9 Facts About Gambling in Las Vegas You Need to Know

Four Aces Cards With Las Vegas Strip Background

Gambling in Las Vegas isn’t like gambling anywhere else in the world. And the only way you can get a feel for what Las Vegas is like is to experience it yourself.

If you’re getting ready for a trip to Las Vegas I have a few things that can help you make sure you’re going to have a great time. Here are nine facts that every Las Vegas gambler needs to know. You’re going to find out if the slots are really rigged, the biggest traps to avoid, and why new games are money pits.

1 – The Best Video Poker Pay Tables Aren’t Easy to Find

Video poker machines have a house edge based on the pay table and how well you use strategy when you play. The house edge can vary by 5% or more based on the pay table.

Many Las Vegas casinos offer a range of pay tables for each video poker variety they have on the floor. I don’t know why they do this, but it’s usually good news for you. But this doesn’t mean they put the bet pay tables where they’re easy to find.

Las Vegas casinos want to take advantage of video poker players who don’t know anything about the pay tables.

So they tend to put the machines with the weaker pay tables where more gamblers will see and play them.

You need to do two things to make sure you don’t get stuck playing a bad pay table video poker machine. The first thing is to learn which pay tables are good and which ones are bad for every variety you want to play.

The second thing is to look at video poker machines where you’re playing until you find one with a good pay table. If you don’t find a good pay table, go to a different casino. You have plenty of options in Las Vegas.

2 – The Low Table Minimum Blackjack Trap

Many gamblers want to play blackjack, but they don’t want to bet too much on every hand. The casinos in Las Vegas want to offer tables for these types of blackjack players, so you can usually find tables with a $10 table minimum. Sometimes you can even find $5 tables.

But these tables are almost always a trap. This is what I call the 6 to 5 trap. The payout for a natural blackjack on the low minimum bet tables is almost always 6 to 5 instead of 3 to 2.

This is a trap because the house edge on a 6 to 5 table is much higher than on a 3 to2 table. It’s so much higher that you’re better off playing at a table with a minimum bet twice as high if that’s what it takes to get a 3 to 2 pay out.

Avoid 6 to 5 blackjack tables at all times. If you can’t afford to make higher bets at the tables that pay 3 to2, you should find something other than blackjack to play.

3 – Where to Find the Best Roulette Tables

Roulette tables all look the same to most gamblers, but there are two different types of wheels in Las Vegas. And you need to avoid one type of wheel because the house edge is almost twice as high on it as the other one.

The best roulette tables and wheels have a single zero space, for a total of 37 spaces. The bad wheels also have a double zero space, for a total of 38 spaces. If you play roulette, you should only play on the wheel with 37 spaces.

Closeup of a Roulette Table

The problem is that there aren’t as many of the 37 space wheels in Las Vegas as 38 space wheels. And most of the 37 space wheels are in high limit areas. The minimum bets are much larger in high limit areas, so not everyone can afford to play in them.

4 – Slots at the Airport

Slot machines have a higher house edge than most casino games no matter where you play them. But there’s a place in Las Vegas where the slots have an even higher house edge than normal. This place is the airport.

Never play the slots at the airport. If you’re waiting for a flight out of Las Vegas and want to play slots, you’re better off playing at a mobile casino on your phone or tablet.

5 – It’s Always the Same Time

Most Las Vegas casinos are huge, and you can play all day and all night without ever seeing if it’s light or dark outside. This is by design, because the casinos don’t want you to think about what time it is.

When you forget about the time, you might play longer. And the longer you gamble, the more the casino makes.

Most people who go to Las Vegas go to gamble, but you don’t want to gamble or lose more than you planned. This is why you need to avoid falling into the trap of never worrying about what time it is.

To combat this, take frequent breaks when you’re gambling. Walk away from the slot machine or table game at least once an hour. Take a few minutes to exercise your legs and check what time it is.

6 – Las Vegas Doesn’t Need to Rig Slot Machines

Many gamblers believe that Las Vegas casinos rig the slot machines in some way. This includes changing the pay outs while you play and other wild accusations.

The problem with these thoughts and theories is that the casinos don’t have to do anything to the slots. Slot machines are designed to take your money just the way they are, so all the casinos have to do is get people to play them.

In addition, the laws in Nevada are harsh for any casino that does something illegal with their slot machines. Casinos aren’t going to take the chance of getting shut down by doing something stupid like cheating with their slot machines. They don’t have to cheat to make large profits with the slots.

7 – New Game Mistakes

Las Vegas is the top place where new games try to get placed. If a new game does well in Las Vegas, it has a chance to get tested in other areas.

It can be fun to try out new gambling games in Las Vegas, but there’s a problem. When you play a new game you don’t know anything about it. This includes the best strategy to use and how high the house edge is.

This is dangerous, because some casino games have a house edge of 5% or more. And when you play one of these games it quickly drains your bankroll.

Don’t play games you’re not familiar with in Las Vegas or anywhere else. If you see a new game, write down the name and look it up online for more information. Don’t play it until you find out the house edge and if there’s a strategy that you can use.

8 – Why Is There So Much Alcohol?

Alcohol is readily available in the casinos in Las Vegas. Free drinks aren’t as common as they used to be, but you can still get as much to drink as you want if you’re willing to pay for it.

I’m not telling you whether you should drink or not, but you need to understand why the casinos make sure there’s plenty of alcohol available.

Interior of Water Grill Las Vegas

Gamblers play longer and lose more when they’re drinking. This is why casinos started giving free drinks to players in the first place. If it wasn’t profitable to give gamblers drinks, the casinos wouldn’t do it.

9 – Look for Tournaments

Usually you only hear about tournaments with poker. But some casinos offer tournaments for casino games like slots, video poker, and blackjack.

Playing in a tournament is one of the best ways to control your budget while you play. When you play in a gambling tournament you pay a set entry fee and then compete for a prize paid out to the top finishers. In other words, you get a guaranteed amount of playing time for a set fee.

If you’re interested in playing tournaments while you’re in Las Vegas, check the casinos for a schedule before your trip. This way you can make sure not to miss the tournaments you really want to participate in.


When you know the important facts about Las Vegas listed on this page you can avoid many of the traps gamblers fall into. You can find the best video poker machines and avoid the terrible slot machines at the airport.

You now also know where the best roulette tables are located, and how to stretch your bankroll by playing in tournaments. And you don’t have to worry about the Las Vegas casinos rigging the slot machines.

Use the facts about gambling in Las Vegas on this page to help you plan your next trip.