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OpenThread / Gambling / Video Poker / Blackjack / Craps / Mississippi Stud Poker / 3 Card Poker / Penny Slots / Slot Machines / → All Tags
Trips to the casino are filled with ups and downs. Sometimes, there's a winning session and, sometimes, there's a losing session. The casino has a few percentage point advantage on every game so losing a little isn't really a surprise. We can deal with losing by small percentages. It's part of the territory. The sessions, however, where there's no winning at all is what really grinds this writer's gears.
On a recent trip to the casino, I couldn't shake off a cold streak. I played every game to see if I could change my luck and nothing worked. The first session started out at the tables with 3 card poker where I was actually up for a little before losing. Later, I played craps and that was a loser, too, mostly on my rolls. Gasp! I switched to Mississippi Stud Poker and that was a loser. The only win was $10 while killing time on a penny slot before dinner. After the break, the losing continued with blackjack, video poker, higher denomination slot machines and Mississippi Stud Poker (again) before I just gave up.
Ever since this writer was a child Iíve always been early. For everything. Itís a blessing and a curse. In Las Vegas, thatís usually a curse because nobody is on time, but I digress.
A couple weeks ago, I arrived about 20 minutes early to brunch at Mandalay Bay. Like any gambler, I decided to kill time gambling and dropped $20 in a .25 cent Top Dollar slot machine. Top Dollar is probably my favorite slot machine, but I usually play the $1 game. Twenty minutes after the machine took my $20 bill, I walked over to brunch with a voucher worth $130. Brunch at Border Grill was delicious and the bill was exactly $130. Coincidence? Maybe. I asked the waitress if I could pay for everything using the $130 ticket from the Top Dollar machine. To no surprise I wasnít able to, but since the bill was the exact amount of the winning ticket I decided to pay for brunch.
Most of the time when this editor is booking a hotel room in Vegas, I'm booking it based on these three factors:
3. Things To Do
More than I'd like, the price factor ends up being the deciding factor when booking my Vegas trip, especially now that, on average, resort fees cost an extra $20 plus tax a night. But, occasionally, location wins out as I need to be close to a certain end of the Strip and I don't often rent a car. (Although, the last two times, I have because I cannot deal with Vegas cab rip-offs.) And, while I do love exploring different hotels every time I'm in Vegas, I like knowing my hotel also has a fun pool scene, great restaurant options, a spa, a lounge to drink in and a nightclub to dance in. Oh, and.. duh, a casino.
But, on my last trip to Vegas, something different happened. I found a room that I wanted to come back to over and over again.
Now, because I'm superstitious and paranoid, I won't tell you the exact room number. But I will tell you that it's on the 36th floor of Vdara and it has a king bed, small kitchenette, a little table for two, a pull-out couch and a partial view of the Bellagio fountains. I was able to get it for $109, before taxes and resort fee, during the week and I would happily pay that rate again and then some.
When it comes to places to stay in Vegas, the competition is pretty steep. And, the cool thing about Sin City is how different each hotel is, even within the same price point. We think it's fair to say that choosing where to stay in Vegas is more exciting than any other city in the world due to the range of options and amenities at your disposal.
But, how does one decide? There are many platforms upon which to make a decision: the aforementioned personality/design, the location, the price, the casino, the restaurants/bars, the nightlife, vibe, comfort... the list goes on.
We want to know what you look for in a Vegas hotel, and what criteria you use to make your decision. We're sure it's a combination of the above, as even we like to balance price with personality and to mix it up, too! Drop us your thoughts in the comments below!
(PHOTO: Demont D. on Foursquare)
OpenThread / Jackpots / Gambling / Bad Beats / → All Tags
You told us last week about your first big win in Vegas, but even though those stories stick out in our memory, we all know they are few and far between. Without question, you've experienced more bad beats than jackpots over the course of your gambling career.
Is there anything worse than pushing in your stack and THEN seeing the cards come up, the smile forming on someone else's face, the dealer reaching for your chips? Don't even get us started on roulette. It sure does make the blood boil. Really? FIVE reds in a row?
OpenThread / Jackpots / Gambling / Winning / → All Tags
We've all heard stories from friends of big risks and big rewards in Las Vegas. And, regardless of how frequently they occur in reality, they are indeed fun to share and celebrate. It's the brief opportunity to relish the fact that the house doesn't always win.
So here's your chance to brag and relive the glory. We want to know about your first big jackpot: when, where, and how? What was the game? The situation? Did you risk a lot to win a lot, or did you get really lucky on very little? Did it happen within minutes? Or, maybe it took hours and almost all of your funds.
OpenThread / Tips / Hotel Rooms / → All Tags
We told you about how a snug shirt and a little bit of flirting went a long way for us at Gold Coast proving that, when played correctly, your
guns cards can, indeed, go a long way.
And, we've all been there. Standing in that long check-in line just knowing that sweet suite was vacant and wondering if it could be ours for a $20-laden handshake. While some of us might have the fortune of good looks and a proper (tight) outfit, the rest of us are left to what's inside our wallet for that "free upgrade."
OpenThread / Drinking / Bars / The Strip / Downtown / Downtown Vegas / → All Tags
When we think about drinking in Las Vegas, several images come to mind. There's the watered-down vodka sodas of the nightclubs, the high-priced cocktails in leather-seated lounges, and the golden-colored mystery beers of the blackjack table. Maybe there's a little wine in there somewhere.
Our question to you is: Where is your favorite place to get a beer on the Strip? What about downtown? And, why? Let us and your fellow readers know your recommendations in the comments below.
(PHOTO: Utku C. on Foursquare)
Last week, we wondered about your most out-of-the-box experiences, things you've personally done yourself during a visit to Sin City.
While most of us like to keep our skeletons tucked tightly in the closet, dishing the dirt about what we've seen others do is more than fair game, and certainly much more fun. After all, people watching is one of the main attractions in Vegas.
Despite its glamour, we know winning ain't always easy inside of a casino. Gambling is, without a doubt, the biggest and most popular form of risk-taking in Vegas. We all know how stressful doubling down can be, but we want to know --- what's the craziest, out-of-the-box thing you've done outside of the casino? Something you've done that has really gotten your blood pumping. After all, there's a lot of trouble to be found!
Maybe a flight over the Grand Canyon once got your knees weak. Or, Sneaking into a hot new pool that proved to be quite a thrill. Or, maybe it was buying that table full of hotties a round of drinks in hopes of conversation (and then some)?
Hindsight is a beautiful thing, isnít it? We make our living dishing out opinions and reactions to hotels and happenings around town so we know all too well how easy it is to play Monday morning quarterback. Love this, hate that. Change this, shouldíve done that. It rolls off the fingers real easy, doesnít it?
And, this behavior is perfectly within all of our rights, by the way. Weíre the customers, the people who foot the bills and keep this city alive so, if we feel a certain way, thereís no reason we should keep it to ourselves. Our voices and feedback are the best vehicles to bring about change and thatís something you should always keep in mind.
This week's question comes from VC reader Donna M. who is curious about moving to Las Vegas:
My question is for people who have moved to Las Vegas from anywhere else. Do you like it? Was it hard to find a job? Is it expensive to live there, say, in contrast to California? Do you regret moving there? Do you ever get tired of it?