Reason I like Bovada #2:

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.  I spent quite a bit of time looking for an online casino with better-than-average odds, and the result is Bovada.  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.&nsbp; 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.  Among their offerings are:

  • 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%

You don't have to play at Bovada, but wherever you play, make sure they offer odds at least this good!

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.

Getting from the airport to your hotel

Last update: September 2020

Uber / Lyft

     Uber & Lyft can't pick up right outside the terminal, at least they couldn't the last time I checked.  You have to walk to a parking garage.

     Most hotels have staging areas for Uber/Lyft, but the city doesn't have as many staging areas for them as it does for traditional taxis.

     I boycott both because of Uber is an incredibly ethically-challenged company, and because in my hometown of Austin, Uber & Lyft refused to comply with local regulations, then paid for a "grassroots" election to try to override local laws, and when voters defeated their measure, the companies then lobbied the Texas state government to cancel Austin's law, which it did.  None of us should want a world in which corporations bully and bribe the government in order to get favorable treatment.


     There's flat-rate pricing from the airport to the Strip:  $19 to the South Strip, $23 to the Mid Strip, and $27 to the North strip.  There's no flat pricing to downtown but it'll cost around $32.  The price is the same no matter how many people ride.  I generally boycott the taxis because most drive so dangerously, threatening pedestrians and bicyclists, and because buses and shuttles work fine.  Taxis also aren't as convenient as you might expect, because they can't and won't stop on the street; you have to wait in the line at the hotel, and sometimes those lines are long. Here's more on taxis in Vegas.

City Bus

     Go to the spot right between the two baggage claim areas, and take the escalator down.  Go outside, and the bus stop is the last stop on the right, right under the little canopy.  (Last I checked, it was just beyond the last numbered slot, #23, where slot #24 would be if there were a #24.)  You'll see airport employees waiting for it.  It's usually best to pay $8 for the 24-hour pass when you board.  The 24-hour pass works on every bus in the city.  More on fares below.

     Here's which bus to take based on where you're going. (You can find your hotel on our map if you don't know where it is.)

  • Downtown:  Your best bet is the Westcliff Airport Express or the #108, both of which go straight to downtown.  You could also take the #109 South/SSTT (not #109 North) from the airport and transfer to the SDX at the SSTT (South Strip Transfer Terminal).
  • Stratosphere, Sahara/SLS, Hilton, or LV Convention Center:  #108 takes you right there.
  • Other North Strip, Mid-Strip:  Take the #108 to the Stratosphere, then transfer to the the Deuce or the "Strip & Downtown Express" (SDX) bus, which run up and down the strip.  (For Circus Circus, instead of transferring to the Deuce or SDX, you could get off at Rivieria Blvd. and walk 10 minutes west towards the strip if you wanted.)
  • South Strip:  The Westcliff Airport Express goes straight from the airport to the Tropicana / MGM / NY NY / Luxor area.  Or you could take the #109 South/SSTT (not #109 North), get off at the SSTT, and transfer to the "Strip & Downtown Express" bus.

   The Westcliff Airport Express goes straight from the airport to the South Strip, then it takes the highway to go to downtown.  But it runs only once an hour.  By the way, it took the geniuses at the bus agency until 2010 to create a route that goes straight from the airport to the Strip.  Go figure!

   The #108 normally runs every 20 minutes, except every 30 mins. between 11pm-1am, and then once an hour until 2:00am.  The bus doesn't run between 2-4am, but then neither do the planes.

   The Deuce and the "Strip & Downtown Express" (SDX) buses run up and down the Strip, and also to Downtown.  See below for info on these buses.

   A single ride from the airport is $2, but if you need to transfer you'll pay another $2 for the transfer.  The better deal is just to pay $8 when you board for a 24-hour pass, which lets you ride any bus in the city at no extra cost, including the Deuce and the SDX.  Kids 5 & under ride free, but 6 & over pay the adult fare.  See more on LV buses at the bus system website.

Airport Shuttles

    Shared shuttles will take you to Strip hotels for $8 per person, and downtown hotels for $9 per person. It's a great deal if you're traveling solo, but not so much otherwise, since taxis are the same cost for 1-4 people.  It's also slow: you might wait up to 20 minutes for the shuttle to leave (even if the ticket seller says just 5-10 minutes), and since you share the ride with other passengers, if you're the last to be dropped off, the trip could take an extra 30 minutes over what it would in a taxi.

    To find the shuttles, go to the space between the two big baggage claim areas and face the direction of the escalators that are coming down from the second floor.  Go past the escalators (i.e., don't ride them), walk out the door, and look left or right.

    Your hotel probably doesn't have a free shuttle.  The only Strip & Downtown casinos that have them reserve them for the high rollers.  Some off-strip casinos have free shuttles, like Palace Station, Red Rock, Rampart, and Suncoast.  The pickup area for these is next to the bus stop described in the Bus section above.

You don't need to rent a car

     If you're not venturing beyond the Strip and Downtown, you absolutely do not need a car.   In fact, a car might just slow you down.  Between gridlocked traffic and distant parking (you can't park directly on the strip—you have to go to a parking garage and then walk), taking the bus or just walking is often competitive on time, and a lot less stressful.  Not to mention cheaper, even before we consider that free parking is becoming something of a dinosaur.

     Even if you're going to Hoover Dam, a tour bus is often a better option.  It's cheaper, safer, less polluting, more relaxing (you can sleep on the bus), and your driver will point out interesting things about the places you pass, which you wouldn't know about if you were driving yourself.  There are places along the strip and downtown that sell the cheap Hoover Dam bus tours.  A friend and I took one of them and it was definitely more fun going with a group.

     Also, you can't even rent a car right at the airport any more.  The car rental place is now three miles from McCarran.


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.

I like Bovada's practice games the best, because you can play 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 why Bovada is the only online casino that gets 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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