Frequently Asked Questions about Visiting Las Vegas

For this week’s newsletter, I am going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions I get about visiting Las Vegas.

Q: Regarding table games, are the rules any different?

A: The only difference in the rules are limits on the number of players (three at a table for blackjack-size tables, for example) and players never touch the cards, except in live poker. Blackjack is always dealt face up. In games like Ultimate Texas Hold ‘Em, you may see the other player’s hole cards (which does not help much, even if the extra information is used properly).

Q: Are the table game limits higher or lower?

A: They seem about the same to me as before the pandemic.

Q: Are the slot/video poker looser/tighter?

A: I can’t easily tell about the slots, but the video poker tables seem about the same. Contrary to popular belief, casino management does not loosen and tighten their slots like a yo-yo. They tend to have a policy on how generous/stingy they want them to be and then stick with it.

Q: Is smoking still allowed?

A: Unfortunately, yes. Not that you asked, but cigarettes kill 480,000 (1) people annually in the US, including 41,000 (1) by secondhand smoke. Compare that to 120,000 (2) Coronavirus deaths in the US thus far (as of June 17, 2020).


Q: What are the resorts in Vegas doing to lure me back?

A: Prices for hotel rooms look a bit lower than usual. I’ll quote some prices for this below. Many places, perhaps all, are not charging for parking. However, I was hoping to see some special promotions, but the number I’ve seen is zero.

Here are totel stays arriving Friday, June 19, and leaving Sunday, June 21. Prices include taxes and resort fees. Speaking of resort fees, it looks like Travelocity is now including them in the total price on the first page of a search. Thank you!!! It is about time and the right thing to do.

Venetian $604

Cosmopolitan $590

Wynn $561

Caesars Palace $404

South Point $288

Treasure Island $240

Luxor $204

Q: Are face masks required?

A: No.

Q: How many people wear them?

A: All the staff, but only about 20% of the guests. I find older guests more inclined to wear them. Thus, if you are concerned about safety, I would choose a property that caters to the elderly crowd, which are generally in the residential areas.

Q: Are the chips cleaned and how?

A: Based on playing for about two hours only since the re-opening, I have not seen anybody cleaning chips at the tables. How could they? Maybe they do something away from the tables, but I am not sure. My advice would be to always wash your hands thoroughly immediately after playing anything, including machines.

Q: What are my chances of getting/dying from the Coronavirus if I come?

A: This is going to depend on lots of factors, like your age, health, when exactly you come, where you stay, how interactive you in crowded areas, how often you wash your hands, etc.

The best I can do is make a rough guess. Let us do that with some data, based on the entire United States.

New cases per day: 79,558

Deaths per day: 739

Population: 331,002,651

Ratio population to infections per day: 4161

Ratio population to deaths per day: 447,906


The next figure I am just going to pull out of thin air. Let us assume your exposure goes up by 10x compared to national averages. I am sure most will believe this figure is too high or too low, so adjust it however you wish. That said, let us say that you will be here for three total days. This makes your probability of catching CV over your trip about 1 in 140 and dying from it about 1 in 15,000.

Us actuaries like the term micromort, which is a one in a million chance of dying. Expressed that way, coming to Vegas for three days would cost you about 67 micromorts.

If you’re thinking about visiting us here in Vegas, I hope you will find this information helpful. We welcome your business, but please be as safe and clean as you can.

Las Vegas