lavifighter
lavifighter
Joined: Oct 24, 2016
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November 4th, 2016 at 6:56:31 AM permalink
Dear wizzard-please read and correct the surveys. I found some mistakes/missing information. I will make a separate post on this mistakes so you will fix it.
My first every vegas visit! I wanted to visit vegas for more than 3 year, so it was a dream came true.
I am not an AP, but I am a "smart" gambler and likes playing on low house-edge games, and know strategies-not perfect, but close to the perfect. I used mostly the "simple" strategies on the wizard of odds site(in blackjack I played almost perfect basic strategy).
I searched for the following games, mostly using the surveys on this site and VPfree2:
1. Blackjack: only 3:2 and 5$ minimum. I agree to play 6:5 at minimums of 2 and lower(machines). I don't count.
2. Video poker: I prefer 25c or maximum 1$ per pull(5 coins) but agree to play on 0.25 with 5 coins(1.25) only for full-pay machines. I like both JOB and decues wild.
3. Craps: 5$ minimuim. I don't mind odds because I don't have budget for that, I take maximum of 1 or 2 "odds" bets if any.
4. Three card poker: only 5$ minimum, and only ante bet. I play pair plus only with good paytables.
5. Pai Gow poker-10$ minimum or less.
6. Slots-just to pass time, I play them very little. maximum of 25c per pull(including everything), don't play games that I cannot reach max payout without max bet(because they are mostly at least 2$ per pull, even penny machines).
7. Poker-I play no limit holdem. Cash games of 1-2 are too pricey, so I played tournaments of 100$ or less buy-in and no rebuy(I don't rebuey, I don't mind if allowed).
And I very hate smoking!

I took an organized trip from Los Angeles to Vegas through a strange, tourists' way, than visited vegas for half a day, than continued to trip to the canyons area, and finally made to vegas again for another 5 days, now independent.

Report and review from now:

Day 1:
After taking pictures with the famous "welcome" sign, we stayed in the Linq. I thought it is huge(by non-vegas standards) only to understand that it is not so big... The hotel is okay, very new but slightly "low-scale".
The casino itself is confusing(bad layout), smokey and crowded, and most of the tables were closed. So I didn't play there.
After visiting Bellagio(fountains and the inside, not the casino) and Venetien(just the lobby, the casinos are too pricey) I went to "mon ami gabi" in Paris restaurant, nice view and tasty but small dishes.
Now I walked my way back to the hotel, visiting casinos by the order.
Paris: Beautiful sky ceiling, not smokey, but minimum seemed to be always 10$+ for all the games.
Ballys: I don't know why but I didn't want to enter it.
Cormwell was my choice, now for the casino itself:
Small, nice atmosphere, not to smokey(I hate smoke, and could find tables without smokers) and low minimums. But very crowded and limited options and tables.
I found a 5$ craps, first time playing craps. Was great fun, but lost 50$ after hour and half.
Than played 10% pai-gow, lost 5 hands in a row.
Unfortunately I forgot to check on VP2free, because they have full pay JOB at 0.25c(1.25 on 5 coins)...

Day 2(on vegas): only evening.
I stayed on Excailbur hotel. It was surprisingly very nice-big rooms(better than Linq) and beautiful theme, and nice food options.
I played a 45$ poker tourmament, 34 players. I made to the final table and lost 6th place, not winning anything. The tourmament was okay structured with 100BB and 15 min levels. Good atmosphere, bad(and nice) players mostly and cood service.
During the break I played some slot and lost about 10$.
I played few times on this hotel, so I will summer now my findings:
Blackjack: 5$ were 6:5, also 10$. Only 15$ were 3:2. They have machines that pay 6:5 on 3$ and 1:1 on 1$(the ones with the "dealer").
Craps: They have 5$ tables, and 1$ machines(with 2x strange odds-you can set them only on the point number, not everywhere I want). Not points on this machines.
VP: very bad.
Pai gow: only 15$.
Three card poker: 5-10$, but not played much and only smokers played.
I didn't check for other games-too pricey for me to play UTH and crazy 4 on 5$ and don't like roulette.
The casino is nice-good layout, they put perfume to hide the smoke and sometimes it actually helps!

Day 3:
After visiting CVS with my friends(they got slightly sick), I stayed on New-york casino.
The casino is crowded with confusing layout-one big "zone". My findings about games:
1. Blackjack-they have one 5$ 6:5 table. The rest are high minimum and most were 6:5.
2. Craps: I think only 10$.
3. Pai gow poker: 10$.
4. 4 card poker: 5$.
5. Roulete machine with only one zero! But strange paytable(30 for a number for example). 1$ minimum, maybe 2$. No point on this machines.
6. Video poker-terrible.
I layed little on the roulette machine and and won few bucks, but this games is boring. Than played pai-gow poker, had bad hands and lost 60$ in about half an hour.
Than I decided to try crazy 4 poker with my last 20$ for this session. I got a flush and won 70$, ending with 10$ profit! Than my friends called me for a trip to downtown. Ended the day with few dollars profit!
The new-york casino is actually one of the less-smoky. Very high ceiling helps against smoke-I did not feel it and I am very sensitive.

Fermont stree experience is amazing, and also the slotzilla. But golden nugget(the nugget itself) is disappointing and not so special.
I did not play in downtown-too smokey in my opinion(I entered for searching the nugget and the million dollars in binions and the smoke was terrible).

Day 4:
I started playing craps in my hotel-Excalibu, 5$ per throw, sometimes took 1x odds. It was a great fun-amazing atmosphere. I ended with about even-money. I had a nice streak while throwing-about 4-5 victories.
Than after a (too long) visit to the boring pool of excalibur with my non-gambling friends, I went to Luxor for a poker tournament.
Luxor was nice-big, not smokey, but slightly empty. After I registered to the tournament, I had an hour to pass:
I could not find any game at my budget on the tables, so I played few slots, got a "big" penny win(14$) and than went to the tourmamnet.
45$ buy-in with optional 5$ add-on. Total of 50$ and 150 BB! not bad.... and 20 min levels.
Played well, made to 11th place and than went all in with the nuts, only to lose to a runner-runner bigger straight! He had less than 1% chance while we went all-in..
The poker room is nice but too close to the wheel of fortune slots-slightly too noisy.

Day 5:
I took a trip to "best buy" in order to buy an xbox360 controller for my PC(good price). Took about 2 hours total with buses but worth it!
Than after a rest, I went to MGM grand for an 70$ poker tournament, and after registration I played to pass the time.
Review:
Huge casino, but most of the tables were closed. The only playable game for my budget was 3$ 6:5 blackjack(I think I got points for this machine so it "worth it"). Ended with 10$ loss after 20 minutes.
Than searched again and all the tables were at least 10$ minimum, mostly 15$+. I played few slots and ended even (on the slots).
The sigma derby was full :(
The non-smoking tables were closed...

The tourmament was terrible-only 17 players, super tight and boring. The players were too serious and did not talk, neither try to have fun. After more than an hour, we still had full table and 17 players... Than I went all-in with QQ against AQ, he god the ace...
The sturcture is very good: 300 BB, 15 minutes. But it wasn't fun.

Than I went see the "fall of Atlantis" on Ceasars-palace, only to discover it was closed on this day!
Than I "got lost" in the huge casino, hardly found my way out. I played 5$ Three card pokwer for few minutes. I lost about 35$.
Than on my last 15$ I put money also on the pair-plus(because otherwhish I will stuck with a 5$) and got a straight! Ended 5$ profit.
The casino is very smokey and lots of cigars-I didn't like it and don't recommend for non-smoker or low rollers!

I ate a good "800 degrees pizz" on monte carlo, than visited the casino just to see it(and deciding if I should play there tommorow). Nice, but too empty. I played few 1c Video poker(7-5 JOB, I know it is a bad game) just because I was tired of walking, I got a 4 of a kind and ended break-even.
The tables seemed to be low-minimum but very few were open, Thursday evening!

Day 6:
Took a free shuttle to Rio(from ballys). Rode the zipline and it was great!
Than walked to palms, my most-anticipated casino(after the MGM disappointment).
Review:
They have tons of pai-gow and baccart for 10$, and lots of video poker and slots.
They had only 2 blackjack tables open, but one of them was 5$ 3:2 with no smokers!
I played for hours, it was amazing! Best dealers I have ever had(very funny, and knowledgeable), great luck and great players(not the best, but nice and funny).
I ended with 90$ profit from 60$ buy-in. Like putting one big 60% bet and getting blackjack... We had amazing luck, the dealers simply busted frequently.
During a small lunch(McDonald on the casino), I searched of the full pay deuces wild, which was out of order :(
So I played on the 100 hand 1c, full pay JOB. Played 3-5 hands in a time, got few good hands(full houses, flushes and straights, no more) and ended with a nice 10$ profit.

Amazing casino! Not far from the strip, not smokey, best odds for low rollers. If anyone reads the review and never visited palms-you must!
Than I ate a 46$ steak(with my profits) on the steakhouse in excalibur, was very good.

Day 7

I took a trip to Stratosphere tower for the rides. I took x-scream and big shot-amazing!
I did not play there besides few slots while eating icecream, But I saw a 5$ double-twist blackjack. I don't know this table so I did not play.
Than went to circus-circus, searching for the spinning slots, just to realize they spin very slowly...
I played a progressive Decues wild(4-4, 98.9%) With huge jackpot: 3k dollars, on 5c machine! I played 5 hands at a time.
I didn't get the natural royal but got a wild royal, and than got 4 of a kind on the deal! Ended with two 5 of a kind(and three3 4 of a kind and 10$ profit...
Their EV+ machines are too pricey for me: 0.5$(and 5 coins, it is 2.5$ per pull...)

I visited "slots a fun" just to see the place and put few dollars on the "coin dropper" slots, losing without any win.

At the end of the day I played again the tourney at luxor, made few mistakes and finaly lost on a flip. Than played the craps machine on excalibur-boring(table is better) but ended few bucks profit.


Day 8:
Played little 3 card poker on my hotel, lost 40$ without a single win. Than took a taxi to the airport.


Conclusion:
Amazing city, but too smokey in some of the casinos. Palms was the best! MGM was disappointing.

Lost about 255$ total, of them only 40$ on actual gambilng and 215 on poker...
Last edited by: lavifighter on Nov 4, 2016
ams288
ams288
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November 4th, 2016 at 7:37:59 AM permalink
So did you stay at The Linq the first night and Excalibur the rest of your trip?
Eater of Worlds
lavifighter
lavifighter
Joined: Oct 24, 2016
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November 4th, 2016 at 7:44:22 AM permalink
Yes, because the first day was part of an organized trip, when the hotel is chosen by the company.
When I was alone with my friends, linq was too expensive for us, so we chose excalibur which is the 2nd cheapest on the strip. I did not want to stay at circus(the cheapest)...

I actually prefer excalibur over the linq. The linq has amazing location and the high roller(which I did not ride) but excalibur is too underrated and not so bad.
ams288
ams288
Joined: Sep 26, 2012
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November 4th, 2016 at 7:53:09 AM permalink
Quote: lavifighter

Yes, because the first day was part of an organized trip, when the hotel is chosen by the company.
When I was alone with my friends, linq was too expensive for us, so we chose excalibur which is the 2nd cheapest on the strip. I did not want to stay at circus(the cheapest)...

I actually prefer excalibur over the linq. The linq has amazing location and the high roller(which I did not ride) but excalibur is too underrated and not so bad.



Yes I agree. I randomly decided to take a spontaneous 3 night trip last month. It was kind of last minute, so Excalibur was the only place I could get comped for the weekend I was there.

The room was fine for sleeping and showering, and I had good service from everyone. I had no complaints.
Eater of Worlds
discflicker
discflicker
Joined: Jan 1, 2011
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November 4th, 2016 at 8:12:21 AM permalink
Wow, great trip. You are a very well controlled gamer, and you enjoyed yourself! I ALWAYS get sick every time I fly into Vegas, not sure why, maybe the dry air takes some getting used to. Dang, I miss Vegas, haven't been there in 4 years. Check yourself for bed-bugs, though.
The difference between zero and the smallest possible number? It doesn't matter; once you cross that edge, it might as well be the difference between zero and 1. The difference between infinity and reality? They are mutually exclusive.
lavifighter
lavifighter
Joined: Oct 24, 2016
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November 4th, 2016 at 8:25:26 AM permalink
Thank you!

I think you get sick because of two reasons:
1. Frequent temperature change-its a desert, and most of the place are air-conditioned(too cold).
2. The secondhand smoke...
lavifighter
lavifighter
Joined: Oct 24, 2016
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November 4th, 2016 at 8:28:15 AM permalink
Quote: ams288

Yes I agree. I randomly decided to take a spontaneous 3 night trip last month. It was kind of last minute, so Excalibur was the only place I could get comped for the weekend I was there.

The room was fine for sleeping and showering, and I had good service from everyone. I had no complaints.



When I asked for comps or anything, from the M-life desk, they laughed. I had only 26 point...
After all, my "serious" gambling was in or poker or Palms, or cromwell or circus circus(I thought they are MGM, but they have different player cards...). So all my gambling summed in about 1/4 the ammount of money to get minimal comps!

Or maybe I don't understand correctly how it works?
FleaStiff
FleaStiff
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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November 4th, 2016 at 9:10:47 AM permalink
I know what you mean about the Venetian being a pricey casino.
However you do get a 'return' for paying that price.

The Venetian is probably the safest casino in town. It is often quiet in the mornings but at all times has skillful and well paid dealers. At slow times, they will be happy to aid the slower, inexperienced players. They schedule classes at the tables usually around eleven in the morning and two in the afternoon. Particularly if only a few students show up, the classes are great. Once the class is over and play at that table resumes, the dealers know the players that were at the free lesson will need things to be a bit slow paced.

The waitresses serve good sized drinks and will often bring you multiple bottles of water and leave you alone in the mornings.

So yes, its 'expensive' but you do indeed get liberated from noise, crowds, watered-down drinks, etc.
Canyonero
Canyonero
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November 4th, 2016 at 10:11:54 AM permalink
Nice read, thanks for the report!

Congrats on sticking to your game plan, which is hard these days on the Strip. Downtown would be the right turf for you, but alas the smoke. Next time try Main Street Station for its high ceiling and find a non smoking table. The air in Downtown Grand seems fine as well.
lavifighter
lavifighter
Joined: Oct 24, 2016
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November 4th, 2016 at 10:14:05 AM permalink
But I don not need "classes" as I know the rules and played on the wizard of odds site. And its not my first casino experience(I have been in Canadian niagra casino and in Budapest).

The only game I would be happy for a "class" about is the non-card Pai Gow...

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