Las Vegas is the center of the gambling world. Gamblers of all skillsets and levels of experience strive to one day strut down the Strip and into one of the city’s numerous casinos. I emphasize the varying levels of skillsets here for a particular reason.
You see, Las Vegas provides a perfect vacation destination for all types of tourists. Even if you couldn’t care less about the gambling industry, Vegas is still full of entertainment.
But when most people think about the most popular gambling spot in the United States, the first thing that comes to mind is, of course, gambling.
Las Vegas and gambling go hand in hand, and the city hosts millions of gamblers each and every year. Those gamblers, however, aren’t always the most skilled.
Many believe that Las Vegas is the optimal place to kick off their gambling career. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s nearly unthinkable to travel to leave Las Vegas without giving at least one casino game a shot.
But as countless tourists have discovered, the tables inside the casinos in Vegas can often be cruel to beginners. Luckily for potential Vegas-goers, that doesn’t have to be the case.
For those of you with limited gambling experience, here are seven things you need to know to survive in Las Vegas.
1 ‒ Budgeting Is Your Best Friend
One of the most common misconceptions about Las Vegas involves the amount of money tourists must spend to enjoy themselves. The truth is that there isn’t a direct relationship between the dollars you spend and the fun you have.
Las Vegas can be fun for anyone, regardless of how much or how little money you have in your vacation budget. But if you’re somewhat money-conscious, there are some things you should understand before booking a trip.
While it’s not accurate to say that a trip to Las Vegas will cost a fortune, that assumption is perpetuated for a reason. Las Vegas is a popular tourist destination, and profiting off of tourists is now a cottage industry for many corporations.
People spend more money while vacationing than under normal circumstances. That’s because the average middle-class, working American will penny pinch for months to treat themselves while they’re on vacation.
So, when people go to places like Las Vegas, they are prepared to spend a fair amount of money. For avid gamblers, most of those budgeted funds are going straight to the casino.
If you’re going to Vegas and plan to spend most of your time gambling, you must set a strict gambling budget.
It’s easy to figure out how much money you’ll spend on food and hotel rooms while you’re on vacation. But, figuring out how much money you should set aside for gambling is a bit more complicated.
2 ‒ Gamble While the Sun Is Still Up
It might seem more appealing to gamble at night, but doing so probably isn’t best for those lacking experience.
When people travel to Las Vegas for the first time, most of the plans likely revolve around the night. That’s due to the fact that the Vegas the average consumer sees the city at night, whether that’s in movies, television, music videos, etc.
But There Is a Different Side to Vegas Than What’s Depicted in Popular Culture
As it turns out, that side is a lot more forgiving and inviting to newer gamblers. Real money gambling during the day is a little less exciting, but it’s often more productive and less expensive. It can be easier to find a seat at a table with low minimums.
That normally means gamblers can stretch their budget and get a lot more bang for their buck. Plus, it’s simply easier to gamble outside of peak casino hours.
The lack of constant activity and a relatively relaxed gambling environment is better suited for anyone who hasn’t been to a casino before.
3 ‒ Don’t Shy Away From Free Lessons
Gambling can be a humbling experience. Nobody enjoys losing money, and losing with grace requires a great deal of humility and poise. Unfortunately, many first-time gamblers lack both of those things.
A problem that plagues many new gamblers is that they don’t know how to handle losing money. In fact, most gamblers don’t expect to lose in the first place.
So, when reality sets in and novices realize how difficult certain casino games are for beginners, things rarely go well. When you first start gambling, it’s worth setting your pride aside and acknowledge your shortcomings.
One of the most intelligent things new gamblers can do is take advantage of certain programs that casinos offer. Once again, Vegas doesn’t have to be overly expensive, and there are several cost-effective ways to spend your time.
Many Las Vegas casinos offer free gambling lessons during the day before things get too chaotic. These lessons entail dealers and casino personnel teaching new players rules, strategy and proper table etiquette.
You might think your limited experience will make these sessions ineffective, but there’s no harm in sitting in on a lesson. Even if you think you know everything there is to know about a certain game, you’ll likely pick up a few helpful pointers.
4 ‒ Play to Your Strengths
Any amount of gambling experience, no matter how insignificant, should not be overlooked.
You might think that the few games of blackjack you played with your buddies several months back won’t benefit you in Las Vegas. While it’s safe to say that more experienced gamblers will likely perform better, any sort of familiarity with games will serve you well.
Gamblers often overlook the necessity of comfort when they gamble. This is somewhat odd, seeing as you’re likely in Las Vegas to enjoy yourself. If you’re not comfortable while playing certain games, it’s unlikely you’ll make money or have fun.
Simply knowing the basic rules and strategy of casino games can make all the difference in Las Vegas.
5 ‒ Acknowledge Your Weaknesses
I referred to a problem many first-timers face in Vegas in an earlier point, but it bears repeating: Gambling in Vegas should be a pleasant, entertaining experience.
Winning money is certainly a bonus, but that shouldn’t be the primary focus of your trip if your gambling skills aren’t polished. Every novice needs to acknowledge their inexperience before they start gambling.
By doing so, you’ll set yourself up to have a more enjoyable vacation and let yourself off the hook if things don’t go well at the casinos. If you’re incapable of doing so, you can either get to work on improving your gambling skills or pause your Vegas plans.
Of course, there’s always a very slim chance that you will hit the jackpot in Vegas, but don’t put all of your eggs into that basket. If you don’t think your limited gambling knowledge will result in profitable betting, then you won’t be disappointed.
6 ‒ There’s No Such Thing As a “Perfect Trip”
For some reason, too many people put a lot of pressure on their first trip to Las Vegas. Once again, it might be due to the way the city is depicted in popular culture, or the fact that it’s the ideal vacation spot for gambling fanatics.
But if you put the city on a pedestal, you’ll surely be disappointed. I’m not saying that Las Vegas can’t and won’t live up to the hype, but it’s best to enter the experience with no expectations.
Las Vegas is a city that treats everyone differently. If you’re lucky enough to visit more than once, you’ll likely come to appreciate different aspects of the city.
There’s no such thing as the quintessential trip to Las Vegas. Keep your mind open, and don’t put too much pressure on yourself while gambling.
Any type of gambler can succeed in Las Vegas. It doesn’t matter which games you prefer or how long you’ve been playing them: there’s a place in the city for you.
But there are certain things those of you with limited gambling experience should know before making travel arrangements.
To survive and thrive in Las Vegas, you need to stick to a firm gambling budget. It’s easy to lose track of where your money is going while on vacation.
Make sure to familiarize yourself with casinos while the sun is still up. Las Vegas is a completely different city once the sun sets and, sometimes, casinos don’t treat beginners all that well.
Leave your pride in your hotel room, and don’t ever shy away from free lessons or any helpful advice you’ll come across. There’s no shame in admitting that you don’t have much experience playing certain casino games.
Finally, stick to games you’re familiar with, and don’t expect too much from yourself. Rarely do gamblers fly into Vegas as a novice and depart as an expert.
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