Gaming 101 for Your First Trip to Vegas

Jay Bemis

August 25, 2023

A basic knowledge of the rules of the house can help immensely in playing these popular Vegas table games. Don't forget to play responsibly!

The object is for the player’s cards to total closer to the number 21 than the dealer’s cards. Aces count as 1 or 11, face cards as 10, number cards count at face value. After the player bets, the dealer deals two cards to the player and himself (one up, one down). the dealer’s face down card is the “hole card.” If the first two cards do not total 21, the player will either “stand” and take no more cards or ask for as many “hits” as necessary to total as close to 21 as possible without going over. If the player’s hand is closer to 21, he wins; if it’s below the dealer’s total, the player loses; a tie results in a push.

The object of this fast-paced game is to bet which numbers will come up on a pair of thrown dice. Players place bets in marked areas of the table. the “shooter” rolls two dice against the back wall of the table. If a bet is placed on the “Pass Line,” the bet is with the dice and shooter: If the shooter rolls 7 or 11 on the first roll, the player wins; if the player throws 2, 3 or 12 (craps) both the shooter and player lose. If a bet is placed on the “Don’t Pass Line,” the bet is against the dice and shooter and the win/loss is reversed.

Here, you’ll want to create the highest poker hand in the game. Played with one or more decks of cards, a dealer (who does not play) deals to players who are playing against one another. The highest hand is typically one pair with the highest being a royal flush, which is an ace, king, queen, jack and 10 of all the same suit. The House takes a percentage of each game, known as “the rake.”

Simple and exciting, object is to bet on where the white ball will come to rest when the spinning wheel stops. “Checks” are bought from the dealer, with each player’s checks a different color from the others. The table-top features corresponding numbers to the wheel. Checks are placed on the numbers (0 and 00 to 36) and/or colors (red and black). The dealer spins the wheel and flicks the ball along the wheel’s inside edge in the opposite direction. As the wheel slows, the ball falls into a number. Pay outs are determined by the color and number combinations picked.