Las Vegas Little Black Book Blog
Why is Everyone Splitting Tens in Blackjack? 
5/26/08, 6:32 AM - True Vegas Advice

It has become a growing trend in Las Vegas. When dealt two tens (or face cards) in Blackjack, players are starting to split them more and more.

You are splitting up a "20", which is great hand. Yes, it is your money and you can make any choice you want when playing. But other players at the table will be insulted that you are changing the cards that the dealer gets. I have seen people almost come to fisticuffs over this.

If you are going to join this growing trend, do other players a favor - only do it when playing alone.
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Women Want to Meet Men in Vegas 
4/18/08, 6:05 PM
In our research for the Las Vegas Little Red Book, we have talked to many a woman in Vegas. We have determined that there are a lot of women searching for guys, but they have no luck finding them.

Here are some quotes from our interviews:

"We hung out at the hotelís center bar a lot, but we think that all the men thought we were escorts."

"I got a lot more attention when I wore a fake badge as a prop. Guys would comment on the badge and then it would start up a conversation."

"We ended up walking around the casino a lot, but all we could do is make eye contact as we passed by."

"When a guy would approach our group of girls, it was awkward, because it was one guy but eight girls talking in the same conversation."

A couple of things to walk away with from these observations.

1) Escorts usually donít travel in more than groups of two. If you see a group of girls drinking and searching for something to do at a casino center bar, donít think they are ďworkingĒ.

2) If you see any girl with a prop to start a conversation, that is an open door to approach here.

3) Attack in similar size groups. You want the ratio to be one guy for one girl. Donít overwhelm them or underwhelm them.

4) Woman at bar stools are easier to talk to them woman at a table. When you approach a table, you are looking down at her, and she is looking up. It is just awkward talking that way. Two options: talk to the girls at the bar or grab a table next to the seated girls, and talk from ďtable to tableĒ.

5) Easy conversations pieces: Where are you from? Where are you staying? How long are you here for? Do you gamble? Or my favorite: ďShots, I am buying. Do you want one? Ē

All in all, women are looking for ďVegas StoriesĒ just like men are. They need something to tell all the girls back home. The goal is for the story to be about you.

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A Black Book Trip to Vegas 
4/14/08, 7:18 PM - Vegas Trip Reports

Below is a trip to Vegas sent in by Bill. Many Black Book influences: Gambling with the boys, Day Time activites, Big Man's Dinner, Drinking and Strip Clubs.

Vegas Weekend

The trip was great. Once again staying at Hooters paid off.

From a gambling perspective, I came back home up around $1200. My poker play was profitable (about +$600) and I hit on a video poker machine at Shorty's for $500. We also all made out well at blackjack.


I played poker before the other guys arrived. It's an anti-social game, not compatible with a group of guys having fun. So I usually come early and stay late so I have time to play. I played at Mirage; I really like their room. It's not pretentious, the play is good, and they run regular sit-n-go single tables, 10 player tournaments. I bought in for $70 ($60 for the pot +$10 to the house). Nice bunch of guys. A really fun table. When it was four of us we agreed to split the $600 pot three ways when one more was eliminated. I knocked out the last guy when I called his all-in bet. We both had top pair, Jacks, but my 10 kicker was better.

We met for our big dinner Friday at Lawry's and were served by the lovely Mrs. Krmpotich. Our prime rib arrived in its own Airstream trailer. After dinner we stopped in at Spearmint Rhino, but it was like a frat boy convention, without an open seat in the house. The front-man wanted at least $200 grease to seat us. We left and went to Scores. Got a nice table up front and got treated very well. We got back to Hooters around 3AM. I think I went to sleep. I know I woke up in my room.


Met up at The Dam Restaurant; nice breakfast buffet. More prime rib (almost as good as Lawry's... not really). Played some blackjack to let the buffet settle and then it was off to Flyaway Indoor Skydiving. $250 buys up to 5 people 15 minutes in the chamber; you get a DVD of your "flight." 250 is a magic number, if you weigh 250+ you aren't flying. 4 of us flew and it was a good time. I'll probably end up putting a version of the flight on woof.

After Flyaway we walked over to Wynn in the 100 degree heat. I thought I smelt bacon but it was only my skin in the Las Vegas sun. At Wynn we played some more blackjack; the 5 of us took the house for more than $1K and about a dozen very good margaritas. After blackjack, we went over to the Fashion Square Mall across the street and I bought a pair of sunglasses for my aching eyeballs. Then it was more red meat and red wine at a very nice lunch at the Capital Grille. It's a la carte so you don't have to mess around with that green stuff if you don't want to. After a nice meal it was time for some of us to recharge and nap for an hour or two. Others took in the spa at MGM.

After a nap and a shower I went to play poker for an hour at MGM before meeting the guys. I was tired and my play suffered; I lost $100 in a snap. At your suggestion, we decided to meet up at the Centrifuge "center" bar at MGM. The idea of a center bar at MGM is kind of hilarious since the place is so flippin' huge. But it's a nice round bar (aren't they all?) and the good looking bartenders break into a bar-stomping dance number about once every 15 minutes. If you're seated at the bar, watch your drinks and beware the bleach-wipe-down.

We debated going to Red Rock and opted for Mandalay instead. We had dinner at the Border Grill. Great Mexican, Tex-Mex cuisine and more margaritas. It was a nice dinner on the patio that was slightly marred by the intrusion of REO Speedwagon. After dinner we suffered a spell of indecision (in the cab) trying to select a gentleman's club. I recommended Crazy Horse Too or Striptease based on your suggestions. The cab driver tried to talk us into Sherri's Cabaret... ugh. I had to explain to him that his suggestion was bad and why. We ended up stopping at Striptease, which was nearly vacant (the guys sent me in to investigate) and then the Horse which wouldn't let once of us in without paying. As my friend Jim observed, we learned a valuable lesson: if you think too much about such things, the allure fades.

We went back to Hooters for another great round of blackjack with a very funny dealer from Jersey; fortunately he wasn't wearing the Hooters Gril outfit. The deck and the dealer were good to us; once again we all walked away winners.

I played a little late night poker and then went to bed.


We met for coffee at 8AM; two of the guys were flying out at 10. We said our goodbyes and I checked out, checked my bags and went for a few more hours of poker at the Mirage. Ate lunch (a salad, finally) at the California Pizza Kitchen near the poker room; watched the Red Sox come from behind to beat the Texas Rangers by way of a David Ortiz 3-run-home-run in the bottom of the ninth. Nice cap on the trip.

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The Taxi Kickback from Gentlemans Clubs is Back 
4/6/08, 7:01 AM
It came back slowly over the last month. Club by club, starting to pay the taxi drivers $20 to $30 for each person they drop off. I guess they were getting tired of all the taxi drivers bringing people to the "scam" places of Sheri's and Diamonds.

So, if you arrive by taxi, you won't get in without paying cover, which ranges from $20 to $30 at the good clubs.

If you drive, the clubs will still try to get you for the entry fee, but you should negotiate from that point. Let them know that you will go somewhere else, or at least give you the entry fee back as a bar tab.

It looks like the taxi kickback is here to stay, it is officially being called a "transportation fee", not a kickback.
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Classic Vegas Mistake: Forgetting About Daylight Savings Time 
4/3/08, 2:55 AM - Classic Vegas Mistakes

Daylight savings affects us all. While it is great to have that extra hour of sunlight during the nighttime, it can wreak havoc for travelers.

If you do forget to change your clock and you miss your flight, just stay at the airport and try to grab the next flight. Donít proceed with your bags back to the casinos to keep gambling.

When you are ready to leave Vegas, then it is time to go. Your body has already switched back to ďnormalĒ mode; you canít just throw yourself back into the Vegas mix. Every $5 you lose will feel like $25, and every drink will make you sick.
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Time to Start Considering Pools 
3/28/08, 5:44 AM
When thinking about accommodations, it is time to start considering pools as a major factor on where to stay. This weekend, the pools get fully staffed. Starting in May, the pools go into over drive with parties, concerts, and special events.

Pools are where you are going to spend the majority of your day. During the summer time, it stays light until 8pm, so even if you sleep in, there is plenty of pool time to be had.

At the same time, start giving sports books less consideration. March Madness is almost over. That leaves pro basketball, hockey and baseball. Other than the NBA playoffs, there really is nothing exciting to bet on.

When making your consideration:

Hotels to Move Up
Mandalay Bay
Hard Rock
Caesarís Palace
MGM Grand

Hotels to Move Down
New York, New York
Barbary Coast
Monte Carlo
Golden Nugget
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Easter and Taxes 
3/17/08, 5:28 AM

Easter is always a strange time in Vegas, it is the only Holiday weekend of the year that it is not jammed packed. Even Christmas and Thanksgiving have a lot of visitors.

Tax weekend is also slow in Vegas. Everyone that owes money pays up on April 15, while everyone that got a refund, collected it early in Feb and March. So, the wallets are light around the country this week, leaving little "discretionary money" (in other words "gambling money") left.

With Easter falling on Tax weekend, it was a double whammy for Vegas. Hotel rooms were rock bottom, which is very unusual for April. For the people that came this weekend, they enjoyed great weather, short lines, and low table minimums.

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Getting Ready for March Madness in Vegas 
3/12/08, 10:51 PM

Superbowl brings in the big table games players, New Years the partiers, and Valentine's the couples. March Madness is the guy's weekend.

Some Pointers for This Weekend:

1) Group Size.
Watch your group size. Try to keep it to four, because it will be easier to travel and grab a taxi. The maximum group size should be six. Anything bigger and you will have difficulty at every restaurant, because they will have to squeeze extra chairs on a table, making it uncomfortable for the entire group. You may want to eat at two four tops instead of all together.

2) Come on Wednesday.
If you can come on Wednesday, do so. It gives you a night to get your bearings and get into the Vegas feel before the games kick off. The games kickoff on Thursday morning, so it is nice to be able to analyze and get your bets in before the first round.

3) Stay Close to Your Hotel.
Traveling is the biggest headache on this weekend. Plan events that you can get to on foot. At night, donít stray too far from the hotel, because it is tough to get a taxi. On Friday and Saturday night, taxis lines are especially long.
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Spring Break in Vegas 
2/29/08, 6:22 AM

So you are thinking about coming to Vegas for Spring Break? Before you do, there are some things that you should keep in mind.

1) Donít come to Vegas if you are under 21. Yes, I know you have a great ID. But in Vegas, casino employees will question you time after time. Part of Nevada Gaming Law says that any worker must confront a person that appears to be under 21, and if they donít, they will lose their gaming license (and thus get fired and never will be hired again in a casino again). Trust me, I work in a casino and I will kick someone out who I even think might have a fake ID, it is not worth the risk.

2) If you are over 21 and you look under 21, donít come to Vegas. Based on what I said before, every one will ask you for your ID. The casinos donít have a wristband or stamp, so you will have to keep showing your ID over and over again. Remember, each person that works in casino canít even walk by someone that looks under 21, without asking them for their ID. If they do, they risk losing their gaming license.

Ok, enough with the public service announcements; you can do what you want.

Here are a couple points to think about to enjoy spring break in Vegas.

1) Buy beer at the convenience stores. Keep some on ice (ice is free in the hotels) so you can drink beers without paying $6 a beer. Even if you are going to play some nickel slots where you get free drinks, the casinos donít care if you walk around with a couple of your own beers. They want you to drink, if you are drinking your own, then they are saving money.

2) You can drink on the Strip and Freemont Street. You might not be used to drinking in public places, but drinking on the Strip and on Freemont Street is legal and encouraged. Grab a 12 pack and walk with it while you drink. I am sure by the time you are half way through, you will find something interesting.

3) Be careful about loading up the room. Everybody on Spring Break is on budget, so groups go 6, 8 or even 10 to a room. If you are going to Vegas for Spring Break, you have already done the Spring Break thing a couple times, so you are looking for something a little bit better. Deny the guy that tries to jump in on your trip in the last minute. Keep 4 to a room max, that way you guys can at least have a chance on bringing a girl back to the room for a while before some drunk bastard come stumbling in the room.

4) Donít blow you wad on the first day. For every group that comes to Vegas, one guy will blow all of his money in the first couple hours at the gaming tables. He will be the guy that keeps having to bum money off of you for the entire trip.

If you are coming to Vegas for Spring Break, keep these tips in mind. More to come....

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Places to Watch the Conference Championships 
1/18/08, 6:45 AM

The Conference Championships are always more exciting than the Super Bowl. If you are coming in town this weekend, here are some tips about the games:

1) You don't have to go to a Sports Book to watch the games. Since there is only one game on at once, not like a normal NFL sunday, there is no need to have mulitple tvs to watch one game. Hit the casino bars, resturant bars, or gentleman's clubs if you find the sports book too packed. You will find some guys that stay up all night in the sports book just to have a seat. Don't be one of these guys.

2) Make your bets early. There is so much wagering on the games, that the lines won't be moving. If you like a team, place a bet the night before, so you won't have to wait in a 30 min line at the Sports Book.

3) Get comfortable with a table. While watching a game for a few minutes standing up is ok - to stand through 6 hours of games just won't work. Establish a base camp for your group, like a table in the Casino's Center Bar. That way, some of your group can wander off to do other things and always return for a good view of the game.

4) Play Table Games while you watch Some casinos have plasma tvs right at the Black Jack tables. I like watching games at New York New York while playing a little Pai Gow Poker.
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