Category Archives: Roulette

Bond Lounge Opens, Infusing The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas With Even More Awesome

There are a lot of things to love about The Cosmopolitan, and it just got another awesome thing: Bond Lounge.

Bond Lounge is an expansion of the popular Bond Bar, and features a party pit with a number of table games, ballet bar dancers and a friendly team of comely dealers.

Bond Lounge

Your average party pit just got schooled at The Cosmopolitan.

The party pit at The Cosmopolitan is unlike other popular party pits in Las Vegas casinos. Specifically, The Cosmo takes the high road. The dealers are tastefully dressed in black romper-style outfits, with their hair in buns.

The dancers, who perform on platforms with illuminated ballet bars, aren’t really go-go dancers, they’re more performance artists, with tasteful costumes and actual dancing talent.

Bond Lounge

We’re loving these tables. The lights are dramatic and are synchronized with all the other tables.

The table limits are very reasonable for The Strip, and a welcome departure from the higher table limits which have kept some low-limit gamblers away from The Cosmo’s casino.

There are about 16 table games, including a roulette table and a Casino War table.

Most of the tables are blackjack, of course, the vast majority of which have a $10 minimum. The blackjack games are either eight-shoe games or double deck games. The shoe games pay 3-to-2, with the double deck games paying 6-to-5.

Bond Lounge

Las Vegas didn’t invent attractive dealers, it just perfected them.

We love the new casino area, and our only gripe is that the music is about 30% too loud, not uncommon in party or pleasure pits on The Strip, unfortunately.

The nearby Bond Bar has become one of our favorite places to play video poker and sample the nearly-perfect signature cocktail menu. The cocktails run $12-14, but are free while you’re playing, of course.

Bond Bar at Cosmo

Friendly bartenders, delicious drinks and loose (at least for The Strip) video poker makes for a very happy us.

During our most recent visit, we had our best Bond Bar cocktail yet, the Pineapple Express.

This exceptional panty-dropper cocktail has Cariel Vanilla vodka, Kalani coconut liqueur, caramelized pineapple, pineapple and lime juices and vanilla-walnut simple syrup. This sweet concoction has edged out our next favorite, the It Takes Two to Mango cocktail.

Pineapple Express cocktail

Oh, Pineapple Express, is there any way we could have an IV of you?

We’re happy to report the video poker at Bond Bar is surprisingly loose, especially given the quality of the cocktails being served, gratis.

Four deuces

If “cha” and “ching” made sweet love, this would be their baby.

If you haven’t been to The Cosmopolitan recently, it’s time to fix that! You won’t be disappointed by the Bond Lounge or Bond Bar.

Although, granted, your Deuces Wild results may vary. As a Las Vegas blog, we’re a personal friend of Lady Luck, after all.

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Stadium Gaming: Sucking the Fun Out of Gambling Since Late 2013

It’s new! It’s gambling! It’s sort of sucking the fun out of gambling for everyone! What is it? Stadium Gaming.

At the moment, Stadium Gaming is exclusively at The Palazzo, and we’re hoping it stays that way.

Palazzo Stadium Gaming

Sorry, photography was strictly forbidden, so we’re unable to show you this picture.

Stadium is sort of a hybrid between video slots and live casino games, specifically roulette and baccarat.

Each chair in the Stadium Gaming area of the casino (it takes up quite a bit of real estate) has its own interactive video display. Wagers are placed through the screens as live games are dealt by actual human dealers, nearby.

The video screens are fairly intuitive, so you can jump right in. Rules of the games are also available via the screens, so beginners can learn before they make their first bet.

Stadium Gaming roulette

On the positive side, the roulette layout has a single zero (no double), which is advantageous for players. It’s known as European roulette.

From what we hear, this Stadium Gaming set-up has been imported from Asia, where the demand for table games is so great, the casinos can’t keep up. Stadium Gaming has obvious advantages for the casino. It takes just three members of the casino staff to serve all those players, two dealers and a floor manager. Low cost, high return, just the way casinos like it!

While we’re happy the casino is happy, this whole set-up leaves a lot to be desired.

There’s no camaraderie with Stadium Gaming. Everyone’s playing their own game. There’s no feel of chips, and no dealer interaction. There’s also no real excitement. It’s mechanical, and unlike with video slots with no live game component, there’s room for human error.

Baccarat

We’ve never gotten baccarat, but it’s one of the most popular games in casinos among high rollers.

It’s not that we’re against playing machines that simulate our favorite table games. For example, we love Shoot to Win Craps. But even in that game, you bond with your fellow gamblers and share in victories and losses. (Not that anyone ever loses in a Las Vegas casino, of course.)

Did we win trying out Stadium Gaming? Yes. Was it fun? Not really.

The whole time we played, we had this weird feeling the whole game was set up to benefit the casino, with little concern for what a player might want from a game.

Nowhere on the game’s official site does it say anything about saving money on payroll, or churning through more results (the key to the profitability of any casino game). Dealers must absolutely hate dealing this game, because beyond this game leading to fewer dealers being employed, there’s no way to tip them via the video screens, which is likely to lead to far fewer, and smaller, tips.

But don’t take our word for it! Give the game a go.

For a limited time, to pursuade (bribe) players to try Stadium Gaming, the Palazzo is giving players club members $10 to bet.

If you get a chance to give Stadium Gaming a test run, let us know what you think.

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Three Weird-Ass Roulette Bets You Need to Know

Even if you’ve been playing roulette forever, there are still things to learn. There are bets, for example, that aren’t clearly marked on the roulette layout. Here are three you need to know.

The Courtesy Line

It’s pretty straightforward to bet on zero and double zero, with one chip, by placing it on the line between the two numbers. It’s called a “split” bet.

We're not to the weird part yet. Just chill.

We’re not to the weird part yet. Just chill.

But if you’re sitting at the end of the table not easily within reach of the zero and double zero spaces, did you know there’s a “courtesy line” bet that accomplishes the same thing? It’s the line between the “2nd 12” and “3rd 12” bets, as in the photo below.

No matter where you make the zero and double zero bet, it pays 17-to-1.

No matter where you make the zero and double zero bet, it pays 17-to-1.

This courtesy line bet saves players from having to figure out how to bet the zero and double zero from the opposite end of the table, including having to ask the dealer to do it.

The Basket Bet

The “basket” bet lets you bet on five numbers with one chip. When you bet in the position pictured below, you’re betting on zero, double zero, 1, 2 and 3, all at the same time.

The basket bet is what’s known in roulette parlance as a “seriously sucky bet.” That’s because while the house edge in American roulette (European roulette has a zero, but no double zero) is 5.26%, the edge on a basket bet is 7.89%. You’ve been warned.

The basket bet pays 6-to-1. Oh, just run away, already.

The basket bet pays 6-to-1. Oh, just run away, already.

It should be noted you can find European roulette tables around Vegas, where the house edge dips down to 2.7%. Obviously, finding those tables is worth the hunt.

Our friends at LasVegasAdvisor.com maintain a great list of European roulette tables in Vegas.

The Avenue Bet

If betting three numbers, all in one row, is called a “street” bet, it makes sense six numbers (in two rows) is called an “avenue” bet. You can bet on six numbers at once by placing your chip strategically as illustrated below.

Avenue bets pay 5-to-1. Yeah, we hate math, too, but it's important to know a little so you get the correct payout when you win.

Avenue bets pay 5-to-1. Yeah, we hate math, too, but it’s important to know a little so you get the correct payout when you win.

If there’s a combination of numbers you’d like to bet in roulette, chances are there’s a way to easily make the bet. Casinos are super accommodating that way. Ahem.

Now that you’ve mastered these three weird roulette bets, feel free to brag about your expansive roulette knowledge to your friends and colleagues. Sure, they’ll be annoyed, but there’s a 5.26% chance that’s just jealousy talking.

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Useless Facts for Roulette Nerds

Roulette is a blast. You put a few chips onto the felt, the roulette wheel spins, and sometimes magic happens.

Let's do some damage!

Let’s do some damage, shall we?

But there’s a lot about this seemingly simple game you might not know. First, it’s often called the “devil’s game,” because all the numbers on a roulette wheel add up to 666.

The nerdy fun really starts when you get into the names of the parts of a roulette wheel. There’s the static bowl (the part that does move) and the wheelhead (the part that does). The average roulette bowl is 32 inches in diameter. Yes, there will be a test.

Here’s a keeper: The little bumps (frequently diamond-shaped) that run along the ball track, and which give the spinning ball a bit more jump and randomness, are called “frets” or “canoes.”

The indentations where the ball lands are called ball “pockets,” illustrated below.

ererer

The most popular number played in roulette is 17.

There’s a lot more to know about roulette! Our best tip is to look for a European-style roulette wheel, with one green space rather than two (the American version). This simple difference in a wheel can mean a pretty big sway in terms of odds. The house advantage for European roulette is 2.7% while the edge for American roulette is 5.3%.

And you can take that to the banque. Because roulette is French. Oh, nevermind.

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