Best Casinos in Las Vegas

The best casinos to play, to enjoy, to see and to win in Las Vegas

The choice of which Vegas casinos is best for you clearly depends on what you are looking for, if it’s the atmosphere, or the elegance, or the number of slot machines (and how modern and fun they are) or the type of tables, or even the type of crowd.

If it’s your first time in Vegas you should visit a few different ones to see which one works best for you, since each one has a different atmosphere (see paragraphs below). On the other hand, if all you want is cheap tables, off-Strip is your best bet, such as on Fremont Street (which is still a tourist area), including El Cortez. There are many off-the-beaten-track (tourist-wise) options if you want low-limits table, such as Eastside Cannery (the slots weren’t that generous though last time we were there) and Arizona Charlies Decatur.

As per ‘loose slots’, the rumors state that off-Strip casinos have ‘looser slots’, but in our 2014 experience this does not necessarily seem to be the case.

As per atmosphere, elegance, beauty, fun on the Strip:

The Venetian Casino is awesome for poker players, it’s huge and really popular; it’s a fantastic casino for all pockets offering a variety of games with lots of modern slot machines as well; it’s important, in our opinion, to keep the most popular games (and offer many slot machines with the same popular games) but it’s also important to offer modern, fancy games too, so that the frequent visitor can be mesmerized each time!

Another beautiful casino is Wynn‘s, though you don’t have the huge choice of small denomination games such as at Mirage for example, unless you are a first-timer and you have just signed up for their players card.

Mirage. Definitely a favorite of ours; they offer a large variety of machines and games and the casino itself is very large, set in a fun and pleasant atmosphere. I particularly love Mirage casino marketing: they seem to be more generous than any other casino on the Strip (they give you more ‘comps’ for your play), especially if you stay at their hotel. We always, always get our stay and our buffet visits comped the day after a night of gambling here, or at check out.

MGM Grand. It used to be awful but these days it’s been modernized significantly; here you can now find a large variety of modern slot machines as well as the more ‘traditional’ ones. We have been winning often here (that does not mean you will, unfortunately). You will also enjoy a large variety of guests, from young to seniors, which is always nice. The casino is not overly filled with smoke which means that the ventilation system works well, unlike some other Vegas casinos. The only problem with this casino is that it’s huge and scattered over several large areas.

Cosmopolitan. Elegant, beautiful, modern, fresh and ‘full of oxygen’ just like Aria, only… We actually win more here! I find their customer service impeccable too. Maybe it’s a temporary wild card (the ‘generousity’ of the casino’), trying to attract loyal customers. It may be worth your while asking casino marketing what their policies are for rewarding play when you go (since these are at times subjective and changeable): during our latest visits I found them relatively generous, though not as much as Mirage.

Excalibur is very popular and … It’s huge, so you will find a variety of machines you can try. However, it’s one of the smokiest casinos on the Strip (well, these days Caesars Entertainment group seem to have even smokier casinos, especially the low ceiling ones) therefore, so if you love your lungs, you may want to avoid it); it’s, in any case, far from a ‘classy casino’. The problem with Excalibur is, in our opinion, that casino marketing are not very generous and they tend not to reward your play as much as they should (unlike at Mirage). However, you are more likely to receive a 2 free nights offer from Excalibur and Luxor than from the beautiful Mirage, though at Mirage casino marketing tend ‘comp’ your nights at check out (if you have gambled somewhat at their resort).

Orleans. Well, it’s smokey, it’s not as clean or modern as Cosmopolitan, for example, but we have consistently noticed the slot machines (at least some) give better payouts, better ‘wins’ and, above all, more consistently. Again, it may be ‘our luck’ or a coincidence, but that’s our experience. They comp players really easy here; you just have to work out if it’s a resort you wish to be comped at. Check our review of the Orleans to find out.

The locals love some downtown casinos such as Main Street Station (which needs to be seen anyway because it’s simply amazing, like a museum, a piece of history to be visited at all costs) or the beautiful and modern Silverton casino  and the large, beautiful and modern M Resort Casino (both more challenging to get to if you don’t have a car), or the Gold Coast and The Orleans (easier to get to thanks to their frequent free shuttles to and from mid Strip). These days downtown Vegas casinos allegedly offer better chances to win or at least to lose less money over time; one of the favorites seem to be El Cortez and Plaza (the latter has much more modern slot machines); El Cortez just does not offer enough modern slot machines; whilst Plaza is totally renewed, with a offers better than average money played vs rewards ratio (= what you get for your money in terms of ‘comps’, namely things/services for free). Wherever you get easy comps, you have to ask yourself: do I want to be comped here? To find out more, read our page titled ‘how to get comped in Vegas‘.

Aria has a beautiful casino, really modern and airy, but we keep on loosing money here (not much, but it’s unusual for us) every time we visit; every bonus, every re-trigger (etc) seem to pay very little, certainly compared to other casinos; the same may be said for Mandalay Bay, where some slot machines seem to pay really well consistently, especially those strategically placed (see further down for link to explanation of this), but the most modern games seem to be geared towards ‘taking your money’, we found. Mandalay Bay is a large casino but late at night they have had some ridiculously noisy bands there, trying to appeal to the youth; maybe that contributed to our lack of concentration!

The Bellagio casino is beautiful but generally geared towards those who have a larger budget; however, lately they have introduced more 1c slot machines (you can always change the denomination to 25c, for example, thus gambling higher bets). You can breathe more easily here and the resort is beautiful.

How to Gamble in Vegas Casinos

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