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Want to "try something new" for next Vegas trip and need advice

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by notfromconcentrate, Feb 26, 2017.

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  1. notfromconcentrate

    notfromconcentrate Connoisseur of dive casinos and obnoxious outfits

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    As the title says, I'm looking to try something new for my next Vegas trip. I've been six times, and am planning #7 for the end of April, about 5 nights, probably a Sun-Thu range of days. This will be a solo run. My play during previous trips has been about 95% blackjack, with the other 5% being some roulette and baccarat. However, this time around, I want to play zero blackjack. My three games of choice will be poker (ideally in tournament format), video poker, and craps (for which I will be a first-timer). I prefer to stay downtown, but am open to staying Boulder/off-strip as well. I also want to try and do some of the touristy stuff I've never gotten to do in Vegas, such as going to the Grand Canyon.

    Where I'm seeking input is on what property I'm best off staying at as a matter of access to the type of gaming I'm interested in trying, along with other amenities. Order of priorities is as follows...

    - Swimming pool (ideally with good sun exposure, as lounging by the pool is a very important part of going to Vegas for me)
    - Poker tournaments (friendly to beginners, not after high-roller tournaments by any means)
    - Solid bartop video poker options (to be clear, is it generally accepted protocol that as long as you're playing max bet, you'll get drinks comped? Does this depend on whether you're playing nickels/quarters/dollars? If this is not the case, or only the case at some properties, what should I know in order to better align my decision of where to play?)
    - Craps (where the setting/vibe is friendly to a newbie like me, as I understand that is especially frowned upon in this game)

    Now, I realize that what property I stay at is largely irrelevant for most of the above factors aside from the pool, since I can just hop from one casino to another. However, I believe there is some interconnectedness between all of the above factors for the sake of making the whole trip run smoothly. By this, I mean that let's say I was to stay off-strip (at Sam's Town, for instance, where there are three daily poker tournaments to the best of my knowledge). That would satisfy the pool and poker elements. But perhaps the bartop video poker options are lousy, and the craps table(s) tend to not be beginner-friendly. Conversely, perhaps somewhere downtown has very good VP, highly beginner-friendly craps tables, and a nice pool, but there's no poker tournaments to be found anywhere nearby.

    Ideally, the average day of the trip would look something like this...
    - Wake up/go for breakfast
    - Play some poker and/or craps
    - Hang out by the pool for a bit
    - Go about things for the day (Grand Canyon, outlet mall, other interesting stuff)
    - Get dinner (location is irrelevant here as I already have a number of places in mind that are scattered)
    - Perhaps play a bit more poker/craps
    - Play some bartop VP and drink beer until I tire out and go to bed

    I realize that it's possible I'm trying to do the impossible here. But I'm not the most seasoned Vegas-goer on this board by any means. So perhaps you could provide me with some insights that could make trip number seven a dream come true!
     
  2. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    The "touristy" thing I always suggest is Valley Of Fire, followed by a drive back around Lake Mead. VOF is spectacular in the morning or mid-late afternoon!
     
  3. Coffee

    Coffee Tourist

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    I can't offer much help on the hotel choice, but I do have some general advice for craps. Many hotels have free craps lessons, usually in the mornings, since they aren't as busy. If you can find one, I suggest you go, just to get the basics. If that isn't an option try to find an empty table or a slow table to start out with. That shouldn't be too difficult early in the morning. Tell the dealers you are new to the game and tip them well. They should help you out. Don't pay much attention to all the lingo, it is unnecessarily complicated and you don't need to know it yet. Start with the basic betting, pass line with odds and maybe placing a number or two. 6&8 have the best rate of return. The bets in the middle of the table have the worst rates of return. Once you get the basics down at a slower table, try a busy table, with an energetic crowd. There is nothing better than a fun craps table. Ignore the craziness of other people, their bets and lingo. Focus on your bets and enjoy the vibe.

    Have fun and Good luck!
     
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  4. alanleroy

    alanleroy Click my avatar

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    Only 3 casinos have pools downtown...Plaza, Golden Nugget and Downtown Grand. Only one of those has Poker Tournaments...Golden Nugget.

    Offstrip, Red Rock has a great pool and Poker Tourneys...It will probably cost twice as much as GN.

    Of course they both offer Craps. I'd go for Golden Nugget.
     
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2017
  5. vegasvic

    vegasvic VIP Whale

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    The ghost town at Rhyolite is cool. It's about 2 hours though. You could swing by Pahrump on your way there or back. They have a couple of nice..... wineries to tour. We did Rhyolite as part of a Death Valley Day.

    Pinball Hall of Fame
     
  6. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    I would second this.

    Rhyolite is a real ghost town, not a cheesy tourist-trappy re-creation or semi-inhabited trashy town. It's the remains of a once-thriving community. IIRC the train depot is the best preserved, by far, of all of the buildings. Most of the others are just ruins. The bottle house is well preserved and very different. IIRC the street grid can be made out, but virtually nothing remains of the residential section.

    I would second this too. Bring quarters! :)
     
  7. Dynasty22

    Dynasty22 Blackjack Connoisseur

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    Brooklyn Bowl
     
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  8. Nevyn

    Nevyn VIP Whale

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    I would strongly consider the Golden Nugget downtown. It looks like it has a couple daily tournaments under $100 buy in, has a great pool (although often crowded), and while its VP won't be great, downtown will put you in the middle of some of the best VP bars.

    Another option if you are a poker newbie looking to ease your way in would be to stay somewhere like the Orleans (decent pool), and play their 2-4 limit game. If you play poker a lot and are used to no limit that may not be of interest, but if it is something completely new that is a lower pressure style of game to get the feel. That game will have a bunch of locals, but should still be fun, and your money should last long enough to give you a good experience (whereas NL cash or tournament you could be out in 15 minutes if things don't go your way).

    I don't know their VP bars, but according to Tring's primer it looks like they have some playable options on bartops.

    The first note is not quite true. The D has a pool, the 4 queens occasionally gets you use of the old Binions pool, and the Cal has a pool (which MSS guests can also use). Although the 3 you listed are generally regarded as the best and non afterthough ones.
     
  9. scrappy

    scrappy Tourist

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    [QUOTE="alanleroy, post: 1425453, member: 18483"]Only 3 casinos have pools downtown...Plaza, Golden Nugget and Downtown Grand. Only one of those has Poker Tournaments...Golden Nugget.

    Offstrip, Red Rock has a great pool and Poker Tourneys...It will probably cost twice as much as GN.

    Of course they both offer Craps. I'd go for Golden Nugget.[/QUOTE]
    The D and hotel california have crappy pools, if necessary. Binions has one on the roof that 4 queens was using, not sure if that's still the case.
     
  10. scrappy

    scrappy Tourist

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    oops, I missed that last post from Nevyn
     
  11. alanleroy

    alanleroy Click my avatar

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    I didn't count those as real pools. #fakepools.
     
  12. vegasdev

    vegasdev VIP Whale

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    the Orleans has a pretty big pool area with sections for sun and shade lovers. overall the property has plenty to offer. I used the pool last summer at Binions while staying at 4Q. it was not crowded but the chairs were sooo close together. it does offer some great view of vegas though. the pool at the Cal is small, but sometimes if you get lucky you may be the only one there. the pool at the D is a joke, like an old motel from the 60s or 70s. I like the pool at the Downtown Grand. plenty of sun, but too many of the chairs are reserved for a fee instead of "free".
     
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