Heading to Vegas- any suggestions?

I’ve been planning a Las Vegas vacation for my birthday weekend (my birthday is on Sunday, September 25th), and I’ve been analyzing which casinos are best to stay (and gamble in) just for the fun of it. I’ve been aiming at going to Caesars Palace this year, stay at the hotel and gamble for just two nights (with the first night for just sleeping in the hotel and settling down after a 5 hour flight from EWR (Newark Airport)), party and take a flight to my hometown (Chicago) for my birthday before returning to New Jersey for IT classes (assuming I’ll still be there).

One of the benefits of having a birthday on late September (besides a plethera of museum admission deals in Chicago- course I’m not vacationing in Chicago) is that according to some websites, the traffic is supposed to be less dense than going to Vegas by December (where I went there last year), so I’ll be able to get a shorter wait line when I get to the buffet at Caesars (I missed out last year due to a really long line for Christmas). Besides that, I plan on gambling there (what do you expect), and have fun along the way.

Now the suggestions:

[li]How much gambling money should I bring on board for my freaky Friday? Last time I went to Vegas I had about $1000 to gamble for a week (and I lost it all, sadly), should that be enough for one day, or should I bring more (and it’s for fun, mind you- I have a paying part-time job that pays me nearly $400 per paycheck (two weeks)).[/li][li]any gambling tips you guys could share with me? I had my plans set out to play blackjack and craps (I’ve still got to improve my hold 'em skills if I want to play poker- I’m normally good with stud poker).[/li][li]I couldn’t think of any other tips, if you guys got any other suggestions, let me know.[/li][/ul]

(Notice: I wasn’t sure where to put my topic, so I put the topic here.)

Hmmm, well, for one, have fun.

As for how much to bring, that depends on your gambling habits. Caesar’s may no long be the “mega” Casino it once was, it’s decidedly middle-aged now, but the tables (especially in the evening) will be more expensive than, say, Excalibur. In other words, where you might find a $5 blackjack table in some places, it’ll be $10 in the evening at Caesar’s…so budget for that.

Also, you plan to gamble through the day (Friday) or will you be taking in show(s) or wandering the strip or doing other activities? Don’t know what your total budget is, but those would cut deeply into the $400 if you do them.

If you have $400 for a day of gambling, my suggestion is to split it up over the day, only gamble a certain amount at any session (and stick to it!) and play games you have a good understanding of (I tend to stick with blackjack, albeit others say craps gives you the best odds).

Whatever you do, have fun. That is what Vegas is all about, afterall.

Don’t take any money nor credit cards.

I can’t advise you on the gambling questions. But I would mention that it gets cold there at night. As a Midwest guy going there for the first time some years ago, I thought, “Hey, it’s a desert! I won’t need a jacket.” I regretted that decision as soon as the sun went down.

We need a bit more info. Are you planning on leaving the property? If not, you really don’t need a jacket. Late September is still pretty warm during the day, and if you aren’t planning on walking the Strip at night, why bother with a jacket? If you are planning to walk the Strip - WHY?? There are these things called cabs you might want to check out.

Learn Basic Strategy and follow it. Be aware that most of the lower limit BJ tables will be offering 6:5 instead of 3:2. This won’t make a difference for a short trip.

Bet the Pass line, take the odds and press when you feel lucky. Hard Ways are a sucker bet. Always tip the dealers and cocktail waitresses.

The gambling budget I’m looking at is probably $2000 or better (depending on how expensive the trip is). It’s still tentative as far as what I’ll spend on, but I know I’ll be spending the full price (or less) for the buffet at Caesars (I heard it was pretty good.) I’ve already done my sightseeing last Christmas, so I’m going to focus more on the gaming and eating (and maybe shopping too).

Caesars will be my pick for dinner, but it’s still tentative as to where I’ll gamble (or even stay). It’s still months until I party on.

What appears to be good hotels to stay in the strip? I’m aiming to stay in the strip (and not Fremont Street).

EDIT: I might leave the property (depending on which hotel, anyways, and which place to gamble in- all tentative for now), but not for sightseeing. Maybe for shopping, but not sightseeing.

Funny how you should mention about the jacket situation, Bayard & Silenus. I assumed it was going to be warm in Vegas by Christmas, but I should have done more research ahead of time.

Personal preference: Venetian/Palazzo or Wynncore. You can find anything you want to eat there (world-class) and the rooms are more than nice. Bacchanal is one of the better buffets in town, but man does not live by unlimited crab legs alone. For my dollar V/P has better places to eat than Caesars, although with Guy Savoy, Rao’s , Mesa Grill and Old Homestead you are still well served there.

Interesting. Before the edit time limit ran out, I was about to ask about player cards. Should I get a player’s rewards card and sign up for something like that? Some sites (not directly from the companies) suggested to get a player’s card to make life easier when gambling so I can get discounts.

EDIT: There’s a card called the “Total Rewards” card that would work with Caesars and the Harrahs in Joliet (Illinois), which is what I’m looking at right now.

Only if you are planning on coming back to the same property. Club cards are great for people who visit often. Not so much so for random visitors. Sign up for the CET card and see what you get. You might just score some discounted room rates.

I’ll keep that in mind. I’ve got plenty of casino games in my laptop (not online, offline), so I can practice my BJ/Craps skills that way.

Now regarding buying the rooms and tickets, when should I start to spend money on the vacation (to make a reservation, and a plane ticket, etc)?

Note that 2 days after your birthday is the G2E convention, which is freaking HUGE! This will probably negatively impact both flight choices and hotel rates. Book early.

FWIW, I took the Lovely and Talented Mrs. Shodan to Vegas for a long weekend some time back. I budgeted $400 for the whole weekend for gambling, $100 a day.

The first day I lost the $100 in an hour or two, decided that it did not meet my definition of “fun”, and spent the rest of the weekend watching other people lose money and spent the $300 on an expensive cigar for me and some jewelry for TLaTMS. YMMV.

The traditional advice stands - bring as much as you want to lose, lose it, and then walk away.


Woah. And after checking what that was, that expo might create some traffic on my Friday. (Maybe. My theory is that the tourists might fly in by Friday, significant other traffic should be light by the afternoon, unless the tourists are flying in when I’m flying in.)

Now that I’m looking at things (as well as looking at my personal days off), I might consider changing the date for the vacation. August is looking quiet, convention traffic-wise, so I might fly out either in the August 12-14 weekend (no major conventions that weekend), or the August 26-28 weekend. (The rest of the weekends are payday weekends). Plus it’s August, so that means the weather should be hot enough for pool parties along with other forms of debauchery in Vegas. Also, websites are saying that visiting Vegas in August have less traffic during that time, making that month a little better.

Just got to remember to stay hydrated at that time.

Wait… you bring home “nearly” $400 every other week… that is $10,400/year, and you are budgeting $2,000 for gambling for a weekend?

[quote=“ultimate11, post:1, topic:751165”]

[li]How much gambling money should I bring on board for my freaky Friday?[/li][/QUOTE]

I agree with Shodan. Bring as much money as you plan on losing.

To be more accurate, let’s say you bring $100. Every time you win, put your winnings in a separate pile. Continue to bet until you’ve used the entire $100. Then take your pile of winnings and cash out. Maybe you’ll end up with more than $100 (although probably you won’t.) For sure, you won’t* lose* more than $100, though.

The money I’m thinking of gambling is tentative.* (Actually, it’s probably going to be less than that, now that I look at it :smack:) Realistically, it could be $500 for gambling, but again, the flight dates are tentative.* All I just needed were tips for planning the vacation so I can find this topic later (and analyze the advice given if I can’t go this year).

*(I apologize for using that word too much.)

Average August temperatures in Las Vegas range from “Blazing” to “My shoes just melted.” Hydrating isn’t the half of it.

If you want to maximize your gambling, head downtown or off-Strip. Better odds, better percentages. Most Strip properties will only offer 3X-4X-5X odds on craps, whereas Downtown joints will offer up to 100X odds. That reduces the house edge to essentially zero. Not that that matters if you don’t have the bankroll to exploit it.

On the plus side, hotel rooms are dirt cheap in August.

Fascinating. This begs the question- when should I buy the tickets in August?