So after coming back from a whirlwind trip to Vegas and San Fran this past weekend I decided I would give you my faithful readers some tips and tricks for living it up in Vegas. I am by no means an expert on the city, having only been there a few times, but I think there are a lot of things I’ve learned while there.

So first off: disavow all assumptions that Vegas is cheap. It was cheap back in the day, but now its more like Disney for adults. If you want to have a decent time, expect to fork out cash.

If you are going to sit at a casino bar and order drinks, sit at a video poker seat, and put a buck in. Why? You just made your drinks free. yeah, thats right, free. So order up folks. Just make sure to tip the bartender.

Next up, eating. Avoid the buffets. The food is really not worth the money you are paying, go enjoy a real restaurant, its vegas, its worth it. Emeril, Flay, everyone has a fancy restaurant there, splurge! PLEASE don’t go to chains (unless its in-n-out burger), you can eat factory food at home.

Gambling: When playing poker, and there are a short number of players at the table, make sure to ask the dealer for a reduced rake (they will oblige, and save you a few bucks an hour). Also make sure you sign up for the player rewards cards, they will potentially earn you a free night or dinner. My favorite poker rooms: Caesar’s (although they no longer have my fave 1/2 NL holdem), Planet Hollywood (brand new, easy tables), MGM (lots of tourneys n the sub-$100 range), and Harrah’s (old and musty, but I have won a lot there).

So in a future post, I’ll tell you more about where to stay and how to get there. For now, viva las vegas.