Beginner’s Guide to Vegas

It’s a city that calls for a little luck. I know Vegas. I got you.

Vegasorama II by Robert S. Donovan

Vegasorama II by Robert S. Donovan



  1. This is a tipping town because it’s a service town. Tip the valet, the bellman, the cocktail waitress and everyone in between.
  2. Don’t smoke at the blackjack table without at least giving the dealer a “courtesy ask”. They have to stand and breathe it in all day; they’ll appreciate it.


  1. It is legal to walk down the strip with booze in hand.
  2. Prostitution is not legal. You’ll have to get your grove on 45 minutes out of town in Pahrump or get arrested for reasons you won’t tell your family.

Safety (Debbie Downer, I know. “Safety, what is that? I’m going to Vegas!!!” Just do this one thing for me…)

  1. Hydrate. Two reasons. The first is that you’ll be drinking booze, which dehydrates you. The second is that in the summer, it gets to be over 100 degrees outside.


  1. No.
  2. Kidding. Just don’t misjudge distance. “It’s only two hotels over” could be five miles though it’s “right there!”


  1. Don’t let a taxi long haul you from the airport.
  2. There is a monorail on the strip and buses as well.


Where to Stay – Avoid places that people go to get stabbed. In recent years, this includes hotels like Excalibur & Circus Circus. Do a quick search online to make sure that your choice is legit. I like the Cosmo, the Venetian, MGM, the Bellagio and Caesars, but there are plenty of other good ones. Choose a place for its location, pool or atmosphere… and, sure, let’s throw price on that list too.

Best Clubs – Marquee is fantastic. Tao, Hakkasan and Beacher’s Madhouse also have great reviews. If you’re a group of females, you have a higher probability of getting into a club for free. Otherwise, they can be expensive, but worth it, especially for a featured guest DJ.

Shows – Check out one of the many Cirque shows or see a residency (examples: Britney Spears, Shania Twain, etc…). There are also magicians. Siegfried and Roy were great before they got mauled by a tiger, but, alas, they no longer perform, so get a ticket to Penn and Teller. For a classic Vegas experience, go to Jubilee at Bally’s and see the showgirls. For a broadway experience, there are a variety of shows including Jersey Boys and Rock of Ages. A Vegas production must see is the Blue Man Group. Oh and strippers, lots of high class strippers. And low class, if that’s your thing.

Free Things – Drinks while gambling, valet parking, various attractions (Bellagio fountain, Bellagio Conservatory, Caesar Palace fountain show in the Forum, Volcano at the Mirage, classic Welcome to Vegas sign, the wildlife habitat at the Flamingo)

Shopping – Vegas has some of the best shopping in the United States. Go to the Fashion Show Mall located across from the Wynn. Every major hotel has a shopping mall in it. The big ones are at Planet Hollywood and Caesar’s Forum.

Off Strip – Red Rock Canyon, Neon Boneyard, Valley of Fire, Hard Rock Pool Parties, Downtown including the Fremont Street Experience


Get Players Cards at Casinos – They are free and you rack up points that can go towards a complimentary buffet or what not.

Front Desk Schmoozing – I’ve never done it, but I always hear that if you give the concierge a $20, it’ll give you a better room. With or without, it can’t hurt to ask for a room higher up with a view.

Cocktail Waitress – If you’re gambling in one place for a while, give the cocktail waitress a twenty and ask her to keep them coming. I always tip a dollar per drink.

Blackjack – Some people are poker players, but I’m a blackjack player. I enjoy being able to talk to the other people at the table and to the dealer. The thing with blackjack is that the dealer can help you. They’ll give you hints on whether to hit or stay. Also, if you’re new at blackjack, sit towards the right end of the table so you don’t mess up a more seasoned player’s hand. I always walk away from a cold table, where I’m losing fast. You’ll feel it when you’re at a table that’s going well. Also, tip the dealer if you win big or before you leave.

Do Not Touch Anything in Your Room Fridge Or Counter – Call the concierge and ask to have someone remove it all. Everything nowadays is on a sensor, so if you pick up the pack of M&Ms, you will be charged. You can’t eat it and replace it later.

Have Fun – Know that you’re going to spend money. Hide your debit card from yourself if you have to do it. Go with people you enjoy. Be safe.

Check this out on Buzzfeed: Vegas Baby!!!


2 thoughts on “Beginner’s Guide to Vegas

  1. Joy Christi says:

    Great tips! My BIL always does the $20 tip at the front desk. We usually get a deal mailed to us for rooms at Luxor, great price but when we use those deals they expect you to gamble a lot and if you dont, you dont get as many rewards. However we learned to ask/beg for things like free meals at least. You can always ask.


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