Las Vegas Little Black Book Blog
Hidden Vegas Gem: Casino Royale 
3/22/09, 11:02 AM - Hidden Vegas Gems

Most people donít know about Casino Royale. Wedged in between Harrahís and the Venetian on the east side of the Strip, people walk right by it. It has a surprising 152 rooms, an Outback, a Dennyís, 400 slots, and about 30 table games, but is still dwarfed by the Mega Resorts.

Five Reasons To Love Casino RoyaleÖ

1) Cheap Drinks. $1 Michelobs and $1 Margaritas are standard from the bar. Why wait for a waitress to come by for a free drink? Youíll see the line of people at the end of the bar waiting for a drink, but donít worry, it moves fast. Grab a drink and hit the tables or grab a couple for a walk on the Strip.

2) Blackjack Switch. Or just ďSwitchĒ. A new version of Blackjack that low rollers love. It is a fun game because it brings a whole new level of skill because there are more decisions to make than just basic Blackjack strategy.

You start by making two identical bets. The dealer deals you two hands of cards. The player has the option to switch the top two cards of his hands. For example, if a player is dealt a Ace Ė Four and a Seven Ė King, then the player would be able to switch the top cards to make a Seven Ė Four and an Ace Ė King. The disadvantages are that Blackjacks pay even money and if the dealer makes a hard total of 22 then all bets push.

The theoretical house advantage (0.30%) makes it better than traditional blackjack games. But, you'll have to employ a lot more than basic blackjack strategy to take some money home.

3) Sit Down Mini-Craps Table. The only one that I have seen in town, take a seat along 5 other players at a craps game with one dealer. You wonít have the fun and energetic atmosphere of a normal craps table, but you will be able to get off your feet and not have to stand shoulder to shoulder with a complete stranger. Even better, the table minimum is usually $2 with 10x odds.

4) Beveled Mirrors over the Table Games. Along the ceiling above the table games are beveled mirrors that allow you to view all of the table action without looking over somebodyís shoulder. It adds a nice feel to the room because you see gaming action everywhere.

5) No Cares in the World. Youíll notice that everyone here is having a good time because they arenít losing a lot of money. You can let loose and make an idiot of yourself, which is something I have perfected.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Click on the images to purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.


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Classic Vegas Mistake: Doubling Up Your Losses 
3/21/09, 11:37 AM - Classic Vegas Mistakes

I still see this classic vegas mistake all the time...

There was 16 ďblackĒ in a row on roulette. There was a group of guys in from Texas that was sure the next one would be ďredĒ. That was on black number 6. They started making $100 wagers on red and started chasing their losses. In ten minutes, they cleaned out their wallets and maxed out their ATMs trying to get back to zero. They never did. It was there first day in Vegas and they blew all their money.

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Classic Vegas Mistake: Doubling Up Your Losses
Known as the Martingale system, the practice of ďdouble or nothingĒ on your losses to get back to even is a strategy used be beginners. For example, if you are down $10, bet $10 on the next hand. If you win you will be even, if you lose, you will be down $20. Then bet $20 on the next hand. If you win you will be even, if you lose you will be down $40. Get it? You just keep doubling until you are back to even. Many novice gamblers use this system and end up down big time. The problem with the system is that you donít have an unlimited bankroll to keep doubling. Even if you did have a wad of cash, you still would max out your bet at the table maximum. Letís see how bad it can get. $5-$10-$20-$40-$80-$160-$320-$640-$1280-$2560, etc. Donít think you could lose ten times in a row? Many a sucker has thought the same thing. Avoid doubling up your losses.
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I know it is tempting. Donít do it.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.
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Classic Vegas Mistake: Ordering the Surf & Turf when Splitting the Bill 
3/20/09, 11:59 AM - Classic Vegas Mistakes

When eating with others and splitting the bill, donít be an ass and order the Kobe beef filet or the oversized Australian lobster tail ó or for peteís sake the surf and turf of Kobe beef and Australian lobster tail. These high-price items turn the whole dining experience into a competition of ďwho can get the most for their share of the split bill.Ē Donít be a jerk; keep your menu items on par with the rest of the group.

The same goes for shots. It gets frustrating when one end of the table is getting round after round of $12 patron silver shots while the other end is sipping on red wine. If you are going to order a round of shots, tell the server not to put it on the main bill and that you are paying for it yourself.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Click on the images to purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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Classic Vegas Mistake: Venturing Out Alone 
3/19/09, 11:13 AM - Classic Vegas Mistakes

Use the buddy system. Donít wander off on your own. One of the biggest mistakes a group makes is that a person will wander off and you lose them for the night. You usually wonít be able to find your group; itís hard to spot someone in a crowed casino. You will end up being lost, just wandering around trying to find your way back.

This is very important late at night when you are drunk and your buddies are still playing blackjack. When someone is playing table games, usually the dealer won't allow them to use their phones. So they will just let it ring in their pocket while you are calling it over and over again trying to find your way back to them.

We once lost a buddy for the night when he got drunk at Mandalay Bay. He left his phone on the table in the restaurant as he went out to go find a bathroom. It took about 30 minutes until we wondered where he was. After a search of the bathrooms and then the entire casino, we could not find him. We later found him about 3 hours later falling asleep on a empty chair in Mandalay Convention center. He ruined the night for us.

So, do yourself a favor, keep your self phone on you and don't wander out on your own when your are drunk. You might not find your way back.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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True Vegas Advice: Tips for Betting March Madness 
3/18/09, 11:15 AM - True Vegas Advice

As March Madness approaches, a couple tips about betting the games:

1) Donít bet every game.
There are 16 games on Thursday and 16 games on Friday. There are eight games Saturday and eight on Sunday. You donít have to bet on every game. You donít want to lose track of which teams you have. I have seen people have so many bets that they forget which team they have. They are shuffling through their picks over and over again, trying to figure out which teams they have. Don't be one of these guys. Choose you games wisely.

2) Know your picks before you walk up to the counter
With so many games, be sure to have your picks done before you go up to the betting window. It can get confusing up there with so many games. You donít want the whole line frustrated behind you.

3) Donít bet on every heavy underdog
Donít bet on every heavy underdog, so you can say ďI told you soĒ to your friends. Yes, there are always upsets in the NCAA tournament, but you donít have to be the guy that hits them.

4) Bet in $11 increments
If you win, you get paid $10 for every $11 wagered. To avoid change and a lot of strange looks, bet in $11 increments.

5) Donít Sleep in the Sports Books
Just like Super Bowl, donít sleep or wake up at 5am to get a seat in the sports book. There are plenty of others places around Vegas to watch the games.

6) Donít leave town without cashing in your ticket
Remember, the paper is cheap. Plus, you will forget to bring it to Vegas for you next trip.

7) Games start early and end early
Most people think that their nighttime activities will be watching March Madness. But, since the Tournament is bases on East Coast Time, the games start early (9am) and end early (8pm). That leaves your night time wide open.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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True Vegas Advice: Where to Watch March Madness 
3/17/09, 11:50 AM - True Vegas Advice


(While it looks big, the Mandalay Sports Book can't
handle the big crowds for March Madness)

Places to Avoid for March Madness

Mandalay Bay Sportsbook
Mandalay has an amazing sports book. But with 4460 rooms and the top destination for groups of guys for March Madness, the book will be overwhelmed. You will find every seat filled, overloaded cocktail servers, and long lines to bet. It will be so crowded at times, that people will be sitting on the ground watching the games.

ESPN Zone
If you donít get to ESPN Zone by 8:30am right in the morning, donít bother, the place gets filled immediately, and people camp out all day at their tables. If you are able to grab a seat, each person in your group will have to purchase at least $10 in food or beverage every hour to continue sitting there.


(While the Hard Rock sportsbook is small, there are
many places to watch the games around the property)

Places to Watch the Games

MGM Grand Sports Book
The new sports book at MGM grand will be crowded, but not as crowded as Mandalay Bayís. It is designed better. A wide-open space with plasma screens placed high, so you will have a good view of the games. If you canít find a seat, grab a seat at the adjacent Centrifuge Bar.

Caesarís Palace Sports Book
Caesarís has made some dramtic improvements to its sports book. Gone are the faded screens. They have installed new projectors and televisions on each table. Plus, they will have sound for the big games, which is a rare find in Vegas sports books.

Hard Rock
Located next to the Sports Book, the Sports Bar is surprising empty. It has eight large plasmas and sound for one of the games. Hard Rock is a smaller hotel, so they donít have the thousands of guys coming down to the Sports Book. Plus, a lot of the guys were up until 6am in the morning, so you wonít see them stroll down until 3pm in the afternoon. As an extra viewing area, Hard Rock will be showing the games in the Viva Las Vegas lounge, the Center Bar and Mr. Luckyís Resturant.

Paradise Cantina
Located across the street from the Hard Rock, is a Mexican beach restaurant called Paradise Cantina. There is not a bad seat in the house, because there are so many plasmas. Plus, they have cheap drinks and attractive servers. Can't beat that.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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Classic Vegas Mistake: Going Off Strip to Find an Irish Pub on St. Patty Day 
3/16/09, 11:37 AM - Classic Vegas Mistakes

While you many not have the luck of the Irish while gambling, Vegas is a great place for St. Patrickís Day. But you donít have to be at an Irish pub or party to have a good time. The whole town will be having a good time.

This will be an exciting time in Vegas. March Madness and spring break getting started along with St. Patrickís Day, means pretty much everyone will be in their top parting mood.

Classic Vegas Mistake: Donít venture off the Strip to a local Irish bar.
Why leave yourself stranded at one place in a packed Irish bar off the Strip. While you might be able to get a cab there, you will have a tough time getting a cab back. The whole Strip will be celebrating anyway. You need to have options for St. Pattyís day, so if you get tired of hanging around in a sweaty bar, you can play some at the tables or hit a different spot.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Click on the images to purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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Five Keys to a Good Vegas Steakhouse 
3/15/09, 11:54 AM - True Vegas Advice

Keep these in mind when planning you big steak dinner for the boys.

1) Old-school steak house dťcor. A place with red leather booths and dim lighting is just what the doctor ordered.

2) Prime, dry-aged beef. Beef is the only thing you should be eating at a steak house, so make sure theyíve got the good stuff. Cuts of beef are classified by the USDA grading system as commercial, select, choice or prime. Prime beef is the highest quality, having the best texture, firmness, color, and marbling. Dry-aging is a climate-controlled process of storing the beef under precise conditions of temperature, humidity, and air circulation to ensure the best tenderness and flavor. Ask you server about grades and aging before you order.

3) Large-group seating. Not all places are designed to accommodate large groups; donít settle for makeshift seating arrangements or having to break your crew up into two groups. When you call ahead to book (always, always do this), check it out to make sure they fit your group in properly.

4) Music and crowds are bad. The big trend now is the blend of steakhouses and ultra-lounges. Examples are Fix, Stack, & Strip Steak. While these "trendy" places do serve up quality beef, they are not what you are looking for in the classic man's steakhouse big dinner.

5) Non-Resort Steakhouses offer better price and service. When a steakhouse is not in a resort, they serve only cash paying customers. In a casino, the majority of the customer will be comped. In order to give value to the comp, the resort jacks up the price of the menu. It appears to the customer that they just received a $300 meal for free, but that meal would only have been $200 in a non-resort steakhouse. You as a cash paying customer get screwed.

For a real Vegas hidden gem steakhouse, try the Golden Steer. Located on Sahara just west of the Strip, the Golden Steer has been serving up prime beef since 1958. It is a favorite of strip entertainers and you usually see one eating there late night. It is a true insiders hidden gem.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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Classic Vegas Mistake: Inviting the Downer 
3/14/09, 9:44 PM - Classic Vegas Mistakes

Donít let the wrong guy onto the guest list. If you have a friend who is selfish, obnoxious, depressing, or downright annoying, leave him at home. One time, a group of friends came out to Las Vegas and were all having a great time when one of them decided he wanted a break. He told everyone he was going watch a movie, and he never returned. The group went back to the hotel, convinced a bellhop to let them into his room and discovered their friendís bags were gone. The whole group flipped out and spent most of the day trying to figure out what had happened. Had he gotten sick suddenly? Had his girlfriend back home been in a car crash? Had he fallen on his head, suffered amnesia, and was even now wandering the Strip in a daze? Calls and e-mails went unreturned. Finally, the ďfriendĒ called a day later to say that he had just decided to fly home. This group wasted a day on a flake who never should have been on the guest list to start with.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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Checking Out of Your Hotel 
3/13/09, 11:23 AM - True Vegas Advice

When you check out, donít waste your time standing in the long line at the front desk. Use the check out on your television or just leave and have the bill put on your credit card. Check-out times are not set in stone. If they say check-out time is 10 a.m., donít worry if is it 11 a.m. before you roll out. If they call your room just tell them that you are packing up your stuff. If your flight leaves later, check your bags in with the bellboy. If you are going to spend the rest of your time at a different hotel before you leave, bring your bags with you and check them in with the bell desk at that hotel. You donít have to be a guest there to check your bags.

Want more Classic Vegas Mistakes? Need some True Vegas Advice? Looking for that special Hidden Vegas Gem? Heading to Vegas soon and need the right strategy for your group? Purchase the Las Vegas Little Black Book or Las Vegas Little Red Book on Amazon or on the links to the right. Do you have specific questions about your Vegas trip or stuck on your planning? Email questions to info@vegaslittleblackbook.com.

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