I'm not going to put this in any kind of order so if it kind of rambles on and you don't like it you should move to another table. I flew RT from Manchester New Hampshire on SouthWest Air for $212.00. I kid you not. If you are anywhere near this tiny airport(re:Boston,N.Y.C. etc.) please go on their website and check out airfares. I purchased my ticket about two months early and was able to get flights with small layovers at NORMAL flying hours. No problems with on time, baggage etc. I stayed at Rio Suites for the first time. Nice room, nice view, good service but as noted on this board you will need transport to the strip.I took the free shuttle which is located near the paking garage a couple of times, once you find it it's pretty efficient. I play blackjack most of the time I am in Vegas. I can count but I find it not worth the effort for a part time player. I would suggest to leaisure players they 1) learn basic strategy 2) learn which games to avoid and 3)use a progressive betting strategy. I was able to come out ahead about $200.00 playing $5 & $10 tables for about twenty hours. I was disappointed at the Rio's Comps as I played an average of $10.00 on their brutal six deck tables for about eight hours (just to see what they would comp)but was not comped at all on my bill. They said you had to play $25 to $35 for four hours to get anything. By the way my feelings on comps:I get a card anywhere I am going to play, but mainly because they will send me room discounts during the year. I know there are many fans out there but I think comps are a scam. I stay on the strip but mostly play downtown.There is nothing stranger to me than listening to someone argue about not getting a free buffet after losing a thousand dollars. Go to Binions,play a fair game,win or lose a few dollars and than buy yourself a three dollar steak dinner.Works for me.
No matter how good you think you are at"gaming" a little luck doesn't hurt.After my usual first night of non stop BJ and Coronas I headed over to the shops at Caesar to detox and people watch. Of course I can never resist the lure of a ONEMILLIONDOLLARPLUS progressive slot and so I slipped a ten into a dollar one near the shop edge of the Casino and picked up a nice $450.00 on the second pull. By the way, FYI for rookies, ALWAYS READ the machine before you play.A $1 machine with a progressive payout will only pay the BIG JACKPOT if you play the MAXIMUM number of coins, usually three. In my case I was really playing $3 a pull, but I was paid more for playing the MAXIMUM. By the way the Shops at the Forum are still way cool but wait until you see the Venetian.The inside and outside are unbelievable even by L.V. standards.
One more quick story. I don't usually play BJ on the strip but I decided to play a quick $50 at the MGM after seeing the new lion habitat(impressive).I like to have fun when I'm playing and was asking the dealer for cards when I needed them,and he decided to give me some advice. I quote " a wise man once told me to never ask for cards, just let them come to you".Of course this got the whole table on my side and EVERYONE started razzing him with "gimme a seven" and "paint that ace". He was pretty good natured about it until he gave me a blackjack after me telling him he would. The next hand he dealt me an ace and I immediately started in on him with "two in a row" to which he replied "I never deal two in a row". Of course he paints my ace, but the kicker is he has a facecard showing, checks his down card, and triumphantly turns over ANOTHER FACECARD. Now he's kinda screwed. Not only does he pay me,but now the other three players know he has twenty.He turns his card back down, but the other three players are all laughing and proceed to hit (and lose) on 19,18,and 19. I don't think the pit boss knew what to make of it, but the dealer fessed up and was extremely gracious the rest of the shoe. By the way, always tip your dealers if they are fun or profitable.
Gotta go,I love reading these reports and can't wait til the next time I go.
If you do stay at the Rio, definitely get a massage at the spa.They will let you use the health club for free and the attendants are top notch. Also check out the VooDoo lounge, the view is worth the steep drink prices.