You really can’t say enough about the Bellagio. There are a number of high-end casinos both on and off the strip, but none of them match the Bellagio’s elegance. In some sense it’s almost like the city’s capital. The movie, “Ocean’s 11” certainly brought it a lot of attention, but it’s one of the first places people think of when they think of Las Vegas because the Bellagio’s prestige is truly what Vegas was meant to be about when it began.
Originally built by Steve Wynn, the Bellagio is now owned by MGM Resorts International. The Bellagio, whose theme is Bellagio, Italy will reach its 20th year anniversary in October of 2018. Its centralized location on the strip is slightly south and right next to Caesar’s Palace. If you are driving and don’t want to self-park, you can valet at the hotel’s main entrance or you can use the very convenient north valet which is right off Flamingo road near I-15.
Whether it’s food, gambling, poker, entertainment, or just wanting to lounge, the Bellagio brings the best of the best across the board. It’s a huge hotspot for both locals and tourists alike, particularly high limit gamblers. The fountain show, which runs many times every day is properly cited as the best free show in Vegas, but that’s not all.
Bellagio’s other spectacular free spectacle is on the inside at The Conservatory. Here you’ll see a magnificent collection of flower gardens accompanied by all kinds of other fantastic artistic designs. Each changeover costs about a million dollars, and they do it around five times per year based on the season and also to celebrate the Chinese new year.
The aforementioned self-parking and valet areas now charge a fee that is determined by how long you are staying and your status in the M Life player program. If you wish to elevate your status but aren’t much of a gambler, apply for the M Life credit card and your status will upgraded to one that receives free self-parking if approved.
Beautifully designed, the 116,000 square foot gaming space is dispersed all around the casino floor, and all the most popular games are grouped into their own section. There are multiple pit areas for table games as well as multiple high limit sections for different games.
Unless someone is blowing smoke right in your face there is never a trace of any secondhand smoke as the air is circulated very well. Being that this is at the top of MGM’s properties, you will be hard pressed to find low limit gambling. As such, $5 minimums are pretty much out of the question, and even $10 is uncommon.
We saw baccarat tables present out on the main floor, but no games were going during a busy Thursday afternoon. You can certainly find yourself a game, but baccarat is mainly sought out and accommodated for the high limit players.
Unfortunately, 6-5 is the going rate for blackjack and the dealers must hit on soft 17. The lowest minimums you will find are at the $15 and $25 tables, however it is possible to find the occasional $10 games, but it’s unlikely except during the wee hours of the morning.
At most casinos, high limit blackjack games have $100 minimums or possibly $50. These games are not yet high enough to be in the Bellagio’s high limit section. However, the $50 and $100 tables pay 3-2, and the dealer must stand on all 17s.
If you like some of the other blackjack variations, you could also play Blackjack Switch or Free Bet Blackjack at $15 a hand. If your goal is just to play for friendly admits, there is a virtual game in the slots for $5.
There are usually craps games going for $10 and $25 with odds of 3-4-5. Like Blackjack, there is a virtual crap game too for $5 within the slots.
The most common roulette game going at Bellagio will be standard double zero roulette with a $15 minimum, but European Roulette (single zero) was also on the main floor for $100. Virtual roulette with a live wheel can be found in the slots with a $5 or $10 minimum.
Pai Gow seems to be a popular game at Bellagio, as it has its own dedicated section on the floor. Regular Pai Gow can be played with $25 minimums, with Fortune Pai Gow and Pai Gow Plus offered for $15.
– High Card Flush ($10 minimum)
– Ultimate Texas Hold’em ($15 minimum)
– Three Card Poker ($15 minimum)
– Casino War ($15 minimum)
– Let It Ride ($15 minimum)
– Crazy 4 Poker ($15 minimum)
– Big Wheel ($2 minimum)
Bellagio is not the only casino to offer this many mixed table games, but nevertheless this is about as wide a selection you will find. Given how many total tables there everywhere, getting a seat for your game will always be easy.
There are two separate high limit roomshave minimums of either $500 or $1,000 with the same rules of the $50 tables.
To enter the highly secluded baccarat area, first you must walk through a lounge located right next to the Pai Gow section. In there is one more European Roulette wheel available with a $100 minimum, but otherwise in multiple rooms are a slew of $100 baccarat tables with a $20,000 maximum.
More than 2,300 variations of slots and video reel games are placed all over the casino floor. Slot wagers start at a penny and progressively reach $1. As you get closer to the high limit section, there are machines for $5 and even $10 on the main floor. Needless to say, there is a huge selection of games for all types of players.
Most of the slots are modern but there is still a touch of some of the old school slots. Some of its popular and distinct choices are Wheel of Fortune, Lock it Link, Monopoly, Top Dollar, Buffalo, Cleopatra and Willy Wonka.
One of the most noteworthy games is not a slot machine, but a poker game. Located within the slots and of course near the poker room, you can play low limit Texas Hold’em heads up (1 on 1) against the machine. If you take it on, you will be challenged by an extremely intelligent computer that adapts to how you are playing while frequently mixing up its own decisions. Most of the people to sit down are professional poker players, but seldom come away with winning stories.
Heads up Hold’em machines at the Bellagio:
Located behind the craps tables and near the buffet, the high limit slots are right in the middle of the casino but secluded with their own entrance. You can certainly go big time in here. The Limits start at $5, but work their way up slowly to $100, $500, $1,000, and even $2,000 a pull if playing multiple credits. Most of the machines have the old style design, but it still has some newer games like Wheel of Fortune and Cleopatra II.
Most of the high limit room is slot machines, but there are still a bunch of video poker games that you can play for between $5 and $25.
A view of the high limit slots room from our last visit to Bellagio:
Limits go beyond the typical $1 machines going up to $2, $5, and $10, but you will be hard pressed to find a video poker game for less than 25 cents. Despite there is less video poker around the Bellagio than there used to be, you’ll still find a wide variety of games spread around and at all the bars which you can play for comped drinks. Payouts are as high as 99.54% for Jacks or Better, and as low as 98.01% for Bonus Poker.
Bellagio’s poker room is still one of its signature amenities and is the premier card room in Las Vegas. It immediately unseated The Mirage as the top room for high stakes when it opened in 1998, and hosts some of the World Poker Tour’s most prestigious events. If you are looking for a smaller buy-in daily tournament, the $130 buy-in runs daily at 2 PM.
Like any poker room, No Limit Hold’em is easily its most popular game, but at Bellagio you’ll find a higher percentage of mixed games going than any other room in Las Vegas. However, if you want to play mixed games you’ll not only have to bring a lot of money, you’ll also be going up against some of the city’s and world’s best professionals.
Whether you’re up in the high limit section playing $150-$300, or the nosebleed $1,000-$2,000 walled off section of Bobby’s Room, the Bellagio is home to many pro players who pray for and prey on ambitious tourists.
Since No Limit remains the game of choice, you can play for whatever stakes you want. As the Bellagio seems to aim more of its attention at its high stakes players, the lower limit games have relatively small caps on their buy-in. $300 at $1/$3, $500 at 2/5, and $1,500 at 5/10. These games run daily and there will always be multiple tables.
In poker’s prime, the high limit 10/20 $800 minimum and uncapped buy-in game ran either around the clock or every day. These days it runs a bit more scarcely since the player pool is substantially smaller, but it still goes most days of the year. During the World Series of Poker which stretches on for close to two months, there will be multiple 10/20s along with 25/50, 50/100, and even 100/200 of No Limit and Pot Limit Omaha.
Despite its fame and popularity, the poker room has a few criticisms. Of the 40 tables or so, they are packed in tightly and a bit of a nuisance to walk between. More importantly, many of their dealers have been around for years. You’d think the best poker room would undoubtedly have the best dealers, but that is not the case. There are exceptions, but the Bellagio’s dealers have a reputation for being very slow with poor technique and are also known for laziness, making egregious mistakes at way too high of a frequency.
The Bellagio is also home to one of the best sportsbooks. It will be active every night of the week and will certainly fill up during all major sporting events.
Located behind the poker room, it is quietly secluded in the corner away from casino noise. It has recently been renovated and offers lots of seating. There are dozens of leather club chairs on the far right hand side to go with multiple sections of couch and club chair seating in the middle. On the left is the racebook which is equal to the size of the sportsbook, and there you’ll find multiple long rows desk space seating with their own TV.
There are many TVs including multiple giant screens. The sound and picture quality is great, and the betting board is large and on the side wall. If you like betting on games after they have started, (aka live betting), you can’t yet do it at the sportsbook, but the PlayMGM sports betting app offers live betting on every event. To get the app, all you have to do is open an account which can be done inside the sportsbook. The process is fast, free, and once it’s finished the sports betting world is yours from your device.
The sportsbook also has a large VIP seating area. It is behind its main seating and goes up into the sports and video poker bar. Parts of it can also easily see inside the sportsbook. Regarding food and drinks, food is not immediately inside, but the best option would be Snacks which is just a short walk away. Now that you have to bet to get drink tickets, $125 is the minimum sports bet, while $10 is required for horses.
If that sounds ridiculous, unfortunately you’ll have to get used to it as this is now a standard, and $125 is actually one of the lower required amounts.
One thing to stay away from at many strip sportsbooks – but especially the Bellagio’s – is betting futures. Since the strip books are comprised mostly of tourists, they try to exploit them by giving them really bad deals.
Bellagio’s glamorous 5 star hotel has close to 4,000 rooms. Its smallest standard Fountain View and Resort rooms are 510 square feet and go up to 626. They run the occasional promotion, but even during the slower times of year these rooms typically run between $170 and $200 per night.
M Life cardholders can receive up to an additional 20% off the lowest price, which is nice to know when you also consider the mandatory nightly resort fee of around $44 that only includes Wi-Fi, fitness center and pool access, and a few other services that you probably won’t need.
If you wish to raise the hotel standard, the Bellagio has 14 different types of suites. They start at 853 square feet, but gradually make their way into the thousands, with their two largest ones breaking over 4,000.
The pricing on the smaller suites are only moderately higher than the standard rooms, but them they climb over $1,000 with the largest suites easily costing well upwards of $5,000 a night. Even if you’re wiling to spend that kind of money, availability will always depend on whether or not they’ve been reserved for VIPs.
The spa and salon comes in at 65,000 square feet. Although none of the services including entrance are part of the resort fee, a day pass is $50 for hotel guests, and $100 for all others. Discounts are available if you buy a multiday package.
In addition to its Eucalyptus steam room, red wood sauna, three jacuzzis, and cold plunge, the fitness center, like the spa is open every day from 6 AM – 8 PM. In addition to their high-tech equipment, they also offer a wide selection of classes including yoga and Pilates.
The expansive selection of restaurants at the Bellagio offer a great mix of Tapas, French, Italian, Asian, seafood, and steakhouses. Together there are well over a dozen options. While most of them are not especially cheap, if you are trying to get a rich meal for a reasonable price at most hours of the day your best bets will be Snacks (24/7), Café Bellagio, Noodles, and its bakeries in Bellagio Patisserie or Sadelle’s.
If you want to indulge in high class cuisines, they are spread all throughout Bellagio. Julian Serrano’s Lago has a great list of small plates while The Prime is Bellagio’s top restaurant for steak. If you want a wide variety of Asian or sushi, check out Jasmine or Yellowtail.
Though its menu is relatively small, Fix is high energy, hip, and relatively inexpensive for fine dining. If you want to eat in the company of classic art there is Picasso, and Le Cirque tailors to French goers. Additionally, other viable options are Michael Mina and Harvest by Roy Ellamar.
Whether you’re looking to chat casually over some video poker, engage in intimate conversation, or find more of a party atmosphere, Bellagio will have the bar you want.
The Bellagio’s elegant prestige is perhaps most revealed in its lounges. They are large and offer a very comfortable and private atmosphere. Like the Sports Bar, The Baccarat Bar and Petrossian Bar are each open 24 hours.
If you want to be accompanied by classy music, Petrossian has a piano going every night, and if you prefer more of a dress code party atmosphere, Lily Bar & Lounge brings it with DJ music in its darkly lit room.
If you want to party deep into the night, Bellagio has two options both of which have a $30 cover for men and $20 for women.
Hyde is an indoor and outdoor venue that overlooks the fountains. It opens every day at 5 PM as a cocktail lounge, but at nighttime transitions into a full-scale club on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.
The other Bellagio nightclub is The Bank. Now owned by Hakkasan Group, it is relatively small at 6,600 square feet and is open Friday to Sunday. If you want bottle and table service at either club, your bill for the group will be in the thousands. Otherwise between the cover and drinks, expect to spend at least $50-$100, depending on how drunk you want to get.