Las Vegas Travel Tips for Gamblers
Coming to Las Vegas to play poker or get some action on a ballgame? Great! You’re headed to the absolute best place in the United States, and arguably the entire world, to gamble. You are certain to have a pleasant experience, even if the cards don’t fall your way or your team doesn’t cover the spread, so long as you follow these tips.
Planning an Affordable Vacation
Flight, hotel, and transportation, can cost a pretty penny and will take a large bite into your gambling bankroll if you aren’t careful. But I don’t encourage staying in some dingy hotel where, at best, you’ll leave town with bed bugs. There are many disgusting motels in town, even on or near the Strip. Avoid them at all costs even if you’re on a tight budget. There are plenty of nice and affordable places to stay.
List of motels to avoid is lengthy, but here’s a start: Travelodge on the Strip, any Motel 6, anywhere in the area of the Stratosphere that isn’t the Stratosphere or SLS, and motels that allow customers to pay by the hour (this is where the dirty hookers take their clients to spread their STD’s).
List of top cheap quality casinos to stay: Luxor (Strip), Sunset Station (Henderson), Stratosphere (Strip), Downtown Grand (Downtown), Silverton (South of Strip).
List of top mid-range casinos to stay: Mirage (Strip), Planet Hollywood (Strip), New York New York (Strip), Green Valley Ranch (Henderson), Red Rock (Summerlin), M Resort (South of Strip), The Park (formerly Monte Carlo, Strip), Golden Nugget (Downtown).
List of top expensive casinos to stay: Wynn (Strip), Aria (Strip), Bellagio (Strip), Caesars Palace (Strip), Venetian (Strip).
During most months, there are affordable flights to Vegas on airlines such as Southwest, Allegiant, and Frontier. I prefer Southwest mostly because of their “bags fly free” policy, but you have to book at least two weeks in advance to get a reasonable rate. Southwest isn’t a good option for spur of the moment travelers. If you are only a few days away from your trip and still haven’t booked a flight, my advice is to use travel sites such as Orbitz or Expedia. I have found many cheap last-minute deals to some top destinations.
(Note: nearly every casino in Las Vegas charges a “resort fee” on top of your standard room rate. This daily fee can be expensive, especially on the Strip. Some hotels charge as much as $45 per night added on to the advertised room rate)
Travel Tips for Poker Players
- Use Uber, not a taxi, when going to and from your airport.
- If you don’t want to pay for Uber each day, either walk from casino to casino on the Strip or take the Deuce/Express bus which costs $8 for 24 hours and takes you from the Outlet Mall (south of the Strip) all the way up to Fremont Street, with stops at most casinos in between.
- Sign-up for a free player rewards card at every casino you visit and always use your card when playing poker to earn comps. Most poker rooms give $1 per hour in comps for cash games, with casinos such as Wynn and Aria giving $2/hour. You’d be surprised how quickly these comps add up towards free meals and rooms.
- There is a free tram that takes you from Mandalay Bay to Luxor and then to Excalibur, and one that takes you from Aria/The Park (formerly Monte Carlo) to Bellagio. It’s convenient and free, so use it if you plan on going from one end of the Strip to another and don’t want to pay for a Uber or bus to get there.
- Don’t waste your money playing slots at the airport while waiting to board your flight back home or for your Uber to arrive. While every slot machine in town is rigged in the casino’s favor, the odds on slots at the airport are among the worst in Las Vegas.
I hope you have an unforgettable time in Las Vegas!