The best day to go to the casino depends heavily on your mood and your desired outcome.
Are you gambling to have fun with a big crowd of friends, or would you prefer to play alone in a quiet setting? Are you looking for tournaments, specific comps, cheap food, and that sort of thing? There are good days to find those things and days where you’re less likely to do so.
This post describes the best day to go to the casino depending on what you’re looking for.
The Best Day for Casino Crowds (Big or Small)
Are you looking for a highly-social environment? That’s the PC way to describe a slightly unruly, highly-inebriated crowd getting louder by the hour. Some games lend themselves to this arrangement. What’s craps without a crowded table? People who love blackjack tend to feel the same way – they want big crowds and lots of high energy interactions.
If the preceding paragraph made your skin crawl, then you’re on the opposite end of the spectrum. You’re looking for a low-energy crowd, or, better yet, no crowd at all. This isn’t just about being anti-social, that’s irrelevant. Some gamblers who may be social butterflies in polite company just don’t like to play around a lot of people.
The most crowded day at most casinos is Friday, specifically Friday nights starting around 7 or 8 PM. At the Bellagio, the busiest time of the week is Friday night from 9-10 PM.
The Mohegan Sun in Connecticut boasts an average of 15,000 casino guests per day. If 90% of those guests are playing between 8 PM and midnight, and if each customer spends about an hour on the gaming floor, you’re talking about thousands of people placing bets, having drinks, and enjoying a night out together.
If you want to avoid crowds, you should absolutely avoid Fridays between noon and midnight, and you should probably skip the same times on Saturdays.
The least-busy times at most big American casinos are early weekday mornings. We’re talking really early – before the sun is up.
Just looking at Google search results for popular times at big casinos in a few different markets, the times with the fewest customers happen between about 3 AM and 8 AM on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I guess by Thursday, some people have started declaring the beginning of the weekend, though the biggest crowds wait until after work on Fridays.
Crowds during those 3 AM to 6 AM times may be as little as 1-5% of the crowd on Friday and Saturday nights. At large casino resorts, that’s maybe 150-200 people across thousands of square feet. That means plenty of empty seats, empty tables, even entire empty sections.
What’s the best day to go to the casino for big crowds? Friday nights between 8 PM and midnight.
What’s the best day to go to the casino for small crowds? Between 3 AM and 8 AM on weekdays.
The Best Day for Low Table Minimums
The heading may be a misnomer – if you’re looking for low table minimums it’s not necessarily a specific day you’re looking for, but a range of times on different days.
In the big American gambling jurisdictions – think Vegas, Atlantic City, tribal properties in the South and Midwest – table minimums fluctuate quite a bit depending on the time of day.
The big casinos on the Strip will host $5 games that normally have a minimum bet of $10. This is true for the big table games, like craps, roulette, and blackjack. The idea behind these reduced-cost bets is to attract play at low-traffic times.
Be careful to read the rules for these lower-cost games, as casinos sometimes alter the payouts or other game rules to make up for the reduced revenue of the smaller bet size. A common example is a $1 blackjack game where the payout for a natural blackjack is an even 1:1. This adjustment to the paytable makes up for the lost revenue between a $1 and a $5 wager.
What’s the best time to go to the casino for low table minimums? Between 8 AM and 3 PM on weekdays.
The Best Day for Cheap Casino Food
If you want to get the best deals on casino buffets and other food and drink, you’ll need to consider the time as well as the day.
From my own experience, and after a 15-minute browse through casino dinner specials and other deals, it seems like the best day for low-cost eating and drinking at the casino is mid-week, and the best time is between 4:30 and 9:30 PM.
I came to that conclusion because so many specials advertised by casinos seem to say something like “Wednesday and Thursday only” or “mid-week only.” This is probably meant to be a driver of guests to the casino, at a relatively low-traffic time.
As far as the time I specific, which is basically late afternoon into mid-evening, that’s down to the operating hours of the restaurants serving these early-bird specials. You can usually find some form of food around the clock at big American casinos, but it’s not usually from full-service restaurants. The little grills and glorified microwave stands that serve food in the wee hours aren’t usually offering discounts or specials.
Wednesdays and Thursdays are the domain of the “buy one get one free” buffet or steakhouse deal that’s so endemic to the US casino scene it should have a statue on Fremont street. You can’t usually order food like that after about 9:30, and these places tend not to open until sometime between 4 and 5 PM.
What’s the best day for cheap food at the casino? Wednesday (or Thursday) between 4:30 and 9:30 PM.
The Best Day for Winning at Slot Machines
Myths about the best time or the best day to play slot machines are as old as slot gaming itself. None of it is true, and you can feel free to play slot machines at any time of day you please.
Finally, some good news for people who don’t want to have to think too hard about what day to gamble. You can play slot machines any day of the week.
Slot machines return less money than is put into them. That’s how they’re designed. The coding that today’s slots run on doesn’t need to rip customers off or pay out less at specific times, in order to return a profit for the operator.
The rules of the game favor the house. People play for the off chance that they’ll luck into a big jackpot, but most slot players understand that they’re gambling; that is, risking money for a chance at a larger return, at a risk of losing.
What’s the best day for winning at slot machines? Any day of the week – provided you have a little luck and a lot of patience.
Our Thoughts on When to Visit the Casino
I wish I could’ve written a 300-word blog post saying something like, “The best day to go to the casino is Tuesday, and here’s why.” It’s not that simple. People’s reasons for gambling are varied, and that means the ideal day for them to do some gambling is just as varied.
Influences outside the scope of this post play a role, too – some people don’t have a choice when it comes to choosing their day to gamble. If you’re only in Vegas for a three-day weekend convention, gambling on Tuesday through Thursday is pretty much off the table.
Match what you’re looking for to what’s on offer for each day of the week. You can also match your desired outcome to the general vibe of the day. Mondays through Wednesdays are sleepy and low-population, while Friday and Saturday nights are the busiest. You can’t really go wrong picking a day to gamble based on that feature alone.