The Top 10 Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip

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The Top 10 Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip

I take a different approach to ranking the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip to other writers. Most of the travel writers focus more on the amenities and pricing of the hotels when they’re making their top 10 lists. As this blog focuses mostly on casino gambling, I focus more on which casinos have the best rules and playing conditions.

Yes, I take into account things like restaurants and amenities. But I’m a gambler, and I’m assuming you are too. That’s why the description of these casinos will focus more on the game conditions that earned them a place on this list than on the other amenities.

Keep this in mind, though:

Game conditions at Las Vegas casinos, both on and off the Strip, can and do change all the time. That casino with the single zero roulette wheel and the en prison rule might only offer American roulette by the time you visit. Use this list as a starting point, and don’t be disappointed if some of the gaming conditions have changed since I published this post.

1 – Circus Circus

Okay, so this isn’t in any particular order, but you probably won’t see many “top 10 casinos on the Las Vegas Strip” pages that list Circus Circus at #1 besides this one. The main reason I’ve listed it here is because Circus Circus has some of the cheapest baccarat games on the Strip, with a minimum bet of only $10/hand. Since baccarat is traditionally more of a high roller game, it’s hard to find with such a low minimum, especially on the Vegas Strip.

They also offer an okay-but-not-great 2-deck blackjack game. The house edge on that game, if you use perfect basic strategy, is about 1%. Most of their other table game conditions are just average.

The other reason Circus Circus makes my list is because I like the circus. You can see free circus acts every day from 11am to midnight.

And the old casino just plain has a lot of character. Finally, and maybe most importantly for an old meat-eating Texas like me, is the steakhouse on site. It’s called, appropriately enough, “The Steak House.” It’s been voted Best of Las Vegas for over 30 years, and it’s also been featured as the best Las Vegas steakhouse by Zagat’s on multiple occasions.

2 – Treasure Island

You can find plenty of casinos on the Strip with excellent blackjack rules. And when I say excellent blackjack rules, I mean a game with a house edge of less than 0.5%. The best conditions, though, wind up with a house edge of 0.2% when you use perfect basic strategy. And you can even find plenty of games on the Strip that fit the bill for that, too.

The problem is that almost all these properties have a minimum bet of $100.

And that’s why Treasure Island is toward the top of my list of casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. They have blackjack games there with a 0.2% house edge and a minimum bet of only $25. You’re looking for the 2-deck games there where the dealer is required to stand on a soft 17.

What else does Treasure Island have to offer?

They also offer craps with a minimum $1 bet, but the odds bet is limited to double odds. Still, if you’re a low roller, it’s fun to get into a craps game with such a low minimum bet. Their $10 minimum tables offer 3X4X5X odds.

I’m also a big fan of country western music and honky tonks, so I must also point out how cool it is that they have a Gilley’s on site. If you don’t know about Gilley’s, it’s named after Mickey Gilley, and it was the honky tonk featured in the movie Urban Cowboy.

3 – The Stratosphere

I have fond memories of the restaurant at the top of the Stratosphere, but I’ll get to that later—after I talk about the craps games here. The Stratosphere makes my list of top 10 casinos on the Strip because they offer 10X odds, which is almost the best you’ll find on the Strip. The minimum bet is only $5, too.

Most people know what this means, but if you don’t, here’s a quick explanation of why that’s so important. The basic bet in craps is the pass line bet—it’s a bet that the shooter will “succeed.” He does this by rolling a 7 or an 11 on the come out. If he rolls a 2, 3, or 12 on the come out roll, the pass line bet loses.

Any other number results in “a point.” In that case, the shooter keeps rolling until he either rolls the point again or rolls a 7. If he rolls the point before rolling a 7, he succeeds, and the pass line bet pays off at even money. If he rolls a 7 first, the pass line bet loses.

But once a point is set, you can place an “odds bet.” This is the only bet in the casino that pays off at true odds, which means it has no house edge. The more money you can put on the odds bet, the lower the house edge is on the total amount of money you have in action.

The house edge on the pass line bet is 1.41%. When you take 10X odds, the house edge drops to 0.18%. This makes craps easily one of the best bets in the casino.

The blackjack games at the Stratosphere aren’t bad, either. The house edge is around 0.5% if you play with perfect basic strategy, and they have a minimum bet of $10/hand. That’s pretty low for a casino on the Strip.

Finally, The Top of the World Restaurant is an experience you must not miss. I ate there with my wife (at the time) and my best friend and his wife. Not only was the meal fantastic, but the view was breathtaking. We were literally so high in the air that we could see helicopters flying over the Strip, but we were ABOVE the helicopters. It’s one of those rotating restaurants, so the view changes as you dine. Everyone should eat here at least once.

4 – The MGM Grand

The first casino game I learned to play was roulette. Of course, the odds are lousy on most roulette games because of the 0 and the 00.

But smart gamblers know that some roulette wheels only have a single zero. Such tables have a house edge of 2.7% instead of 5.26%. That’s a big improvement.

And SOME roulette tables are even better, because they offer a rule where even money bets only lose half. This reduces the house edge on those even money bets even further, to just 1.35%.

The MGM Grand has this kind of roulette table. They’re not the only casino on the Strip with these rules, but they’re the only casino on the Strip with these rules that has such a relatively low minimum bet of just $25 per spin. The other casinos on the Strip with these rules have minimum bets of $50 or $100.

Also, if you can handle the $100 minimum bet, the MGM Grand has some excellent blackjack tables with a house edge of only 0.2%. These are the 2-deck games where the dealer must stand on a soft 17 total.

With 170,000 square feet of gaming area, it’s also the largest casino in Las Vegas.

5 – The Bellagio

The Bellagio makes the list for 2 reasons:

  1. The 0.2% house edge blackjack games.
  2. The super deluxe, fancy poker room complete with celebs.

Of course, to get the benefit of the 0.2% house edge at the Bellagio, you must be willing to bet $100/hand. That’s the table minimum at those games. You also need to play with perfect basic strategy. Look for the 2-deck games where the dealer must stand on soft 17.

I’m even more impressed with the poker room there. This was my first experience at a really nice poker room, and at the time, I was nervous because I was playing for higher stakes than I’ve ever played for. In fact, I can remember my friend Todd telling me that I shouldn’t be nervous, because I should just think in terms of betting units and forget that we’re dealing with money until the game was over.

But the coolest thing about the Bellagio poker room is the high stakes room where the celebrity poker players hang out and play. David Sklansky was there the first night I played there. My friend Todd had big fun trying to convince me that I could be the first person in the history of poker to put Sklansky on tilt. I wasn’t drunk enough to try, although I tried to get that drunk.

The Bellagio also offers the same European style roulette that I praised the MGM for. Unfortunately, the minimum bet at the Bellagio is $50 instead of $25.

Besides all that, it’s a nice, luxurious property with lots of cool restaurants and other amenities.

6 – The Casino Royale

The Casino Royale is a Best Western property that caters mostly to low rollers. Its biggest selling point is the craps game there. The minimum bet is $3, and they allow you to take 100X odds. This means you can bet $3 on the pass line, and then take a $300 odds bet. The cumulative house edge on that bet is only 0.02%. You won’t find a lower house edge in the casino than this.

I’ve seen some reports that you can only take 20X odds on a $3 minimum bet except during certain time periods at the casino. So don’t be surprised if the game conditions are different from what you expect when you get there. Even at 20X odds, that’s a tremendous value for a craps game.

They’re also famous for their slots promotions. The most recent offer I saw advertised on their website is one where you get $20 in credit after losing your first $20 on the slots. You then earn rebates at the rate of $20 for every $100 you lose.

They also have the best video poker paybacks on the Strip, even though they’re not the best in town.

7 – The Mandalay Bay

The Mandalay Bay is another Strip casino offering European roulette—a game with a single 0 where even money wagers only lose 50%. The minimum bet is $50 on this game. They also offer one of the excellent 2-deck blackjack games with a 0.2% house edge, but it’s not a game for low rollers. The minimum bet is $200.

It’s a huge luxury hotel with over 2 dozen restaurants on site and countless places to shop. It’s also infamous for being the hotel from which the worst mass shooting in the history of the country was staged in 2017. It would be unfair to disqualify the casino from my list because of this, though.

8 – The Wynn

I include the Wynn on this list because I think it’s the ideal place for a Martingale player to attack roulette. They offer the same 1.35% edge roulette game as the other casinos I’ve mentioned, but they have a minimum bet of $100 and a maximum bet of $5000.

Why does the maximum bet matter?

When you’re playing with the Martingale System, you’re doubling the sizes of your bets after each loss. This increases the probability of having a winning session, although your net win for that session is usually small. The lower the maximum bet is relative to the minimum bet, the faster you’ll hit the point where the system breaks.

Look at it this way:

At the Mirage, you can play with a minimum bet of $100 and a maximum bet of $1000. How many times would you have to lose in a row before being unable to place the next bet because you hit the table max?

Let’s look:

  1. $100
  2. $200
  3. $400
  4. $800
  5. $1600

If you lose just 4 times in a row, you can’t continue with your betting progression.

On the other hand, with a $5000 maximum bet, you get to stay in the game a little longer:

  1. $100
  2. $200
  3. $400
  4. $800
  5. $1600
  6. $3200
  7. $6400

That extra loss gives you a little more space for the system to work.

Don’t forget, though, that the Martingale System eventually leads to an inevitable huge losing session that wipes out all those small winning sessions you had previously.

And when you’re dealing with high limit games like this, you can lose a lot of money quickly. Only high rollers need apply for this game.

But if that’s you, The Wynn is the place to check out.

The Wynn also has one of the better player promotions on the Strip. Once you’ve earned your first 300 points, you get to spin a wheel. The prizes on the wheel include between $10 and $10,000 in free slot machine credits, but you can also win show tickets and buffet coupons.

9 – New York, New York

I’m not listing New York, New York here for any specific game. Rather, I’m listing it because of their promotion where you can buy a $30 “Win Card” for $20.

Here’s how that works:

The Win Card is like a casino chip that stays in play until you lose it. If you put that $30 Win Card on black in roulette and win $30, you get to keep the Win Card. You could leave it on black and theoretically win again.

You can play with that Win Card until you lose it. You’re only allowed to buy one Win Card per person per year, but it’s a great deal. You can use this card at blackjack, craps, or roulette. It’s mean to be a tool for you to learn the table games.

10 – Caesars Palace

Caesars Palace is another casino I’ve added to the list for reasons other than their gaming tables. In this case, it’s because of another promotion. This promotion is related to their buffet.

They sell a 24-hour buffet pass for $55 to Rewards Club members. It’s $60 if you’re a non-member, and the price goes up on Friday and Saturday—to $70 or $75 (members/non-members). This gives you access as many times as you want to the following participating buffets:

  • Carnival World Buffet at the Rio Suites
  • Flavors at Harrahs
  • Paradise Garden at the Flamingo
  • Emperor’s Buffet at the Quad
  • Le Village Buffet at Paris
  • Spice Market Buffet at Planet Hollywood

You can add the Bacchanal Buffet for an extra $15, $20, or $25, depending on whether you want breakfast, lunch, or dinner there. You can also add the seafood buffet at the Rio for an extra $10.

If you’re a foodie and/or gourmand, this is one of the best deals in Vegas.

Conclusion

And there’s my list of my favorite 10 casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, largely informed by the properties with the best gaming conditions for specific games. I tried to include some interesting information about the restaurants and other amenities, too, but you can understand why that might be of secondary importance.

I can’t stress this enough, though:

Guides like this sometimes become obsolete the day after they’re published. Casinos in Las Vegas—especially those on the Strip—often change their rules and game conditions with no notice. I mention this again because I want to avoid the trap of being resented because your expectations got too high.

Lists like this are a great place to start, but you’ll want to do some of the final research yourself.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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