Las Vegas is a place that has always thrived on technological innovations. The nearby Hoover Dam generates a steady stream of electricity to power Sin City, affordable air conditioning keeps casino gamblers cool all summer, and the “eye in the sky” ensures the cheats and scammers of old can’t resort to dirty tricks.
Visitors can also use tech advances to make their experience more enjoyable, thanks to the apps and sites stored securely on your smartphone. If you’re planning a trip to the Strip sometime soon, be sure to add these five resources described below to your internet-connected device before hitting the road.
1 – Uber and/or Lyft
First things first, when you leave the sanctuary of your preferred casino resort, the first thing you’ll feel is the signature searing heat of Las Vegas. With temperatures that can climb above 110 degrees in the summer months, and hot days being the norm throughout most of the year, the heat can be stifling to say the least.
If it’s your first time here, by all means, take a day to stroll up and down Las Vegas Boulevard to explore the Strip’s iconic sights. That’s all part of the “Viva Las Vegas” experience, after all, and you can beat the heat by staying hydrated and taking plenty of breaks inside.
On the other hand, when you’ve already done the tourist thing a time or two before, getting from Point A to Point B in a hurry—and out of the godforsaken desert heat—is definitely your best bet.
That’s why downloading a ridesharing app like Uber or Lyft is an essential part of the pre-planning process. Register an account with the ridesharing service that suits your needs best, take advantage of any promotional offers sent your way, and have the app ready to roll the minute you arrive.
From there, you can simply dial up the nearest driver and arrange for transportation between your favorite casinos, nightclubs, and hotspots.
Don’t forget to tip generously when the driver does their job well. The rideshare industry can be pretty rough and tumble, especially in a destination like Las Vegas, where gamblers in the red can have a bad attitude. So, toss a great driver a sweet tip to show your appreciation.
2 – Casino Blackjack Strategy
Despite the fairly generic name, this mobile casino app is the best in the business for blackjack players looking to beat the house.
Thanks to a cutting-edge user interface, the Blackjack Strategy app can be customized to use dozens of different rules and formats. Eight-deck shoes or a single-deck game, dealers standing or hitting on soft 17, natural blackjacks paying out at 3:2 or 6:5—no matter the setup, this app has you covered.
Once you’ve programmed the game to match the house rules at your favorite Vegas casino, the Blackjack Strategy app is capable of running through as many practice hands as you can handle. If you’re flying into town, for example, spending just an hour or two on the app gives you access to thousands of randomized blackjack deals.
The main screen shows your statistics for the session up above, so you can work on improving your correct play percentage. Eventually, as you memorize and master blackjack’s more basic decisions, you can tell the app to ramp up the difficulty.
Even a few hours spent studying on the Blackjack Strategy app will leave you in fine form before you hit the felt for real.
3 – Vegas.com
Billed as the “Official Vegas Mobile App,” this extension of Vegas.com is a godsend for visitors on the hunt for hotel value.
When a hotel is well under capacity and wants to get guests in the doors, Vegas.com regularly highlights deals of up to 50% or more off the standard rate.
And I appreciate the app’s transparency too, because everything you need to know about Las Vegas resort fees, paid parking, and other “traps” that surprise unsuspecting visitors is clearly spelled out.
4 – Vegas Indoor Maps
This app is exactly what it sounds like, a database depicting detailed maps of every casino and hotel’s indoor areas.
You can use Vegas Indoor Maps to dodge the dreaded smoking section, locate your favorite slot machines in a hurry, or get to the club before the line stretches out the door.
Casino resorts aren’t exactly known for being easy to navigate, so having a zoomable map in your pocket at all times is the perfect solution.
5 – @TheBestofLV on Instagram
A popular Instagram account rather than an app, @TheBestofLV is the social media extension of the Best of Las Vegas website.
The site itself relies on local tips, user reviews, and firsthand experience to rate the best dining, entertainment, gambling, swimming, and Las Vegas attractions. But before you head out to see for yourself, use the @TheBestofLV account on Instagram to sample photos taken straight from the source.
Having the power of humanity’s collected knowledge and wisdom right there in your pocket is a luxury we tend to take for granted these days. After all, smartphones and their apps have been around for years now, so the novelty has certainly worn off by now.
But while your device’s collection of apps may not be all that useful on the home front, they can make all the difference when you’re exploring Las Vegas’ thriving casino scene. Take advantage of the five apps and sites listed here to streamline your next trip to Sin City every step of the way.