Las Vegas, NV is one of the most famous cities in the world. It only covers an area of less than 140 square miles (about 352 square kilometers), but it’s at the heart of the largest metropolitan area in the state of Nevada–Las Vegas-Paradise, NV. The combined area is about 600 square miles (1600 square kilometers). Almost 600,000 people live in Las Vegas itself, and nearly 2,000,000 people live in the metropolitan area.
It’s important to keep these geographical facts in mind because when you talk about casinos in Las Vegas, you are really talking about casinos throughout the Las Vegas-Paradise MSA.
On this page we’ve explained a little about the geography of Las Vegas, and also listed some of the most popular casinos to be found here. We’ve written a little bit about each casino too.
Areas of Las Vegas
Many casinos are located outside of the heart of Las Vegas in nearby cities such as Henderson, North Las Vegas, and Boulder City. In fact, when locals talk about where hotels and casinos are located, they often use names such as the following.
Boulder City area
Downtown (Las Vegas)
North (Las) Vegas
Northwest (and/or) Summerlin
Here’s some information on the main areas you should know about.
The Strip is South Las Vegas Boulevard, where the largest, most expensive, most famous casinos are located. The Strip is located just east of Interstate Highway 15 and runs northeast to southwest from US Highway 95 before swinging north-to-south, crossing the east-west running Interstate 215 Las Vegas loop. McCarran International Airport abuts the central Strip on its east side, in Paradise. Hotels and casinos line the Strip starting in central Las Vegas and down into Paradise.
Downtown Las Vegas
Downtown Las Vegas is on the northern end of the Strip. US Highway 95 runs east-west through the heart of Downtown and South Las Vegas Boulevard starts at 95.
Henderson and Boulder City
Henderson and Boulder City, NV are located southeast of Las Vegas and Paradise. You follow US Highway 95 to get to them and the drive is not very long unless there is traffic.
“Off Strip” refers to other major streets in the metro area, such as West Flamingo Road in Spring Valley, which sits on the west side of Interstate 15 across from Paradise, West Tropicana Avenue south of West Flamingo, and Paradise Road, which runs north to south from Las Vegas into the heart of the airport.
Where Are the Best Las Vegas Casinos?
Everyone has their own ideas of which casinos and hotels are better. The answer to such questions is usually subjective because, especially in Vegas, the casinos and hotels often compete for visitors on the basis of their grand designs, artistic shows, and the services they provide. If you want free entertainment just walk (or cruise slowly) along the Strip and you’ll see fascinating light and water displays, hear lots of music, and otherwise be entertained.
Do NOT buy bottles of water from street vendors.
If you are looking for the “loosest” slots, these can change according to each casino’s needs. Nevada has a world-wide reputation for loosest slot machines but the state only requires that they return an average of 75% of player money. Surveys and occasional casino disclosures suggest the slots in Vegas usually offer 92-95% RTP. But almost everyone agrees that the loosest slots will be found outside the Strip.
Card players will be happy to know that many of the Strip casinos have good reputations among poker and blackjack players.
Most Popular Casinos
The following is a selection of some of the more popular casinos in the Vegas area.
We’ve provided some additional information on each one of these casinos below.
Aria At City Center
Also known as “Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas”, the Aria is located in City Center (on the Strip) at 3739 South Las Vegas Boulevard. Aria is famous for its pools and Spa and the Cirque du Soleil show.
The casino offers slots, table games, race and sportsbook betting, poker, and participates in MGM’s “M Life” rewards program. Many players cite Aria as their very favorite casino for poker and blackjack, but like all Strip casinos its slots games are not considered to be very loose.
Recommended for: Blackjack, Poker
Arizona Charlie’s is located at 4575 Boulder Highway, Las Vegas (the “Boulder Strip” area) just off US Highway 95. This is a smaller casino and hotel that earns average ratings and reviews from visitors. You’re more likely to choose a hotel like Arizona Charlie’s when room space is tight near the Strip or when you are traveling on a budget.
Nonetheless, many players say the slots at Arizona Charlie’s tend to pay better than the slots at Strip casinos. The casino boasts nearly 1,000 slot machines and about a dozen poker and table games. There are more blackjack tables than anything else. Arizona Charlie’s is also located close to several other casinos and entertainment venues, so you don’t feel like you’re isolated. There are also four restaurants inside Arizona Charlie’s itself.
Recommended for: Slots
Located at 3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd, the Bellagio is famous for its front-yard pond and the “Fountains of Bellagio”, which perform computer-programmed shows for everyone to watch on a regular basis. The fountains alone are well worth walking past the casino when you tour the Strip on a warm summer day. Restaurant patrons can also watch the fountain shows from the comfort of their tables through panoramic windows. But lines to enter the casino and resort can be very long.
The Bellagio is a five-diamond award-winning casino that boasts a high-limit lounge (CLUB PRIVÉ), a 40-table poker room (one of the regular stops on the World Poker Tour), table games (including blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, three card poker, pai gow, and more), and over 2,300 reel and video reel slots and video poker machines.
Race and sports betting enthusiasts will also love the Bellagio’s 5,600 square foot betting lounge with nearly 100 racing monitors and 7 large screens. And high-rollers can lay down a cool $20K to play in the exclusive Bobby’s Room, which features 2 tables and an original LeRoy Neiman painting of some of the most famous poker players in the world.
Recommended for: Blackjack, Poker
Binions Gambling Hall
Binions is located in Downtown Las Vegas (128 Fremont Street) just off the Strip near several other famous casinos and hotels. Originally known as the Horseshoe Club, Binions was established by Benny Binion in 1951 and it was the first major hotel casino in Las Vegas. Binions is also famous for a private poker game that Benny played with a few of his closest friends, starting in 1970. As the years passed, more players were admitted to the game. It eventually grew into the World Series of Poker.
TLC Casino Enterprises bought Binions in 2008. The new owners brought back a beloved landmark for which the casino is well-known: a stack of bills totaling $1 million. Visitors are invited to have their picture taken with the money (free of charge).
Although not necessarily rated as the best, Binions is still highly recommended by many players for both blackjack and poker, but the ambience and the older style of the casino are part of its charm. The Binions Cowgirl dealers offer up blackjack, craps, roulette, and specialty games. The casino also offers over 800 slot machines and video poker games, the latter of which provide an approximate 98% return to player.
Recommended for: Blackjack, Poker, Video Poker
Casino Royale (Best Western Plus)
Located at 3411 S. Las Vegas Blvd., the Best Western Plus Casino Royale sits in a prized position along the famous Strip. The casino offers slots, specialty games, and table games. Casino Royale’s claim to fame is its low stakes gaming on the Strip. In fact, many players who favor low stakes casinos go out of their ways to mention Casino Royale.
The games are not going to send you to the bank hoping for high roller status but they offer an alternative to the budget gambler who doesn’t want to feel intimated by people laying down $100 bets all around them.
Recommended for: Low Stakes Gambling (on the Strip)
El Cortez is located at 600 Fremont Street in Downtown Las Vegas. Well-known to local residents, this outside-the-strip casino has undergone some changes through the years and though it does not have the high glitz reputation of a Mirage or Bellagio its Tower Rooms are highly preferred by hotel guests.
The casino is one of the older ones in the Las Vegas area but it is highly recommended for its slots and video poker. In fact, El Cortez wins awards for “Best Paying …” games. Table games such as baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette are also available. In fact, many locals swear by the El Cortez blackjack games. The casino offers 3-2 single and double-deck blackjack.
Although El Cortez is a smaller casino it offers a Sports Book room through a technology partnership with Station Casinos.
Recommended for: Blackjack, Slots, Video Poker
Encore at Wynn Las Vegas
The Encore Resort opened in 2008 at 3121 S. Las Vegas Blvd. It’s one of the more luxurious Strip hotel and casinos. The circular Encore theater offers stunning views of some of the most famous shows in Vegas. The lavish interiors draw visitors from around the world.
Although players speak well of the Encore’s blackjack and poker games, they’re tepid about the slot machines. This casino is more well-known for its dining and entertainment. High rollers also drop by and they can stay in some of the most stunning tower rooms in Las Vegas. These rooms feature panoramic views of the valley and city.
Recommended for: Blackjack (if on the Strip), Poker (if on the Strip), High Rollers
Hard Rock Hotel
The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is located at 4455 Paradise Road in Las Vegas. Your GPS may confuse it with the Hard Rock Café, which is located elsewhere. It doesn’t help the poor GPS that the hotel offers more than 10 places to eat and share drinks.
The Hard Rock Casino is not as well-known as the Strip casinos or even the Downtown casinos, but the Hard Rock has earned a solid reputation among local slots and poker players. There are over 600 slot machines and over 200 video poker machines. While not necessarily considered the loosest machines in Vegas, many people prefer to play the machines at the Hard Rock rather than along the Strip. Sports betting enthusiasts can monitor races and games next to the Side Bet Bar.
But it may be that the Hard Rock is best known for its high-limit games and high roller suites. The Penthouse Real World Suite features modern décor, an aquarium, and an electronic bowling alley. For players with a kinkier side, the Provocateur Penthouse Suite features dominatrix-themed accessories.
Recommended for: High Rollers
The MGM Grand is located at 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd. The MGM is arguably one of the most famous casinos in the world, featuring more than 10 restaurants and bars, several shows and night clubs or lounges, and concerts or magic shows or other top-billed entertainment.
For gamblers the MGM Grand shines because as one of the leading Strip casinos it offers an incredible sports betting experience, a huge array of slot machines, table games, gaming tournaments, and poker. In fact, players often speak highly of the MGM Grand’s blackjack and poker games. It is also a favored destination for high rollers. The Skylofts 2-story suites feature their pool tables and ultra-modern decor.
Recommended for: High Rollers, Blackjack, Poker (if on the Strip)
O’Shea’s Las Vegas
O’Shea’s is part of the LINQ Hotel & Casino, which is owned by Caesars Entertainment. Located at 3555 S. Las Vegas Blvd., this Irish-themed casino and pub is recommended among locals for low stakes gambling on the Strip. Casual attire is fine, but it’s more of a nightlife spot than anything else. The pub covers 5,000 square feet.
Recommended for: Low Stakes Gambling (on the Strip)
Palms Casino Resort
The Palms is one of the better-known Off-strip hotel casinos, located at 4321 W. Flamingo Rd. in Las Vegas. The Pearl Theater offers a state-of-the-art stage and performance experience favored by touring artists such as Greg Allman and Judas Priest. A half dozen bars and clubs offer a solid nightlife experience as well.
The Palms casino has about 95,000 square feet of floor space. There are over 1,300 slot machines (and the Palms promises they have some of the loosest machines in Vegas). Visitors can also enjoy sports betting on races and games in a 1200-square foot/120 seat area.
Local players confirm that the slots games are pretty good, if not necessarily the best. But what may attract you to the Palms is its high roller-friendly atmosphere. You can even stay in the exotic Hugh Hefner Sky Loft (which offers an incredible view from an indoor/outdoor pool) or the Barbie Suite (inspired by a well-known doll).
Recommended for: High Rollers, Slots (if you’re not going anywhere else)
Located at 3700 W. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, the Rio is owned by Caesars Entertainment and is the home of world-famous shows like the Chippendales dancers, Penn and Teller’s magic and comedy, and X Rocks (a topless review). The casino features over 1200 slot machines in a 100,000-square foot casino, race and sports book betting, keno, table games including baccarat, blackjack, and roulette, and several variations on poker.
The Rio is the current home of the World Series of Poker, which has so far awarded more than $2 billion in prize money. Local players like the Rio’s poker rooms, too, so it’s not all just about the big famous tournament. High rollers may compete for the Rio’s luxurious Presidential Suite, which comes with its own roof-top pool.
Recommended for: High Rollers, Poker
Treasure Island is another popular Strip hotel and casino, located at 3300 S. Las Vegas Blvd. Treasure Island boasts over 10 restaurants, 8 bars and clubs, and shows such as Mystère by Cirque du Soleil. The Penthouse Suites have about 1800 square feet and one or two bedrooms. Some of the restaurants offer ethnic specialties, including Vietnamese, Mexican, Italian, and Island Tropical cuisines.
The casino offers slots and video poker, table games, race and sports book betting, poker, and a high limit lounge. Treasure Island has been nominated for “Best in Vegas” several times. Local players favor the blackjack tables. Player’s club points can be converted to free slot play.
Recommended for: Blackjack, High Rollers
Tropicana Las Vegas
Located at 3801 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Tropicana has been voted “Best in Vegas” in several categories more than once, including “Best Room Value” (2015), “Best Magic Show” (2015), “Best Musical” (2015), and “Best Paying Slots” (2014).
The casino features more than 800 slot machines. Their $200 free slot play bonus is a strong incentive for people to join the players’ club. Table games include baccarat, blackjack, craps, double ball roulette, Pai Gow, and Texas hold’em (among others). Local players speak highly of the blackjack games at Tropicana.
Recommended for: Blackjack (if on the Strip), Poker (if on the Strip), Slots (if on the Strip)
About Our Listings
Any directory of Vegas casinos runs the risk of becoming outdated almost immediately. New properties are opening constantly. Older casinos change owners and launch new games.
We plan to update this page and expand it on a regular basis so that it features the most current details for the best casinos in Las Vegas.
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