Las Vegas, Part 1 – The Basics

Anyone who’s ever seen Ocean’s 11 has dreamed of going to Vegas. Sure, Australia has its pokies and casinos but a few fireballs on the Yarra River is nothing compared to the sheer spectacle of Vegas. The entire city is a temple to bad decision-making – from the drive-thru wedding chapels to the Elivs impersonators to two poncy Europeans who were actually surprised when their pet freakin’ tiger attacked them. Of course, all of this is just window dressing for the main event – gambling. So how can you avoid making bad financial decisions in the casino?

You can’t.

Keep that firmly in view. The house has the edge. Half-scale exact replicas of the Eiffel Tower don’t build themselves and casino games are designed to make the casino, not you, money. So the first rule of gambling in Vegas is this – consider the money gone. Decide how much a night out in Sin City is worth to you and bring that amount and no more. If that seems like a buzzkill, consider the fact that your drinks are likely to be free while you’re playing (and a dollar tip per drink will keep the waitress coming back) and you may even end up getting a few ‘comps’ or freebies if you sink a fair amount of cash into the casino’s coffers.

The trick to gambling in Vegas is not to try to win, but to try not to lose too fast – that way you have as much fun as possible while soaking up the free grog. For making your money last, your best bet is either blackjack or craps. Blackjack is probably the easiest to pick up and the least intimidating since its you and the table against the dealer and no one’s betting on your roll of the dice.

Check back with us over the next few days as we bring you strategies to help you make the most of your Vegas vacation, including tips for blackjack and how to get free stuff.

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