Win money in Las Vegas? That's harder than squeezing blood from a poker chip. But gambling pros are doing it, otherwise there would be no such thing as gambling pros! The secret of their success hinges on knowing where to go. Gambling is a battle against the house and the pros look for two ways to boost their earnings: better rules that tilt the odds toward players or generous rewards that reimburse them for time spent gambling. Some gamblers are just looking for the wildest, most frenetic gaming experience possible – that's OK too! Here are the five best casinos in Las Vegas where professional gamblers go:
Aria is known as an epicenter of luxury and privilege in Las Vegas, but their casino poker room is geared to satisfy players of all levels. Two dozen tables in a wide variety of games and limits is nice, however Aria really sets itself above the rest with a very generous comp structure. Players earn a floor of $2/hour no matter the table limit, larger tables earn bigger rewards. Tournaments are frequent and the action is spirited, if your luck holds you can settle in all day and night.
When Vegas locals gamble, they know enough to stay far away from the Strip. They go downtown to Fremont Street, where the tables are cheap and the casinos offer the most player-friendly rules you can find in town. The setup is perfect for low and mid-budget gamers willing to trade glitz for better odds. Binion's, Four Queens and El Cortez are the cream of the Fremont Street crop. Comps and points rewards are smaller, but they go farther because everything is cheaper – win-win!
Also see Hopper's article on five cool things to do on Fremont Street to find out more about the street and its casinos
Craps is a favorite of gamblers because the house advantage is slim. Casino Royale is conveniently smack dab in the middle of the Strip and offers extremely generous 20x table odds. Compare that to the standard 3-4-5x odds systems at most casinos, or even the slightly looser 5x payouts at some Fremont Street casinos. Casino Royale's 20x table odds can keep you busy all night. If you're willing to go off the Strip, Main Street Station is the only other game in town that offers 20x table odds.
Roulette is notorious for being unfriendly to players, the odds are stacked heavily in favor of the house. But spinning that wheel is just so much FUN! If you can't resist temptation, at least do your roulette playing at The Mirage. A single-zero wheel is the only way players have a chance, but most casinos keep those hidden safely in their high roller sections. The Mirage is the only Vegas casino that has a single-zero wheel on their main floor. We still don't recommend it, but if you have to...
If you are a high roller or just enjoy acting like one, Caesar's Palace provides the gambling experience you crave. Yes, it's expensive and no, they do not offer the friendliest rules. But the people watching, glitz and authentic Las Vegas gambling experiences are second-to-none here. For some gamblers, you come to Vegas to throw down your wad and test your luck, and Caesar's Palace caters to that kind of hedonistic spirit. If you are betting big, you can expect some nice comps: don't be afraid to ask a floorman about buffet and meal tickets, free shows and more.