advantage will keep you in the game longer so you can catch a hot streak and win a few bucks. If nothing else your money should last longer.
If you prefer the machines to the tables you’re going to want to keep an eye out for good video poker games. vpFREE2.com is a great resource to find the best video poker games in Las Vegas (and around the country). Their scouts detail the exact locations of the machines with the best returns in every casino. With the wide variations of video poker games you can find games with almost 10% better returns just a few feet from each other.
I have vpFREE2 bookmarked on my mobile phone so I never forget the name of the website. Like blackjack, learning proper strategy for video poker and playing the right games can extend your play so that you might hit a hot streak and win a little money.
There are a lot of low rollers in Las Vegas. Just like looking for a new car you’re going to want to shop around to find the best games for the money. Playing the right games in the casino should extend your budget and extend the good times in Vegas.
Brendon has been in the Las Vegas travel industry for the past 15 years. As a frequent traveler to sin city he maintains a respect for Americas playground.
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