a taxi from the airport to your hotel. It will cost more
than a shuttle, but itís worth it. The shuttle stops at almost
every hotel on The Strip while a taxi takes you straight to your
2. If you stay at the Luxor, request a room in the pyramid
when making your reservation.
3. Iím not sure if Frank Sinatra would have hung out in
the Bellagio, but thereís something that's just right about
hearing his voice crooning over the water-fountain show at this
opulent hotel. The lobbyís ceiling is a rainbow of colored glass
in shapes of butterflies and lily pads--very nice.
4. Bottled water is very expensive at hotels ($4-$5). If
you go to a store on The Strip, you can buy the same size bottle
for much less ($1-$2).
Itís better to walk. Taxis are only good if you really need
one--say, if you want to go downtown or to a hotel off The Strip,
such as Rio or the Hard Rock Hotel. Otherwise, with all the
traffic on The Strip, you're guaranteed to spend way too much
money getting almost nowhere. Plus, the more you walk, the less
guilt you'll feel about sampling another tasty meal.
6. Donít take your wallet with you into the casino. Take
as much money as youíre willing to lose, bring your driverís
license and a credit card for other purchases, but leave your ATM
card and the rest of your money in your room.
7. Youíre still inside when youíre in New York-New York.
Details from the interior: Outdoor cafes in courtyards surrounded
by old, weather-beaten ads on sides of buildings, and steam coming
out of manhole covers. Pigeons sitting on balcony rails and a
high-school basketball trophy and old 40s-style lamp in the
window. A bridge arched over a running creek and under a drooping
8. The two Guggenheim museums in the Venetian each
charge $15 admission, which is more than you'll pay at the Met,
SFMOMA, or Louvre. Wander through the gift shop and look at the
coffee-table books instead.
9. Talk to your cab drivers. If a cab driver in Elko,
Nevada can tell some tall tales, just imagine the height of the
tales youíll get out of a Vegas cabbie.
10. How to drink cheaply without losing your shirt: Sit
down at a nickel slot machine in a high-traffic area and play very
slowly. A cocktail waitress will magically appear and take your
order. Choose beer unless you want a very watered-down mixed
drink. Tip her nicely. Repeat again and again and again.
11. Just because hotels are right next to each other
doesnít mean that they're actually close to each other.
Do you like MTV, the Los Angeles music scene, motorcycles, and
crowded places? Then the Hard Rock Hotel is your place to go
13. Catch a sunrise. The vast desert provides a
fantastic setting, with the sun peeking over the distant mountains
and the sky and landscape constantly changing colors.
14. Vegas actually has a soul. The front of New York-New
York, near the Statue of Liberty, is now a memorial for 9/11.
Hundreds, maybe thousands, of t-shirts from various fire and
police departments around the world hang on the fence. Very
15. Bottles of beer are only $1 at the bar in the
Barbary Coast, possibly the last good deal on The Strip.
16. Paris-Las Vegas does its namesake justice. The walls of the
casino area are facades of quaint apartment buildings with lights
flickering in the windows. Edith Piafís sparrow voice reverberates
through the air. And all the signs above the tables and slot
machines are replicas of the actual Art Deco
17. There are real lions inside the MGM Grand. Get there
when itís feeding time.
18. Ahhhh, Venice. I didnít want to like the canals with
singing gondoliers coasting past St. Markís Square (inside the
hotel, of course). I didnít want to enjoy a cappuccino at a table
outside a cafť on the main walkway, surrounded by shops with faux
apartments above them and street performers entertaining the
crowds under a painted blue-sky ceiling. But I did.
19. The Luxorís pyramid reflects the desert sun into the
pool area, turning the chaise lounges into people-size baking
20. Lose the watch. Time just doesnít matter in this
town. Youíll find yourself craving breakfast at 7pm and going to
sleep at 11 in the morning. Indulge, relax by the pool, have
another drink, and have fun.ē
||Playing Blackjack? Remember This...
- Youíre not trying to get 21. Youíre trying to beat
- Double down on 11. You rarely have a chance to
increase your bet in Blackjack, so take advantage of it
whenever you can.
- Blackjack is all about streaks. When youíre on a
winning streak, it might be a good idea to bet more.
When youíre losing, your best bet is to bet less. Donít
try to win back all of your money at once or you just
might lose twice as much.
- Stay away from two-deck Blackjack. While you can
actually try to count cards (never let the House catch
you doing that!), the odds of winning decrease since
there are fewer low-number cards for the dealer to draw.
- Tip the dealer by placing a chip above the betting
circle. The dealer only gets it if you win the hand, and
it brings good Blackjack karma. If you lose, the house
gets the chip--but itís a small wager that can increase
your cosmic odds.
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