Good Odds

The odds are always against you when you gamble, which is an excellent argument for not gambling in the first place.  If you're gonna gamble anyway, then it pays to play at a casino that offers good odds.  That's one reason I chose Bovada as the advertiser.  Let me first tell you about the competition, though.

Many online casinos are stingy when setting the odds on their games.  They think they'll make more money by setting the games tighter, so the player has less chance of winning, but they're wrong.  When players lose at a tight casino too quickly, those players much less likely to return.  Contrast that with a casino with good odds: Players get to play longer, which is a good experience, so they're more likely to return and become long-term customers.

Bovada has always offered games with good odds, knowing that if your money lasts longer, you'll be a happier, loyal customer.  They've got:

  • Two blackjack games returning over 99.8%
  • Single-0 roulette
  • Full-pay Jacks or Better (99.54%)
  • Nine other video poker games returning over 99%

Bovada's not perfect, but at least they offer decent odds.

Try their blackjack for free.
One click and you're in.


Gambling problem?

  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

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Gambling problem?

  1. Call the 800-522-4700 hotline or get online help
  2. See these horror stories.
  3. Know that Parkinson's drugs encourage gambling.

What’s special about each casino/hotel

Last update: October 2021

The Strip

Aria

Largest hotel in the world with LEED Gold certification (for energy conservation).

Bally’s

  1. The site of the original MGM Grand (which suffered one of the worst fires in U.S. history, with 85 dead).
  2. Later purchased by Bally’s Manufacturing (which makes slots and pinball machines) which renamed it after itself.  It was later sold to Caesars Entertainment, and now has no relation to Bally's Corp.

Bellagio

  1. One of the three most luxurious hotel/casinos on the Strip (along with Wynn and the Venetian).
  2. Has three of our Top Ten Free Things to See in Vegas:  the water fountains, the conservatory, and the glass sculpture ceiling.
  3. Much of the Ocean's Eleven movie (2001) was filmed at the Bellagio, including the final shot in front of the fountains.

Caesars Palace

  1. There is no apostrophe in the name.
  2. Has the largest shopping mall on the strip.
  3. Has the free moving statues show on the end of the mall.

Casino Royale

  1. The only hotel with attached casino on the strip that doesn't charge a resort fee. (2021)
  2. The smallest casino on the strip with an attached hotel (Slots-A-Fun is the smallest overall).
  3. The only hotel/casino on the strip without table games (removed 2020).
  4. Smallest minimum room size of any casino/hotel on the strip (280 square feet).
  5. Smallest hotel of any casino/hotel on the strip.  (150 rooms)
  6. Prior to removing the table games, notable for the highest craps odds in Vegas (100x), and for all its blackjack games to be the Blackjack Switch variant.
  7. No relation to the two movies of the same name.

Circus Circus

  1. Free circus acts on the midway.
  2. Its Adventuredome is a large indoor amusement park.
  3. Cheapest resort fee on the strip ($36.28 after 13.375% tax, 8/2021).

Cosmopolitan

  1. The largest first-tier hotel rooms on the strip.  (730 square feet, from my Sortable List of Casinos.)
  2. Front desk art, from Cosmo's website:  "Eight 15-foot digital columns and a panel spanning the length of the front desk continuously display a curated library of digital art, transforming the space into an immersive living narrative that incorporates elegant, fantastical and often poetic interpretations of life's travels."
  3. Elsewhere:  "Hundreds of contemporary art works by both established and emerging artists from all over the world can be found throughout The Cosmopolitan. Designed to inspire discovery, the collection includes large-scale paintings, photography, mixed media works, sculptures, murals and more. Artists featured include Maya Hayuk, Marilyn Minter, Rosemarie Fiore, Alex Da Corte, Jonathan Borofsky, Nicola Lopez, Siobham Liddell, Sylvia Hommert and many others."
  4. There's also an Art-o-Mat vending machine, that vends small pieces of art.

Cromwell

  1. The smallest casino on the strip that has table games.
  2. The hotel is a small boutique hotel (no pool), with rooms that are far from typical.
  3. Formerly Bill's Gamblin' Hall, and before that Barbary Coast.

Encore

  1. The largest minimum room size of any hotel in Vegas (745 square feet).
  2. Sister property of Wynn.
  3. The one time I stayed here the staff was condescending and rude; I've had better experiences at cheaper properties like Days Inn.

Excalibur

  1. One of the less expensive properties on the strip.
  2. Medieval castle theme.
  3. The Fun Dungeon has 200 games, including video games, carnival midways, air hockey, giant PacMan, and ticket/redemption games.

Flamingo

  1. The oldest property on the strip (1946).
  2. In the wildlife habitat, see colorful Chilean flamingos, Ring Teal ducks, Sacred Ibis, pelicans, swans, koi fish, and turtles.  Open dawn to dusk, pelican feedings at 8:30am & 2pm. (more)

Harrah's

The most recently renovated strip property (as I write this in July 2021), $270 million, completed in June 2021. (News 3 LV)

The Linq

  1. Has the High Roller ferris wheel.
  2. Its casino has a separate name, O'Sheas.
  3. The only hotel with a bunk bed option.
  4. Formerly The Quad, and before that Imperial Palace.  (I stayed at IP.)

Luxor

  1. It's The Big Black Pyramid That Shoots a White Light Into the Sky.  MGM Resorts claims that it's "arguably the brightest light beam on earth on and on a clear night is said to be visible all the way from L.A.!"
  2. The rooms are around the perimeter, and the elevators inside travel diagonally.
  3. The center is a huge atrium, and you can look over the railing outside your room down to the casino floor.

Mandalay Bay

  1. This is where the gunman conducted the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, in 2017.
  2. Five floors of the main hotel operate as a Four Seasons, and a separate tower is the Delano hotel (previously the awkwardly-named "THEhotel").

MGM Grand

  1. Has the largest gaming area of any Vegas casino, as per my Sortable List of Vegas Casinos
  2. The largest hotel of any casino/hotel on the strip. (5000 rooms)
  3. The original MGM Grand (1973-86) was on the site now occupied by Bally's.  The newer MGM Grand has been at the current site since 1993.
  4. The bronze lion outside is 45 feet tall, weighs 50 tons, and is the largest bronze sculpture in the country.

Mirage

  1. The first megaresort in Vegas (1989), setting the stage for the others to follow.
  2. Has the exploding volcano.

New York New York

  1. Has the faux NYC skyline and a mini Brooklyn Bridge in the front.
  2. Has the Big Apple roller coaster that goes partly through the casino.

Palazzo

  1. The sister casino of Venetian.
  2. Check out the two-story waterfall, right outside the entrance to the Grand Canal Shoppes.
  3. First Vegas hotel with underground parking.

Paris

Features a replica of the Eiffel Tower, half the size as the original, with an elevator you can ride to the top for a view of the Strip.  (The plan was for a full-scale replica, but that would have been too high for air traffic.)

Park MGM

  1. The first and only non-smoking casino in Vegas.  (Book a room.)
  2. Formerly Monte Carlo.

Photo by JohnnyQ, field correspondent, July 2021

Planet Hollywood

  1. Has the Miracle Mile shopping mall (not really a mile long), with visitor favorite Tipsy Robot, featuring robots making drinks.
  2. Previously the Aladdin.
  3. Has the worst high-limit video poker paytable of any Vegas casino that I'm aware of. (Noticed in 2016, still there as of 2021.)
  4. Following the 2017 remodel, most of the movie-related themes have been removed from the rooms.
  5. I'm told that the rooms have mini-fridges, at least at the Diamond reward level.

Resorts World

The newest property in Vegas (2021), and the most expensive to construct ($4.3 billion).

Sahara

  1. The Beatles stayed here.
  2. Closed in 2011 (and the roller coaster was removed), reopened in 2014 as SLS, became Sahara again in 2019.
  3. Became the inaugural member of my Hall of Shame.
  4. Smallest hotel rooms among all strip casino/hotels.  (325 square feet)
  5. The adjoining street is named after the casino.
  6. It's the last stop on the Monorail line (or the first, depending on your perspective).

Slots-a-Fun

  1. The only casino on the strip without an attached hotel.  No more table games, though.
  2. The smallest casino on the strip, as per my sortable list of casinos.

Strat

  1. It's the tower!
  2. Formerly known as Stratosphere.
  3. Has four thrill rides at the top, including SkyJump where you jump off the tower in a harness.
  4. Featured in the movie Sharknado 4 (available on Netflix).
  5. Here's a list of suicides from jumping off.  It's not easy to get to an area of the roof where this is even possible, so anyone who jumps is pretty determined.  Others have tried to jump off but were prevented or talked out of it by security.
    1. 9/28/21, 30-year-old man from Henderson, NV. (8 News Now)
    2. 7/12/2002, 16-year-old Levi Walton Presley, landing on a hotel driveway near Las Vegas Blvd. (Casino.org)
    3. 2000, 24-year-old Mitchell M. Mayfield of Toole, Utah.  He climbed over several railings, barriers, and fences, and somehow eluded the view of the security guard.  He landed in some shrubs in a a valet parking area. (Casino.org)

Treasure Island

Has the huge pirate ship out front.  No more pirate shows, though.

Tropicana

Various movies and TV shows were filmed here.

Venetian

  1. One of the most luxurious properties on the Strip (along with Bellagio and Wynn).
  2. No comps, except for high rollers.  So far as I know, it's the only no-comp casino in Vegas.
  3. The first casino in the world to debut triple-zero roulette (horrible for players).
  4. Made our Casino Hall of Shame for falsely spinning triple-zero roulette as good for players.
  5. The worst slot paybacks of any Vegas casino in the Wizard of Odds' survey.

Wynn

One of the most luxurious casinos on the Strip (along with Bellagio and the Venetian).

Downtown

Binion's

  1. Along with Four Queens, the only downtown casino hotels with no resort fee. (2021)
  2. Has a display with real $1 million that you can take a picture with.
  3. Your editor is no longer allowed to set foot in this casino for winning at blackjack by counting cards.

The D

"Best Casino in Vegas" in USA Today poll, 2018, 2019, and 2020.

Circa

  1. The first all-new casino/hotel downtown in 40 years (when it opened in 2020).  Occupies the space of the former Las Vegas Club casino, the Mermaids slots-only casino, and the Glitter Gulch strip club.
  2. Adults only.  That's not a naughty thing, more like a "for guests who find children annoying" thing.
  3. World's largest sportsbook.  Three stories tall, with a 78 million pixel screen. (8 News Now)
  4. Largest indoor bar.  The Mega Bar, spanning 165 feet.
  5. Pool.  Sports shown an a massive 14 million pixel screen.
  6. Vegas Vickie sign.  The famous neon sign, complete with kicking leg, which appeared on Fremont Street in 1980 is now installed in the hotel lobby.
  7. Has 777 rooms.
  8. AAA Four Diamonds.  The first and only downtown property to receive AAA's Four Diamond rating.  (Although five diamonds is the highest.)  (Casino.org)

El Cortez

The only Vegas casino to be listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Four Queens

Along with Binion's, the only downtown casino-hotels with no resort fee. (2021)

Fremont

The second casino to make it into my Hall of Shame.

Golden Gate

The oldest casino in Vegas.

Plaza

The only downtown casino with bingo.


Elsewhere

Virgin

Formerly the Hard Rock Casino.


Practice gambling with play money

Before you throw down your hard-earned cash in a casino, PRACTICE FIRST!  Learn the games with play money where it doesn't cost you anything if you lose.  Seriously.

You can play Bovada's games (below) right away without registering for an account.  Most every other online casino makes you give up your email address just to play the fake-money games — ugh.  That's the mean reason Bovada is the only online casino that gets advertising space on my site.  I hope other casinos will eventually start treating their visitors like human beings rather than walking wallets, but until they do, there's Bovada.  One click and you're in.

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