Be sure to practice, practice, practice before your next Vegas vacation

There’s a new skill-based slot machine in casinos that includes a Space Invaders video game.

Marc Meltzer
Last Updated: Jun 18, 2017 7:17 AM ET

Big sportsbook news this week comes from our friends at Wynn Las Vegas. Earlier this year we told you that Wynn was closing their sportsbook for renovations. We’ve since learned that there will also be an expansion that includes the space formerly occupied by Zuzu Crackers. The new sportsbook is scheduled to be open by August 1st.
I just recently learned that Wynn is also building a new sportsbook opening at Encore that will be located next to the Players Lounge. The new sportsbook is slated to open a week after Wynn opens their book.

I wanted to get to the hot news in Las Vegas before going into my personal gambling business. My annual summer Vegas vacation is right around the corner and I need to study up. I always try to take a complete week off from writing every summer and just enjoy Las Vegas like I would if I was on vacation.

Since I'll be staying in a casino-resort, I'll be doing a lot of gambling. This summer vacation is the trip that really triggered my Pai Gow obsession since most casino games on the Vegas Strip usually come with the worst possible odds.

The bad odds and rules actually make my pre-vacation planning a little more important. I want to be at my sharpest when playing casino games that require skill. I'll be practicing all games of skill to sharpen before actually risking money. Even if the game has a negative expected value I want to get the most bang for my buck. Making the right plays always helps in gambling that involves skill.

I don’t play much blackjack during the year, so I’ll be brushing up on the game over the next few weeks. I always want to keep the house edge low so I practice making sure I remember all the right moves. There are some great training apps available for phones and tablets. I can get hundreds of hands in just practicing blackjack in between pitches of a baseball game!

There is no doubt in my mind that there will be some late night, unsober, low limits, 6:5 blackjack ahead. The house edge is large enough with this game, and my skills will be diminished from the booze, so I’ll need all the help I can get.

Here are some other games of skill you might want to brush up on before visiting Las Vegas.

Video Poker - Like blackjack, the house edge for the casino is based on perfect play. Learning the right moves will allow you to get the most bang for your buck.

Poker - Many sports bettors only play poker in a casino because it's a game of skill. You might want to brush up on reading other players before hitting the poker room.

Sports Betting - You probably bet on sports overseas all year round. Don’t forget the skills and research it takes to make a wise sports bet. I'll spend a lot of my free time just reading baseball stats because I'm a dork like that.

Video Games - There’s a new skill-based slot machine in casinos that includes a Space Invaders video game. You might want to practice video games whether you play for money against friends or one of these skill-based slot machines. Note that these slot machines are still slot machines and the casino always has an edge over time.

Golf - Today in Las Vegas you can play full course, Topgolf and Golfstream against your friends for money. There might even be a golf tournament happening to make even a few more bucks.

Half of the reason I write about practicing casino games before vacation is that I need the reminder. I figure if I can use a reminder than so can someone else. Gambling is entertainment so I don't mind playing games with a house edge for the casino. That said, why give them more money than I have to.

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