Vegas Dos And Don'ts
THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2007-07-08, by TwoGun, OzoneDo
Be prepared to tip. Vegas is a city built on the service industry. It can feel abnormal having to tip people constantly, but if you don't want to look like a chump, cough up some $1s when appropriate. Cocktail waitresses, cabbies, bell clerks, valet drivers, taxi stand men, dealers, cashier cage workers, hotel maids, and chip runners all make a living on tips. How well they treat you in the future will often directly correlate to how you've treated them in the past.
Get a players card at the casinos you frequent. This is a pure freeroll. If you use your players club card when you play, you may get some decent comps and offers for cheap rooms on your next visit. Don't expect to get upgraded to the penthouse suite, but freebies are always a plus.
Shop around for hotel rooms. Even the average hotels by Vegas standards (such as Treasure Island, Mirage, MGM Grand, etc.) are very nice. Unless you are dead-set on staying at the Wynn or the Venetian, you might as well shop around for the best rate since most of the hotels are pretty much the same when it comes down to it.
Play poker. The games in Vegas are generally incredibly soft compared to online games.
Be prepared to wait to play poker. At peak hours, most popular games have a lengthy waiting list. It's in the casino's best interest to make players wait a few minutes for a table. Maybe while you're waiting you'll hit up the slot machines and help fund that new $2,000,000 chandelier near the main entry.
Go to Downtown Las Vegas. Almost all of the "action" in Vegas happens on the Strip, but Downtown is where it all got started. Today, not much action happens Downtown. There are no ritzy properties and certainly no hot night clubs, but it does have a charming appeal that's worth checking out.
Feel obligated to tip bad service. That might seem like common sense, but putting up with bad service and then tipping anyway only conditions service people to treat you poorly.
Expect to get into a club on a weekend night simply by showing up. Many of Vegas's popular night clubs have massive lines at the door. If you go to the club earlier that afternoon, you can put yourself on a list that will allow you and your party to skip the exhausting line later that night.
Stay Downtown. While it's certainly worth a visit, there's a reason the hotel rooms Downtown cost pennies on the dollar compared to hotel rooms on the Strip: they're dumps.
Expect people to be intelligent. Vegas is one of the dumbest major cities in America. Most of the Vegas residents are service workers, not brain surgeons. And most of the tourists don't exactly use their brains (see: gigantic billion-dollar casino properties built on the emotions of people thinking "the hard 8 is really going to come this time").
Rent a car. Vegas is cramped and hard to navigate. Plus, there's no reason to drive long distances since all of the tourist attractions are packed onto one boulevard. Save the car rental money for cabs.
Play roulette. For European visitors, you're used to roulette having one zero. In America, all roulette wheels have two zeros, so the house edge is double.
Expect things to be cheap. Movies set in Vegas might give you the impression that everything is free and as long as you gamble a little bit. The reality is, unless you are a huge whale, you're just going to be another face in the crowd paying $30 for a buffet and $120 for two tickets to a show.
Stop in the middle of a crowded area to take pictures. Nothing will make you look like an idiot more than being the guy that's holding up a huge crowd of people while you get a shot of your girlfriend next to the slot machines.
Go to Hoover Dam. After taking a 45 minute ride you'll get there, look at it, say, "oh look, a dam!," and then wonder why you're wasting your time staring at a wall.
Take the escort flyers from the people handing them out on the sidewalks. And if you are dumb enough to take them, certainly don't call the number on the card unless you like paying $1,000 for a game of venereal disease roulette.
Bring your kids. Vegas is for adults. In the early 90's, Vegas attempted to market itself as a family-friendly vacation spot. That failed miserably. There is very little for kids to do in Vegas besides hang out at the pool or see a few mediocre shows. We're just going to come right out and say it: kids just spoil the fun. Leave them at home, so you don't have to explain when they see you drunkenly stumble into the room at 4 am.
The Weekly Shuffle is our Sunday column with our observations and commentary on the poker world. Have an idea for an article? Leave a suggestion on the feedback page.
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