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Best And Worst Craps Odds On The Vegas Strip

Craps Table At Luxor

Craps Table At Luxor

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, craps is my favorite game in the casino. Besides being fun to play, craps gives the casino one of the smallest house edges’ most casino games. Fun game and small house edge?! That’s a perfect combination!

You can actually decrease the, already small, house edge by playing greater odds. The higher the odds played the less the house edge. Unfortunately, the Vegas Strip doesn’t really offer the diverse craps odds that you find in Downtown Vegas. Thankfully craps still has a tiny house edge no matter what the odds.

Here are the craps odds on the Vegas Strip along with the house edge for the casino for each game.

100x Odds
The Cromwell
House edge: Pass 0.021%, Don’t Pass 0.014% 

10x Odds
Stratosphere
SLS Las Vegas  
House edge: Pass 0.184%, Don’t Pass 0.124%

3x-4x-5x Odds
Every other casino not listed
House edge: Pass 0.374%, Don’t Pass 0.273%

2x Odds
Circus Circus
Encore
Wynn 
House edge: Pass 0.572%, Don’t Pass 0.431%

3x-4x-5x are the normal odds offered at casinos on the Vegas Strip and just about everywhere else in the country. The house advantage playing maximum odds is still better than most games you’ll play in the casino.

Casino Royale has the best craps odds on the Vegas Strip but usually only has one table open so it’s difficult to get in on a game. The craps game at Casino Royale is one of the cheapest you’ll find on the strip with $5 or $10 minimums, so there’s that.

4/24/16 Update: The Cromwell has 100x odds up to $5,000. Table minimums are usually $5 or $10. (Thanks to @John_Mehaffy for confirming)

Bottom line with craps on the Vegas Strip – play wherever you want. The odds in most casinos are the same. If you’re looking for a good craps game with good odds head to Downtown Vegas. Here are my 3 favorite craps games in Downtown Vegas.

Note: Craps odds are from the Wizard of Vegas craps survey.

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Best Cheap Blackjack On The Vegas Strip

Cheap Blackjack Cards

Blackjack

There are about as many good cheap blackjack games on the Vegas Strip as you might have expected. In other words, there aren’t many. Where you do find good cheap blackjack you should expect that there are only one or two of these tables at most of the casinos listed below. They should be easy to spot since you’ll probably see a large crowd at these tables so you might have to wait for a seat.

For simplicity, I’m using $15 as the cut off for cheap blackjack and just listing the house edge of the games. I’m also listing the casinos alphabetically, and not by the smallest house edge. You can see the full survey here. The list is great and has information on all blackjack at every casino in Las Vegas.

Bally’s – House Edge: 0.57
Caesars Palace – House Edge: 0.57
The Cromwell – House Edge: 0.57
Excalibur – House Edge: 0.66
Flamingo (and Margaritaville) – House Edge: 0.57
The Linq – House Edge: 0.57
Harrah’s – House Edge: 0.55
New York – New York – House Edge: 0.48
Paris – House Edge: 0.57
Planet Hollywood – House Edge: 0.57
SLS Las Vegas – House Edge: 0.48
Treasure Island – House Edge: 0.46 and 0.48
Tropicana – House Edge: 0.57

Updated: March 10, 2017

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New Name For Monte Carlo, Excalibur Expansion, Crystals For Sale, REIT and More From MGM Resorts Earnings Call

Jim Murren, CEO MGM Resorts

Jim Murren

Earlier today I listened to the MGM Resorts quarterly earnings call. The company has so much going on that they’re easily the most fascinating of the Vegas casino companies to follow.

You can read press releases and listen to the MGM quarterly earnings call here for specifics. Below are my notes with lots of information.

  • Jim Murren said MGM would like to participate in DFS in the future. They’re waiting for clarity in the area. This was last question asked if you’d like specifics.
  • Excalibur is underperforming and Jim Murren discussed idea of mid-scale retail expansion on the Vegas Strip to draw people into property.
  • Murren restated that Monte Carlo will have a new name next year. Outlook is very optimistic for the property.
  • Small note given to the fact that customer booking windows are growing
  • Crystals still on the market by MGM Resorts. There’s plenty of interest. They’re sorting through investors. Murren says it’s worth over $1 billion.
  • Mandalay Bay now has the 5th largest convention center in the US after recent expansion. Details on the expansion here.
  • 2016 should be best year ever for conventions at MGM Resorts. Even with Mandalay Bay expansion they still don’t expect to have enough capacity.
  • Press release on MGM REIT
  • MGM Resorts keeping 2 most profitable properties in Las Vegas out of the REIT (Bellagio & MGM Grand).
  • MGM REIT will be called MGM Growth Properties and be a separate stock offering planned for Q1 2016.
  • MGM Arena not part of REIT because it’s a partnership with AEG. REIT doesn’t include any partnerships like City Center.
  • Non-luxury MGM Resorts properties growing faster than luxury. For example REVPAR for non-luxury up 14%, lux up 6%
  • Aria hotel EBITA up 23% Year over Year. Vdara 0ver 40% EBITA increase.
  • MGM Detroit EBITA only ranks behind Bellagio, MGM Grand & Mandalay Bay. Better than The Mirage, New York New York, etc.
  • MGM hotel rooms had a 96% occupancy rate last quarter. Up 1% from same period last year.
  • Average Daily Room rate for MGM hotels was $141 last quarter. That’s up $10 (8%) from same time last year.
  • Circus Circus is interesting opportunity for MGM seemingly because it’s 100 acres of land on the Vegas Strip.
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Will Grandissimo Be The New Name Of Las Vegas Club?

Las Vegas Club Casino Downtown Las Vegas

Las Vegas Club

Grandissimo was the name of a hotel and casino that Jay Sarno, founder of Caesars Palace and Circus Circus, was thinking about when he retired. The dream never came to fruition and was over after he passed away in 1984.

Sarno was an interesting man and you can learn more about him in the book Grandissimo: The First Emperor of Las Vegas: How Jay Sarno Won a Casino Empire, Lost It, and Inspired Modern Las Vegas.

In September Gambling Invest uncovered the following information about the name Grandissimo on the web:

Gambling Invest’s domain monitoring service uncovered that at the end of July, The D Las Vegas casino became the new owner of several “grandissimo” domains, including grandissimo.net, grandissimovegas.com and grandissimolv.com.

…The whois details of the three domain names were updated in July this year when The D Las Vegas casino replaced Dickinson Wright as the listed owners, but Gambling Invest believes that the Michigan law firm had registered the domains on behalf of Derek and Greg Stevens, the Detroit brothers who control The D and that in January 2014, Dickinson Wright helped obtain a trademark for Grandissimo in relation to restaurant, hotel and entertainment services.

If I remember correctly (tough before coffee) Derek Stevens purchased alternate URL names before revealing that Fitzgerald’s would be renamed The D.

These URL purchases don’t mean that Grandissimo will be the new name of Las Vegas Club but it’s entirely possible.

Expect Stevens to address the future of the Las Vegas Club on the next episode of the Vegas Gang podcast which will be recorded live at The D this weekend with Grandissimo author David Schwartz.

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Random Vegas Info From MGM Resorts

Random Vegas Info from MGM Resorts

Random Vegas Info from MGM Resorts

I’m easily amused. I find random information like the infographic above and the notes below fun and relatively useful. Thanks to this blog post you can now amaze your friends with useless Vegas knowledge from MGM Resorts like:

“Hey, did you know that Nine Fine Irishmen at New York-New York served 100,000 pints of Guinness?”

  • 7,982,550 pillows fluffed at MGM Grand
  • 3.2 million people who visited The Adventuredome at Circus Circus
  • 1 million Hershey’s Kisses distributed across Las Vegas to celebrate the opening of Hershey’s Chocolate World at New York-New York 
  • 729,753 pizza slices served at Shawn McClain’s FIVE50 Pizza Bar at ARIA
  • 267,436 toilet paper rolls used by the Blue Man Group at Monte Carlo
  • 100,000 pints of Guinness gulped at New York-New York’s Nine Fine Irishmen
  • 96,719 pounds of crab legs cracked at The Buffet at ARIA
  • 52,640 massages and facials enjoyed at Spa Bellagio
  • 46,363 margaritas sipped at Hecho en Vegas at MGM Grand
  • 34,580 costume changes by the Jabbawockeez at Luxor
  • 11,336 shows performed by The Fountains of Bellagio
  • 8,464 ice cream flavor combinations offered at BLVD Creamery since its May 2014 opening at Monte Carlo
  • 5,704 corks collected at Rock ‘n Roll Wine Amplified Festival at MGM Resorts Village
  • 5,472 roses distributed by Boyz II Men during “I’ll Make Love to You” at The Mirage
  • $5,000 – The most expensive dish purchased; 26 Fleurburgers sold at Fleur in Mandalay Bay
  • 1,117 ice buckets in the shape of FDR’s hat box, in the suites at Delano Las Vegas
  • 520 victories at Excalibur’s Tournament of Kings
  • 360 pounds of caviar spooned at The Buffet Bellagio
  • 3 new white lion cubs at Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage

 

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5 Casinos Where You Can Still Play Coin Slot Machines

Vintage Slot Machines At Golden Gate Casino Las Vegas

Vintage Slot Machine At Golden Gate

Do you ever get nostalgic for having filthy and germy hands when you’re playing slot machines? I don’t.

TITO (Ticket In Ticket Out) is one of the best inventions for the slot machine over the past 20 years. I don’t miss the days where I had to stick my hands in a pile of filthy coins to get paid from slots and video poker.

While TITO has replaced coins in most slot machines there are still 5 casinos in Vegas where you can play coin-in slot machines and get filthy while remembering the good ole days before indoor plumbing and cell phones. 🙂

  1. El Cortez
  2. Plaza
  3. Circus Circus & Slots A Fun
  4. Gold Strike  
  5. Eastside Cannery
  6. Bonus Casinos (California, Fremont, Main Street Station)

The Las Vegas Sun has an article on the transformation of the slot machine from coins to TITO if you’re feeling nostalgic. If you’re in Vegas you can head to the Golden Gate where they have about 5 slot machines like the one above from when they first opened. I’m not very nostalgic and even I think they’re cool.

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City Of Rock Sounds Cool

City Of Rock Las Vegas Strip

City Of Rock

It feels as if there have been rumors of Rock in Rio festival coming to Las Vegas for a couple of years. It looks like those rumors may finally be true. Yesterday the Rock in Rio festival was announced to make its Vegas debut in May of 2015.

SCREAM FOR ME BRAZIL!

More interesting is that this isn’t an idea for a one-off festival. Rock in Rio seems to be the anchor for building the City of Rock – a permanent city and tribute to rock music with 5 concert stages and multiple attractions including a ferris wheel and zipline. City of Rock will be built next to Circus Circus and across the street from SLS Las Vegas.

The concept sounds really cool but unrealistic and it certainly won’t look like their promo video below. Las Vegas can barely support its existing concert venues adding 5 more stages to fill won’t be easy. Additionally MGM Resorts is building an arena that seats another 20,000 people behind Monte Carlo and New York New York.

I love the concept of City of Rock but don’t see it quite coming out the way they envision. Vegas Chatter has more details on City of Rock if you’re curious about specifics and more details.

Iron Maiden – Rock in Rio (Buy DVD)

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Let’s Relegate Vegas Casinos Like The Premier League

EPL Football Logos

EPL Logos

The Premier League begins this weekend and all of the discussion about it got me to thinking how we can implement a similar relegation and promotion system with Las Vegas hotels and casino.

In brief, if a team performs poorly in the Premier League they’re relegated to a lesser league and if they perform better in the lesser league they step up to play with the big boys in the Premier League. If you’re really curious about specifics of the Premier League system this Yahoo Answer should do the trick.

The Las Vegas casinos aren’t all in competition with each other (Wynn and Circus Circus don’t compete for the same customer) so it makes relegation a little difficult. It may make sense to relegate by class. So perhaps there’s a Las Vegas luxury hotel league with an upper and lower tier as well as a budget and middle class league. Here’s my breakdown of the leagues from strip area properties.

Luxury
Aria
Bellagio
Caesars Palace
Cosmopolitan
Encore
Mandarin Oriental
The Palazzo
The Venetian
Vdara
Wynn

Middle Class
Flamingo
Hard Rock
Mandalay Bay
MGM Grand
The Mirage
Palms
Paris
Planet Hollywood
Rio
Treasure Island
Tropicana

Budget
Bally’s
Casino Royale
Circus Circus
Excalibur
Gold Coast
Harrah’s
Hooters
Luxor
LVH
Monte Carlo
New York New York
The Orleans
Palace Station
The Quad
Riviera
Silver Sevens
Stratosphere

Now to separate each league into two tiers or divisions. I’m breaking the divisions down by the hotel/casinos I think are better and worse. Division A features the newer cleaner hotels that have a casino while Division B features older, dirtier or hotels without a casino.

Luxury

Division A
Aria
Cosmopolitan
Encore
The Palazzo
Wynn

Division B
Bellagio
Caesars Palace
Mandarin Oriental
The Venetian
Vdara

Middle Class

Division A
Mandalay Bay
MGM Grand
The Mirage
Palms
Planet Hollywood

Division B
Flamingo
Hard Rock
Paris
Rio
Treasure Island
Tropicana

Budget

Division A
Bally’s
Gold Coast
Harrah’s
Luxor
Monte Carlo
New York New York
Silver Sevens
Stratosphere

Division B
Casino Royale
Circus Circus
Excalibur
Hooters
LVH
The Orleans
Palace Station
The Quad
Riviera

So, why are we doing this incentive and relegation for hotels and casinos?

There has to be an incentive to move up from Division B to Division A. I propose that casinos in the lower tier are penalized with the potential to make less money.

Division A hotels can charge any resort fee that they want and have any gaming rules they want. There is one caveat with this structure. Division A properties would have to disclose all additional fees upfront. None of this hidden fee crap. It’s my league. 🙂

This would mean that only half the casinos on the Vegas strip would have resort fees and half would be allowed to have 6:5 blackjack. Not every Division A hotel would implement a resort fee or bad gaming rules because that may cause them to lose customers and get relegated to a Division B.

I’d somehow like to reward good housekeeping and customer service but I’m not so sure how to quantify them. There’s still some work to do here but I think we’re off to a good start for the Premier League season. Tweet or leave a comment with any ideas to make the Las Vegas Premier League more awesome.

Photo: GoolFM 

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Ranking MGM Las Vegas Hotels By Revenue

Bellagio Las Vegas Hotel And Fountain Show at Night

Bellagio At Night

Ranking casinos owned by the same company comes in handy more often than you think. If you’re looking for cheaper rooms, just look to the bottom of the list. If you’re looking for the most players club comps, just look to the bottom of the list. If you’re looking for better gaming odds, you’ll typically look at the bottom (but not always) of the list . If you want to hang with the masses, look to the top of the list because that’s where the money is being spent.

Last week MGM Resorts International reported their quarterly earnings. As part of that information it was easy to pull out how the casino hotels in Las Vegas were doing. In fact, it was real easy since the awesome Stiffs & Georges blog already did it.

  1. Bellagio, $303M
  2. MGM Grand, $255M
  3. Mandalay Bay, $205M
  4. The Mirage, $142M
  5. Luxor, $83M
  6. Excalibur, $70
  7. New York-New York $69M
  8. Monte Carlo, $69M
  9. Circus Circus, $51M

The revenue is fairly in line with how Mlife has the properties ranked when you’re looking for players club comps. If you’re looking at Monte Carlo or New York-New York I recommend you making your plans sooner than later because they should climb the priority chart when the construction is completed next year.

The Mirage is also undergoing a few renovations to freshen it up but it shouldn’t climb much, if any, on the MGM Resorts hotel rankings.

My final thought is more about the revenue for the MGM Resorts hotels than the rankings. It looks like the kiddie corner of the Vegas Strip (Mandalay Bay through Excalibur) is going pretty well. The better the hotels on the south end of the Vegas Strip do the more families and kids it will attract and the less chances that they will have me return as a curious visitor.

If this kiddie corner is creating a niche for MGM Resorts to make more money then it’s a win-win for the company and for me.  It keeps kids away from the casinos I like in Las Vegas and makes MGM Resorts more money.

Photo: Wandermom 

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Word Of Advice To Slot Players

Hot Hot Penny Slot Machine

Hot Hot Penny!

One of my go-to references for gaming odds and strategy is Wizard of Odds. I often reference their strategy guides when I’m unsure of the specific math behind game strategy. While looking for some information on slot machines over the weekend I found something that I needed to share.

Most players play penny video slots. Based on past research, I find the house edge on those to usually be set from 6% to 15%. In general, the nicer the casino, the tighter the slots.

I’ve noticed this over the years on both ends of the spectrum. Even though casinos have to meet specific return minimums from slot machines within legal parameters of their respective gaming commissions but I’ve noticed that all hotels cater their slot machines to their customer.

As the quote states I’ve also noticed that the nicer the casino the tighter their lower denomination slot machines tend to be. At the same time the higher denomination slot machines in those high-end casinos tend to be a little looser. The same can be said for some of the lower end casinos who cater to penny slot players. Their penny slot machines will likely return a couple more percentage points.

Casino companies are just marketing to their customer. Wynn, Encore and The Venetian want a higher end customer than Circus Circus, Luxor and Excalibur and their gaming reflects that.

This is just low roller and high roller hotels catering to their customer. There’s nothing shady going on but it is something to be aware of when choosing where you gamble. 

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas