You've seen the impressive casinos. You've seen the bombshell girls. You've seen the celebrity restaurants and the crazy activities (how many places can you drive a tank and blow stuff up...legally?). It's all amazing, and it's all built on money. Some of this money is hard-earned, but much of it is given up by visitors to Las Vegas who have been hustled. It's slight of hand. No, nobody is straight up robbing you, but if you're not careful, you can find yourself with a massive tab and an empty wallet. I feel for a number of hustles when first arriving here. Some of these hustles I didn't even realize were going on until the third or fourth time it happened. Others I knew instantly and swore never to let the hustle happen again. While there's always a bit of a learning curve, I want to help you avoid the most common pitfalls when visiting Vegas. This way, you'll have more cash to spend on what you want (and who you want) while in Sin City.
Girls Direct To You (20 Minutes Or Less)
There absolutely are escort options in Vegas, but don't go looking for one off of a billboard or card you accepted from someone on the street. Prostitution in Vegas is very much illegal, so anything that is openly pushing this kind of service isn't what you're looking for.
Strip Club Entrance Fees
There's a million strip clubs in Vegas. If one is charging you to enter don't go (unless there's a special performer, but that's an exception)
Strip Club ATM Fees
This is pretty much universal. If you've been into any strip club anywhere you know the ATM fees are more painful than pulled wisdom teeth. Never, ever, ever, use the strip club ATM fee. You'll be better off just leaving the club.
Most casinos have them. Little "fun" areas where there's bombshells dealing out blackjack. The odds are worse here, the drinks are more expensive (and are the excessive hangover-making kind), and you'll be so distracted that by the time you realize what's going on you'll be out way more than you'd like.
Don't listen to a cabbie in Vegas. Ever. If they give you a suggestion you can listen, but don't go for it. Many cabbies get a kick back from establishments. This starts right from the moment you step out of the airport. Your cabbie will ask if you want to take the expressway. Sounds faster, right? It's not. It's a longer drive to the strip and will cost you more. I'd always recommend seeing if your hotel can pick you up.
You meet a beautiful woman on the strip, and she's almost over eager to get back to your room. Naturally you want her back in your room as well. Hold your horses. How often have you found a woman that wants to instantly go back to your room? Seems too good to be true, right? It is. And there's a good chance you might walk out of the bathroom with her gone, as well as all of your belongings.
Did you ever see the Seinfeld episode where George meets a woman, ends up handcuffed to a bed post and the woman makes off with all of his clothing because he didn't have cash? Don't be George.
Overly-Friendly Single Woman
A woman saddles up to you at the bar. She's instantly talkative, she has an amazing laugh, she touches your shoulder in just the right way. She makes you feel like a million bucks. Almost like she knows what she's doing. Probably because she does. She's a pro, and it's going to cost you some serious cash.
Free VIP Passes
Just think about it. Free and VIP. Do those go together in any way? No, they don't. If everyone is VIP nobody is VIP. So if someone tries to tell you they have free VIP passes don't buy it. It's just a pass to a different line and higher prices for suckers.
These are people handing out cards on the strip. First of all, don't take a card if you can avoid it. Don't stop to ask them questions or, heck, even acknowledge they exist. Sure, it sounds rude, but they are vultures once you give them any time of day. The cards don't give you any kind of deal, but instead will send you somewhere to help part your money from your wallet.
These are people pointing you in another direction, away from the strip. It's basically the adult version of, "hey kid, want some candy? Follow me." Don't follow them.
6:5 Blackjack or Triple Zero Roulette
Casinos are always looking for ways to slightly improve their odds of winning, and most of the time the average visitor has no idea. If you're not someone who gambles much outside of the occasional casino visit than you'd be a prime target for this. Let's start with the blackjack table. It's a popular gambling table because most people at least know the basic rules. However, the odds and payout can change. Ideally you want to find a table that is 3:2. However, many in Vegas are moving to 6:5. That gives the house a slightly higher advantage of winning. It equates to a little over one percent, which doesn't sound like much, but that means the house is winning between one and two more hands per 100 hands. Add all that up, and it means big bucks or the casino.
The second hustle you need to avoid is the triple zero roulette. Ask around for a European roulette table. European tables have one green zero. American tables add a "00" and sometimes even a "000" zero. Unless you're someone that regularly bets on green (I have yet to meet someone like that) the fewer zero slots on the table the better, because every added zero is just another number on the board to possible take away a win from you, regardless of how you bet.
Think With Your (Big) Head
Above everything else, just keep a good head on your shoulders. Vegas is designed to liquor people up or distract their common sense and then lure them into bad decisions with perfect boobs or banana hammocks. As long as you think with your head...the one on top of your body, you'll be alright. You'll probably make a mistake or two while in town, but as long as you follow this list you'll at least keep any possible damage to a minimum. And really, that's half the battle right there.