Can I get a swanky Vegas gambling experience - but with low limits?
September 8, 2010 5:39 PM   Subscribe

I'm currently staying in Las Vegas and it seems silly not to have a go at playing some roulette and maybe some blackjack. The GF would like to try playing some slots. Where can we go on the mid-strip which is suitably classy but at the same time has low limits?

We're currently staying at the Mirage and whilst their casino looks nice, the limits seem to be $10+. Considering that I'm only budgeting $100, this isn't going to get me very far.

As such, I'd like any recommendations on places on the strip which:

1. Are swanky (so we at least have a decent Vegas experience)
2. Have low limit slots (to keep the GF happy)
3. Have low limit roulette and blackjack (say $2-$5) so that I can at least place more than 10 bets.
4. Are on the strip and ideally not too far away from the Mirage (as it'll probably be the last thing we do before going back to the hotel).

I don't plan to make an evening of it as our itinerary is pretty booked up, so maybe only an hour.

Many thanks!
posted by mr_silver to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
While you're waiting for more helpful answers to your questions...

The last time I saw a $2 BJ table was about ten years ago, outside of Vegas at Buffalo Bill's. It was in the wee hours of Sunday morning. Of the six people at the table, I was the only one without a black eye.

posted by Short Attention Sp at 5:45 PM on September 8, 2010

I don't think there's any place on the strip that has $5 blackjack, except maybe o'sheas and the one place next to circus circus.

it's been some time since I was in vegas but this was a good reference
posted by fizzix at 5:49 PM on September 8, 2010

Unfortunately, $5 blackjack and classy are pretty much mutually exclusive in Vegas.

I recommend trying Pai Gow instead. It's a table game, so you get to hang out in the "pit" with all the high-rollers, but the house advantage is really low and it takes a while, so you can milk a $100 for at least an hour or two and a bunch of cocktails, even at a $10 table. The dealer will always help you set your hand (the "house way"), so you needn't feel like you need to know a lot to get started. Get dressed up and you're well on your way to fulfilling your Bond fantasies.
posted by maniactown at 6:02 PM on September 8, 2010

Low limits & swanky don't go together. However, low limits & fun do, and you'll have just as much a Vegas experience, if not more so.

Casino Royale is on the Strip (as is Slots-A-Fun). Casino Royale is not far from the Mirage.

If you want swanky in Vegas, you pay for it.
posted by micawber at 6:06 PM on September 8, 2010

Best answer: "Swanky" and low minimums are indeed mutually exclusive on the strip, unless you go at an off-peak hour, which for Vegas is mid-week somewhere between 5am - 9am. If business is slow, they may open up a $5 minimum blackjack or roulette table to entice people, and you'll be able to spot it because it'll be packed. Minimums will change according to demand and you're very unlikely to find a $5 minimum table any time between 8pm - 2am, especially close to the Mirage which is surrounded by some of the priciest casinos in town (The Wynn, TI, Venetian, Caesar's).

Almost every casino has the same types of slot machines with the same range of denominations, so you could pick any casino to gamble at slots; just don't be fooled by penny slots where the Max Bet can be way more than a Max Bet on a quarter or even $1 machine. I think I'd recommend walking across the street to the Venetian and just wander around playing slots there, enjoying the atmosphere and free cocktails (if you can last long enough at a machine). If you're lucky a low minimum table might open up, and if it does, jump at it.
posted by krippledkonscious at 6:07 PM on September 8, 2010

Best answer: You can play BJ for a while on $100 at $10 tables. Usually.
posted by smackfu at 6:16 PM on September 8, 2010

You can play $1 Blackjack at the Sahara. Swanky? Eh. It's VEGAS. I miss that place so much.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:19 PM on September 8, 2010

May I recommend Cheapo Vegas?

Cheap slots are easy to find. There are plenty of penny slots, even at high-end casinos like Palazzo and Bellagio. Like Krippledkonscious said, beware of max bets on a penny machine that says something like "Play 300 Credits!" You'd have more fun at a quarter or dollar machine. But if you stay cheap, well, it's a bunch of flashing lights that give you pennies and free drinks. But that's what slots are about, right?

Sahara is cheap ($1 Blackjack, $5 other tables) but not very walkable. Casino Royale is right across the street from the Mirage. It is not swanky in the least, but it is cheap. (And they have amazing odds on craps.)

If you want to see swanky, go play slots at the Palazzo. But know that the best I've ever seen their tables is at $10. Maybe in the really wee hours it would hit $5, but I haven't seen it.
posted by ALongDecember at 7:02 PM on September 8, 2010

It's very hard to win at blackjack. You have the best odds at roulette, and both the Wynn and the Encore are nice--new, not sleazy, and the bars and places to eat are good.
posted by Ideefixe at 9:29 PM on September 8, 2010

"You have the best odds at roulette"

No, your best odds are at blackjack. But you need to know how to play properly (which isn't that hard). If you know the difference between a "hard" and a "soft" hand you should be able to hold your own for an hour or so.

And thirded, is a great site (and very funny to boot).
posted by bardic at 9:51 PM on September 8, 2010

It's very hard to win at blackjack. You have the best odds at roulette

I very much beg to differ. Blackjack has a much lower house advantage. The house advantage refers to how the payouts differ from the true odds. (Know that "single zero" roulette is very hard to find in Vegas.)

But play what you want, and good luck.
posted by ALongDecember at 10:03 PM on September 8, 2010

It's very hard to win at blackjack. You have the best odds at roulette...

With any sort of basic strategy, blackjack gives you much better odds than roulette. Roulette is totally a money machine for the house.
posted by dfan at 7:44 AM on September 9, 2010

I played at several $5 roulette and blackjack tables at the MGM Grand, but this was five or six years ago, so it may have gone up since then.
posted by MsMolly at 8:26 AM on September 9, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks everyone. In the end I played $10 roulette and $15 blackjack at the Mirage. There was one $10 blackjack table but it was full and had a queue.

Managed between the two to play for about 90 minutes on a budget of $100 and walked away with $14.

Good fun and further proof not to give up the day job and become a professional gambler!
posted by mr_silver at 10:25 AM on September 15, 2010

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