Every single city in the entire world has dozens of secrets that only the locals (or a select few privileged people) know about, and Las Vegas is no exception.
When you spend a lot of time somewhere, you are naturally going to notice things about the place that a person spending a short vacation there wouldn’t notice. Many people would say that the bigger the place (city, state, country, town, neighborhood, etc.), the more secrets.
Las Vegas is not small if you are comparing it to other surrounding cities in Nevada. Not only is it the largest city in the state, but it has a huge entertainment industry packed into its city limits. Technically, the Strip (what most people think of when they hear “Las Vegas”) is about 4.2 miles south of the Las Vegas city limits.
There’s still Downtown Las Vegas that’s separate from the Strip, and there’s all the other suburban neighborhoods where there are actual residents.
And with all the choices available on the Strip, as well as in Downtown Las Vegas, it’s inevitable that there are certain dos and don’ts that most locals know about.
1 – You Can Gamble Like the Locals (And Save Money)
A lot of people would probably love to spend their next vacation in Las Vegas, especially now that there are so many things available for entertaining the entire family. But most push the idea aside, assuming that the cost of the trip would be way too expensive for their budget.
If you know the right places to gamble, you won’t just be throwing your money away like the rest of the tourists do. A lot of people don’t know that gambling is available all throughout Las Vegas and not just on the Strip. One particular area that is popular for budget-gamblers is Fremont Street.
Fremont Street is where you will find most of the locals hanging out. The casinos on Fremont Street are the city’s oldest and most classic casinos. This include Binion’s, Four Queens, and El Cortez.
The hotels on Fremont Street, or “Downtown,” are not as fancy and don’t have the same level of elegance that most of the hotels on The Strip have. But that doesn’t mean that they aren’t great places to gamble.
The greatest perk of staying in Downtown Las Vegas is how affordable it is. Not only is a room more affordable, the casino games are cheaper, and the rules are usually a lot more favorable to the player (unlike many of the big, flashy casinos on the Strip).
This is honestly one of the biggest secrets of Las Vegas. If you want to gamble in the casinos where lifelong gamblers and residents of Nevada go to decrease the house edge, you need to avoid the Strip and its lures and make your way to Fremont Street.
2 – Shop at the Right Places
The casinos on the Strip do a great job at really getting every last penny out of the people that spend their vacations there. And it is actually designed to do just that. Casinos have been intricately designed so that they have a psychological advantage over their patrons. Casinos are passing out drinks for free, and it’s usually to keep people playing for as long as they can physically and emotionally handle it.
The stores and outlets featured at most casinos are not only not the typical boutiques you would find at the mall, they are placed strategically so that they are the first thing a person sees after walking away from the casino with huge winnings.
The shops feature name-brand clothing and accessories, and unless you are really well off, you’ll cringe at the insane prices for everyday items. Or maybe you won’t even bat an eye after you’ve been downing too many of the drinks.
So, we recommend first that you come prepared knowing this. But more importantly, know where the right places are for the average shopper. There are plenty of shopping malls throughout the Strip where you can get nice things for a much more affordable price.
Some places that we recommend due to high favor among previous customers are the Fashion Show Mall and the Miracle Mile at Planet Hollywood.
3 – Pretend You’re a High Roller
A high roller is someone that you’ll find spending and/or winning big at a casino. For people that are high rollers, oftentimes, they will receive some extra benefits and perks that other players won’t receive in the form of casino comps.
Casinos love to give free stuff to high rollers in hopes that it plants a seed that will keep them coming back to their casino. It’s usually pretty obvious who is a high roller and who is playing poker for the first time and has no clue what they’re doing or how to act in a casino.
Go take out a $5,000 marker, and I can assure you that you’ll get the manager’s attention, but there are easier ways to act like a high roller. The way you dress and act matters. The way you tip matters. The intelligence with which you play matters. If you dress well, act humble, and like you’re used to all this, and have plenty of chips (even if you spend them slowly), who knows? You might get a good comp or two so long as you look like you’re betting big when the pit boss walks by.
From a recent review I read written by a frequent player at the Mandalay Bay, rumor has it that they have been extremely generous with giving out free rooms.
4 – Drink at The Wynn
Everyone that’s heard of Las Vegas knows that you can get free drinks inside the casinos. As long as I’ve personally known of Las Vegas, I can remember hearing of all the free beverages available for players at casinos.
There are several reasons why they do this. The most obvious reason is how much alcohol lowers a person’s inhibitions and judgment. A person that has had a few drinks in them is way more likely to place bets with a dollar value that’s a lot higher than what they might feel comfortable with otherwise.
Not only does alcohol lower a person’s judgment, it also can be a nice gesture for the people that are spending a lot of money at the slots or poker tables. There are plenty of casinos on the Strip that good poker players have the choice to invest their money and time at, and the casino managers and pit bosses are fully aware of this.
They want to take care of the people that are making them the most money and hopefully, keep the high rollers coming back for more.
As of 2020, casinos don’t hand out free drinks like they did in the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, but it’s still common place, even if it’s not at the capacity it was at previously. Out all of the casinos, the place that you’re going to find the most free drinks with the highest quality spirits is going to be at The Wynn.
The Wynn is known for its generosity with giving out top-shelf liquors and wines.
If you’re wanting to have a night filled with drinking, you can save hundreds of dollars by doing your pregaming at a casino such as The Wynn.
Any Las Vegas Secrets I Didn’t Mention?
There are abundant ins and outs of Las Vegas that still remain a mystery to most of the public. With each passing year, it seems like more and more tips that benefit Las Vegas tourists are being brought into the light.
It probably requires getting on the good side of one of the locals to be able to find out things that aren’t available on the internet.
Do you have Las Vegas secrets that we didn’t mention? I would love to hear your feedback in the comments section below! Thanks for reading, and I hope that this saves you some money on your next vacation in Las Vegas.