Las Vegas, NV

Best ideas for gambling in Las Vegas

Jessica Rabbit

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Are you looking to gamble while you’re in Las Vegas? I’ve got a few pointers for you, plus some options you might not have considered!

The hands down best resource for gaming information is Michael Shackleford’s WizardOfOdds.com. On this site, Shackleford lays out the optimal strategy for every casino game and explains the finer mathematical points. Each version of blackjack, for example, has a different strategy. Change a rule — like the house stands on soft 17 — and you have a slightly different basic strategy. Change the game completely — like Blackjack Switch where you play two hands and can switch the second card — and optimal strategy is so radically different that it’s unrecognizable to your average six-deck shoe player. (Note: Shackleford sold this website in 2014, so it's now run by another purchaser, but a lot of the content is his original work.)

I’ve often been asked what is the “best” casino game to play and there’s not a simple answer. Blackjack has a low house edge if you play basic strategy, but if you veer from it, your decisions can be as unprofitable as playing “pairs plus” on a Three Card Poker game. Baccarat is known for having a low house advantage, but not if you’re betting the tie. Craps, as well, has a good reputation, but only certain bets on the game. If you’re playing for fun, do whatever you like and enjoy it! Skim the Wizard off Odds website for ten minutes and you’ll be fairly well-informed.

If you’re looking for something that isn’t going to cost you too much, find a Bingo game (Downtown Vegas or in a casino off the Strip). It’s an hour of your time and you can drop $20-30 on an electronic machine that just dings when you win. No effort required and it comes with free alcohol. A similar option to this would be a Keno game, or putting a bet on a sporting event. These can be fairly small wagers that give you hours of entertainment.

Whether you're looking to blow an annual salary or just a couple bucks, Las Vegas has something for you to gamble on!

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