Las Vegas welcome signThis is a topic that, to some extent, fits into the category of ‘how long is a piece of string?’ Given the sheer number of casinos in Las Vegas, combined with the fact that most of them are open 24 hours a day and the minimum bets will change in line with any number of different criteria, it’s almost impossible to answer definitively. The key thing to bear in mind is that there will almost certainly be a casino somewhere that suits your budget.

Sin City is where every gambler will want to head at some point in their lifetimes, such is the reputation of the bright lights on the Las Vegas strip. For some, getting there at all can be an expense, so once they’ve arrived they understandably want to limit their spending as much as possible. This is somewhat easier said than done, but keeping an eye out for the casinos and venues that promise low minimums is a good place to start.

When Your Betting Matters

Bellagio Fountains
Table minimums in the Bellagio are likely to be higher (Gary Tognoni / Bigstockphoto.com)

The first thing to acknowledge is that Las Vegas is, to all intents and purposes, open 24-hours a day, seven days a week. Unless there’s some sort of global catastrophe, the chance of arriving in Sin City and not finding somewhere to play a wager is slim to none. As a result, you need to think about what time it is that you’re hoping to hit the tables or press the buttons on the slot machines that dominate most casino floors.

It goes without saying that the weekend will always be the high point of a Las Vegas casino’s week, given that that’s when everyone wants to party and people arrive from outside the state to enjoy a fun time. Trying to play roulette on a Saturday night will cost you more money to meet the minimum than if you turn up at the same casino on a Tuesday morning, for example. The same is true for the time of the year you arrive.

Vegas, like with any other holiday destination, has high points and low points across the year. If you turn up at a casino on New Year’s Eve then you’ll probably find that the table limits are much higher than if you were to arrive on a day in the middle of January. The more people there are betting, the higher the casinos know they can put the limits and still have people putting their chips down onto the baize.

Choosing Your Casino Is Key

In addition to the time that you’re turning up with your money to spend, the casino that you’re turning up to could be a deciding factor in how high the minimums are. It might well be a dream to play blackjack at the Bellagio, but if you try to do so for too long then you might find that your time at the tables is much shorter-lived than you were initially hoping. If the casino sells itself as an up-market joint then the table limits will reflect that.

Head Downtown, on the other hand, and you might well find that the casinos there are a little more on your level in terms of keeping their table limits nice and low. The likes of the Fremont is a casino that welcomes people with all budgets, so there’s no reason not to think that you’ll be able to find a table with a lower minimum than others. The same is true of any number of casinos in the area, but sometimes the time will be the key factor.

Think About What You Want to Play

Slot machines in casino
Slot machines inside a Las Vegas casino (ersler / Bigstockphoto.com)

As is so often the case with casinos, the game that you choose to play might well prove to be the most important thing in terms of keeping your out-goings low. Whilst it’s unusual to find a blackjack table on the strip with minimum bets as low as $1, the same can’t be said of the inside bets on a roulette table. The outside bet might well ask for you to spend $5 or more, but the inside will usually be low.

There’s also the fact that different variations of games will promise different minimums. As an example, keep an eye out for blackjack tables and how much they’re paying. It’s not going to be all that common to find a $5 blackjack table that pays 3:2, but you might find a few that will pay 6:5 for that sort of minimum. If you’re keen to play, don’t care which game and just want to keep your outgoings low, keeping an eye on the different options might offer you your best variable.

Slots Tend to Be the Same

Whilst the popular table games will often see their minimums shift up and down depending on how busy the casinos are, slot machines tend to have the same price to pay regardless of the time of day or how many punters are looking to get involved. Slots offer casinos a steady income all-year round, meaning that they don’t have to be altered much in order to attract customers to play on them, unlike table games.

The one thing to bear in mind on the slots, though, is that if you want to trigger the jackpot, you’ll normally have to play the maximum stake. That’s not always the case, but it’s certainly something to keep an eye on when you’re sitting at a machine and looking to feed it your dollars. It’s why slot machines are both the best place for those with a budget to go but also the worst if they’re looking to make a quick fortune.

Where to Go to Bet a Small Amount

Flamingo
At the Flamingo, you can often find $1 stakes on Roulette (Andy777 / Bigstockphoto.com)

Las Vegas is a huge gambling Mecca, meaning that it’s virtually impossible for us to talk about where to go with any sense of authority. It’s incredibly difficult to cover all of the casinos in the city, to say nothing of the fact that minimums change as often as cocktail waiters. With that in mind, then, make sure to check out the casinos for yourself when you’re there and don’t just sit down at a table and assume that it’s the minimum bet we’ve said it will be.

Golden Gate Hotel & Casino

In addition to offering dancing dealers, the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino promises $5 blackjack with odds of 3:2. There’s also a game called Free Bet Blackjack, which is $10 but allows you to split or double-down without risking your own money. This effectively makes it $5 when you’re doing either of those things, so it offers a degree of value with little downside and a whole lot of upside.

California Hotel & Casino

The Hawaiian theming of the California Hotel & Casino makes it a pleasure to visit, even before you start looking at the minimum bets on the tables. You can find it on Fremont, which helps to explain the low cost of placing bets there as it looks to fit in with its surroundings. The minimum bets on some tables gets as low as $3, which is brilliant when you also consider that the the payout is that magic 3:2 figure.

Main Street Station Casino

Heading to Main Street Station Casino will see you hit upon a part of Las Vegas that could be considered something of a hidden secret. It’s the place to go if you like your beers and cocktails refilled as quickly as possible, but it’s also where you can play double-deck blackjack for as little as $5 and still be paid out at odds of 3:2. There’s also ‘Super Fun 21’, which is a twist on the more traditional blackjack game.

Hooters

In the modern age of the #MeToo movement, the idea of women wearing very little whilst serving you drinks or dealing cards might not appeal to some. To those that think it’s little more than a bit of fun, however, Hooters promises you $1 blackjack. The chicken wings are to die for and there is regularly live sport on the screen all around the venue, but if it’s keep things low that you’re after then Hooters is the place to head.

El Cortez

El Cortez matches Hooters in the sense that the minimum bet on blackjack is $1, but it goes one better when you consider that it promises players the best odds. The House Edge there is just 0.56926%, which is really impressive. You’ll find the casino in the Downtown area, just off Fremont Street, so it’s always worth checking out if you’re looking at any of the other Fremont venues for low stakes places.

Jerry’s Nugget

If you’re more of a roulette fan than someone who likes to play blackjack, Jerry’s Nugget might just be the place for you to head to. It’s got a double zero, which shifts the odds up a wee bit, but you can bet from as little as a quarter. That is a great price for roulette, meaning that you can play four bets for the same price that you’d have to pay for one at some of the more expensive venues nearby.

Flamingo

Jerry’s Nugget is the lowest minimum bet for roulette, but not the easiest place to find or get to. Flamingo, on the other hand, is a much-loved casino on the strip and promises minimum roulette stakes of $1. It’s a fun and vibrant place to go even if you’re not bothered about how low the stakes are, but if you’re wanting to spin the wheel of fortune and see if your number comes up then you’d do a lot worse than the Flamingo.

Palms

Baccarat is another popular game that many people like to play when they’re in Sin City. If you’re one of them, head to Palms. You’ll find it off the strip, on the opposite side to Bellagio and will be able to play baccarat for as little as $5. That’s a really good price for baccarat, which often heads as high as $100 per deal at the likes of New York-New York or Mandalay Bay, so keep that firmly in mind.

Joker’s Wild

If you want to play craps with low minimum stakes then you’re going to have to head a wee bit out of town. The reality is that the minimum bet gets higher and the maximum gets lower the closer to the strip you get, so Joker’s Wild in Boulder is somewhere worth the taxi journey if you don’t want to pay too much. Head there and you can play for a minimum of $1 with 10x odds, whilst Sam’s Town nearby promises a $3 minimum and 20x odds.

Conclusion

Las Vegas a brilliant city to spend time in, but if you don’t keep an eye on your budget then you can soon find yourself in a situation where you’re spending significantly more money than you planned to. One of the best ways to counter-act that is to set yourself a budget and leave the rest of your money and your cards in your room, so when the money is gone then it’s gone and you can’t get any more out.

Obviously the plan is for you to win some money, but that can never be guaranteed. As a result, heading to venues with decent minimum bets is another way that you can make your budget last longer. The casinos in Vegas are awesome to spend some time wandering round even without placing a bet, so check them out and try to spy how much the minimums are different times of day, playing the ones that suit your budget.