… And Casino Draws (Bewares). Finding loose slots in Vegas, or higher-paying casinos can make your money last longer and improve your winning changes (first part of this page). At the same time, beware of all those casino draws because you may just waste a lot of money for nothing (second part of this page).
Slot machines are great fun and Vegas (especially the most fun casinos or those who keep their casino floor up to date and, above all, with a large variety of machines) offers plenty of fantastic, fun, exciting slot machines.
But you can easily sit at a slot machine and lose hundreds of dollars in a short while without even realizing it… And that’s on just the penny slots! You can lose a lot more at the higher denomination slots! We have developed a basic strategy to maximize our wins but all in all on the Strip you have to be careful if you want to avoid losing large sums of money.
The best places to play used to be, traditionally, downtown or anywhere off-Strip, generally considered areas with a better chance of offering loose slots in Vegas; if you actually wanted your money to last longer or to improve your chances of winning. But, lately, we noticed that this is not necessarily so. In fact, we have won at Cosmopolitan quite easily and several times (though this may well be an anomaly); we have also won at MGM Grand lately and we often do very well at the Excalibur casino (to name but a few). Off Strip, Gold Coast is hit and miss and the Orleans, once great, seems to have become a bit too ‘greedy’. Silverton (nice and modern) too seems to want to pay for its expansion through its patrons’ donations much faster these days. El Cortez, one of the cheapest (yet perfectly decent and clean) Vegas hotels often advertises having ‘loose slots in Vegas’ (by as much as 40 per cent) and about having won the award for best paying casino in Vegas a couple of years ago. In 2013 we did very well at El Cortez but, on our last 3 visits, there was not one slot machine that paid anything significant (and we played consistently throughout the night to test most of them): this, coupled with the fact that the ‘rewards’ given at El Cortez are not as enticing as the ones given at Mirage (as example of a worthwhile resort in which to play), makes it hard for us to justify playing at El Cortez (sorry!), which is a huge shame because they offer incredibly affordable (and decent!) rooms. (We have several videos of El Cortez standard rooms, by the way, start by visiting our Vegas Real Videos and asking us for any video you cannot find (we have thousands!).
Moreover, the slots at El Cortez are not the newest nor the fanciest (although they do have some new machines and games too, of course), so I would not necessarily recommend you go downtown to try your luck here. Our experience at Golden Nugget casino, which has a very cheerful atmosphere most times given its fan base, has been quite pitiful compared to even Wynn or Venetian on the Strip! Generally speaking, off-Strip casinos should pay out a bit more to entice local traffic but, given our latest experiences, I’d say that keeping to a gambling technique may be better than hoping for lose slots in Vegas.
Part 2. Casino Draws in Vegas
Many casinos run events where you win the right to a draw or a competition through the a mount of points you accumulate playing (using your players card). These casinos are very popular amongst the locals and it’s clearly a way to attract those who can regularly frequent those establishments, keeping them coming week after week. Gold Coast is one of those, with special days where players amass ten times the amounts of points per play, each score contributing to the number of tickets they will have for the weekly draw. It sounds great on paper but, as a visitor, you will have almost no chance of winning:
this because ‘higher-score’ players will automatically accumulate twice or three times the amount of points (its part of their rules) and, to become a higher-score player you will need to have so many points that only a local can manage to do this, or someone gambling thousands and thousands of dollars in one week’s visit.
Entering and playing for such competitions will keep visitors glued to those slot machines and frankly I think they run the risk of spending too much time and money gambling for nothing. I would not recommend it.
El Cortez has its own draws and daily slot competitions which appear to be managed in a much fairer way for everybody, and gaining the right to participate requires a lot less gambling. If you want to know more about loose slots in Vegas and other slot strategies, check our page on Slots Myths and Facts.
How to Gamble in Vegas Casinos