Your Vegas questions answered

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Does the Las Vegas airport offer any special services?

While waiting for your luggage, you can check in to your hotel or make show reservations. MGM Mirage and Harrah's have airport desks that service several of their properties. While waiting for a flight, you can visit the 24-hour fitness center in the main terminal (non-members pay a $10 fee).

What are "VIP options" at hotels?

Many hotels along the Strip and downtown offer VIP treatment to guests for an added fee of $25 to $100 a night. Benefits include special check-in and checkout with little waiting, concierge services, newspapers and refreshments such as coffee and continental breakfast and afternoon snacks.

What is "bottle service"?

With nightclub bottle service, you get a table and a bottle of your favorite beverage for a set price. It comes with ice, glasses and mixers of your choice. It often gives you access to the club's roped-off VIP areas and your own server. Prices are in the hundreds of dollars, but with a large group, it can still be cheaper than ordering drinks individually.

Any other tips on clubs?

Call ahead. Get your name on the guest list. And men, every time you go to a club, wear dress shoes. Wearing sandals or casual shoes will often mean you're left standing at the door.

What's the best way to brush up on my gambling skills?

Get lessons. During the day, most casinos offer free half-hour lessons in craps, blackjack and poker. They can improve a player's edge -- and confidence.

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Do I tip the dealer?

Yes, if you're doing well. Generally, you are supposed to tip the equivalent of your average bet once or twice an hour.

The Strip is always jammed. Are there work-arounds?

Take parallel roads such as Industrial Road and Frank Sinatra Drive to the west of the Strip and Koval Lane and Paradise Road to the east. Desert Inn Drive, which runs east and west between Paradise and Valley View, slips under the Strip and bypasses it.

What's the Deuce?

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It's a double-decker public bus that may be the best deal in town. For $5, you can buy a 24-hour pass that allows you to hop on and off at will, along the Strip and downtown. Passes can be purchased on board.

If I forget my cell phone charger, what can I do?

Many concierge desks will charge your cellphone, usually for a small fee. Another cell tip: Before you leave for Vegas, add these services to your contact list: airline, AAA ([800] 222-4357), limo service, your doctor and your hotel's concierge. Feeling frisky? Add a bail bond service.

Any photo tips?

Taking photos of game tables and machines is frowned upon. If you want a photo of your big jackpot or your friend gambling, ask security before pointing your camera.

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What's the best time to show up at a resort's dinner buffet?

Between 5 and 6 p.m. The food is fresh, the lines relatively short and the wait staff will still be friendly.

Are special-occasion weddings worthwhile?

Never marry on Valentine's Day or New Year's Eve. You'll find yourself at the end of a long line at City Hall with a bouquet of wilting roses.

Can I smoke in Vegas?

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Smoking is no longer allowed in restaurants and public areas outside the casino, and the city now offers some fully nonsmoking hotels. These include Platinum Las Vegas, Westin Casuarina and Meridian Luxury Suites.

Where can I get show tickets at the last minute?

For same-day tickets at half the cost, go to the Tickets2nite booth at the Showcase Mall adjacent to MGM Grand, or Tix4Tonight at the Fashion Show Mall or the Hawaiian Marketplace at Polo Towers.

How do I avoid a line at checkout?

Consider a late check-out. Most hotels have a standard checkout time of noon but will allow an extra hour or two upon request. Visitors with late flights might be able to obtain a late checkout up to 6 p.m. for an added fee of $20 or $25, depending on hotel policy.

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