So it’s your first time in Las Vegas. You walk amongst the sparkling lights of the grand hotels and the carnival atmosphere created by the street performers on the strip. You enter the casinos and hear the occasional metallic crash of coins as someone wins, sidestepping a cocktail waitress on the way to the “cage” to exchange cash for chips.
Las Vegas is a city that appears out of nowhere in the Nevada desert, emitting a character that’s entirely unique and providing an experience that’s truly unforgettable. But how do you avoid looking like a tourist on your first time here? These tips will help you out.
Want a cab, be prepared to wait
Las Vegas can be deceptive. The strip is four miles long but its huge casino meccas and imposing multi-storey hotels are packed together making them appear closer than they actually are. It means during the heat of the midday afternoon, you might prefer to get a cab than walking.
But the busy, slow-moving strip means don’t be any rush to get to your destination. Typically, 30 minutes is a good estimate of taxiing around town but expect to wait up to two hours if there’s a big event on.
Dress to impress on evenings
The various popular nightclubs in Vegas have dress codes that’ll make a few decisions for you. Hakkasan Nightclub at the MGM Grand, for example, expects its guests to sport “upscale fashionable attire” which means no shorts, baggy clothing, sandals and sneakers with collared shirts a must-have for men.
A good rule of thumb for guys is to pair a trendy shirt with formal shoes and smart jeans and leave all the sportswear in your suitcase. This way you’ll fit in whether enjoying cocktails at 1OAK Nightclub at The Mirage or calling “hit me” at the blackjack table in a casino.
Casino etiquette: from slot machines to blackjack, play like a pro
No matter where you turn in Las Vegas, there’s a casino nearby sporting everything from slot machines to popular table games like blackjack and poker. For many people, it’s what they came here for. With the huge increase in online platforms like CasinoEuro where games such as Starburst have become hugely popular and are helping to fuel the appeal of slots games, you’ll be able to put all your practice into the physical versions of these games.
When playing, don’t hog a bank of machines, especially at busy times. If you want a toilet break, you can reserve your machine to continue playing, but come back as quickly as possible. Leave an unattended machine mid-game for too long and the attendant may remove your reserved sign to allow other players to use it. Also, if your machine has a volume control, don’t annoy others around you by turning it up too high.
Indeed, knowing how to act in a casino is different from playing these games online. For instance, note the minimum and maximum bets at a table game before sitting down so you’re comfortable with the expenditure and don’t perform the sin of slowing down the game for fellow players. Other things to note include the free drinks you’ll be offered while gambling, tipping croupiers and cocktail waitress, and the fact photos of any kind are discouraged.
Reminding yourself of these tips before a visit to Las Vegas will help you feel and look more like a regular visitor who understands the unique characteristics of the city than a first-time traveler. If you’re still a little unsure, remember to never have a photo with a costumed street performer because they will charge you for the privilege, always wear sunscreen during the day (it gets hot in Vegas), and, if you’re overawed by the casinos, head to the low-stake craps table and bet the “pass line”. Just stick your money down and let someone else roll the dice. If there are collective cheers, you’ve won.