Casino Beat: Tools of the Trade

Some people are awed, perhaps frightened, by the fact that I write something new every week about gaming in Las Vegas. Others think it’s an easy cop out. Here are a few tools of my trade for you to judge for yourself.

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?
Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?

Despite the fact that doling out tips about gaming in Las Vegas seems like an easy task on the surface, it isn’t. Even for a local like myself, wading through the myriad of offers, promotions and sexy come ons is tough. “Where’s the value?” “What’s the real deal?” “How do I walk away a winner?” “Straight up or on the rocks?” “Do you know where the bathroom is?” “What should I wear to the Naughty Ms. Claus Party at Green Valley?” These and countless other questions haunt my daze. I mean days.

Fortunately, I know where to turn to for help and you lucky readers are about to discover a few of my tricks. Now, for the incredibly low price of FREE! you can get what others have paid upwards of nothing for! Not yet, anyway.

This is pure gold, I just haven’t figured out how to package it yet and well, my deadline snuck up on me again.

Stubby pencils are a tool of the trade for sports bettors in Las Vegas.
Stubby pencils are a tool of the trade for sports bettors in Las Vegas.

Tip #1 – For in-depth news with an ever so slight hometown bias I love The Las Vegas Sun. They cover more than just the casino industry, but like most things in a small town (and always remember this is a very small town folks) it’s almost all related. I also subscribe to the Las Vegas Business Press.

Tip #2ESPN.COM rocks! My biggest fear is that their subscription service “The Insider” is going to expand and swallow up all of the excellent free commentary and game-by-game previews and analysis available regarding the NFL, NBA and MLB. There’s sometimes a time lag on their posted injury reports, but if you read the latest game analysis for the team(s) you’re interested in, it’s usually all there. is a great barometer of John Q. Public’s emotional favoritism and therefore it often provides valuable clues for when to re-examine the underdogs. I’ve gotten away from this strategy in recent weeks with my NFL picks and paid the price for it.

Tip Good analysis and news, but click on the ODDS tab for your favorite sport. There’s lots of math, but this is some of the same data the bookies use to post odds on just about everything. Warning: it’s ad heavy and sorry, there’s a little math.

Tip #4The Wizard of Odds. Want to play video poker without real money? Want advice on best play strategies? Want to test your theory about craps without putting real money on the line? I should delete this tip simply on the basis that this web-site is so addictive. Just don’t blame me if you lose your job because you couldn’t stop gambling away play money.

Tip #5 – For all you poker players out there I like sharpening my poker skills on I only play with fake money though because I believe it’s too easy for a player, or group of players, to influence a real money game. (one player can have multiple log-ins and thus know more of the initial cards dealt, or a group of players can be playing on the same table and comparing their cards over the phone when one of them is up against you.) I know that fake money games are different from real money games and that playing live is radically different from playing at the comfort of your desk. But until you start winning consistently in fake money games, don’t even think about playing live for real money. I’d tell you to look for my handle, but I like playing undercover.

Okay, there you have it. SOME of the tools of my trade which I use to disseminate the vast array of information about the casino industry and gaming in Las Vegas. As I’ll be neatly packaging more Vegas tips and insider deals for you next year, please bookmark me or subscribe to my posts (it’s free :- ). Either way, I hope you’ll continue to make “Casino Beat” a regular stop in your 2010 cyber-world.

This will be my last article for 2009, but look for me on Thursdays again next year as I wrap up the 2009/10 NFL season and then start looking at my favorite sport, the NBA.

NFL Week #15 Picks:

Colts -1.5 at Jacksonville
Saints -6.5 vs. Dallas (tease it down half a point)
Packers +1 at Pittsburgh
Bengals +7 at San Diego (tease it up half a point)
Ravens – 10.5 vs Chicago

Last week: 3-0 (5-0 if you count the Packers and Redskins which I bet but didn’t suggest since they were favorites!)

Season-to-date: 25-24-2

With three weeks left in the regular season, lock in your long shots now.
With three weeks left in the regular season, lock in your long shots now.

SPECIAL NOTE for FORWARD THINKERS: As of last week there were some very attractive long shot odds for some very good NFL teams either winning their division or winning the Super Bowl. The New England Patriots are 10-1 to win the Super Bowl and 5-1 to win the AFC. The Philadelphia Eagles are 22-1 to win the Super Bowl and 11-1 to win the NFC. The Baltimore Ravens are 25-1 to win the Super Bowl and 10-1 to win the AFC. Right now, the San Diego Chargers, Indianapolis Colts, New Orleans Saints and Minnesota Vikings are heavy favorites, but injuries to key players are an unfortunate fact of life in the NFL and so these long shot odds on very, very good teams could disappear quickly.

Good Luck! Merry Christmas! Happy New Year and Happy, Responsible Gaming!!


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