How do I gamble at a Las Vegas casino?


How to gamble at a Vegas Casino:  all a new visitor or a beginner needs to know before entering a Vegas casino. 


Our new, updated section on How to Gamble in Vegas (click on the underlined words to access the section)


If you are a beginner in gambling, or are visiting Las Vegas casinos soon and have never been before, this page is for you.


The moment you enter a Las Vegas casino, you will be mesmerized, especially certain modern, fun casinos with so many modern machines, exciting sounds and, very enticing ‘smells’.  Many Vegas casinos are equipped with certain scents aimed at making you (the visitor) feel elated, happy and cheerful.  I still remember the incredibly strong vanilla scent of the Flamingo.  Some Vegas casinos are much more subtle with those scents, but they do have them.  It’s part of the ‘euphoric’ experience that a casino is supposed to give us.   


Then you will notice waitresses offering free drinks to all gamblers and you may be tempted to sit and gamble just for that:  wait.  First of all, you are supposed to leave at least a one-dollar tip per drink (some people ‘cheat’ and order 2 drinks at the time and only leave a dollar); secondly, do you really want to gamble when you are drunk?  Think again.

Then you will notice many machines giving loud ‘jackpot’ sounds, or ‘bonus game’ sounds, or ‘big win’ sounds;  they are all exciting sounds but don’t be fooled by the level of noise:  some machines are loud and fun but they don’t pay as much as one may assume from the ‘winning’ sounds played.  But, they are fun!  


Whether you want to play at the tables or sit at a slot machine, don’t rush it.  Walk around, learn what’s going on and decide what your budget is going to be. 


Don't play at the tables for a while; make sure you know what you are doing first. Watch people at the table first, learn ‘the table’ and see how the dealer works, especially if you want to play roulette.  When you have decided that you want to play, take a sit, give the dealer an X amount of money and get chips for that money (when you are done playing you will just return the chips you have to the cashier and he/she will give you the corresponding amount in cash).  Bet small until you get the hang of things no matter what you do.  I think you should bet small the first night that you play at the table.  They say one has the beginner’s luck on his/her side, but I would opt for caution.

If you decide to play the slot machines, walk around the casino and see what your options are.  I would recommend to start with small denomination slots, penny slots, and bet small, such as 9x1; enjoy yourself, pace yourself, see how the game works and keep betting small until you get the hang of things. Stay away from 1 dollar slot machines or higher until you know really well what you are doing, which is probably some other time, not on your first trip.  To this day I don’t play dollar slots; my partner occasionally plays 50c or 25c slots and, because of that, he occasionally wins a much bigger amount than I do with my penny slots (1c), but betting ‘lower’ allows you to enjoy gambling for much longer! 


When you have decided which machine you want, sit down and put your money (or voucher, as I explain further on) in the allocated slot (the machines accept any paper denomination); keep an eye on the ‘remaining’ amount as you gamble and, if you decide to stop playing (at least at that machine), press the button reading ‘cash out’: this will give you a voucher for the remaining amount you have left, which you will then take to the cashier to exchange it for cash.   


I love Las Vegas casinos; they have all pretty much caught up with the voucher system, which is great in that it allows you to jump from machine to machine quickly: this because any machine will accept the voucher as valid playing money; when we want to play in other casinos (not the ones in Vegas) we are quickly discouraged when we realize that they have not adopted the voucher system yet (which means that each time you want to ‘cash out’ you have to press for assistance and wait for someone to come over and give you cash in person -  what a bore!). 

Absolutely sign up to every resort's casino players card, go to the Players Card section, sometime called Casino Marketing, it's open during the day all the time and usually until 11pm or, in some places, 2am.    

Ok, now you know the basics; to know more on how to Gamble to Win in Las Vegas casinos, go to Vegas Gambling Tips.


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