Despite Las Vegas being known as the gambling capital of America, not everyone who visits actually gambles. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, 73% of all visitors to Las Vegas in 2015 said they gambled while in town. The majority of those who did gamble when visiting Las Vegas only did so for 2 hours or less during their trip. The average person visiting Las Vegas in 2015 stayed for just over two days.
The average gambling budget in 2015 was $578.54, which is less than $300 per day. When you divide that budget between multiple casinos you’re not looking at much money in play at any individual property. This budget might seem low to some people but it can be stretched out by playing games with low minimum wagers.
Cheap gambling isn’t always the best bet in a casino because the odds may be stacked against you. However, if playing the game – regardless of odds, expected value and house edge – is what brings you entertainment from the games there are plenty of options for the average budget.
Not only is craps the most fun game in the casino, but your money can go a long way. Unlike casino card games that last one hand, a single roll of the dice can last a long time. Head to the Fremont Casino in downtown Las Vegas or Casino Royale on the Vegas Strip to play their $3 craps games. All it takes is $3 to get into the game. If you’d like to decrease the odds for the casino from 1.41% you can place “free odds” on your passline bet.
Most roulette games in Las Vegas have the same odds of 5.26% thanks to a simple layout and usually similar payouts. Low rollers can visit the historic El Cortez casino on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas for 25 cent roulette. Depending on how many numbers you play at once your money will go a long way here.
These games can appear cheap but really aren’t. Don’t be surprised when you look at a bright, shiny and new penny slot machine that has a minimum bet of $1. Look for older slot machines to extend your budget. Some penny slot machines have multi-line games that start as low as 9 cents per spin. These games won’t offer huge jackpots but they can be a lot of fun. You can find these games in many casinos but the older properties will give you the most options.
The most popular game in Las Vegas casinos can be found for just about any price point from $3 up. You just have to visit specific casinos since that $3 game is only found in 10 casinos in Las Vegas. You’ll find more games if you expand your budget to $5. Many of the $3 and $5 blackjack games have different rules which can offer a house edge as low as 0.30% and as high as 2.14%. Visit the Wizard of Vegas blackjack survey for where you can find the best blackjack games in Las Vegas.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.