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Finding the Right Casino for Your Skill Level


Finding just the right casino for your skill level can be tough. That may not be a question you have considered, but heading out to the wrong casino can have a large impact on your bankroll. When Jay Sarno first envisioned Caesars Palace his idea was to provide a new level of luxurious accommodations and gaming for a sophisticated (read: wealthy) group of players. To this day, Caesars remains a casino with a higher percentage of upper-limit gaming tables and high-end slot machines than the average casino in Las Vegas.

When Harrah's Entertainment recently changed its name to Caesars Entertainment, it wasn't because they thought it sounded better, it was because they wanted to try and raise their image. The company owns and operates a total of 50 casinos, nine of which are in Las Vegas.

Using the Caesars group as an example, sophisticated (experienced) gamblers are more likely to play at Caesars Palace and the Rio. Room rates are higher, table limits are often $25 minimum, and there is a predominance of 25-cent and $1 slot machines. Gamblers with little or no experience may enjoy the ambiance, but they are likely to find that the higher limits will impact their fun.

Players who have some experience with gambling but would prefer not to have to tap their 401K plan to spend a week in Vegas may feel more comfortable at Caesars Entertainment properties like Harrah's, Paris and Planet Hollywood. The room rates won't break you and the table limits hover closer to $10 and $15 minimums. Meals, especially in the Eiffel Tower Restaurant, are pricey.

New to Gambling?

If you are new to gambling and want to stay at a casino without going broke, check out the deals at Bally's , Flamingo, Bill's, and the Imperial Palace. The properties are older and offer inexpensive rooms, plus the advantage of reasonably priced meals in coffee shops and food courts. These four casinos are all in a line along the Strip and offer an upbeat and fun gaming experience.

You can expect table game dealers who are willing to take time with new players, and limits that meet your budget. The slot machine mix includes penny and nickel games as well as many 25-cent games.

Beyond the Caesars group, many of the smaller casinos, especially those in downtown Las Vegas have lower-limit table games including poker. Circus Circus and the Excalibur on the Strip also offer deals for new players.

Local's Casinos

A "local's" casino used to be a small property with a few dozen slots and a couple table games. They offered cheap drinks and a friendly atmosphere, but the slot machines were often set at a less-advantages percentage for the player than larger properties. Now, casinos like those in the Station Casino's group offer excellent room rates, competitive slots, and low-limit gaming. Casinos like Texas Station, Palace Station and Boulder Station, while large, offer gaming for players short on experience. The friendly atmosphere is likely to be just what newcomers are looking for.

You don't have to be an expert or spend a lot of money to have a good time in Vegas or any casino destination. You will make better decisions when you are not stressing over your bankroll or your interaction with casino employees and other players, so go where you are comfortable. Don't be afraid to just wander a casino a bit before playing, and don't make the mistake of playing "above your head." If the limits are too high, wait until you find a property better suited to your bankroll and experience!

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