Las Vegas: Getting Lucky, 1000x Slot Jackpots, ATM Fees

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I’m back from Sin City and I am exhausted. Let’s see what kind of money-related and non-incriminating stories I can tell 🙂

Not quite whales, but… we did stay in the Player’s Room Suite at New York New York.

It’s the ultimate players retreat…our Players Rooms promise to please with a marble entry, two queen-size beds, a whirlpool tub, chaise lounge and magazine table, two TVs, and a bathroom with enticing marble counter tops and enclosed shower and tub. Take advantage of these 700-800 square foot rooms’ winning layouts when visiting with family and friends!

Of course, there were six of us. The sleeper sofa was perfect so we didn’t have to break out the sleeping bags we brought.

I played Blackjack and won over $300 overall. We visited almost every casino on the strip and played a little here and there. I stuck with whatever table was cheapest, either $5 or $10 minimum bets. My actual bets probably averaged $15. I usually do my best to find the table which offer the rules with the best odds (see WizardOfOdds), and try to play basic strategy with a smattering of very crude (and probably useless) card-counting. I know that my $300 was a result of luck and not skill, but it was fun as well.

Poker is definitely the new hot thing, with packed tournaments everywhere. I considered entering a $50 buy-in Hold ‘Em tournament, but decided against making a fool out of myself.

My wife also won a big jackpot on the slot machines! She mashed the button and won 1000… pennies. Yep, she played the penny slots. I’m happy for her, but she wasn’t too amused when I said that I just lost that much in one hand while listening to her tell me about her jackpot. 😕

ATM fees were insane. Although I thankfully didn’t need to hit the ATMs, I did check out the fee schedule. Regular ATM withdrawals were $4 inside casinos. Better yet, they also have a feature that I think charges your credit card instead of doing a cash advance. I feel this is because the cash advance limits are usually much lower than the overall purchase limits. The price for this convenience? $12 on a $100 withdrawal.

No coupon runs. The only coupons we used were to get free drinks when we couldn’t track down a cocktail waitress. I’m pretty sure I drank at least five of the worst $1 frozen margaritas ever while down there. Guinness from a bottle on the other hand, is actually pretty tasty. I didn’t hit any celebrity chef temples or non-free shows, although some in our party did get some discount tickets to Ka and Mystere. Garduno’s in the Palms is a good New Mexican restaurant.

Anyways, this should be the end of Vegas talk for a while… Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

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  1. I’m surprised giving you cash for a CC charge doesn’t violate their agreement with the credit card companies.

  2. sounds like fun, man hope you had a good time.

    i love vegas, baby.

  3. I’ve never been to a casino that doesn’t have the CC cash machine. Fees are unreal. Its makes more sense to take out $500 than $100.

    the free method of cash withdrawals at a casino are lines of credit with the casino. Basically you fill out a credit form and they decide how much to let you “borrow.” They want you to settle up before you leave, but you can wait until after you get back from your trip.

    With the line of credit, you have to worry about gambling it all away. Like a mortgage broker, they will let you borrow more than you can really afford. Be smart and only take out what you need.

  4. Isotope19 says:

    Just a tip from a Vegas local… The next time you come to Vegas, bring your checkbook.

    If you write yourself a check and take it to the casino cage/cashier, they’ll cash the check, which thereby eliminates the ATM fees/penalties. There’s no limit as to how many checks you can write and cash. However, some casinos require a little processing time.

    In other words, when you check in, make certain that you write yourself a check and head for the casino cage/cashier and get the process started. Some casinos need at least 24 hours to process, other are instantaneous. If you’re going to be here for more than 2-3 days, at least you know of somewhere you aren’t going to be penalized for withdrawing cash…

    Keep up the great work on the blog…

  5. Isotope19 says:

    I neglected to mention that you can also cash Travelers Checks at the casino cage/cashier. Most, if not all casinos recognize Travelers Checks as cash equivalent.

    This process is a litter easier than writing yourself a check each time you need cash. However, the downside is knowing how much you need in Travelers Checks.

    Now that I think about it, perhaps the Travelers Checks could help keep you on budget while on vacation here in Vegas? One could use Travelers Checks until they’re completely used, then go to the checkbook as a last resort…


  6. If you tap your line of credit or withdraw money from your CC for gambling, you have a gambling problem, or at least the early stages of it.

  7. I just brought the amount of cash I was willing to lose. I figured I hated ATM fees so much I wouldn’t be willing to pay them, ha.

  8. 1000 pennies are better than no pennies!

  9. Just came back from Vegas on Sunday. We stayed in the Spa Suite at the Golden Nugget, the room had a staircase!!! It was my bachelor party so they guys didn’t tell me how much it was, but i’m assuming it’s pretty affordable.

    Quick tip for getting cash. If you have the time, you can easily run to a local Walgreens/CVS, buy a snack/drink, pay with your ATM card and get cash back. That’s what I did. Of course if you want money right then and there in the casino, this option isn’t really…well…an option.

  10. Quite a few times in the past, I’ve stopped playing simply because I didn’t want to pay the ATM fees. I guess I must be in the minority and that others just go and get the cash. Otherwise, they wouldn’t charge what they couldn’t get away with and become profitable (even if it means losing people like me as a player)

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