Play blackjack. Let’s get this straight, all the odds on all the games play in the house’s favor, otherwise, there wouldn’t be much of a business in casinos, right? However, blackjack is one of those few Vegas card games that, if you play by the mathematics and the general common sense of it all, the house holds less of an advantage. My trick is to NEVER play blackjack on the Strip. Why would you play $15 a hand on the Strip when you could play $3 and $5 hands on Freemont Street. Plus, the dealers are a little more "by the business" on the Strip, and the dealers on Freemont Street – and the pit bosses – will look at your hand and tell you how to play it. Binions is my favorite for blackjack, and two visits in a row we’ve had the same great dealer, Terry.
Play penny slots. Serious gamblers will laugh at my suggestion to play penny slots, but there are a lot of non-serious gamblers that will agree with me. You know you’re going to leave with a wallet that’s a lot lighter than when you came, but you might as well make your money last as long as you can. I also find that penny slots offer the biggest entertainment value. I see people on those 7-7-7 slots that look bored out of their minds. Penny slots offer bonus games, fun interaction, and themes that most people can identify with, like the following.
Elvis Multi-strike video slot. This game is the
most fun of any I’ve ever played. If you win a line
on the first level, you get a free spin on the second
level. If you win on the second level, you get a free
spin on the third. There are more chances to win
bonuses, and the bonus games usually involve
Elvis music – how can you go wrong with that? I
put $20 in one of these penny slots and walked
away 15 minutes later with an extra $100 in my
pocket. However, Jim didn’t win the big money,
but he made his money last a long time, and had
fun doing it.
Star Wars video slots. I’ve played this game
every visit for the last four visits. When you hear
the sounds of light sabers swishing and R2D2
clicking, it’s hard not to get drawn in. When you
play the Death Star Bonus, it’s just like the Force
is with you!
The Wizard of Oz. This was a new one for
me this year. However, when Glenda the good
witch appears on screen for no apparent reason to
give you some Wilds, you’re like "There’s no place
like Vegas!" Hit the Emerald City bonus, and you’re
whisked away to chose emeralds for bonus points.
Or, if you hit the winged monkey bonus (those
boogers always scared me) the monkeys will come
rip your icons away and replace them with wilds,
helping you add up the money.
Alfred Hitchcock. This game lives up to its
namesake, as it scares the heck out of everyone
when Hitchcock appears to give you a bonus.
Perhaps it’s popcorn (keep it coming! The more
popcorn, the more points) or maybe it’s a candy
bonus or a soda bonus. Either way, when he pops
up in the corner of the screen with that music, it
makes you nearly jump out of your chair.
Craps. Last trip to Vegas, we wanted to try our hand at craps, but even after studying online we were too chicken. This year, there was a free table and a $3 minimum, a perfect opportunity to learn. There are more ways to bet this game than enough, and most are sucker bets. But betting the odds can help you add up fast, and throwing the dice makes for loads of fun. You’re going to lose, but at least you’ll have a ball doing it.