With more than 50 hotels and resorts offering casino games, live poker and sports betting, the Las Vegas area is the undisputed capital of real money gambling in the United States. With so many options, it begs the question: where are the best places to have a flutter in Sin City?
It depends what you’re searching for. Some casinos have better odds and lower limits on popular games, some excel when it comes to facilities and services, while others offer the signature blend of opulence and entertainment that constitutes the quintessential Vegas experience.
There’s also the matter of location. The famous Vegas Strip is home to household names such as the Bellagio, Caeser’s Palace, Circus Circus, MGM Grand and the Mirage, but there are plenty more options in Downtown Vegas and the outlying areas.
We at RealMoneyGamble.com.au are all about finding the best odds on the best games, so here are our top picks for blackjack, pokies, roulette and poker in Las Vegas.
Best blackjack casinos in Las Vegas
Looking for a blackjack table with a low house edge and affordable bet limits? Forget about the big-name casinos on the Strip and check out these joints instead.
Alamo Casino and Travel Center
It may be one of the least glamorous venues in the region, but this humble servo-cum-casino in North Las Vegas is a mecca for blackjack players. When last we checked, the Alamo had two single-deck blackjack tables that paid 3 to 2 for a natural and offered late surrender along with the almost extinct six-card Charlie rule. The margin on these beauties is around 0.14 per cent – the lowest blackjack house edge in Vegas.
El Cortez Hotel and Casino
For all-round value on the gambling floor, it’s hard to beat the famous El Cortez on East Fremont Street in Downtown Vegas. You can find $10 minimum blackjack tables with 3 to 2 payouts and a house edge as low as 0.18 per cent. The venue also has a reputation for higher overall returns on $0.25 slot machines, thanks to a generous player benefits scheme.
Treasure Island Resort and Casino
If you’re looking for a blackjack shoe game on the Vegas Strip that isn’t a complete and utter joke, Treasure Island is your destination. While the dealer hits soft 17 on the $10 tables, players can double down on any two cards, double after splitting and re-split Aces. The dealer stands on soft 17 at the higher-limit tables, which brings the house edge down to around 0.30 per cent.
Vegas pokies and video poker
Want the highest payout rates on Vegas slots? How about full-pay video poker with 100 per cent returns? Those who prefer the machines to the tables will get better bang for their buck at these Vegas gambling dens.
Palms Casino Resort
Situated just off the Strip in the unincorporated locale of Paradise, the Palms is the place to be seen in and around Vegas. It’s a favourite amongst locals and celebrity visitors alike, not least because it claims to have more than 1,300 of the newest and loosest $1 slot machines in Nevada. It also carries a number of high-return video poker games – a luxury rarely afforded by Australian casinos these days.
South Point Hotel Casino and Spa
Head to the lower end of Las Vegas Boulevard if you want the best value on $1 video poker games. South Point carries hundreds of full pay 9/6 Jacks or Better Poker machines which, when using perfect video poker strategy, have a house edge of only 0.46 per cent. Factor in the casino’s excellent player comps, and you get an expected return of 100 per cent or better.
The D Las Vegas Casino Hotel
The casino formerly known as Fitzgerald’s is not only an institution of the Downtown casino scene, but a haven for $0.25 video poker players. The gaming floor features an entire section dedicated to ‘100% payback’ machines, all of which can be played for a quarter a hand. There’s also a number of progressive jackpot video poker games where the bigger prize pool gets, the better the theoretical returns become.
Single-zero roulette at Vegas Strip casinos
It is almost impossible to find single-zero roulette on the main floor in Vegas. However, a handful of the bigger casinos on the Strip offer at least one mid-limit European roulette table for the average punter who refuses to cough up a 5.26 per cent edge on dodgy double-zero layouts.
MGM Grand Las Vegas
For the most reasonable roulette games in town, the world-famous MGM Grand is probably your best bet. The main gaming area usually features two $25 European roulette tables, which is about as good as it gets for single-zero games in Vegas. The Grand has also been known to offer the French la partage rule, which cuts the house edge to 1.35 per cent on even money bets.
The Mirage Hotel and Casino
Also in the Paradise region of the Strip, the Polynesian-themed Mirage is another big hitter that offers patrons an alternative to the standard American roulette wheel. You can find a single-zero layout in the main casino 24 hours a day, although the minimum bet limits can vary between $25 and $100 depending on demand and the time of week.
M Resort Spa Casino
Since opening in 2009, the M Resort in Henderson has established itself as one of the swankiest destinations on Las Vegas Boulevard. Despite the reputation for luxury and indulgence, it has also been known to offer value options for the punter on a budget – including $10 European roulette games which, while not in operation 24/7, can be made available upon request.
Top Las Vegas poker rooms
Vegas is pure heaven for real money poker players. All the major casinos run dedicated poker rooms featuring round-the-clock cash games and tournaments, but some offer more action, more variety and a better all-round experience than others.
Bellagio Las Vegas
If you’ve got a taste for high-stakes poker and a bankroll to match, the Bellagio is a must. This is where the big boys go for their no-limit hold’em fix, including many of the world’s leading professionals. Bobby’s Room is a sanctuary, featuring two tables and a much more private, intimate setting than you will find at most high-limit poker rooms on the Strip.
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
Quite a few Vegas veterans rate the Venetian as the best poker place in town. For starters, it’s one of the classiest joints on the whole Strip – the place is a work of art in its own right. But the big draw for Texas hold’em and Omaha players is the diversity of the crowd that comes through the poker room, which provides plenty of opportunities for good players to make a buck.
Aria Resort and Casino
Boasting the only casino within the Las Vegas CityCenter complex, Aria also runs one of the best hold’em poker rooms in all of Nevada. There’s something for everybody, with dozens of tables devoted to low-limit betting and a nice spread of game styles. But the main attraction is the Ivey Room, where the pros go for high stakes, big action and free food.