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Posts Tagged ‘slots’

Casino lovers holiday gift ideas

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Every year we run some short posts giving our readers some fun ideas on gifts for the casino aficionados on their holiday giving list.  Here are a few of our top picks available from Amazon.com or you can check out some of your local stores for similar items!

best home slot game lobstermania

IGT Slots put some of our favorite games into this home version including Lobstermania and DaVinci Diamonds.

Best home slots game — IGT Slots: Lucky Larry’s Lobstermania

IGT strikes gaming gold with this fun in-home slots game that includes such favorites as Cats, Carnival of Mystery (love this game at Caesars in Las Vegas,) Frog Princess and Stinkin’ Rich.  At less than $20, it’s a great deal for those who want to play, not pay!

Best Cross Body Bag for Women — Cole Haan Bailey Bag

Here’s the dilemma — as much as you (or the woman in your life) love toting around that jumbo purse/suit

case/carryall, it just isn’t very practical for a day at the casino.  Do you keep it on that sticky shelf between machines or clutch it to your body like you’re protecting the family jewels?  And, please, don’t even think of hanging it off the back of your chair!

Solution:  enter the Cross Body bag which — just as the name suggests — smartly and compactly sits across the chest holding valuables and necessities in neatly and stylishly.  We couldn’t believe the price on this beauty (less than half the regular price!) and it comes in a gorgeous shade of lipstick red as well.  This doesn’t have to go in her stocking…it can be her stocking! Love it.

Also, be sure to check out our extensive Gift Guide here.

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Find Bellagio Las Vegas slot tournament news and more at BellagioSlots.com

Tuesday, July 7th, 2009

We love The Bellagio hotel and especially the beautifully-designed Bellagio casino and now we have even more to love about it thanks to a new website section recently launched by parent, MGM Mirage.  Check out the cool new BellagioSlots.com where you can find all kinds of great information on upcoming special events like casino slot tournaments and players club promotions; news on recent jackpots and winners — including photos of the lucky players — plus details on the super popular “Holiday Gift Shoppe” which will be held November 28 – December 13 this year.  (And don’t forget about this special summer deal at The Bellagio:  play your favorite games this summer between June 1st and August 31st and earn double Holiday Gift Shoppe points!)

There’s also a section on the site that we particularly like which pictures all the “slot hosts” and gives their individual email addresses so you can get personalized attention to your questions or comments.  Also, be sure to check out the page that gives you “Slot Floor Updates” including details on all the newest additions to the gaming floor.  We’re really looking forward to playing the new video poker variations from IGT/Action Gaming, “Ultimate X Poker™” and “Good Times Pay Poker™,” when we visit The Bellagio later this month.

Here’s another item of interest from the Bellagio Slots website and we’re quoting them directly:  “Compared to official data published by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, during the first two months of 2009 Bellagio’s average payback on its slot machines was over 2.75% better than the rest of the Las Vegas Strip! In fact, Bellagio’s payback percentage has been consistently higher than the Strip average since 2005.”  So we just added another reason to love the Bellagio casino!

Looking for a great rate at The Bellagio?  Check out The Bellagio at hotels.com for the summer’s best deals on The Strip.

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An In-Depth Read on How Slot Machines Work from Your Friends at Discovery

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

From the “look what I came across searching the Web” file, comes this remarkably detailed report on how slot machines operate from the wide-ranging “HowStuffWorks” website.  Both the site and the television show of the same name are owned by the Discovery Company — you know, the same people who have the Discovery Channel, TLC, Animal Planet (my fav), and a host of other “let’s-make-learning-fun” ventures. (more…)

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New Slot Machines I’d Like to See

Thursday, November 13th, 2008
Lucky cherries...why not lucky lawyers or smoke monsters?  (Photo courtesy of Lisa Brewster, sophistichate.com)

Lucky cherries...why not lucky lawyers or smoke monsters? (Photo courtesy of Lisa Brewster, http://sophistechate.com

I think being a slot machine inventor, game developer, whatever you want to call it, would be one of the coolest jobs on the planet.  I want to be the person who decides that the cherry gets to be the lucky fruit.  Sorry apples, pears and pomegranates…move back to the bowl because you just don’t cut it.  Triple diamonds, blazing 7’s, weird Slingo™ dude and even you, Monty Hall –  yep, you’re all in.  But “Chainsaws & Toasters®?”  What kind of weird nightmare did the person have before coming up with that game?

So, if that game made it through the vetting process, why not some of these?

Magic Ex-Wife –– Get five lawyers in a row to go to the bonus round where the machine takes all your credits and your dog.  Sorry, there’s no winning this one. (more…)

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The Lucky Bracelet and Other Myths

Wednesday, November 12th, 2008
Could this bring you casino luck?

Could something like this bring you casino luck?

When it comes to good luck charms, I’ve seen a lot of strange things in casinos in Las Vegas, here in Arizona and, really, all across the country.  I remember one “regular” at a casino here in town who, back in the days when actual coins still poured out of the machines, would accumulate buckets of quarters and carry them from machine to machine.  If he was having a good day, you’d see him perched on his seat in front of a slot machine with three, four or even five completely full buckets of change under his chair.  Watching him move from machine to machine with a stack of change cups sort of piled atop each other “Leaning-Tower-of- Pisa-style” was a pretty interesting sight.  When asked why he carried around all those quarters rather than cashing in for some lightweight bills, he said his method of only going to the cashier at the end of his gambling day brought him luck.  (I’m sure he’s not having near as much fun with the paper tickets spit out by the machines today.) (more…)

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New Gila River Casino on Pace to Open November 20

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008
Workers recently installed this sign at the new Gila River Casino, Lone Butte.

Workers recently installed this sign at the new Gila River Casino, Lone Butte.

The new Gila River casino, Lone Butte, at Loop 202 and Kyrene Road in Chandler, Arizona is coming together nicely for the scheduled November 20 opening date.  I am really looking forward to playing in this new Phoenix-area casino which is slated to have 850 slot machines, a 750-seat bingo hall, new high-limit player areas and exciting table games including Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive, Let It Ride Three-Card Bonus and Three-Card Poker.  And, for a non-smoker like me, the thought of a state-of-the-art smoke removal system built right into the facility makes me swoon.

In grand opening promotions, casino customers can play their favorite games for cash and prizes including a new Pontiac Soltice which will be given away on December 4th.  Prior to the main event car giveaway, the “Luck Has a New Home” promo will award cash prizes to players from 6 – 10 p.m., November 5, 12 — at the current Lone Butte location —  and on the 26th at the new casino. (more…)

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Vote for Best – and Worst – of Las Vegas in Annual “Trippies”

Tuesday, October 28th, 2008
Vegas Tripping let you vote on favs and failures.

Vegas Tripping lets you vote on favs and failures.

Best slots.  Best video poker.  Best table games.  Best cocktail waitress uniforms.  Worst buffet.  Worst casino.  Worst overall.  Vegas Tripping wants to know who – or what – you think should take home the prize in these and lots of other categories for the site’s 2008 Trippies Awards

Here are my choices — designated in boldface — in just a couple of categories:

  • Best OverallBellagio, Caesars Palace, MGM Grand, Orleans, Wynn Las Vegas –  Love the decor, Jean Philippe pastries, the Conservatory, the Chihuly ceiling in the reception area, the Lake Show, the restaurants, the pool – the whole vibe.
  • Worst Overall – Casino Royale, Circus Circus, Hooters, Imperial Palace, Tropicana – Smells bad, weird layout and I never win anything there plus it’s too easy to rag on the Circus.
  • Best Cocktail Waitress Uniforms – Caesars Palace, Orleans, Rio, Paris, Wynn Las Vegas – These outfits stick in my head.  Royal blue and boobs.  What more do you want?
  • Best Buffet – Caesars Palace, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Wynn Las Vegas, The Venetian – Beautiful food in a beautiful setting for beautiful people.
  • Best Signage/NeonFlamingo, New York New York, Wynn Las Vegas, MGM Grand, Caesars Palace – That flashing, clashing orange and pink just says “Vegas” to me.  I still remember my first ride down The Strip in the early-80’s (back when you could actually hit 35mph) and seeing that riot of glowing neon.  Sigh.

So, do your duty as a citizen or denizen of Las Vegas and go vote at Vegas Tripping.

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Head to Harrah’s Ak-Chin for this Super Promo

Sunday, October 26th, 2008
Harrah's Ak_Chin Casino gives players a "mystery multiplier" on Monday.

Harrah's Ak-Chin Casino gives players a "mystery multiplier" this Monday.

Just a quick Sunday “drive-by” post for players in the Phoenix area.  Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino in Maricopa has a terrific special promotion going on tomorrow – Monday – for Total Rewards Club (TRC) members.  Swipe your card at the Total Rewards center to receive a multiplier of 10x, 15x or even 20x on Bonus Reward Credits earned on play from 6 AM until midnight.  (The website reads 6 a.m. – 5:59 a.m. but I was told midnight when I called to check on details.) 

Be sure to swipe your card at the TRC desk BEFORE you begin play.  That’s also when you’ll learn your “mystery” multiplier. 

If you have any questions about this promo, be sure to ask a casino host or the folks working the TRC center desk. 

Good luck!

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“Favorite Slots” is a Hot Topic on TripAdvisor Las Vegas Forum

Thursday, October 16th, 2008

"Gold Fish" - a popular slot game from WMS Gaming.

For a spirited discussion on “favorite slot machines,” visit TripAdvisor and check out what people are talking about right now in regards to slot machines. This is one hot topic on TripAdvisor considering the original post asking Las Vegas visitors to name their favorite slots game is dated August 24th and the replies keep coming – six pages of them so far.

I don’t play slots too often but always stop and check out any new games I see  – think eBay®, Deal or No Deal® – and any games that seem to have a lot of people gathered ‘round.

From the topic replies, it looks like “Gold Fish” from WMS gaming is a hot slot favorite.  I mention this one specifically because P.B. and I walked by a double bank of the machines several times during our last stay at Paris Las Vegas and not once was there a machine open.  People were even hanging around waiting for machines to open up so they could play.  Hmm, based on its popularity, maybe we’ll check it out again when we go to Vegas later this month.

The hot new "Wizard of Oz" from WMS Gaming.

The hot new "Wizard of Oz" slot machine from WMS Gaming.

We recently saw this new game at Harrah’s Ak-Chin near Phoenix  – “The Wizard of Oz” from WMS Gaming (for information, click on the game icon in this cool virtual gameroom.)  Check out the high-backed spaceship seating for this game.  Here’s what the manufacturer says about it on their website:   “The Wizard of OzTM is the newest theme in the revolutionary “Sensory Immersion Gaming” product category, where players hear, see, and feel the experience, thanks to real-time 3D animation and our innovative gaming chair that features the BOSE® 3SpaceTM audio system and CPU-NXT®2 enhanced graphics.” Again, we didn’t get a chance to play since all the machines were taken but we will definitely play Wizard of Oz slots in the future — when we get the chance.

If you’re a slots player, I’d love to hear about your favorite game and where you play it.  Also, check out the thread on TripAdvisor and chime in with your recommendations.

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Make Your Casino Visits More Fun with These 5 Great Tips!

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008

 

The names may change but the goal is the same - keep players coming back to the casino!

The names may change but the goal is the same - keep players coming back to the casino!

•1.       Sign Up for Players Club Cards

                JOIN THE CASINO PLAYERS CLUB and USE THE CARD whenever and wherever you gamble.  Casinos love visitors who play and they want to see you coming back to their casino, not the one across the street, not the one across town.  That’s why you’ll find a “promotions club” at almost every casino you visit.  While these clubs go by various catchy names, they all exist to offer “comps” – based on play levels – that reward players for both machines and table games.  Free rooms, meals, gifts, tournament entries, cash, show tickets and more are given out to reward valuable players and further instill loyalty.  Check out the post on “Comps”   to learn more about how and why to use cards and to see some of the gift booty P.B. and I have gotten for playing with our various club cards.

•2.       Dress for Comfort

                One refrain I hear over and over again in every casino – “Why is it always so cold in here?”  It can be 110 degrees on The Strip in LV or in the Arizona desert and it will still be freezing inside the casinos.  I have heard that the machines function better in low temperatures (just like computers) and I have heard that keeping it a bit chilly keeps players more awake – whether either reason is true doesn’t really matter when you are shivering in your sleeveless top, short shorts and sandals.  Dress appropriately for the cool interiors and, if you plan on playing for a while, take a light sweater or wrap to fend off the inevitable blasts of cold air.  For the guys, a shirt with sleeves that can be rolled up or down is a logical choice.

•3.       Groove to Your Own Beat

                My Apple iPod® goes just about everywhere with me and it’s always in my purse when I hit the casino.  First, I love my music – which is not something I can always say about every casino’s choice of entertainment – and, even better, this trusty little device has saved me on more than one occasion from having to chat with a neighboring player whom I really didn’t want to talk to.  Just put the audio plugs into your ears and you, too, can feign selective hearing as needed.

•4.       Enjoy Your Own Drinks

                No, I am not saying you should BYOB to your local casino but I have become addicted to those single-serve drink packets that you can mix into bottled water.   Some of my favorite flavors are Peach Mango Green Tea and Cherry Pomegranate from Crystal Light® and the Grape Flavor with Vitamins from Propel®.  Since the choice of soft drinks is sometimes pretty limited at casinos, I keep a stash of different drink mix flavors in my purse or I’ll just throw a couple of the slender packets into my pocket.  When I’m ready for a sip, I simply ask the kind drink server to bring me a bottle of plain cold water, add the dry mix, shake and I’m happy.

•5.       Ka-Ching, not Ka-Choooo!  Keeping it Clean

                I think of slot and poker machines much the same way as the exercise machines I use at the gym – better to use a quick rinse with hand sanitizer before and after using them than risk getting a cold from the previous patron.  I’m not a total “germaphobe” but I’ve seen enough people coughing and sneezing while playing the machines to know that a quick squirt of sanitizer never hurts.  A small bottle of Purell® and I’m good to go.

 Next week – 5 More Tips for Casino-Goers

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Casino Comps Sweeten the Deal

Monday, September 15th, 2008

Some of our casino comp "booty" including a Coach® Swing Bag, Sony PSP®, and more.

So, what exactly are “comps”? The term comps is short for complimentary items or “freebies” – those things that a casino literally gives away to regular players. In the competitive casino market, comps have become a favorite marketing tool for both public and Native American gaming venues. Here’s a list of just some of the comps regularly bestowed upon players to encourage casino loyalty and future visits.

  • § Free Drinks and Meals
  • § Free Rooms and/or Room Upgrades
  • § Spa Services
  • § Golf Packages
  • § Tickets to Shows, Concerts, Sporting Events
  • § Everyone’s favorite – CASH
  • § Gift Cards, Gas Cards
  • § Invites to Free Slot, Video Poker and Table Game Tournaments
  • § Private Shopping Events with “Comp Dollars”
  • § Merchandise such as Designer Handbags and Sunglasses, High-End Electronics, Fine Crystal, Jewelry and more

The first step to being eligible for comp rewards is, for most players, registration with the casino’s players club. I am always amazed when I see SO MANY players – some of them casino regulars! – not taking advantage of a casino’s players club membership. Make this your rule – do not put any money into a machine or down on a table without using a player’s club card! Also, even if you don’t plan on playing, go ahead and register and get a player’s card so you are in the casino’s database and have a chance at getting some of the special offers mailed to members who are active players. A casino can’t reward you if they don’t know who you are or how to contact you!

To sign up, ask a floor attendant or casino employee for directions to the player’s club or promotions desk. There, you’ll fill out an application and receive your cards (ask for two now and you’ll have a back-up if one get lost or de-magnetized.) Be sure to ask about special offers for new members as you’ll find that lots of casinos have special “sign-up rewards” like cash or match play just for signing up. Your new cards should come with some printed info that will tell you how you accumulate points and what you can redeem them for once you have them. You can also check out the casino’s website for club card information.

When you are ready to play using your new card, you’ll find a slot on the machine where you insert it followed, most times, with an LED display telling you the card is working.  Usually, the lights around the card slot will also turn green letting you know the card is working. A quick note here – make sure the card is working before playing or you won’t get credit for the money you spend playing.

Join the club, rack up some points and watch the great offers start to flood your mailbox.

Join the club, rack up some points and watch the great offers start to flood your mailbox.

Cashing in on your play can be lots of fun and profitable considering the cool items casinos are offering these days. We recently had an offer from Paris for a comped three-night stay plus a free Nintendo Wii! Considering the popularity and scarcity of those, you can imagine how quickly that offer was snapped up. So now you know why I say do not put any money into a machine or down on a table without using a player’s club card!

No on can talk about casino comps without mentioning Jean Scott, “The Queen of Comps”, and the author of “The Frugal Gambler” along with other great books.  She currently writes a fun and informative blog here on the excellent Anthony Curtis’ Las Vegas Advisor website.

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