Entertainment in

Las Vegas

Las Vegas shines as one of the great entertainment capitals of the world. Every day there are dozens of shows, from casino lounge acts to lavish productions in purpose-built theaters. Sinatra and Elvis may be gone, but today’s headliners appear regularly in the city’s showrooms.

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Headliners

When the Colosseum theater was built at Caesar’s Palace in 2003 to showcase Celine Dion, other casinos followed suit. Today, casino showrooms stage shows by pop divas such as Lady Gaga and Jennifer Lopez, or other top artists like Elton John and Robbie Williams, who often take up long-running residencies.

Sports and Concert Arenas

The enormous T-Mobile Arena (3780 Las Vegas Blvd S) and the MGM Grand Garden Arena host concerts by major stars such as Michael Bublé, Barbra Streisand, and Justin Timberlake. Sports fans can see professional sporting events such as boxing, wrestling,and basketball here as well.

Production Shows

Seeing a Cirque du Soleil® show in a Vegas custom theater is a must. The mix of circus-like acrobatics, music, costumes, technology, and theatrical storytelling creates mind-blowing entertainment. Other top shows include the phenomenal Blue Man Group and Le Rêve, an aquatic theater in the round.

Lounges

The time-honored tradition of the Las Vegas lounge – providing free entertainment with a bar open to the casino floor – is still going strong in many venues along the Strip. Lively lounges with dueling-piano shows include New York New York’s Bar at Times Square and Napoleon’s in Paris Las Vegas.

Magic, Comedy, and Tribute Acts

Magicians, puppets, showgirls… Las Vegas’s entertainment talent knows no bounds. Jimmy Kimmel’s Comedy Club at the LINQ Promenade is just one of many comedy shows. Magic shows with the likes of David Copperfield and Penn & Teller are highly popular. Vegas! The Show and other fantastic tribute acts honoring Elvis and the Rat Pack take you back to the days of classic Vegas entertainment.

Clubs and Bars

From clubs with light shows, LED screens, and celebrity DJs to pool parties, rowdy saloons, hipster bars, and glamorous cocktail lounges, Vegas’s dazzling nightclub scene rivals any of the world’s top party destinations.

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Insider Tip

Buying tickets

The easiest way to book tickets to major shows is via the venue or hotel, using their website or toll-free number. Dinner and show packages are also available. Vegas.com (www.vegas.com/shows) sell discounted tickets. Prices range from around $30 to over $250 for big-name artists. Tix4Tonight (www.tix4tonight.com) sells same-day tickets up to half price from multiple outlets. Book well in advance for popular shows.

EXPERIENCE Las Vegas

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Vegas Shopping Malls

The Forum Shops

Marble columns form a classical backdrop for luxury brands and more than 100 shops at Caesars Palace.

The Shops at Crystals

City Center glimmers with art installations and a range of chic and luxury designer stores.

Fashion Show Mall

thefashionshow.com
This huge shopping mall has weekly runway shows to showcase the hottest fashion brands.

EXPERIENCE Las Vegas

Casinos in Las Vegas

Despite its reputation as an all-round adult amusement park, Las Vegas remains famous for its casinos. Do not come expecting to make your fortune; with a combined annual income from gaming of over $10 billion, the casinos have the advantage. Casinos know this and aim to keep you playing for as long as possible. Before you start, it is wise to decide on an amount that you can afford to lose and stick to it.

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t Slot machines inside the Wynn Las Vegas

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t A Las Vegas casino gambling chip

Nearly 70 percent of the city’s 43 million annual visitors gamble. For a first timer, a casino can seem daunting, but, with a basic understanding of the rules, most of the games are relatively simple to play. Some hotels have gaming guides on their in-house TV channels, and the Las Vegas visitor center supplies helpful printed guides. Several large casinos give free lessons at the tables. Blackjack is one of the most popular games, craps is often the most fun game on the floor, offering a sense of camaraderie, while roulette is a simple game but with a variety of bets. Keno, one of the easiest games to play, is a close relative of bingo. Out of the 80 numbers on a keno ticket, players may choose up to 20. A range of bets is possible; winning depends on your chosen numbers coming up.

Games

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1 Slot Machines

Slots of every kind dominate Las Vegas casinos. Computerized push-button and touchscreen machines offer a bewildering variety of plays. Most machines use prepaid electronic cards, but there are a few coin machines left in the downtown casinos.

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2 Blackjack

The aim is to get as close to 21 without going over, and to beat the dealer. Cards are worth their numerical value, with all the face cards worth 10 and an ace worth 1 or 11. Each player receives two cards face up, while the dealer’s second card is face down. Players must use hand signals to indicate if they wish to take another card, or “hit” (scratch the table with their forefinger) or not take a card, “stand” (wave a flat hand over their cards). Once each player has decided to stand or hit the 21 limit, the dealer turns over his second card and plays his hand, hitting 16 or less and standing with 17 or more.

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3 Craps

Players bet either with or against the “shooter” (whoever has the dice) on what the next number rolled will be. The aim of the shooter’s first roll is to make 7 or 11 in any combination (say 3/4, 5/6) to win. A roll of 2, 3, or 12 is craps; everyone loses, and the shooter rolls the dice again. If a total of 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, or 10 is rolled, this becomes the “point” number, and the shooter must roll this number again before rolling a 7 to win. Always roll with one hand; the dice must hit the end of the table.

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4 Roulette

A ball is spun on a wheel containing numbers 1 to 36 divided equally between red and black, plus a single and a double zero, colored green. Each player’s chips are a different color. The aim is to guess the number that will come up on the spin of the wheel. Bets are placed on the table, which has a grid marked out with the numbers and a choice of betting options. The highest payout odds are 35 to 1 for a straight bet on one number such as 10 black.

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5 Baccarat

Baccarat is played at a leisurely pace with eight decks of cards, the deal rotating from player to player. Each card has a point value. The object of the game is to guess which hand will be closest to a point value of 9: the player’s or the banker’s.

Know Before You Go

It is illegal to gamble under the age of 21, so always carry ID if you are young-looking. Children are not welcome on the casino floor. Be aware that if you are winning, it is casino etiquette to tip the dealers. It can also be to your advantage to tip when you first sit down at a table. Dealers can prevent inexperienced gamblers from making silly mistakes and will usually explain the finer points of the games, if asked. It is a good idea to collect Player Club cards at each casino you visit; these offer a range of rewards from cash-back to worthwhile discounts on hotel rooms and meals.

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