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-   -   Gambling Questions- Never gambled. Need help!!! (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/gambling-questions-never-gambled-need-help-177671/)

barbara Mar 21st, 2002 09:49 PM

Gambling Questions- Never gambled. Need help!!!
 
I am going to Las Vegas soon for the first time and I have never gambled, believe it or not. I will probably stick with playing the slots at first. I have some questions that I am hoping someone will be kind enough to answer. <BR>1.Do you recommend registering with the slot players club at each casino I visit? Where do you do that? <BR>2. I will probably play the 50 cent or dollar slots but spend no more than a hundred dollars per day. Can someone get comped at this rate? And if you do get comped, how does that happen? Does someone come up to you and comp you or do you have to ask someone about a comp? I have no idea how this works. I would not want to ask about getting comped if I hadn't even reached a comp play level. <BR>3. Are there some slots that are better than others to play as far as the payout. <BR>4. Is there any special slot "etiquette" one should know about? <BR>5. Any recommendations for casinos with best slot play on center strip? <BR>6. What is a pit boss and what does he/she do? <BR>7. Any other tips?<BR>Thanks for any help and comments for this neophite gambler? I don't want to look like too much of a nerd but I really have all these questions. . Know what I mean?

Anon Mar 21st, 2002 10:00 PM

Barbara, this tip may not sound like very much fun, but:<BR><BR>As soon as you win anything, even a few coins at the slot machine, take your winnings, say "thank you very much", and leave. Works for me every time.<BR><BR>Just my personal philosophy. I prefer to save my giving for charities!

janis Mar 21st, 2002 10:48 PM

What do you mean by "comped"? Free room? If so you will need to gamble a lot more than $100. Free rooms are for high rollers. If you belong to one of the casino clubs you'll get coupons for upgraded rooms, discounts, show tickets or the occasional weeknight room. Comped weekend rooms are only for the highest rollers.<BR><BR>If you mean comped meals - that is a different thing. Every casino has different philosphies re meal comps. Heck, some day tripper little old ladies even get free meals for riding the casino special buses.<BR><BR>If you just mean free drinks - just stand near a slot machine and a drink will be offered to you.

Sandy Mar 21st, 2002 11:29 PM

Barbara,<BR>Definitely sign up for the player's clubs. There is a separate desk in the casino. You shouldn't have trouble finding it and if you do, just ask a cashier. <BR>Some hotels do offer extra comps for initial visits. For example at Bellagio, a new member needs to get "x" amount of points to qualify for 2 free buffets which are worth $25.00 each. An existing member would need many more points, but since the hote wants new gamblers becoming repeat clients they try and hook you with low initial points needed for decent comps. <BR><BR>Just because you spend only $100.00 doesn't mean that's all you process through a machine. Everytime you pull the handle and the coins go through, you accumulate points. If you put $10.00 in a machine, then win $5.00, play that out, then win $5.00 more, you can process many $$$ without actually losing the initial $10.00 you invested, or you may eventually lose the $10.00, but in the meantime, you processed much more than that through the machine. I hope this makes sense to you. I'm using small amounts to try and make it simple.<BR><BR>Playing 50cent and dollar slots will help you accumulate points faster. Generally you need to ask for the comp. If you gamble a good amount at the hotel you're staying at, you should charge your meals to the room and before checkout ask the slot club host to see if your play qualifies you for any comps. My parents have had most of their meals comped this way. (At Bellagio, and they don't gamble tons of money. They stay on invited discounted rates). Make sure you use the casino club card everytime you play as that is the only way the hotel tracks the money you spend gambling.<BR><BR>You only need to worry about pit bosses if you gamble at the table games.<BR><BR>Besides Video Poker, I don't think there are set payouts for slot machines, you just get lucky if you find one that's paying well. <BR><BR>Don't have any special recommendations as far as casino's go. I'm sure you'll have fun. The above anon poster had it right when they adviesed quitting while ahead.

Keith Mar 21st, 2002 11:30 PM

Playing dollar slots with a maximum limit of $100/day? What are you going to do the other 23-1/2 hours?

Vegas Fan Mar 21st, 2002 11:31 PM

Go to:<BR><BR>www.lvol.com<BR><BR>There's more about Las Vegas (Lost Wages) than most people want.<BR><BR>Be sure to read all the headings/topics and check out the bulletin/message boards for more tips and hints on how to enjoy yourself.<BR><BR>Have fun, Barbara.

xx1 Mar 22nd, 2002 12:52 AM

Your best bets, slot machine-wise, are to play the slots in the older, less glamourous casinos. LV locals have told me they pay better, because let's face it, why else would people go to them at all? The big name places--MGM, Luxor, Bellagio, etc.--have plenty of other attractions and their slots don't pay as well. But don't count on winning much, if anything. Back when the Luxor still ran their "Nile" boat tours through the hotel, the guide told me the hotel was completely paid for even before the foundation was laid--solely from the takings from the other casinos in the owner's stable. The odds are stacked against you!!<BR>OTOH, there are some people who must a some kind of electromagnetic field that gets the slots to work in their favor. I have a friend who won $1000 on his third hand of video poker. A few days later, we were walking through a LV casino, he pointed at a machine, popped in a few coins and out came $100. <BR>My own experience is that the worst payout is when I played one coin at a time. I did much better inserting 3 (or 5 or whatever) quarters at a time.

gambler Mar 22nd, 2002 06:04 AM

As for the one question that hasn't been answered: A pit boss is a supervisor who oversees several tables (craps, blackjack) and sometimes, depending on the casino, grants comps to the players. So if you're going to ask for a comp, your request should be directed at the pit boss, not the dealer. The pit boss usually stands behind the dealers and gives them the OK to make change, etc. However, as one post noted, if all you're going to do is play the slots, you won't run into any pit bosses.<BR><BR>As for the advice to "quit while you're ahead," it's pretty shallow. Sort of like "buy low, sell high." I mean, if you win on your first pull of a slot machine, should you quit? If so, why go to Vegas in the first place? Better advice is to do what you're planning: set a daily or trip limit on your losses and don't exceed it.

D Mar 22nd, 2002 06:13 AM

Why would you play slots? Isn't it boring? You can play black jack for MUCH longer than slots and not loose any more. And you get to make the cool hand guestures!

kennyRogers Mar 22nd, 2002 06:31 AM

Best advice to set a dollar amount limit each day and NOT a limit on how long you will gamble.<BR><BR>The people that go to spend several hours always lose more than they originally planned. Hit your daily loss limit in 15 mins?...then go home.<BR><BR>Lets face it, there is a reason why a casino will pay the airfare of a player, pick them up in a limo, and give them free suite & food. IT's becaus they know that in the end, the casino almost always wins.<BR><BR>If someone one is plannig on playing at the tables and wants to be comped, just tell the pit boss you want to be rated. THey will watch how much you bet and for how long and determine your rating.

xx Mar 22nd, 2002 08:23 AM

I once got thrown out of a casino for the hand gesture i gave the dealer!

Bugsy Mar 22nd, 2002 08:43 AM

Barbara,<BR>My only system playing slots is to play in areas that are within view of an aisle way or high traffic areas. I figure the casinos want to create excitement and a sense of winning. I'm betting they place machines with high payouts in areas that are noticeable to people walking through.<BR><BR>Not sure if it's true, but it makes me feel better.<BR><BR>In terms of comps, at $100 bucks a day, spreadout at several casinos, I would not expect a whole lot of offers. Even on a $5 craps table, for example, its pretty easy to have $100 play on every roll of the dice for even the least agressive player. <BR><BR>However, each casino does have a slot club and you do get points. There is no sign which says "for x points you get this..." There is a great deal of discretion involved. <BR><BR>If you do want to try and get something, you're best bet is to play at the hotel where you are staying.

mary Mar 22nd, 2002 08:53 AM

Yep, heed the advice of those warning you to set a limit and STICK TO IT. I worked as blackjack dealer at Harrah's/Lake Tahoe for a couple of years, until I could no longer justify "taking" the last of the life savings from those previously mentioned "little old ladies". There is so much pain and misery associated with gambling. The thrill of winning is highly addictive but the agony of defeat... I had many people leave my table in tears. I could relate countless stories of broken lives and shattered dreams. If you can walk into a casino with a strong constitution and quit when you're ahead, great. Just keep in mind that eveything is wired to ensure that you continue to dig deep into those pockets.<BR>P.S. It is common knowledge that the slots have the worst odds in the house.

KennyRogers Mar 22nd, 2002 08:59 AM

Mary is right,,stick to your limit.<BR><BR>I know many people that kept raising their credit line or drained cash from their ATM account,,,,,because "they were down and JUST WANTED TO BREAK EVEN" <BR><BR>Same reason casinos don't mind anyone winning. THey know most people will just play their winnings right back to the casino.

Jean Valjean Mar 22nd, 2002 09:24 AM

Going back to the original questions...<BR><BR>1. About the slot clubs, I would register at any casino where I would plan to stay for a while. I would certainly register at the hotel where I stay.<BR><BR>2. Rules for comps are different for each casino. If you are playing slots, it will take quite some time to get enough points for comps. Table games are better.<BR><BR>3. About better / worse slots: that is the eternal question... Each machine has a fixed payout rate, with a minimum of 75%. That means that the machine will keep 25 cents out of every dollar. Of course, that is considering the machine's life! The Strip has the worst payouts, while the machines downtown are a bit better. Keep in mind that casinos make 60%+ of their revenue from slot machines... More expensive slots ($1 and up) pay better than cheaper slots.<BR><BR>4. About etiquette, just remember that the higher you tip, the faster your cocktails will come.<BR><BR>5. About the center strip, the little, older places like Casino Royale, Imperial Palace, and maybe even Harrah's may have better payouts than bigger places.<BR><BR>Have a nice trip!

Owen O'Neill Mar 22nd, 2002 09:29 AM

The percentage payback on slots is not onlu higher in Las Vegas than it is in Atlantic City, it varies from one casino to another. Those that pay outn a higher percentage of the money that comes in are known as having "looser" slots. In some cases thay may not be the big name places on the strip but rather are smaller and lesser known, therefore need to provide more incentive to get customers through the door. I believe the previously referenced website www.lvol.com will offer more precise info about this. I gamble infrequently but enjoy it when I do. I establish a "loss budget" in advance and look at the amount I"m willing to lose as the cost of my entertainment for that time period. People don't hesitate to spend $80 or $100 to see a show that lasts two hours. If I gamble for several hours and it costs me that amount I can justify it on a rare occasion as the cost of having some fun. I offer no observations on the gamble issue other thasn acknowledging that sooner or later the house always wins - the only question is whether the player enjoys being along for the ride and can afford the expense.

mary Mar 22nd, 2002 10:19 AM

Yep, heed the advice of those warning you to set a limit and STICK TO IT. I worked as blackjack dealer at Harrah's/Lake Tahoe for a couple of years, until I could no longer justify "taking" the last of the life savings from those previously mentioned "little old ladies". There is so much pain and misery associated with gambling. The thrill of winning is highly addictive but the agony of defeat... I had many people leave my table in tears. I could relate countless stories of broken lives and shattered dreams. If you can walk into a casino with a strong constitution and quit when you're ahead, great. Just keep in mind that eveything is wired to ensure that you continue to dig deep into those pockets.<BR>P.S. It is common knowledge that the slots have the worst odds in the house.

tom Mar 22nd, 2002 10:27 AM

a lot of good advice so far. just wanted to disagree that comps are easier to come by when playing table games. i believe just the opposite is true. in fact in same casinos, you cannot even get rated unless your average bet (at least at blackjack) is $25/hand.<BR><BR>I play mostly .25 video poker (with some bj and slots thrown in)and will be going to Las Vegas for free for 7 of my 8 nights next week. I usually game about 4-5 hours/day. but even if you game less than that, you certainly may qualify for cashback and/or some free food.

CardPlayer Mar 22nd, 2002 10:28 AM

You'll really get a good feel for gambling if you just walk into a Poker and say that you would like to learn how to play.<BR><BR>I'm sure you'll find many friendly people willing to give you a lesson or two. You'll have so many people wanting you to sit near them, you'll feel like the most popular person in town!

t Mar 22nd, 2002 10:36 AM

I agree with Keith<BR><BR>If you play $1 slots and can only withstand to lose $100 per day you're going to need to find other activites to do during the rest of the day!<BR><BR>$100 goes REALLY fast if you're playing the dollar slots. <BR><BR>For more fun, I would recommend doing an internet search on "Basic blackjack strategy". Blackjack is an easy game to understand and the payout is much better than slots. Blackjack etiquette is basically sticking to basic strategy.<BR><BR>Unlike some games of chance, Blackjack players do not have to make too many "decisions" about how to play. You place your bet, and depending on what card totals are in your and the dealer hand, you either HIT, HOLD, SPLIT, or DOUBLE based on the mathematical rules dictated in the basic strategy.<BR><BR>Memorizing the BJ strategy will take a few days but it's really simple and once you do you'll have more of a lively day with much better odds.<BR><BR>Anyway, that's my $.02


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