Las Vegas: Need to Know

City Basics

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Getting Around. Do not trust your cab driver, especially at night. He will tell you that you want to go to a strip club — in fact, a particular strip club that's totally awesome this night of the week. That's because the $20 you pay at the door doesn't go to the club; rather, it gets passed right out the back door to the cab driver. If you're going to a gentleman's club, get your driver to drop you off a block away, walk to the club and tell them you're a local (say you haven't gotten a Nevada license yet, if you show your out-of-state ID) — you'll get in for free.

Tipping. Throw money around like it burns your skin. This is a tip-based economy, and how you're treated is based purely on your generosity.

Gambling. Unless you're a big-time gambler — which you're not, if you're reading this — the best way to get free stuff from the hotel-casino you're playing in is to sign up for its players card. It's basically a frequent flier card that tracks your spending and winnings — the more points you rack up, the more stuff you get, like meal comps, free shows, reduced room rates, free spins on the slot machine or stuff from the gift shop. Every hotel offers its own players card program — first implemented by the CEO of Harrah's, a genius Harvard MBA who wanted to keep close tabs on his customers — but the MGM-Mirage Players Club card covers most of the hotels. The game with the best payout odds, by the way: craps. Not coincidentally, it's also the game with the greatest chance of getting approached by a hooker.

Getting Married. The first thing to do is make sure you're drunk enough to want to get married, but not so drunk that you won't remember it tomorrow. Then, you and your fiancé need to gather up $55 cash and one form of ID each, then get a marriage license at the Las Vegas Marriage Bureau which is open 'til midnight every night. Mazel tov.

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