Casinos pick your pockets by tweaking everything from the height of their ceilings to the payouts on their slot machines. These are tips pulled together from a collection of Vegas insiders to help you even out the odds.
Labyrinthine layouts appeal to our explorer's instinct, says Anthony Lucas, Ph.D., an associate professor of casino management at UNLV. Entrances are flooded with machines for a reason: You're less likely to gamble if you encounter empty space or nongaming attractions first, says Bill Friedman, author of Designing Casinos to Dominate the Competition. Things you actually need - bathrooms, cash-out zones - are far-flung and well guarded by gambling opportunities. Get a floor map at the hotel's information desk.
Avoid themed slots (Wheel of Fortune) and aisle machines. Stick to out-of-the-way slots or settle for quarter machines, says Kevin Blackwood, author of Casino Gambling for Dummies. Although $5 slots lower the house edge to 3 percent, you'll lose your money faster there.