How to Win Big at Slots: Insider Tips and Tricks

how to win at slots

how to win at slots

If you walk into any brick and motor casino, one of the most games you will find people playing are classic fruit machines popularly known as slots. The internet has made work easier for gamblers because using a smartphone, tablet or PC, slot machines can be played at the comfort of one’s home or office. Quite frankly, the online versions of slot machines are a great activity for people who love the indoors but do not mind the occasional thrill of waiting upon a bet. Compared to classic slots, online slots are more exciting because they have wild and scatter symbols plus an interactive gameplay of bonus rounds.

If you use Google to dig up knowledge on various subjects, you must have come across websites that promise to make you loads of money from their secret slot winning strategy. Did you go along with the advice given? The truth about slots is that they are based on pure luck which cannot be influenced. While slots are undefeatable in the long run, there are tips that can turn even an average gambler into a pro. Here is the step by step guide you can use to maximize your chances of winning at slots:


 1. Know the ins and outs of slots machines

slot machines

You have likely heard this before; find a game whose winning event is due. While some people will interpret this to mean that slot games are self-correcting, the truth is that mathematical probability is the greatest determinant for winning in slots. Ever spin that is made on a slot machine is independent of any other but they are collaborating to prove mathematical accuracy of the games. Assuming that a game pays out a win when 3 identical symbols appear on separate reels, for a game that has 3 reels, this would mean that players have a 1:1000 probability of winning. Does this mean that you have to make 1000 spin to land one that pays out? The truth is that the longer a slot has been played without a paying out, the more likely that a win is coming and it could be you spinning.


 2. Understand that there is more to slots than just RTP percentage

RTP percentage

Many people will consider the RTP of a slot game before making the decision to play that game. Well, it is an important factor but not the only one especially because the concept of volatility comes into play. In a game like we mentioned above where the probability of winning is 1:1000, the nature of play is highly volatile. If this is the only gain you are going to be anticipating the entire game, it might take you a minimum of 2 hours to get a win.

What if we had a game where there were smaller wins throughout the game? It will take you the same amount of time as above to win big but the smaller wins will keep you interested in the game and cause you to play longer. This increases your chances of winning.


 3. You cannot tell a game’s payback percentage by looking


For slot machines with mechanical reels, the payback percentage is a factor of the number of symbols and various possible combination payoffs. If for instance, you aim at a certain result, you can obtain the odds of hitting it. Compare what you get to the amount expected as payback then add together the respective returns. Modern slots played over the internet have random number generators that come up with outcomes. Upon pressing the spin button, the reels spin and stop on a random number which is tied to certain reel combinations. If the game developers adjust the odds for certain symbols, it could be impossible for a player to calculate the payback percentage accurately. Whether you manage to self-calculate or rely on what has been given by the developers, a game with a higher payback is better than the opposite.


 4. Apply slots generalities based on jackpot size to win


Did you know that a small jackpot is easier to win than a huge one? According to Michael Bluejay, a slots machine blogger, smaller jackpots in slots means better payback percentages. A small jackpot is easy to beat. On the contrary, play slots with large progressive jackpots for the fun, not for the money. The bigger the jackpot size, the lower the probability of hitting a win. This would mean spending more time on the slot not to mention the amount of money you need to have spent before hitting the jackpot. It is alright to try gaming luck on progressive jackpots but take care not to get used to it – they will kill your morale as well as bankroll pretty fast.


5. Apply slot generalities based on location


Many slot reviewers and analysts are of the opinion that the slot machines that are placed on the edges have higher payouts. This theory rides on the assumption that players start choosing slots from the outside and edges are a strategic place to have higher-paying games. Well, this might have worked in the past but not anymore. Actually, it depends on where you are because the slot machines in Las Vegas airport have a payback percentage of around 80%. If you love gambling and are stuck at the airport, you will just play, right? If you’re interested in checking out the most popular and legal casinos accepting online players, check out this website:


 6. Go for slot machines that have guaranteed payback percentages


While not all games post guaranteed RTP percentages, this is a common trend especially for games from Net Entertainment and a few other gaming providers. This, unfortunately, is the exception when it comes to land-based casinos. If you come across a slot machine which has the payback percentage advertised, take it. The minimum stake per spin is most likely to be a dollar or more but the outcome will make you glad that you did. Such machines have the return to player (RTP) percentage of above 97% so play on.


 7.Ignore the slots club myths


If you are in a slots club or someone who is, you have probably heard the myth that your chances of winning are reduced if you have a slots club card in the machine when playing. Total lie! The role of the slots club card is to track the amount of action that originates from your account. This makes it easy to calculate rewards and rebates as a way to give players incentives at their level. Slots make money from casinos so it is standard business practice for a casino to want to see how much traffic is generated from them. Do not be fooled into thinking that the random number generation and RTP will be influenced by the absence or present of the slots club card. Slots writers who imply that playing with your card inserted is beneficial to your account are somehow right. These regular rebates mean that you lose less overall.


 8. Play multiple games to get paid entertainment

multiple games

In a casino setting, slots appear to be the easiest to tackle as far as winning is concerned. For some players, the visual appeal, captivating soundtracks, and thrill of reels spinning is simply addictive. Have you ever considered that playing slots is more expensive than playing any of the other games in a casino? Well, if you are an average player, you are likely to make 600 bets in an hour on slots, thanks to IoT in gambling. This translates to more money spent on slots if gaming was to continue throughout. Taking breaks in between slots betting is a good way to unwind, earn money from other games and spend less on slots.

Log in at for instance, and there is a huge range of games to pick from and play (over 400 to be precise). Here, as in very many other online casinos are a diverse selection of games designed to appeal to various personalities.


 9. Enjoy better winning odds with video poker

video poker

If you are new to the gambling space, it might take you a long while before you can tell the difference between video poker and slots. In the real sense, there are huge differences between these two. Using the same probabilities you would apply when playing with a deck of cards; it is possible for players to effectively calculate the RTP percentage on a game of video poker. The average RTP is 93% for video poker games which gets better with enhanced skills and a better choice of games to up to 99%. If you are going to balance your time between video poker and slots, you will obviously have different fun levels with each. Addicted to the slots? It is perfectly fine because the wins you gain from video poker can fund the slots, keeping you playing longer.


 10.Understand and stick to your goals


The most important goal for any casino player is to be entertained. Entertainment costs money and rarely do people pay for a movie expecting that they will win money that is enough to buy more movies – It should be the same with gambling. The most reasonable long term goal for those who play on slot machines is to receive entertainment that is equivalent to the amount of money they have paid in as stake. Any form of benefit that you will receive during play is just a bonus. Think of the free drinks you receive in a land-based casino or the loyalty points you earn on online casinos to be just that – free gifts courtesy of the casino for choosing to give them business.

Clearly, there is no secret formula on how to win at slots but everyone who plans to try should do it from an informed perspective. Enjoy the game and stay free of the addiction and winning will be the only event that turns your life around. So, how do you deliberately have fun at the slots? Since all casino games are programmed to the house’s advantage, none can have an RTP that is 100%. You, therefore, need luck to win at a slot game and that is why games with higher volatility are better.

Assuming that you opt to play a game that has low volatility, the results you will obtain over time will be as close as possible to the anticipated payout which is obviously less than 100%. In the high volatile game, on the other hand, the player still places bets and loses some but they stand a chance of reaping huge payouts because of the volatility being high. In simple terms, try playing slots with smaller but frequent bets; you tend to lose less money over time and when you hit the big win it is likely to repay all that you have lost. There it is: the secret to winning on slots is keeping track of the game’s volatility in line with the RTP. Some practical tricks below:-

  • Stay away from bet types that decrease the RTP significantly – you might have noticed that many, actually the majority, will post a uniform RTP regardless of the bet size. For some online slots that have been adapted from land-based slots, there is a slight disadvantage when some bets are placed. If this is the case in the game you have chosen to play, always go for bets where this disadvantage does not apply. For instance, if a bet on 3 win lines costs 2 cents and a bet on a single win line costs 1 cent, it is clear that you save more if you bet on more win lines. In this case, it is always best to go for multiple win lines because of the disadvantage posed by betting on a single win line.
  • Take advantage of the double up feature – this is a clever way to keep the volatility of a slot machine in check. Once the double up feature has been activated, the player stands a chance to win double the amount of money they have won in a game as the payout. Some games give you the opportunity to double up several times in a row and this is a chance to walking away richer than you were when starting the game. Actually, you will be twice as loaded than when you received the payout. Interestingly, this feature shoots the volatility of a game upwards. In the long haul, playing in such a slot game will offer you the opportunity to get less wins but of high value. For instance, imagine that you get your bet’s payout and walk away. You have probably been winning $1 for the last 40 wins – that is good. If you activated the double-up feature on your winnings and won $8 on 5 rounds, the outcome would still be the same as the first round but happening over fewer instances.

What about penny slots? This trick will work for these types of slot machines because they are designed to accept a 1 cent per pay line. The catch is that multiple lines have to be played in a single spin. Instead of counting from the perspective of how much you expect to win, how about you bet the amount of money you are willing to lose on around. The reality in most land-based casinos is however from what really happens. Instead of betting with actual money, credits apply. Sounds sneaky, right?

Well, there might be special regulations for using the double up feature on money won from bonus rounds so it is important to check the terms and conditions before starting.

  • Play with few pay lines – this is another trick for increasing the volatility of a game. Are you aware that a game with 10 pay lines can be played using a single one? This has the effect of multiplying the volatility by 5 to 10 times. For instance, if you have $2 which you bet on a single pay line, the expected win will be much higher than if you distributed the money over 10 pay lines to bet as $0.20 on each line. The mote pay lines are on an active bet, the less the amount of money is to be received in the way of winnings. The only downside to this trick is that it will not apply to high roller players since the maximum amount that can be placed as a bet on a pay line is capped. Lucky you if you have discovered a casino where you can play the Cleopatra slot from IGT because these regulations do not apply.


The greatest strategy of playing the slots that every gambler should bear in mind is that addiction is the door that leads down the road of self-destruction. If you must make gambling at the slots a habit, make sure it is on your own terms. The analogy is pretty simple; you cannot become an alcoholic from taking a beer in the same way that you cannot become a gambling addict just because you have pulled the slots lever. Do you know when you are losing control on the slots? That should signal you to stop!

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Former MGM Resorts Exec Bobby Baldwin Hired as CEO of Drew Las Vegas

Former MGM Resorts Exec Bobby Baldwin Hired as CEO of Drew Las Vegas

Bobby Baldwin, a former CEO of MGM Resorts, has been hired by the Witkoff Group to serve in a similar role for the upcoming Drew Las Vegas, a lavish hotel and casino that will, if things go as planned, open in 2022.

The Drew, as it is affectionately known, is the new name of the property once named the Fontainbleau. However, the Fontainbleau, which was partially built over a decade ago, was never completed. The company that originally constructed the building filed for bankruptcy in 2009. Due to a lack of proper financial planning, the construction stopped that same year.

Fontainbleau has since stood empty, approximately 70 percent complete, on the north side of the Las Vegas Strip. It’s a beautiful, luxury building but not one single customer has stepped foot in the doors in its 12 years of existence.

Calling on a Poker Champion

Bobby Baldwin was the 1978 World Series of Poker Main Event champion. He’s one of the most legendary poker players of all-time and, as such, is a member of the prestigious Poker Hall of Fame.

But he’s been equally successful outside of the poker world. As a corporate executive, he’s assisted in the growth of many Las Vegas casinos and properties, such as the Mirage and Aria Resort and Casino.

Most recently, he served as a CEO for CityCenter, a hotel and casino center along the Las Vegas Strip. He’s also the namesake for one of poker’s most iconic card rooms – Bobby’s Room – inside the fabulous Bellagio, an MGM property on the Strip.

Baldwin, 70, reportedly had a falling out with MGM in 2018. He mysteriously resigned from his executive position somewhat out of nowhere. Few anticipated the departure and it was clear there was some animosity between the former poker world champion and the major casino brand.

After a year since his MGM Resorts departure, Baldwin is back in business. The high-stakes poker great takes over as CEO and vice chairman of The Drew, which plans to open its doors in 2022. That is, of course, assuming the construction and funding goes as planned this time around.

History of The Drew Las Vegas

The Drew was originally named the Fontainbleau when construction began in 2007. It was intended to be a sister property of the Fontainbleau Miami Beach hotel.

But just two years into construction, after the building was about 70 percent complete, the project went into bankruptcy. Since then, a high-rise hotel on the Las Vegas Strip has just sat there empty, overlooking one of the most iconic roads in America.

In August 2017, Witkoff Group, an investment firm, purchased the property for $600 million with the intention of completing the construction and eventually opening up. A concrete open date hasn’t yet been set but the builders are shooting for sometime in 2022.

The hotel name switched from Fontainbleau to The Drew Las Vegas because the new owner, Steve Witkoff, wanted to honor his deceased child. Witkoff’s son, Andrew (short for “Drew”), passed away in 2011 from an OxyContin overdose.

It is expected to cost around $1.2 billion to complete the construction of The Drew. So, when you factor in the $600 million purchase price, the new owners will eventually pay nearly $2 billion to open a facility that has sat empty for a decade.

But Witkoff doesn’t intend to lose money on this investment. He expects a rebirth of the Las Vegas Strip’s north end, an area of the Strip that has struggled in recent years as the properties in that area are becoming out-dated.

If Witkoff expects this to be a successful business venture, he’ll need a bit of luck and a talented staff. That includes Bobby Baldwin, a poker champion and an experienced corporate executive in the casino niche.

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Preventing the Link Between Crime & Problem Gambling

Preventing the Link Between Crime & Problem Gambling

October is National Crime Prevention Month, a month-long event created in 1984 to spread the word about crime prevention and personal safety. At the Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling (FCCG), we believe that prevention is key in the identification of both the link between compulsive gambling and crime and potential solutions. 

In pursuit of this goal, the FCCG advocates the need for a gambling court in Florida, to serve non-violent or first-time offenders who commit crimes due to a gambling problem, similarly to how drug courts facilitate rehabilitation in lieu of or in conjunction with incarceration for qualified offenders. Until the judicial system takes steps to identify whether a crime committed is the result of someone’s gambling problem, afflicted individuals will continue to go undetected and will not receive the necessary supports to address their underlying problem. For example, there are times when a person is using or selling drugs, yet their drug use may be due to a gambling problem and attempts to self-medicate or escape. Conversely, a person who is selling drugs may be doing so to obtain more money to gamble, at any means necessary. If the primary/underlying issue of a gambling problem is not identified, and in absence of an established gambling court system in Florida, this person will not receive the rehabilitation necessary to address their gambling addiction and is at a much higher risk of re-offending upon release if incarcerated for the crime committed.   

The Connection Between Problem Gambling and Crime

Overall, problem gamblers are substantially more likely that non-problem gamblers to gamble on illegal activities, as well as to exhaust personal finances and options. They’re also more vulnerable to resorting to illegal activities to pay off gambling debts or to obtain money for placing more bets. One out of every 10 patients in treatment for compulsive gambling has been in jail. [1] 

Problem and disordered gambling is fueled by cash, and the access to cash contributes to the pace and depth of an individual’s gambling addiction. The progression of problem gambling pressures the individuals to look for new sources of cash often leading to criminal activities including embezzlement, fraud, and theft. Further, problem gambling is associated with an increased risk for mental health problems, including depression, anxiety, suicide attempts, and substance abuse. Up to 50% of compulsive gamblers in support groups report problems with drugs and alcohol. [2]

Keep in mind that while many compulsive gamblers will ultimately commit a crime resulting from their gambling addiction, attorneys, police officers, court systems, correctional facilities, and other human services organizations do not currently screen for a gambling disorder and therefore do not ultimately address the root of the problem. The legal and criminal justice systems are generally not equipped to screen for gambling addiction and do not provide treatment support services for persons incarcerated due to crimes resulting from a gambling disorder. Additionally, while counselors within correctional facilities are typically familiar with conducting assessments and establishing treatment for alcoholics, drug addicts, and violent offenders, very few have experience in the pathology, assessment, and treatment of problem gamblers.

Ultimately, research has revealed that across age groups, problem gamblers are more likely to consume alcohol, to use drugs, to experience mental health issues, and to engage in illegal acts than non-problem or lower risk gamblers.

Problem gamblers are typically faced with many legal consequences and challenges, mental health challenges, and relationship problems because of their gambling addiction. This year, the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine data revealed that 21% of contacts reported experiencing legal problems, including both civil and criminal actions as a result of their gambling addiction. Given considerable debt, it is not surprising to find that 34% of this year’s contacts reported that they filed bankruptcy at least once or have a bankruptcy case currently pending due to their gambling problem (a decrease from 50% in 2020/2021 which saw high levels of bankruptcy during the pandemic). It’s also important to note that gamblers’ divorce rate in the 2021/2022 fiscal year was 32% compared to 18% in 2020/2021. This likely attests to the financial and relationship difficulties faced by families where a family member has a gambling problem. There are clear long-term social and economic consequences for both the gambler and their family.

Hope and Help Are Here

In honor of National Crime Prevention Month, it’s time to take action and start helping the people and families behind these statistics. Without practical identification and intervention approaches, gambling activities and problems will usually continue while incarcerated and illegal acts will again be committed upon release. The FCCG has recognized this issue and responded with the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine, providing expert assistance and resources for those facing legal action in a problem gambling-related case. With our 24/7, multilingual and confidential HelpLine, people who are struggling can get the help they need to address outstanding legal issues and start the road to recovery. 

Some resources available through the 888-ADMIT-IT HelpLine include:

  • FCCG’s Online Program for Problem Gamblers (OPPG)
  • FCCG’s Peer Connect Program
  • Self-Help Support Group Information and Referrals
  • Self-Exclusion Program Options
  • Financial Resources & Assistance Programs
  • Legal Resources & Assistance Programs

If you or someone you know are experiencing difficulties due to problem gambling, start the journey of recovery today by contacting the confidential, multilingual, free, 24/7 Problem Gambling HelpLine at 888-ADMIT-IT (888-236-4848), texting (321-978-0555), emailing ([email protected]), chatting (, or visiting us on social media.  

  1. Custer, Robert L., and Harry Milt. When Luck Runs out: Help for Compulsive Gamblers and Their Families. Warner Books, 1986.
  2. Furr, Robert C. Gambling on Credit: Exploring the Link Between Compulsive Gambling and Access to Credit . Florida Council on Compulsive Gambling, Inc., May, 2006,

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Chad Eveslage Wins Record-Breaking 20th Anniversary Five Diamond for 2nd WPT Title

Chad Eveslage Wins Record-Breaking 20th Anniversary Five Diamond for 2nd WPT Title

Chad Eveslage WPT Five Diamond

The illustrious history of the World Poker Tour (WPT)’s flagship tournament, the Five Diamond World Poker Classic added one of its most epic chapters Sunday. The $10,400 buy-in tournament attracted 569 entries, which surpassed the $5 million guarantee by offering up a $5,519,300 prize pool.

After a record-breaking 399 hands at the official final table, Chad Eveslage defeated Steve “Cuz” Buckner heads-up to win his second plaque on the Mike Sexton Champions Cup and a $1,042,300 top prize.

Play began at noon local time and lasted until almost midnight before Eveslage finally finished off his pesky opponent after a back-and-forth heads-up match that lasted just under four hours, despite accelerated 30-minute blind levels once heads-up play began.

Eveslage defeated a tough final table that also included Belgian star Michael Gathy, who had come back from under four big blinds on Day 4 to eventually finish in third place, and Day 2 and 3 chip leader Brian Kim, who finished fourth. The champion was quick to praise those two opponents in particular when asked about how it felt to win a second WPT title.

“It feels very good. I feel very fortunate. I had never played with (Gathy). I was so impressed. I haven’t been that impressed with another poker player in a while. He was really, really tough,” said Eveslage. “And then Brian, I had never heard of him really, but he was like… (Eveslage gave a look of amazement). It’s crazy that there’s so many good players out there, and to win two (WPT titles), I’m pretty sure I’m not that much or any better than either of them, so I just feel super blessed.”

Eveslage previously topped a 1,199-entry field to win the $5,000 WPT Venetian in July 2021 for $910,370. He also claimed his first World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet this past summer in Event #8: $25,000 High Roller for $1,415,610.

2022 Five Diamond World Poker Classic Final Day Results

1 Chad Eveslage United States $1,042,300
2 Steve Buckner United States $690,000
3 Michael Gathy Belgium $505,000
4 Brian Kim United States $377,000
5 Albert Calderon United States $283,000
6 David Kim United States $216,000
7 Zach Donovan United States $166,000

Action of the Day: Donovan is First Elimination to Set Official Final Table

Zach Donovan
Zach Donovan

Zach Donovan entered the final table with 960,000 chips, the second-shortest stack remaining, but on the tenth hand of the day, he was the first player sent to the rail, finishing short of the official six-handed WPT final table.

In level 25, with blinds of 30,000/60,000 with a 60,000 big blind ante, Donovan moved all in for 790,000 from the hijack. Brian Kim called from the big blind to put Donovan at risk.

Donovan held {a-Spades}{q-Clubs} but was in terrible shape against Kim’s {q-Hearts}{q-Clubs}.

After a runout of {7-Spades}{5-Hearts}{2-Clubs}{8-Hearts}{7-Clubs}, Donovan was eliminated in 7th place for $166,000.

From there, the tournament shifted back to 60-minute levels, with each player receiving a fresh stack of eight 30-second time extension chips.

David Kim Eliminated in 6th Place

David Kim
David Kim

The next elimination wouldn’t come until midway through level 27 at blinds of 50,000/100,000/100,000 when David Kim, who entered the day as the short stack was sent home in sixth place.

Kim raised under the gun to 200,000 and was called by Gathy in the big blind. After Gathy checked the {a-Spades}{8-Diamonds}{6-Diamonds} flop, Kim bet 150,000 and got check-raised by Gathy to 375,000.

Kim, called, then on the {q-Clubs} turn, Gathy moved all in for a bit over a million effective. After over a minute in the tank, Kim called off to put himself at risk holding {a-Diamonds}{j-Hearts} for top pair with a jack kicker.

Gathy however turned over {a-Clubs}{8-Clubs} for a flopped two pair. The river {3-Diamonds} couldn’t save Kim and he was sent home with $216,000.

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Calderon Out in 5th Place, Buckner Takes Over Top Spot in POY Race

Albert Calderon
Albert Calderon

Shortly after Kim’s elimination, the field was thinned to four as the chip leader to start the day, Albert Calderon was busted by Eveslage.

The action came on the 100th hand of the official final table with Eveslage raising to 225,000 on the button and Calderon calling in the big blind.

On the {a-Diamonds}{q-Hearts}{6-Hearts} flop, Eveslage continued in position for 225,000 and was check-raised to 500,000 by Calderon. Eveslage called to see the {4-Hearts} on the turn.

Calderon then jammed for 3,150,000, which was more than two times the size of the pot. Eveslage called, revealing {a-Clubs}{q-Diamonds} for top two pair. Calderon could only show {a-Hearts}{10-Diamonds} for a pair of aces with a flush draw.

The {10-Clubs} on the river gave Calderon two pair as well, but his were inferior to Eveslage who raked in the huge pot moving him into second place in chips behind only Gathy who now held over ten million.

Calderon took home $283,000 for his fifth-place finish, but a major side note to the hand was the ascension of Buckner into the 2022 WPT Player of the Year lead. Now with at least 650 POY points locked up, Buckner passed Ray Qartomy for top spot in the race by 50 points. He now had the opportunity to extend his lead if he could get even deeper in the tournament.

Buckner Needs a Miracle to Survive

Steve Buckner
Steve Buckner

Midway through level 28, Buckner’s run for the Five Diamond title and any further Player of the Year points were in deep jeopardy as he was all in and dominated versus Gathy.

Buckner had moved all in preflop from the button for 1,825,000 with {q-Hearts}{j-Diamonds} and was called by Gathy in the big blind with {a-Diamonds}{j-Clubs}.

The flop gave Gathy an even bigger lead in the hand, as the {a-Hearts}{8-Diamonds}{6-Hearts} board paired Gathy’s ace and left Bucker needing runner-runner to survive.

Runner number one came on the turn with the {k-Clubs}, giving Buckner a gutshot draw to Broadway.

Runner number two then slid in on the river with the {10-Clubs}, giving Buckner his straight.

Buckner’s familiar call of “LETS GOOOOOO” echoed throughout the Bellagio poker room as the pot was pushed to him, doubling him up to just under four million chips.

Eveslage Wins Massive Pot to Eliminate Kim in 4th Place

Brian Kim
Brian Kim

Buckner’s survival skills would prove fruitful, as late in level 29 with blinds of 75,000/150,000/150,000 he laddered up with the stunning elimination of Brian Kim in 3rd place.

After Eveslage opened to 300,000 from the cutoff and Buckner called on the button, Kim moved all in for 4,525,000 from the big blind. Eveslage then moved in for more and Buckner folded.

Kim showed {a-Diamonds}{q-Diamonds} versus Eveslage’s {10-Hearts}{10-Clubs} and a nine million chip coinflip was underway.

The board came {a-Spades}{q-Hearts}{10-Spades}{7-Diamonds}{7-Spades}, giving Eveslage top two pair on the flop, and sending Kim to the rail in fourth place. The sudden finish had to be disappointing, but it’s another great result for Kim, who’s had an outstanding year.

His fourth-place payout of $377,000 marked his best-ever live cash, surpassing the $323,000 he earned for his 23rd place finish in the 2022 WSOP Main Event. Kim also took down a $5,300 WSOP online High Roller just last week for a bracelet and $119,000.

Buckner Makes Gathy the Short Stack

With play now three-handed and Buckner with new life, the difference among the stacks began to close in level 30 with Buckner continuing to rebuild and then passing Gathy.

In a limped blind versus blind pot, Buckner led out from the small blind for 350,000 on a {j-Clubs}{9-Hearts}{8-Clubs} flop. Gathy called in the big blind, then on the {k-Spades} flop, called a 1,000,000 chip bet from Buckner.

The river brought the {k-Hearts} and Buckner now moved all in for just over four million. This time, Gathy folded and Buckner proudly showed {10-Hearts}{7-Diamonds} for a flopped jack-high straight.

The pot gave Buckner 7,325,000 in chips to Gathy’s 6,300,000, while Eveslage had both his opponents covered with 14,800,000.

Gathy Falls in 3rd Place

Michael Gathy
Michael Gathy

Gathy said at the end of Day 4 that he felt like he was freerolling after coming back from under four big blinds to make it to the final day with the third biggest stack. He took that freeroll deep into the final table but after dropping to the short stack three-handed, he couldn’t quite recover.

In Gathy’s final hand, he raised to 500,000 on the button, then faced an all-in from Eveslage in the small blind for 6,300,000 effective. Gathy called to put himself at risk and was pipped.

Eveslage held {a-Spades}{q-Diamonds} to Gathy’s {a-Hearts}{j-Diamonds}, and after the board came {10-Spades}{4-Diamonds}{2-Diamonds}{6-Spades}{9-Spades}, bringing no help to Gathy, the Belgian’s day was done in third place for $505,000, leaving Eveslage and Buckner to duel for the title.

River Déjà Vu for Buckner

Steve Buckner vs. Chad Eveslage
Steve Buckner vs. Chad Eveslage

In his runner-up finish to Chance Kornuth at WPT Choctaw, Buckner got his queen-ten in against Kornuth’s queen-nine in a pot that if he’d held, would have won him that tournament.

Kornuth would however river a flush on Buckner, leaving him with crumbs, then winning the title shortly after.

Sunday, Buckner got it in good again for the win, but once more was denied on the river.

With blinds now a massive 500,000/1,000,000/1,000,000 in Level 37, Eveslage moved all in for just over 12 million with {a-Clubs}{9-Hearts} and was snap-called by Buckner with {q-Diamonds}{q-Spades}.

The {8-Clubs}{5-Spades}{3-Spades}{4-Hearts} board ran clean through the turn for Buckner and he was again one card away from the win. But the {a-Hearts} on the river had other ideas, giving Eveslage a pair of aces and a massive pot that all but sealed Buckner’s fate again.

Buckner would get his last 3,100,000 chips in on the next hand with {9-Clubs}{7-Spades} against Eveslage’s {7-Hearts}{5-Diamonds} and again fortune favored Eveslage who flopped a pair of fives on the {10-Spades}{10-Diamonds}{5-Clubs}{k-Hearts}{j-Spades} board to win the tournament.

The World Poker Tour (WPT) will return to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida this November for the WPT Rock ‘N’ Roll Poker Open (RRPO), which will culminate with the $3,500 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Main Event taking place from November 25-30.

*Images courtesy of WPT/Joe Giron.

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Mike Patrick

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The Best Hotels in Las Vegas Right Now

best hotels in Vegas


best hotels in Vegas


Vegas is not only famous for its significant gambling scene, but also for the vast amount of hotels that line its streets, particularly on The Strip.

All competing for top dog status, it’s difficult to differentiate the good hotels from the bad, and it can be easy to fall for gimmicks.

This is why we have come up with this list of the best hotels in Vegas to help you choose where you’ll stay on your next visit to the city.

From casino hotels to more relaxed, tranquil locations far from the bustling party tourists, this list has collated hotels fit for any occasion.


Bellagio Hotel & Casino

Bellagio Hotel & Casino

3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.7/5

Why We Love It: 

Combining contemporary elegance with the traditional Las Vegas experience, Bellagio is the place to go if you’re looking for the best of both worlds.

With many luxurious amenities including a shopping mall and casino facilities, you don’t even need to leave Bellagio to live the full Las Vegas experience.

If you do decide to leave, this hotel is located far enough for the large crowds on The Strip to make your evenings in the hotel peaceful after long days spent exploring.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Botanical Gardens
  • Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art
  • Cirque Du Soleil’s aquatic show, “O”

Book your stay at Bellagio on Priceline here

The Venetian 

The Venetian 

3355 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.7/5

Why We Love It:

When Vegas decides it’s going to open a hotel replicating another country, it rarely fails, and this continues to be the case with The Venetian.

Paying homage to Italy, the hotel is full of canals and architecture that makes you feel like you are somewhere other than an American city.

Just North of the infamous Strip, it’s close to neighboring casinos and nightlife if you want to venture out, but the resort-like feel of the hotel makes it perfect for those who want to stay in one place the whole time, too.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • CHICA Restaurant
  • Grand Canal Shoppes
  • Canyon Ranch Spa

Book your stay at the Venetian on Priceline here


Caesars Palace

Caesars Palace

3570 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.6/5

Why We Love It: 

Caesars Palace is easy to fall in love with if you’re looking to experience everything Vegas has to offer, and really live your best life for the duration of your holiday.

Located centrally on The Strip, it would be difficult for this hotel not to follow the glitz and glam of Vegas, something the internal and exterior décor pull off easily. This makes it feel like the casino-feel is right on your doorstep no matter where you are in the hotel.

Although the location itself does mean it can be busy, it’s important to remember that Caesar’s Palace has many spaces to explore, giving you plenty of room to breathe if you a way out of the crowds.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Forum Shops Mall
  • Omnia nightclub
  • ‘Absinthe’ Adult Circus Experience

Book your stay at Four Seasons on Priceline here


ARIA Resort & Casino 

ARIA Resort & Casino 

3730 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89158

Google Rating: 4.6/5

Why We Love It: 

ARIA is by far one of the best hotels in Vegas, with a contemporary and sleek external design that continues to create a cohesive atmosphere inside.

With artwork and water installations greeting you in the lobby, this hotel is easily a breath of fresh air after days spent traveling or exploring.

This relaxation theme continues to be a focus within the amenities they offer and well-designed rooms, making it perfect for those looking for a peaceful base in an otherwise bustling city.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Maverick Helicopters
  • Fitness Center
  • Shopping Mall

Book your stay at Aria on Priceline here


NoMad Las Vegas 



3772 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.5/5

Why We Love It: 

This small hotel was created as part of a larger MGM Resorts project with European architecture that pays homage to the Monte Carlo hotel that stood before it.

With low lighting and rich red carpets, this hotel has worked hard to create a homely escape from the bustling city.

For those who want the best of both worlds, this hotel is just a short walk from the Vegas’ best locations, including MGM facilities.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Live Entertainment
  • Award-Winning Restaurants
  • Rooftop Pool

Book your next trip at NoMad here.


Vdara Hotel & Spa 

Vdara Hotel & Spa 

2600 W Harmon Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89158

Google Rating: 4.5/5

Why We Love It: 

The contemporary design of Vdara might feel more suited in New York, but it offers a great escape for those looking for a tranquil Las Vegas experience.

One of the only hotels in the area without a casino or nightclub to speak of, this hotel really caters to a side of the market often ignored by the rest of the industry.

For those who want a bit of both, it’s not completely cut off; within walking distance of both The Strip and its sister hotel Aria.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Award-Winning Spa
  • Fitness Center
  • Silk Road Restaurant

Book your stay at Vdara on Priceline here


The Signature at MGM Grand 

The Signature at MGM Grand

145 E Harmon Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.5/5

Why We Love It: 

Retaining many of the features of traditional casino-based hotels, The Signature stands out by offering an increased amount of privacy.

With options to occupy private suites including balconies, kitchens and whirlpool tubs, it’s perfect for those looking to retreat at the end of a long day.

It’s also just next door to the life of Las Vegas; the MGM Grand casino resort, with gambling and partying opportunities galore.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Cirque Du Soleil “KÁ” show
  • Universal Love Entertainment
  • Private Pools

Book your stay at Signature on Priceline here


Mandalay Bay Hotel

Mandalay Bay Hotel

3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Google Rating: 4.5/5

Why We Love It: 

Mandalay Bay hotel is best known for its kid-friendly entertainment, making it the perfect location for families of all ages and sizes.

More modern than some of the other best hotels in Vegas, this place has been kitted out with top-of-the-range security technology to put your mind at rest.

Kids aren’t the only ones who can be entertained however; there are a significant number of bars and nightclubs for older adults looking to have fun.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Shark Reef Aquarium
  • 11 Acre Pool Complex
  • House Of Blues Bar

Book your stay at Mandalay Bay on Priceline here


Delano Las Vegas

Delano Las Vegas

3940 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Google Rating: 4.5/5

Why We Love It: 

The main appeal of this hotel is that it was designed to facilitate social connections among strangers, with several intimate yet energetic public spaces located throughout the hotel.

Their suites are the complete opposite; allowing guests the perfect place to retreat when they want privacy after a busy day.

By far the thing we love the most about this hotel, however, is the level of personalized service that every guest receives when they visit.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Fitness Center
  • Franklin Mini-Bar (with liquor!)

Book your stay at Delano on Priceline here


MGM Grand 

MGM Grand 

3799 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.4/5

Why We Love It: 

MGM Grand is undeniably one of the best hotels in Vegas, with anyone who visits having a difficult task at avoiding marveling at the sight of it.

Its appearance isn’t the only thing it has going for it; it’s also one of the biggest hotels in Vegas, with around 5000 modern rooms that fill to capacity at the height of the season.

With so many casinos in one place, there’s plenty of gambling opportunities for you to explore and other entertainment for you to enjoy when you’re in need of a break.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • CSI: The Experience
  • Top Golf
  • Robuchon Restaurant

Book your stay at MGM on Priceline here


Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino

Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino

3667 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.4/5

Why We Love It: 

Planet Hollywood is a household name with locations dotted around some of the biggest cities in the world, but none of them are as famous as their Las Vegas hotel.

The fact that there are globally-recognizable stars performing nightly gives it the well-deserved title of being one of the best hotels in Vegas.

In addition to this, it’s also in a prime location in the middle of The Strip, making it perfect for those who want to get as much as possible from their time in Vegas.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Rooftop Pool
  • Famous Theatre
  • Flowrider Surfing

Book your stay at Planet Hollywood on Priceline here


Paris Las Vegas

Paris Las Vegas

3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.4/5

Why We Love It: 

Another one of the best hotels in Vegas is Paris, which is also one of the most famous themed resorts in the city.

In the shape of the Eiffel Tower that penetrates the sky of The Strip, it’s difficult to find a reason not to love this unique, European-style location.

The Paris theme continues on the inside, too; with European architecture and romance-themed rooms, as well as family-friendly options for larger parties.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Observation Deck
  • Boutique Shopping Experiences
  • Rooftop Dance Floor

Book your next trip at Paris Las Vegas here.


Nobu Las Vegas 

Nobu Las Vegas 

3750 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.4/5

Why We Love It: 

One of the less than 12 Nobu hotels around the world, the brand itself has become known for being luxurious and more on the expensive side.

For those who can afford it, this exclusive experience is well worth visiting, however, as it’s buried within Caesar’s Palace hotel, giving you optimum privacy from bustling crowds.

Once inside, the spacious rooms with Japanese décor provide a homely-yet-luxurious feeling like no other, making you feel straight at home within the four walls.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • High Tech Fitness Center
  • Nightclub
  • Swim-up Bar

Book your stay at Nobu on Priceline here


New York-New York 

New York-New York 

3790 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.4/5

Why We Love It: 

Combining the contemporary styles of New York with Vegas’ after-dark party scenes, it’s difficult not to love this place.

As well as having its own atmosphere, it’s also located towards the south end of the Strip, surrounded by half a dozen casinos for you to choose from.

Even the hotel itself has a lot to offer, with everything from its own roller coaster to an arena and several luxury restaurants to choose from.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Big Apple Roller Coaster
  • Hershey’s Chocolate World
  • Cirque Du Soleil “Zumanity” Show

Book your stay at New York – New York on Priceline here


The Mirage

The Mirage

3400 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.4/5

Why We Love It: 

We aren’t the only ones who hold The Mirage in a special place in our hearts due to it being one of the first luxury resorts on the Vegas Strip.

It stands out of the crowd by combining traditional glitz of the city with a tropical atmosphere, which begins outside and is a continuous theme throughout the hotel’s interior.

One of its main features, which it’s become somewhat famous for, is the volcano water feature that sits proudly out front as a constant reminder of its unique subtheme.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Beatles “LOVE” Tribute Show
  • Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden
  • Dolphin Training Experiences

Book your stay at The Mirage on Priceline here


The Cromwell

The Cromwell

3595 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.3/5

Why We Love It: 

The Cromwell is one of the newest boutique hotels that line The Strip, located on a busy intersection and catering for at least a hundred guests every day.

With a younger target audience, the rooms perfectly captivate an artistic vibe and though they aren’t the biggest, it’s enough to make you feel at home the moment you arrive.

Being one of the smaller hotels on The Strip, the hotel is full of staff who do everything they can to personalize their services to meet your needs.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Fitness Center
  • Private Pool Hire
  • Giada De Laurentis Restaurant

Book your stay at Cromwell on Priceline here


Luxor Hotel & Casino 

Luxor Hotel & Casino 

3900 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119

Google Rating: 4.2/5

Why We Love It: 

This hotel deserves its title as one of the best hotels in Vegas due to its unique design, created to replicate the Ancient Egyptian era.

By combining this old architecture and design with new Casino and gambling equipment, it creates the perfect environment to enjoy a Las Vegas trip.

As an added bonus, it’s one of the best bargains on The Strip as it’s located slightly further away, but with such good public transport links, this is never a problem!

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Bodies… The Exhibition
  • Steakhouse Restaurant
  • Entertainment Theatre

Book your stay at Luxor on Priceline here


Bally’s Las Vegas 

Bally’s Las Vegas 

3645 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.2/5

Why We Love It: 

Bally’s is a hotel that continues to effortlessly combine traditional Las Vegas experiences and transport them into the modern world.

In the rooms, the lipstick-red and purple themes envision the classy Las Vegas casino scenes, while the communal areas are the envisionment of luxury.

With large swimming pools, tennis courts and even has its very own monorail to transport guests across the strip, they’ve worked hard to ensure there really is something for everyone at their establishment.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Real Bodies Exhibition
  • Indigo Lounge
  • Shopping Mall

Book your next trip at Bally’s Las Vegas here.

LINQ Hotel & Casino

LINQ Hotel & Casino

3535 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.2/5

Why We Love It: 

One of the best hotels in Vegas, LINQ is located midway across The Strip and promotes a modern atmosphere with an affordable price tag.

Most commonly chosen as a party hotel, there’s not much to complain about; in fact, many rejoice its value for money and the proximity to famous locations along The Strip itself.

In particular, it’s opposite The LINQ pedestrian promenade, which is full of shops, restaurants, and bars to explore before heading to the world’s tallest observation wheel that sits behind it.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Nightclub DJ entertainment
  • Pool Parties (Seasonal)
  • Himalayan Salt Cave Spa

Book your next trip at The LINQ Hotel + Experience here.


Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino 

Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino 

3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103

Google Rating: 4.1/5

Why We Love It: 

This hotel is the perfect place to be if you’re looking for a vibrant atmosphere with décor to match.

Focused on providing a true Brazilian experience in the heart of Vegas, their hotel consists of neon-lit towers that are covered in pink reflective glass so you definitely won’t miss it when you arrive!

Although some will feel its one-mile distance from the main strip is too far, there are great public transport links running regularly, and a whole host of local casinos to enjoy on your doorstep!

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • VooDoo Zip Line
  • Wine Cellar
  • “World Series of Poker” Poker Room

Book your next trip at Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino here.


Park MGM 

Park MGM

3770 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.1/5

Why We Love It: 

Opened in the middle of 2018, it hasn’t taken long for Park MGM to gain a name for itself as one of the best hotels in Vegas.

Within the building, there are almost 3000 rooms to entertain thousands of guests at once, and an entire floor especially dedicated to gambling itself.

If you find yourself wanting a break, you don’t need to leave the hotel, either, with four restaurants and two bars offering respite for you to choose from.


Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Britney: Domination Show
  • Eataly Restaurant
  • 3 Outdoor Swimming Pools

Book your next trip at Park MGM here.


Excalibur Hotel & Casino

Excalibur Hotel & Casino

3850 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google rating: 4.1/5

Why We Love It: 

The Excalibur Hotel is most loved for its medieval architecture, including the castle building that takes up the majority of the hotel.

With stained glass windows, stone towers and brightly colored turrets, it’s easy for anyone to forget that they’re in Vegas and not a fantasy land far, far away.

Located on the Southern end of The Strip, this hotel is also well-loved by families, but has great transport links—including free ones to certain locations—should you wish to make a trip over.


Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • The Fun Dungeon Arcade
  • Tournament of Kings Dinner Show
  • Hans Klok: The World’s Fastest Magician

Book your stay at Excalibur on Priceline here


Harrah’s Las Vegas 

Harrah’s Las Vegas 

3475 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.⅕

Why We Love It: 

Refreshingly contemporary, Harrah’s Las Vegas is the perfect hotel is perfect if you’re looking for somewhere that isn’t as flashy as some of the other options on our list.

With muted chrome, grey-blue and black color schemes in all rooms, there’s no doubt you’ll be able to relax after a busy day of exploring when you get back to the hotel.

In terms of location, it’s very close to the LINQ pedestrian pomade, giving you plenty of opportunities to shop till you drop and end your day with a visit to a vibrant bar to recharge.


Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • 6 Way Oyster Bay
  • Outdoor Nightclub
  • AGT ‘Tape Face’ Show

Book your next trip at Harrah’s Las Vegas here.


Flamingo Las Vegas 

Flamingo Las Vegas 

3555 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 4.1/5

Why We Love It: 

Flamingo is one of the oldest hotels remaining on The Strip, having first opened 80 years ago, so we couldn’t avoid mentioning it in our list of the best hotels in Vegas.

Having managed to retain its original retro-chic décor, it recently had a $160 million renovation which renewed its appeal and has convinced many newcomers to stay here.

This hotel also manages to contrast the Vegas glitz and glamour inside with relaxation guardians out the back, giving you the best experience, no matter what you want out of Vegas itself.

Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Flamingo Wildlife Habitat
  • Dony & Mary Osmond Burlesque Show
  • Legends In Concert Show

Book your stay at Flamingo on Priceline here


Circus Circus 

Circus Circus 

2800 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109

Google Rating: 3.8/5

Why We Love It: 

Circus Circus is a well-loved hotel due to its rich and vibrant history, which is obvious to be seen with the original, unique external architecture still present today.

True to its name, this hotel combines the traditional Las Vegas casino lifestyle with circuses by hiring acrobats, jugglers, and clowns to perform above the casino charge.

Despite the vibrant aesthetic of communal spaces, however, the individual rooms offer a sense of tranquillity; with muted tones perfect for getting a good night’s sleep!


Main Attractions In The Hotel: 

  • Carnival Games
  • World’s Largest Permanent Circus
  • Adventuredome

Book your stay at Circus Circus on Priceline here

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Jimmy Thomas obituary | Gambling

My father, Jimmy Thomas, who has died aged 88, loved a scrap. In the course of his work in the casino and gambling industry, he would go up against lawyers, planning departments, European legislators, parking wardens – particularly parking wardens – and people who wrote and rewrote gambling laws. He also had a very well-publicised fight with David Cameron which found its way on to the front pages in 2012 – when he protested about VAT being charged on refurbishment work at the Royal Marsden hospital.

His weapons of choice were common sense, tenacity, and a great memory for rules … and how to bend them. He rarely lost a battle, and he ensured many others won theirs.

Born in Leicester, to Doris (nee Keeble) and John Thomas, Jimmy grew up within the family business of travelling fairs. He was sent to Uppingham school, in Rutland, with his two brothers, John and Michael.

Joining his father, he toured the country, eventually meeting Alma Darby at a dance-social and falling in love. They married in 1958 and, wanting a more stable base so that they could start a family, began to look for a way out of the travelling life. Jimmy found a niche opportunity through renting fruit machines to miners’ and social clubs.

Hard work brought success and in 1963 he founded Showboat Amusements, which he grew to about 120 arcades and a few bingo halls. Alongside all this sat Thomas Automatics, a company manufacturing change machines and gaming equipment: “Constant innovation was my driving passion,” he told his children. Dad never stopped inventing and bringing opportunities to life. His creation of an electronic random number generator for gaming machines genuinely revolutionised the industry.

Jimmy Thomas and his wife, Alma
Jimmy Thomas and his wife, Alma

Dad and I built his crowning achievement when we acquired the Hippodrome on Leicester Square in 2005 and transformed it into the country’s pre-eminent casino and entertainment business. He taught me one fundamental lesson: you can’t run a business without being there, and he could often be found at the Hippodrome until the early hours of a Saturday night/Sunday morning, texting me about what should be done better.

He was at his happiest with Alma at his side, and me and my sisters, Lisa and Carla, in the car, driving down to the south of France with Supertramp on the 8-track. He had got a Rolls-Royce and had a trailer built for all the cases, and one summer he even tied a boat on top for a bit of fun on the sea.

Dad told us often: “Always give something back.” As kids we were turfed out of bed on Christmas Day to dress up and haul a sack of presents down to the local hospital. My mother was the same. Lying in a ward at the Royal Marsden undergoing treatment for cancer, she told Dad to sell the ruby ring he had given her for their 40th anniversary. It was to be the first instalment of the £3m he eventually gave to refurbish a ward there.

Alma died in 2008. Jimmy is survived by me and my sisters, seven grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

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Podcast – Buddy Frank & G2E 2022

Podcast - Buddy Frank & G2E 2022

Bob and I get a return visit from long time slot director Buddy Frank, and this was taped immediately after the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) show, the biggest casino industry trade show of the year. We spend a lot of time talking about the new things we saw.

We welcome your questions – send them to us at [email protected], or you can find me at @RWM21 on Twitter, or on Facebook at


Show Notes

[00:00]  Introduction slot director and consultant, Buddy Frank

[01:56]  Machine games at G2E

[04:06]  Biggest trends at G2E, cashless gaming and sports betting

[06:18]  Skill-based slot machines

[07:37]  Electronic versions of carnival games

[12:17]  Stadium gaming, player interaction, and tipping

[15:57]  Investment research, profitability

[18:02]  Variable state slot machines

[20:13]  Slot machine screen size

[22:47]  Slot machine bet size options

[28:16]  Progressive machines with different bet sizes

[30:58]  Must-hit by machines

[39:00]  Video poker games at G2E

[40:24]  Forfune X video poker

[48:35]  Big City 4’s video poker

[52:44]  Full House or Better Wheel Poker

[53:45]  Buddy’s additional comments on G2E trends

[55:04]  Gambler’s podcast episode with Rufus Peabody, The Longevity Paradox by Steven Gundry, This Is How They Tell Me The World Will End by Nicole Perlroth

Sponsored Links:



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The World’s Oldest Casino – Top Rank Casinos

Casino di Venezia, oldest casino in the world.

When it comes to images of casinos, the glitz and glamour of the Las Vegas strip are usually the first that spring to mind. Yet some casinos are extremely old, dating far beyond the great Nevada metropolis and the resorts of Asia. Some of them are woven into the fabric of their country’s history, and one of those is the Casino di Venezia, the oldest casino in the world.

The Casino di Venezia

Gambling in one form or another has been around since the dawn of civilisation. From the Romans to Elizabethan England, most societies have had some form of favourite game or sport to place wagers on. However, the first official gambling house, commonly identified as a Casino, originated in Venice, Italy.

The Casino di Venezia opened in 1638. It started life as a theatre, which had a wing reserved for gambling during the intervals. However, in 1946, it would switch locations to the Ca’ Vendramin Calergi.

This was a palace, constructed in the 15th century, for the royal family. It fit perfectly with the beautiful architecture of the city, as it was designed by Mauro Codussi who had also created many religious buildings in the area. Adorned with frescoes and paintings by the Italian masters of the day, many of these can still be seen in the building today.

As a home for Italian royalty, it had many famous guests. One of its most well-known was Richard Wagner, who would often frequent the palace as a vacation getaway. He was given hospitality there by the owners in 1882 where he set to work on his score for Parsifal until his death. Today, a Wagner museum remains in the rooms he frequented, which includes documents, letters, and unique items the musician used.

The casino is truly unique due to its location. It has water access, with a jetty that lets gondolas drop you off right outside the door. Its restaurant is dedicated to Wagner, and inside you can find a huge range of table games and slot machines. The casino frequently hosts tournaments for professionals, such as the World Series of Poker.

Casino Baden Baden

Closely following this is the Kurhaus Casino in the Baden Baden region of Germany. It was once described by Marlene Dietrich as the most “beautiful casino in the world”, and with its stunning belle epoch ornamentation, it would be hard to disagree.

It rose to popularity in the 1830s, as gambling was banned in France. Many people then took a trip over the border for their entertainment, and the casino became a haven for the famous and wealthy at the time. During 1972 and 1933, however, it fell on hard times and closed for a period. It remains the go-to destination for those with lots of money to play.

Monte Carlo Casino

Arguably the most famous old casino in Europe is the Casino de Monte Carlo. The back story is as equally impressive as its architecture.

In 1854, the House of Grimaldi, which owned the principality of Monaco, was in financial trouble. They set about with a plan to build a spa and casino hotel. This would attract people to the area and hopefully bring them a handsome revenue.

However, it was not to be. A lack of access to Monaco and poor marketing meant very few visitors attended the facility. It would not be until 1859 that the casino would begin to turn a profit. It is still the primary source of income for the Grimaldi family and Monaco itself.

The casino itself is also famous for several reasons. The first women’s Olympiad took place in its gardens during the twenties. It also has a long history with film and television, having appeared in three James bond movies, the heist movie Ocean’s Twelve, and even several animated features.

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The 16 Best Vegas Shows to See Right Now

best shows in vegas


best shows in vegas

Whether you’re hitting up Las Vegas to try your luck at the poker table or just for a little bit of sightseeing, it’s likely that you’ll want to see a show while you’re there. And really, why not? Las Vegas, the home of entertainment, has some of the very best spectacles out there for you to enjoy on your visit.

The only problem you’ll really encounter is which show to choose to see. While locals have the chance to see every show possible throughout the year, those in the city for just a few days may find themselves a little spoilt for choice.

We’ve put together this handy list of the very best shows in Las Vegas out there so you can make the best decision possible, and we’ve even included handy links to where you can buy tickets for each.


Penn and Teller

Penn and Teller

Penn and Teller have become household names across America, and there’s nowhere better to be wowed by their magic than Vegas. The pair work together to create the perfect storm of magic, entertainment, and skill and bounce off each other in a way that will have you gripped throughout the show. While Penn serves as the comedic narrator, Teller handles much of the show’s action without saying a word.

This truly breathtaking show located at the Penn & Teller Theater, Rio, combines classic magic and sleight of hand with more innovative and creative tricks. Expect to see knives thrown across the stage, goldfish materialized from thin air, and unimaginable items swallowed. While the audience is let in on some of the pair’s mind-blowing magic tricks, you’ll be left contemplating others for weeks following.

Book tickets for Penn & Teller at Rio here.

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil

Cirque du Soleil is one of the most well-known and best shows in Vegas, and there’s definitely a reason they perform seven permanent shows across various venues in the city. Known for their mesmerizing stunts and flying acrobats which take place in a water stage, the show is said to provide audience members with a close-up magical feeling.

The most popular Cirque du Soleil shows are definitely ‘O’performed at the Bellagio, ‘Michael Jackson ONE’ performed at Mandalay Bay and ‘Mystére’ performed at Treasure Island, although we simply cannot choose our personal favorites out of the 7. You can also catch ‘KA’ at MGM Vegas, ‘The Beatles LOVE’ at The Mirage, ‘R.U.N’ at the Luxor Hotel & Casino, and ‘Zumanity’ at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino.

Book tickets for Cirque Du Soleil shows here


absinthe cirque

Absinthe is an absolute favorite for the happy-go-lucky people among us who love a bit of fun and aren’t offended too easily. A thrilling showcase of world-class artists who perform amazing feats of strength, balance, danger and unfathomable flexibility, Absinthe is described as ‘completely intoxicating’. The show includes the very best blend of acrobatics and dancing that an audience is never likely to forget.

Shown at Caesar’s Palace, the home to some great slots of Vegas, the show is full of raunchy jokes, lingerie-clad acrobats, and you may even be pulled on stage for a lap dance, so there’s a reason it’s for those aged over 18 only. Whoever you choose to go with, you’re sure to be scooped away from reality with this hit spectacular that is one of the best shows in Las Vegas.

Book tickets for Absinthe at Caesars Palace here.


Carrot Top

Blue Man Group

If you’re less into magic and more into comedy, then we definitely recommend a trip to the Luxor to see Carrot Top, given the title of Vegas’ best male stand-up comedian. Known for his combination of comical commentary on current events and trunk full of weird and wonderful items, Carrot Top is described as an ‘absolute riot’.

Expect fast-paced and wacky jokes mixed with front row shots and a lot of over the top ginger hair from this act. You’re sure to be in fits of giggles the whole way through the show, as there’s a reason he’s also been named “Entertainer of the Year” and “Comedian of the Year.” For a show that’s guaranteed to bring you a good time, check out this guy.

Book tickets for Carrot Top at Luxor here.


Australia’s Human Nature Sings Motown and More

Australia’s Human Nature Sings Motown and More

While many hit up The Venetian for some of the best slots in Vegas, others go to see Australia’s Human Nature share their talent with the city. This show is bound to get to tapping your feet and singing along as the group performs a mix of pop classics, Doo-Wop, Motown, and soul standards. Human Nature is Australia’s top-selling pop vocal group and it definitely comes across on stage.

Effortlessly blending retro cool with contemporary sounds, this show takes the audience on a journey through the years and genres. Together Toby Allen, Phil Burton, and brothers Andrew and Michael Tierney aim to get personal with their audiences between songs by greeting audience members and telling stories. The group performs both with and without the band, truly showing off their award-winning voices.

Book tickets for Australia’s Human Nature at The Venetian here.


Mat Franco

Mat Franco

Magician Mat Franco got his big break on NBC’s America’s Got Talent season nine and has now been claimed to perform one of the best shows in Las Vegas with his headling magic show at The LINQ. His power to wow a huge audience with sleight of hand and mind-blowing magic has won Franco a whole load of popularity across all ages and is sure to dazzle you. Franco’s show is performed in an intimate showroom to allow audiences to get up close to the stage to watch the magician’s every move.

While he will teach you one trick during the show that will leave you in awe, the rest is left up to the imagination. We love how unlike the slightly restricting gambling age in Las Vegas, this show is completely family-friendly and suitable for anyone over the age of five.

Book tickets for Mat Franco at The LINQ here.


VEGAS! The Show

VEGAS! The Show

VEGAS! The Show has been named as one of the biggest stage productions and best shows in Vegas on the strip in almost 20 years which promises all the gossip, glitter, and glamor of the Vegas culture. Performed at Planet Hollywood’s Saxe Theater, this show recreates the greatest moments in Vegas’ history which takes the audience on a journey to meet vintage Vegas icons like The Rat Pack, Elvis and today’s most popular performers.

Expect to see gorgeous showgirls and dancers take over the stage with musical numbers that make you want to tap your toes and bathe in vintage glamor. While the Vegas show promises to keep you on the edge of your seat, you’ll also leave with a greater understanding of the history of Vegas in all its glory.

Book tickets for VEGAS! THE SHOW here

Le Rêve – The Dream

Le Rêve - The Dream

Enjoy great seats to see Le Rêve at Wynn’s aquatic theatre-in-the-round for 75 minutes of love and loss acted out by fun and humourous characters. Performed with a mix of acrobatics, swimming, dancing, and breathtaking plunges from the high-diver, Le Rêve promises a mesmerizing experience that is one of the best shows in Vegas for all. Sit back and watch as the performers dazzle center stage in a dreamlike atmosphere with aquatic ballet and gravity-defying stunts.

Le Rêve – The Dream has been voted  “Best Production Show” in Las Vegas by Southern Nevada Hotel Concierge Association for a record-breaking nine consecutive years and shows no sign of slowing down. And now, by buying tickets through to the end of 2019, one dollar from every ticket sold will be donated to Teach for America, Opportunity Village, and the Discovery Children’s Museum.

Book tickets for Le Rêve the Dream at Wynn Las Vegas here.

The Rat Pack is Back

Who doesn’t love The Rat Pack? Performing an award-winning tribute show to its original big band entertainers, The Rat Pack is Back is now playing at the Tuscany Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Perfect for those who enjoy reliving the days of Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr., the show is now in its 17th season. It’s also the only full-time Rat Pack show in the world with over 1.5 million tickets sold – making it one of the very best shows in Vegas.

Audience members are invited to share in all the great classics such as ‘Luck be a Lady’, ‘Fly Me to the Moon’, ‘New York, New York’ and ‘That’s Amore’ and even welcome a special visitor. The cast is supported by the sensational 7-piece Tribute Orchestra who are sure not to disappoint.

Book tickets to The Rat Pack is Back here.


Crazy Girls at Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino

Crazy Girls at Planet Hollywood Hotel and Casino

For a sexy contemporary burlesque show full of leather, heels, and lace, check out Crazy Girls at Planet Hollywood. Enjoy pole dance routines designed by some of Sin City’s finest choreographers, as the performers shimmy their way through the edgy 75-minute show of glitz and glam. After 30 years, America’s longest-running Burlesque show is sure to be sticking around on the Las Vegas Strip for much longer.

Expect an ultra-sultry show has entertained millions with brand new routines to the burlesque classics we all know and love to create one of the best shows in Las Vegas. The Parisian-influenced topless outfits to black leather and spiked heels are sure to wow and the performers love going out into the audience to interact with the crowd and make them part of the show. While penny slots are loved by all at Planet Hollywood, so are the Crazy Girls.

Book tickets to see their year-round show here.


Hitzville- The Show 

Hitzville- The Show 

Get a taste of Motown on your next visit to Planet Hollywood with this popular musical performance known for its standing ovations and for being one of the best shows in Vegas. Hitzville The Show is perfect for fans of Gladys Knight and The Pips, Tina Turner, The Four Tops, Diana Ross and more. Relive the greatest Motown moments through the fun and entertaining performances which are sure to add a little razzle and dazzle into your life.

Starring the ever-talented singer, dancer, and actress, Jennifer (Jin-Jin) Reeves and backed by the Hitzville Band and a group of incredible dancers, this show will have you singing and dancing along the whole way through. If you’re looking for the best shows in Las Vegas for Motown, this is definitely up there.

Book tickets for Hitzville- The Show here.


Nathan Burton’s Comedy Magic

Nathan Burton’s Comedy Magic

A breakout star of “America’s Got Talent”, magician and illusionist Nathan Burton’s comedy magic show is the perfect way to while away a Vegas afternoon. This high-energy feast of huge illusions and interactive magic is suitable for all ages and is sure to wow. Described as a ‘born entertainer’ by show reviewers, Nathan Burton’s show is perfect for anyone who wants to see good, clean fun in Vegas.

While you’re guaranteed to leave baffled at how he gets away with some of his tricks, Burton’s charismatic energy is guaranteed to catapult audience members into a world of mindblowing magic. It’s also one of the most affordable best shows in Las Vegas, too, so it’s a great way to squeeze another in on a budget.

Book tickets to see Nathan Burton’s Comedy Magic here.


Paranormal – The Mindreading Magic Show

Paranormal - The Mindreading Magic Show

Honestly, any show with the name ‘Paranormal’ is bound to entice and this one is no different – except it never fails to disappoint, just like many of the other best shows in Vegas. Paranormal is a 70-minute mind reading magic show led by Frederic Da Silva, Las Vegas’ award-winning magician, mentalist and hypnotist. Da Silva is always set to go deep into the minds of audience members to provide remarkable insights and predictions on their lives. The venue is super intimate, too, to provide audience members with the very best experience possible.

Even those with the shortest of attention spans refuse to look away for even a second as the quick-witted hypnotist moves through the show at a fast pace. This show takes place earlier in the night, so you’re sure to have plenty of time to hit up the very best Vegas Buffalo Slot Machines afterward.

Book tickets to see Paranormal – The Mindreading Magic Show here.


All Shook Up – Tribute to the King

All Shook Up - Tribute to the King

It’s pretty well accepted that you simply cannot visit Vegas without a trip to see the king himself. The live Elvis tribute is the only Elvis show on the Strip where you can hear all Elvis, all night backed by a live band and is one of the best shows in Vegas. Performed at Planet Hollywood, this Las Vegas classic is so intimate that audience members feel part of the show at all times and features all the songs we absolutely love.

The MC of the night is known for being highly entertaining and spends a short amount of time chatting to the audience before inviting ‘Elvis’ onto the stage in all his glory. The accompanying band is amazing, and Elvis himself brings great vocals and outstanding impressions to this well-loved show.

Book tickets for All Shook Up here

Mac King’s Comedy Magic Show

Mac King’s Comedy Magic Show

Mac King is said to be the funniest and now the longest-running magician in Las Vegas, and we totally agree. Guaranteed to hold audience members spellbound, King is right at home in his old Vegas-style showroom at Harrah’s. His family-friendly self-effacing sense of humor blended with a flawless sleight of hand and corny imagination is sure to provide a show that people of all ages will love.

Expect fabulous rope tricks, fun hand shadow puppets, mysterious appearances of Fig Newtons, and live animals such as worms, goldfish, and even a white guinea pig to bring on of the best shows in Vegas. Although appearing to be a little silly, King definitely does not disappoint in his magic or people skills and loves to get the audience involved in his tricks.

Book tickets to Mac King’s Comedy Magic Show here.


Blue Man Group

Blue Man Group

The Blue Man Group guarantees to bring the ultimate sensory overload to their audiences with what is described as an audiovisual encounter unlike anything else on the Strip. Blue Man Group is fun for the whole family that never gets old, no matter how many times you see it. The narrators of the Blue Man Group show profess to know a lot about human nature and social evolution, but the three bald and blue stars are oddly oblivious.

The men use music, movement, and very little verbal communication to glue audiences to the stage to swim in the sights and sounds that douse the theater. The show is good clean fun that is suitable for anyone over the age of three and includes a variety of impressive acts and quick-change illusions to make one of the best shows in Vegas. The show centers around the company’s signature music played on loud, makeshift instruments which will make your jaw drop.

Book tickets for Blue Man Group here

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