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VegasChatter Questions: When Comps Come With A Decision

April 29, 2011 at 4:41 PM | by | ()

Time for another VegasChatter Question! Got a question about Vegas? Send it to us and if we deem it clean enough, we'll post it here on VegasChatter. Now, we'll spit out our own suggestions but we want you to help your fellow Vegas visitors too. So drop your answers in comments below!

The VegasChatter mailbag is filling up with fan questions. From explaining what our cactus is all about anyway to telling you where to golf without spending more than your clubs, we're always up for a good challenge. Here's one of the latest to hit our inbox:

From: "Joe and Di"
Date: April 27, 2011
Subject: questions

"I absolutely love reading your daily newsletter. I especially love all the chatter about the hotels and slots.

We are visiting the strip in August. I have free comps from Harrahs for free rooms at Flamingo, Planet Hollywood, and Harrahs. Can you recommend the best of the 3 for us to book?

Also we love playing slots. Which casino has the loosest ones where we can stretch our dollars?

Thanks for all your help.

Sincerely, Diana and Joe

Thanks for the kind words! We'll do our best to help assist your trip planning.

The best Harrah's Caesars property really depends on your preferences. Let's start with location. All are fairly central Strip but Harrah's is the most north property so your access to Venetian, Palazzo, Wynn and Fashion Show Mall are easier.

Planet Hollywood is the most south with easier access to Cosmopolitan, Bellagio and MGM Grand while the Flamingo is in between both with easiest access to O'Sheas, Caesars Palace and the Forum Shops. We prefer both the north and south because we can get to the newer places on The Strip more quickly.

The rooms are hit and miss with Planet Hollywood having the most recently updated rooms and Harrah's rooms being the oldest. Again, Flamingo is in the middle with some rooms being updated, but not all. We like new rooms, but we're OK with all your choices. None are great, none are awful. Just a heads up, Caesars housekeeping is spotty across the board.

A new(ish) GO room at the Flamingo.

All of the hotels you're considering are close to decent food options, but we like the choices at Planet Hollywood best. There are multiple places to get coffee and cheap sandwiches @ Earl of Sandwich as well as nicer high-end selections.

The casinos are similar with middle tier limits at the tables ($5-$15) and a wide array of slot machines and mediocre video poker pay tables. The main difference is that the Planet Hollywood casino gets super loud on weekend nights, so just be prepared for that if you stay there.

The Palms is loose, just ask Charlie Sheen.

On to loose slots, Palms claims to have looser slots than The Strip properties and while most off Strip casinos are slightly looser (1-3%), there isn't much of a difference. Just know that the higher denomination you play, the better payout percentages are. So penny slots pay the least back, while $1 slots pay better.

One good thing about the Caesars properties is that they all have a decent selection, but the MGM Resorts properties have a newer selection. The off-Strip properties are hit and miss depending on size, but Palms usually has the new shiny slots.

We like staying at Planet Hollywood because we enjoy staying with a younger crowd, having cheap food options and quick access to The Cosmo and Bellagio, which are among our favorite spots on The Strip.

When it comes to slots Palms, Red Rock, and Main Street Station may be better to extend your play by a few minutes, but the overall effect isn't much. We are Strip dwellers when we stay there, but leaving will certainly extend your play.

Let us know where you stay and how it was. Have a great trip!

Archived Comments:

also, in August.....

....the pools are a main consideration.

Harrah's pool, quite frankly, sucks.

PH's pool area is adequate, but nothing special.

Flamingo's pool area is by far the best of the 3; but as discussed on VegasChatter previously, the big pool at Flamingo is now an 18+ "party pool" which is not everyone's cup of tea.

I think...

I would choose PH, too, based solely on location. Definitely no to Harrah's. If room is important, tho, would go with the Flamingo's new GO rooms.

I agree with Becca

The PH pool is nothing special, but may be the best option of the three with the changes at Flamingo.  Harrah's would be a distant third here.

Loose slots?

Crossing the street to get to a casino with "looser" slots probably exposes the gambler to more risk from an errant motorist than it could ever save him in slot money. Anyone looking for a bargain in slot machines should attend a casino's free lecture on whatever table game most appeals to him.

For OneDollarSlots the casino's Win Rate was:
6.47% on The Strip and 3.44% near Boulder. The trek from or to either area is hardly worth the difference when you add up travel costs and time.


Where did you get the info on win rates? The site I used to go to hasn't been updating.

I discussed traveling for slot payout difference with a few friends and all agreed the money spent to get off the strip kind of negates the difference.

Loose slots? Win rates.

The Gaming Board releases figures in such a manner as to keep any particular licensees data secret. The Board also releases the information in typical bureaucrat speak and clings to historical category decisions. Most people recast the figures so as to reveal trends for the major geographical areas and licensee categories.

What is most humorous is that any slot machine player trying to save a few pennies is sort of equivalent to a Russian Roulette player trying to use a silencer. Noise suppression is a good thing but in that situation its not a major item.

Anyone at a slot machine is bucking a high house edge, much higher than virtually any of the table games. So a slot player trying to shave a few pennies seems strange.

If someone lived near the Boulder Strip, they should probably play there but if they actually wish to trek to the major Strip casinos then its a matter of time, atmosphere and personal preferences. Its a bit like a smoker trying to find the cigarette with the lowest tar statistics. What the smoker should do is stop smoking rather than trying to focus on all those decimal places off to the right.


OK, I have the NJ and NV gaming commissions bookmarked. I used to read a site that compiled info from all areas in the country and put it in one easy to read monthly article. Nice to have someone else to the work if possible. Was curious if you had a similar source.