LAS VEGAS RULES
by Stefan Leach
There are certain things to know and be aware of when you visit Las Vegas. I hope these help you enjoy yourself.
WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES! You will walk a LOT farther than you ever imagine and that space needle tower called The Stratosphere…It looks a whole lot closer than it really is. If you are at The Sahara – The Stratosphere is still a mile away.
Don’t take taxis in Vegas. Take a limo and arrive in STYLE! A taxi ride from Mandalay Bay on one end of the Strip to the Fremont Experience at the other end ten miles away will run $46 plus a tip and you may have to wait 20 minutes in line for a cab. Ask at the Bell Desk for a Limo and it will cost $50 for an hour and is waiting for you in 3 minutes. Plus, the word spreads fast that you came in a limo and the people employed at the casino treat you differently, better.
Ask and you shall receive. You’ve heard of all the free stuff the casinos give away? It’s true. Ask at the Front Desk, the Casino Host office, the Bell Desk, the Player’s Club desk, the Table Games Pit…If you want something…all you need do is ask the right person. If you sign up for ANYTHING, ask what they will do for YOU. This is not the time to be shy. Be bold. Be brazen. Be greedy.
You are not Superman. Get some sleep and remember to eat. This is a vacation. If your butt has been molded to a blackjack chair for over 2 hours, you are abusing yourself. Get up. Walk around. Get some circulation back into those legs and arms. Gaming should be done in sets. And if your belly is empty, everywhere you play will want to be fed as well.
Right pocket/Left pocket rule. The money you will gamble with is in your right pocket when you sit down to play. As you win, put your winnings into your left pocket. When your right pocket is empty, you are DONE! Stand up. Walk away from the place you were playing. Go to the bathroom; go to your room; go outside and look at the architecture, but GO! And you still have money in your pocket. Nothing stopping you from transferring from left to right pocket, but gaming in sets will ultimately keep you from losing back what you’ve won and keep you from developing a secretary spread.
Dress the part. If you want to be treated like a tourist, dress like one. If you want to be treated like a celebrity, dress like one. If you are going out for a night of clubbing, don’t wear sneakers, jeans, and t-shirt! Many clubs will not allow you to the velvet ropes unless you are wearing suit, tie and leather shoes for the man and slinky, sexy, elegant, gowns or dresses for the ladies.
Know the game. So many tourists get in a frenzy to begin throwing their money into a game that they fail to stop, look, and listen to what is happening at any game. Are you sure that slot machine said One Cent instead of One Dollar? And if you are going to play blackjack, Craps, or roulette or any of the variety of games available, take the time to know how to play first: what the hand signals mean and what jargon to use. Know the difference between pressing, pushing, or pulling a wager. All reputable casinos have lessons for the various games. Take them. You will usually end up with coupons for a free drink with play or matchplay or some such promotion for taking the lessons. And listen to the dealers. Tell them you are a newbie and they will assist as much as they can…and if you are winning, tip your dealers. Karma is real at casinos. What comes around should go around and when the train comes in, everybody rides.
Set aside some ‘return home’ money. When you get to your room, make sure you put aside funds you WILL NOT USE during your stay for the eating and traveling expenses for your return trip as change happens to every plan. One couple went hungry for two days due to missing their connecting flight in Denver and had to wait STANDBY until availability. Don’t let it happen to you.
If you think it’s lucky; it IS lucky. If you think rubbing a slot screen counter-clockwise instead of clockwise will improve your luck then rub the screen counter-clockwise. If you think stepping into a casino with your left foot first is lucky then step into the casino with your left foot first. If you think dropping a dollar bill on your room floor and leaving it there through your stay will bring you luck or that tearing off the corner of a hundred dollar bill and sliding that corner paper under your doorknob will bring good fortune your way then do it. All these superstitions are widely held in Las Vegas. If you believe these actions help, then they help if in no other manner than to change your outlook into a hopeful and positive one. And where gambling is concerned, Attitude counts!
You are not on vacation to be miserable. So you’ve lost $50,000 at the craps tables! You still have your health, your friends, and your home (or Pirate ship) to return to. If you want to torture yourself about every loss along the way, you will find fortune drifting away faster and faster. You are in the CITY OF OPPORTUNITY! Magic happens around every corner, and certain wise and smart gamblers have made their fortunes right where you’ll be standing. Remember that. Howard Hughes went bankrupt 37 times in his lifetime. Donald Trump has gone bankrupt 12 times. And come back from it. With Great attitudes! If Disneyworld is the happiest place on Earth, why are so many adults frowning there?
Look around while your at Vegas.
The joy visible is and should be contagious and the only one who decides if you are happy or not is you. Places To See There are several things to see and do while in Vegas. Here is my list of ‘Must See’ items:
The Indian Shrine to Ganesh at Caesar’s Palace in the courtyard near the pool. Drop an offering (fruit or $$$) and burn some incense (provided) and ask for good fortune in your endeavors. Read the placard about the earthquake at Caesar’s and how the shrine was given to prevent such from re-occurring. (and it hasn’t!)
At Noon and every hour on the hour in the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops (a mile long high priced shopping mall across from Harrah’s), the two fountains (one in the middle of the shops and one at the end) put on beautiful presentations of animatronic robotics for free. Get a seat or standing spot 10 minutes early.
The fountains at the Bellagio begin their dancing water choreography at noon and every hour until ten p.m. Stand right at the railing for free or sit at a bistro café table at the restaurant at the Paris Casino across the street drinking a $12 Mojito or pay $125 a plate at the Eiffel Tower restaurant on the second floor (and well worth it!) or pay $15 per person to ascend to the top of the Eiffel Tower and watch the dancing waters from there.
The Fremont Street Experience (free shuttles from the Tropicana to the Fremont Casino every 2 hours) at Old Downtown is one of 6 events visible from outer space. Starting at 7 pm and going on every hour, the canopy which stretches 5 city blocks comes alive and gives one of 9 different 15 minute presentations on what the Guiness Book of Records lists as the largest TV in the world. While you may stand underneath and crane your neck to watch above you, I prefer having a dessert at the second floor restaurant of the PLAZA or the GOLDEN NUGGET. Great table games at The Horseshoe, too.
Whether you gamble there or not, step into THE VENETIAN and walk the indoor canals. But as soon as you step inside, LOOK UP! That’s all I’ll say about that.
Need an extra $50 to $200? Go through the MGM Grand into their underground shop walk until you find the TELEVISION CITY section. Ask whoever is standing desk at the time what age group they’re looking for. They are constantly giving surveys and pay immediately for 30 minutes to an hour of your time. Nice.
Beyond the MGM shop area is the Las Vegas Monorail. $20 per person will take care of your travels on the Strip for a couple of days and if you’ve never heard of a MAGLEV train, it really is a brilliant piece of technological innovation. Take the monorail to the Las Vegas Hilton and see the bronze statue of Elvis Presley.
The Sirens of TI – Treasure Island is a decent presentation at 6pm, 8pm and 10pm, but DO NOT STAND ON THE BOARDWALK to watch it! The Boardwalk is the hunting ground for some of the best pickpockets in the nation. If you are going to see it, go inside the casino and get a margarita at the café/bar/restaurant adjacent to the show and sit on the balcony and see it all close up!
The Masquerade Show in the Sky at the RIO. From Harrah’s back parking lot, a free shuttle leaves every 15 minutes to the Rio. At 2pm, 4pm, 8pm and 10pm, in the Show in the Sky room near where the WSOP is held, a wall drops away and several Mardis Gras floats run on tracks on the CEILING! And give a free Vegas show for all ages. Stand on the balcony for eye to eye entertainment. For the late night shows, afterwards, pay the $20 cover to go to the Voodoo lounge and dance where many of the celebrities party or walk down the street to the Palms where the only PLAYBOY CLUB still runs great drinks and great sights.
The ETHEL M CHOCOLATE FACTORY. Ask the Bell desk when the free shuttles come by to transport you from your casino to the factory. The tour is free and the taste testing at the end is very nice and outside is a wonderfully kept cactus garden only outmatched by the Mojave Desert itself.
Names to drop:
(other than the Salty Dawg of course)
Ask any local what’s going on with Oscar Goodman to open a conversation or get an earful…either they love him or they hate him.
At the Bellagio, ask for Duke Mollner at the baccarat high stakes area. He knows me as Stefan. If he’s there, ask if he’ll get you a backroom tour.
At the magic shop at Planet Hollywood, ask for Gabe or Jeff McBride. Talk about dealing and card tricks with them there and ask about help getting in a show…Gabe should be able to arrange backstage to Chris’ show.
At City Center, ask for James Rivas about the Elvis show…He’s a brick of a man and can tell you which slots at Fremont are NOT paying and should be able to get you onstage for some wire flying.
Look into or ask your casino host about stripper 101 and send your wife to class to feel sexy, have a workout, and learn the Vegas way of teasing a man. Ask for Gloria or Destiny and tell her the Librarian sent you.
Then make plans to spend $50 for the Mrs. To go to THUNDER FROM DOWN UNDER while you go to THE LIBRARY, Crazy Horse, or Spearmint Rhino…or go as a couple to Zumanity or The Pussycat Dolls. Either way, you’ll both be so turned on you could stand in for the volcano at the Mirage that goes off every 2 hours starting at 6:00pm.
Places to get FREE SHUTTLES:
Tropicana to Fremont. Trop to Palace Station (local good payoff casino) Trop to Sam’s Town or Boulder Station Harrah’s(in the back parking garage to The RIO Barbary Coast to Sun Coast/Orleans/ or Gold Coast.
Places to eat and drink:
- You can get discount coupons WHAT’S ON LAS VEGAS MAGAZINE RIO- World Buffet… Paris buffet –go at 4:30 – get lunch price, eat dinner menu. Sit near the gates to witness caroling singers for Christmas.
- Bellagio buffet – $$$ but worth it. PLAZA second floor – get a long island tea and watch the Fremont Street Experience; or call ahead for 6:45 reservations near the window.
- Sam’s Town on the veranda to watch the laser light show at Luigi’s – great lasagna.
- Excaliber buffet for breakfast…get the omelet made to order!
- Ghirardelli’s Chocolate shop between Harrah’s and Imperial Palace. Get an old fashioned malted milk shake with chocolate sprinkles…and samples!!!
- The Shadow Bar at Caesar’s Palace – ask the bartender for her specialty with flair!
- Voodoo Lounge – Rio – Anything is a drunkard’s dream.
- Hoffbrau House across from the HARD ROCK = Lunch and beer! Have the sampler or the schweinehocksa. And ask for a pilsner.
- Behind Bally’s is Ellis Island Casino. For lunch have a BBQ chicken and fresh microbrewed beer or alcoholic rootbeer.
- Margaritaville at the Flamingo – gotta have a matgarita.
- SlotsofFun next to Circus Circus – $2 footlong chilicheesdog and $1 margarita or longnecks. But watch your wallet…slotoFun has pickpockets.
- Stratosphere= $20 p/p to viewing tower on the fastest elevator in the world. Walk down the stairs to the bar and have a Splashdown or a flaming rootbeer from hell. Do NOT buy any sh=t from the WORLD’s LARGEST SOUVENIER SHOP…it’s cheaper at Walgreens near New York New York.
- Get a free 3d show on the 4th floor of the M&M factory and get free samples there.
Slot strategy Rule of 12.
- Whatever casino you go to whatever slot you’re playing of denomination .25 cents and up, COUNT YOUR SPINS! Count 12 spins…hence the name RULE OF 12. If the machine pays off twice or more in 12 spins, consider it to be a loose machine and count another 12 spins. If the machine pays off twice or more in 12 spins, it is still a loose machine. Count another 12 spins. and so on. When it does not pay out (big or little-doesn’t matter) twice or more in 12 spins, it has gone tight on you. Get off. Let someone else lose on it. This keeps you from sitting at the same machine for hours saying, “It’ll Hit! It’ll Hit!” No. Float from machine to machine. Slots are like a good buffet. Sample a bit of all of them. The Rule of 12 is more a money management technique than a fact or law of averages play strategy. But you will move from to machine to machine more often and hopefully stay on a machine while it is paying out and get off it when it stops paying out. But remember, House advantage is lower at table games than at slots, else the casino would be FILLED with blackjack tables and craps and roulette tables instead of just slot machines. So vary your play. Play a variety of games. And when you do hit the big one, remember to show some appreciation to the people taking care of you at the casino. TIPS stands for To Insure Prompt Service. And Have fun! Win BIG! .
That’s about enough for a 3 day adventure… explore for yourself, get lost, get rich, and never be afraid to ask anyone anything. I hope this helps you on your trip.
Las Vegas Rules is an older work and If you go every six months, there is always something new when you get back and always something gone. For instance: The Sahara is closed now. The Star Trek Experience at the Las Vegas Hilton is gone. The Las Vegas Hilton os now the LVH. Wet and Wild is now a parking lot as are the Stardust and the Frontier. But much of this article is still factual and helpful. I hope this helps you.