The history and legends of gambling are popular in movies, from the old wild wild west days to modern legends. Popular culture today places the epicenter of gaming entertainment firmly in Las Vegas and Reno, both in Nevada. Today, these two cities are the primary destinations for gaming entertainment in the United States.
Gaming entertainment continues to grow, even in troubled economic times, with 15 consecutive months of increased visitor counts according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Although the free-spending and impulse buying habits of tourists have tightened up, there is a pent-up demand from consumers to enjoy the legends and experiences of gaming entertainment as popularized in our social consciousness.
Las Vegas continues to be not just a gaming center, but an entertainment center, ranging from weddings, conferences and conventions, to theatre and live shows. There are more non-gaming entertainment options than there are gaming. Las Vegas has a popular nightlife and of course you can’t go to Vegas without seeing Elvis; yes, Elvis is often in the house.
However, classic Las Vegas is the wide selection of slots, blackjack, craps, and roulette. These are the casino games that created legends. These are the experiences that get players adrenaline pumping as they take on others and attempt to beat the house.
Classic slot machines are everywhere, ranging from traditional penny and nickel machines, up to $100 and higher per pull. Today’s machines are digital and electronic versions of the classic one armed bandit machines. In the early 1800’s slot machines passed table games like craps and blackjack as the most popular games in casinos. Today, these machines account for more than 70% of the casino’s total take. Part of the legends and allure of slots is simply the bigger jackpots. And players love big jackpots, they love that chance to win big payoffs (and the lights and sounds that go with that jackpot). Compare that to the traditional blackjack table where if you put down $5, the most you can win is $7.50.
Blackjack is also one of the most popular games (although Poker is rapidly gaining ground).Many gamblers prefer blackjack. Blackjack was really slow to catch on when it was first introduced to the United States. Blackjack is a game that is a combination of both luck and skill, which is attractive to many players. The game can be played with one player and a dealer or many players and a dealer. Many new players perceive the game to be played against only the dealer because the players hand is played against the dealer, not other players. However, there is a lot of strategy to the game, where players can learn the best options to double-down, split, or surrender. Most amateur players never hear about “surrender” – it’s not a strategy for winning, but rather a strategy for reducing losses. If you surrender your cards, you only lose half of the amount wagered instead of all of it; an important strategy to reduce losses.
Craps is one of the most popular legends, popularized in many movies. Many players are excited about the action and often in awe of a fast moving game where the rules appear to change But it is really much more simple than it appears. And most casinos offer classes to teach you how to play. One of the biggest Las Vegas craps legends is Sharpshooter. Legendary strategies such as the 5-Count by the Captain, and “perfect pitch” delivery method of throwing the dice by Sharpshooter have been popularized. Sharpshooter’s strategy has become a legend. An engineer by trade, he wrote the definitive book on how to control the dice. His strategy teaches how to hold and throw the dice so that the dice land in the desired way.
Poker is rapidly gaining popularity in the gaming and entertainment community, not only in gaming centers like Las Vegas, but throughout much of society. A social folklore from wild wild west movies, today it has grown into games, tournaments, TV shows, and more. Today, poker leagues as common as bowling leagues once were, with both professional and amateur classifications. The World Series of Poker and the Main Event are at the top of the public awareness, and are entertainment events in and of themselves, with fans and gamers alike.
Today, gaming entertainment is more about the entertainment, than it is about the gaming. Entertainment revenues topped 50% last year, outpacing gaming revenues. So whether you go for the gaming or for the entertainment. There are many different options to entertain you.