Casino loyalty clubs (commonly known as players clubs) are a great way to receive discounts and comps in Las Vegas. Earning rewards in Las Vegas that can only be used in Las Vegas isn’t convenient for most people who travel to Las Vegas. Thankfully, there are multiple casino operators that have casinos in Las Vegas and around the country. Not only can you earn and redeem points close to home but you can keep your account active by visiting local casinos in between visits to Las Vegas.
Almost three out of every four visitors to Las Vegas spend some time and money gambling. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority’s Visitor Profile, 74% of people visiting Las Vegas gambled in 2017. That’s the highest percentage of visitors to Las Vegas that have gambled in the past five years.
The 49th annual World Series of Poker (WSOP) is upon us! The WSOP is one of the longest-running poker series of tournaments. Cards go up in the air for the first tournament on May 29. Events on the schedule for the 2018 tournament at the Rio include a tournament festival consisting of a comprehensive slate of the game’s most popular poker variations.
We typically keep this blog to the news in Las Vegas, things to do when visiting, and ways to get the most bang for the buck when in town. Today will be a little different but at the end of the day, everything comes back to Las Vegas.
Westgate Las Vegas recently upgraded their players club. The new WOW Rewards is more of a traditional loyalty program than the slot club it used to be. The new tiered customer loyalty program will reward guests for playing their favorite slots, table games, and sports bets. The new loyalty club will also reward for retail purchases and dining at one of the many restaurants at Westgate Las Vegas.
Last summer I spent a week at Planet Hollywood on the Vegas Strip. This trip was the first time I noticed Lightning Link slot machines. There was a small bank of four machines near Earl of Sandwich. Almost every seat was occupied whenever I walked by the game. I finally found an open game and didn’t understand why the game was so popular. The unbranded themes aren’t spectacular like other slot machines.
Earning and using a complimentary or deeply discounted hotel room is always great. However, there’s no better feeling than using those freebies and discounts on hotel rooms when vacationing in Las Vegas. Back in the day, I used a national hotel chain reward to stay at Planet Hollywood when it was a Starwood property. That was before the casino-resort joined Caesars Entertainment Total Rewards loyalty program.
Station Casinos probably comes to mind when you think of Las Vegas locals casinos. However, they’re one of the more forward thinking and cutting edge casino operators in Las Vegas. With the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) this week, I thought I’d look at how they’re ahead of some of the competition.
There are casinos all over the country today and you can pretty much gamble in every state. Las Vegas is always trying to stay ahead of the curve to keep visitors returning. There are always new shows, restaurants, attractions, and other forms of entertainment that you can’t find in every casino around the country.
After the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) I tipped you off on what the casino of the future could look like. Recent announcements of new esports gambling and new skill based games at multiple casinos show that the operators are looking to the future. Unfortunately, they’ll be in separate casinos for the time being. That’s okay, we’re on the way to the future and we can catch a preview right now.
The casino floor is always changing in Las Vegas. If you don’t visit Las Vegas often the changes are noticeable with new games, machines, and other amenities. There’s a new advancement hitting Las Vegas casinos that you may not notice right away. However, this new tech it will offer more convenience to your visit.
You may not have noticed this but Las Vegas casinos have been changing over the past couple of years. After spending a week with gaming manufacturers and casino operators I can say that changes will continue with a similar but new vision for the casino floor. The future is always changing but I heard some interesting thoughts on casino floors may look like in the future.
The Global Gaming Expo (AKA G2E) was just in Las Vegas. This is an annual gathering for the casino business. There’s a lot happening throughout the week but the most interesting part of the conference takes place on the expo floor. This is where casino game manufacturers show off their newest products.
When I first started gambling I never thought that I’d play Bingo. It’s always been a game for the old people. I’m older but not quite as old as the avid Bingo player. Shortly after moving to Las Vegas I was invited to play Bingo on a random midweek night at Red Rock Casino. I was promised a couple of drinks and fun time hanging out. Ya know what? That first time playing Bingo was weird and delivered on the promise of fun.
Casino players clubs and slot clubs have changed a lot over the years. These clubs were originally designed to only reward gamblers. Spending has changed a lot for visitors in Las Vegas. The casino clubs have had to update their system to appropriately reward customers.
There’s no tomorrow without today. The building blocks for life happen one day at a time. The casino business is no different. Casinos don’t look the same today as they did 10 years ago. They certainly don’t look the same as they did 30 years ago. Casino operators are always looking to offer amenities for today’s customer with hopes that something will stick for the future.
Casinos and slot machine manufacturers are gearing up for a busy summer. The next time you walk into a casino you should expect to see a lot of new slot machines. The games feature new and unique themes and the most advanced technology we’ve ever seen in slot machines.
We are in a Generation X slot machine renaissance of sorts. This generation is comprised of people born in between 1965 to 1976. This is the generation between Millennials and Baby Boomers. We grew up in the 1980’s and hit our prime in the 1990’s before settling into adulthood in the 2000’s.
Not everyone who visits Las Vegas today comes for gambling. The lavish shows, massive nightclubs, five-star restaurants, different sights, golf courses, fantastic bars, shopping, spas and so much more can keep anyone occupied for a day and night.
Many still enjoy gambling in Las Vegas but it’s not the main reason why people visit Las Vegas today. This wasn’t always the case. Gambling used to be the main reason to visit Las Vegas. This was an activity special to Las Vegas and then it wasn’t. Not too long ago, casino gambling was only available to a few states in America. Now you can gamble in almost every state in the country. However, there’s still nothing like gambling in Las Vegas.
Just because you can do something everywhere, doesn’t mean you should do it everywhere. There will always be something special about the casinos in Las Vegas. The variety of casinos cannot be replicated. It’s not everywhere you can gamble with dancing girls and cross the street to gamble under a multi-million dollar chandelier.
Las Vegas isn’t the same kind of outlier it used to be. That doesn’t mean the casinos are square buildings that all look and feel the same. Here are some places to gamble in Las Vegas that are unlike gambling anywhere else in the United States.
Video Poker at The Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan
There may not be a more beautiful setting in the world for video poker players. You won’t find the best odds at these video poker machines. Regardless, this is among the most fun places to play video poker in Las Vegas. Just about everything at the bar is available complimentary while you’re playing video poker at a pace deemed fast enough for the casino. Even their $16 signature cocktails can be comped. The video poker bar is located on the first of three levels under the fabulous chandelier with over 2 million crystals.
Blackjack at The D Las Vegas
There are party pits with loud music and dancers all over Las Vegas. Many of those party pits offer worse rules than other parts of the casino. The house edge in some games may be worse and the minimum bet may be than you might want to play. Almost the entire table game area at The D is a party pit. The music is loud, the drinks come quickly, the minimum bets are low, the gambling rules are fair, and the dealers dance in-between dealing shifts. Blackjack games often start at $10 when the dealers are dancing and pay 3-2 when you’re dealt blackjack, which is better most other party pits. This is one of the most fun environments to gamble in Las Vegas.
Sports Betting at Cosmopolitan
Sports betting is unique to Nevada casinos. This unique environment goes to another level when you visit the sports book at The Cosmopolitan. Once hidden on the second floor, the sports book was moved to the first floor. The sports book has a center bar with a sports ticker and video poker. There are multiple large viewing areas on either side of the bar which also offers free games like shuffleboard, billiards, and foosball. A few steps away is a small pit of blackjack tables. Of course, you can just sit back and watch the games with a wager as low as $5.
Craps at the Golden Gate
This small old school casino-hotel is operated by the same people that operate The D. The casino floor is a similarly fun with dancing dealers. However, the close quarters create a unique energy that isn’t found in any other casino. Forget the dancing dealers and play the most fun craps game in Las Vegas. The minimum bet is $5 and you can place 10x free odds on your bet. The game is so much fun that even the dealers are in on the party.
Gambling At A Pool – All Over Las Vegas
Being inside of a casino all day can get old for some people. The summer is the perfect time of year to head outside to do a little gambling. There are casinos all over the Las Vegas valley that offer some form of gambling outside. You can play $5 blackjack in the shaded bar area at Red Rock Resort where drink service is super fast since there aren’t many tables. You can play poolside craps at the Flamingo and Plaza for a minimum bet as low as $5. If you prefer being inside of a pool and gambling there’s swim-up blackjack at one the many pools at Caesars Palace and Hard Rock.
Casinos in Las Vegas look different today than they used to. You may have noticed some changes on your last visit to Las Vegas. Frankly, the casino floors all around Las Vegas have evolved a lot in the past five years. Casinos are no longer exclusively gigantic rooms of slot machines and table games that they used to be.
You may notice that casinos are broken up into smaller areas. Many traditional gaming floors have specific gambling spaces dedicated to certain games. Some casinos like The Linq create “pods” that make this somewhat obvious to the naked eye.
A casinos like MGM Grand simply segments their main gaming floor by different table games and slot machines. This makes it a bit easier to navigate around the property. Some casino floors like Encore break things up by adding gaming lounges outside of the main gaming floor.
The casino floor at MGM Grand is so large (170,000 square feet according to their fact sheet) that the casino operator has taken the gaming space to another level. They’re combining all strategies in order to make a unique casino.
In addition to breaking up the gaming floor, they’ve added gaming lounges. Whiskey Down was one of the very first gaming lounges with a mix of bartop video poker and blackjack tables. Last year MGM Grand opened The Level Up gaming lounge. The new bar and gambling area offers traditional bar games with new and old casino gambling.
Planet Hollywood recently took a more loungy concept right to the middle of the gaming floor. They recently installed social and skill-based games from Gamblit Gaming in between the traditional table games and slot machines. This is currently a planned field trial for the new games. If successful, we can expect these games to appear in more casinos.
These skill-based games aren’t traditional casino table games or slot machines. The small area of three tables includes Gamblit Poker and Cannonbeard’s Treasure. Here’s a description of each game:
Gamblit Poker tests skill and speed while allowing players to win up to 240x their bet in a single hand. Each player starts with two cards, followed by a single deck of cards shown in rapid succession in the middle of the table. Players have to quickly virtually grab the cards they need in order to complete the best possible poker hand.
Cannonbeard’s Treasure engages players in a fast-paced game of cards, skill and naval warfare. This game is similar to blackjack but on a whole new level. Cannonbeard’s Treasure challenges players to fill their hand without winning or busting, initiating a burndown. During the burndown, a set of additional cards will be dealt. The player who gets closest to the objective, without going over, wins a chest of gold.
Between two and four players can compete against each other for a head-to-head gaming experience at these tables. Each gaming terminal offers a unique, multi-player – multi-game machine with access to a shared 42” touch screen, plus a USB charging port, purse hook and two cup holders for each player. I’ve played slot machines and bartop video poker simply because they have an outlet to charge my phone. This is a modern amenity that every game should have.
MGM Resorts has interactive tables which include some skill-based but non-gambling games at some of their casino bars and sports books. Almost every visit to The Mirage sports book takes me to these tables. I’ve wished that I could wager a few dollars on some of the games while relaxing with a drink and sports on TV. Gamblit Poker and Cannonbeard’s Treasure seem more appropriate for this kind setting than the middle of the gaming floor.
While Caesars Entertainment touts the new games as the first skill-based games in Las Vegas, they’re actually second. Earlier this year MGM Grand introduced a skill-based gambling version of Frogger at their Level Up lounge. If the field trial is a success, these games will be placed at The Linq and Caesars Palace.
Casinos aren’t what they used to be. There are new places to gamble and new games to gamble on. These skill-based games are still new to casinos but could become a new way to gamble. Like most new technology, the games are targeted to a younger customer. That said, I know plenty of older casino visitors that enjoy a relax, have a drink and throw a few bucks on a game of skill.
Low rolling shouldn’t be thought of something to do when they you’re running low on money in Las Vegas. Regardless of your financial situation you should really consider a night of low rolling in Las Vegas. Beyond the financial savings a long session of low rolling can be the most fun time you have in a Las Vegas casino. For some reason, the loudest people in the casino tend to be the people wagering the least. That can be you!
A day or night of low rolling in Las Vegas begins with your location. It’s easiest to go low rolling in downtown Las Vegas because there are a plethora of inexpensive restaurants and casinos in a walkable area. Options can always make an experience better. In addition to the Vegas Strip there is one other area where you can go visit multiple casinos if you want. The trio of casinos (Rio, Gold Coast, Palms) just off the Vegas Strip on Flamingo.
If you’re not in the mood to bounce around casinos, you can keep to the same location. Casinos like South Point, The Orleans, and the aforementioned Gold Coast each offer cheap gambling and a variety of inexpensive dining options.
I started low rolling days and nights in Las Vegas before I even realized it. There was a visit to Las Vegas that began with day drinking and gambling at the El Cortez. Between the $3 blackjack (now $5) and 25 cent roulette (still $0.25) we gambled for hours. I don’t remember much else after the El Cortez but there was probably a steak involved.
Another night of low rolling madness happened at the Gold Coast when I learned how to play Pai Gow. I knew I was onto something special. Here are some examples of where to enjoy a day or night of low rolling in Las Vegas.
Downtown Vegas Low Rolling
As I mentioned this is the best location for a day, night, weekend or week of low rolling in Las Vegas. There are so many options to choose from, but I’ll share my current favorite. The evening begins at Pizza Rock Happy Hour. You can enjoy personal pizza with a craft beer for about $10. You can add more drinks and still remain under $20. After you’re done eating and drinking you can head to The D for $5 blackjack. The rules are player friendly so your money should last awhile. If you want a break, just head back to Pizza Rock for their late night Happy Hour.
Off Strip Low Rolling
I’ve mentioned the Gold Coast is one of the birthplaces of low rolling in Las Vegas for me. Dining is only a part of the night. I typically eat before reaching the Gold Coast for low rolling. However, there are some good and inexpensive options. The $5 Pai Gow table is the game of choice here. The game is slow, there are a lot of hands that push (nobody wins or loses) and the cocktail service is super fast. After a few hours of gambling you may tip the cocktail waitress more money than you play in the game. That’s what I’m talking about!
Vegas Strip Low Rolling
You can find cheap gambling at a few locations on the Vegas Strip but there’s only one casino devoted to the low roller. Casino Royale has cheap gambling, drinks, and food. What more could a low roller want than a casino that’s like a dive bar? Call this a dive casino if you wish. You can play any table game for $5 here and enjoy a variety of inexpensive places to eat. This is a small casino and if you feel claustrophobic after a while you may be able to find some good low rolling games across the street at Treasure Island.
Casino loyalty clubs (commonly known
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