Mandalay Bay Las Vegas Review

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In action since March 2, 1999, Mandalay Bay is located at the beginning of the south side of Las Vegas Blvd. next to Luxor and marks the beginning of the strip. Owned by MGM Resorts International, it stands as one of Sin City’s nicest hotel and casinos.

Since it’s on the Las Vegas strip, lots of its business is brought in each year by tourists. Besides tourism, they also generate a large amount of revenue every year from people visiting conventions, as Mandalay Bay also has its own 1,000,000 square foot convention center. Given you don’t have to wrestle nearly as much traffic getting in and out of Mandalay Bay, it makes it that much more appealing for locals to hang out here as well.

In light of the still recent shooting, walking around Mandalay Bay will never quite be the same, but the fact remains that people who visit Las Vegas often go there to let themselves go wild. No love has been lost, and it’s still a great place to do whatever interests you the most when going on vacation.

As is now the case with most strip casinos, Mandalay Bay charges for valet and self-parking, and the amount depends on what your tier status is and how long you’re staying.

Casino at Mandalay Bay

The gaming space is a healthy 135,000 square feet. It is compactly organized as all the table games are grouped together forming the shape of an L. You will not be overrun with table game offerings, but with Mandalay Bay being one of Vegas’ higher end venues, $5 table minimums are seldom if ever going. $10 is going to be the cheapest going rate available, and $15 will also commonly be requirement.

Baccarat

We were disappointed to see that Baccarat is no longer offered on the main casino floor. It is however available exclusively in the high limit room.

Blackjack

There are always plenty of blackjack games going on the main casino floor. Unfortunately, 6-5 odds are the only payouts for blackjack unless you are playing on the $25 table, in which case it is 3-2. Because of this, we don’t recommend betting $25+ on the 6-5 tables. The dealer must hit soft 17, and if you like other variations of blackjack with different rules, Blackjack Switch is available.

If you exit the table game section and are out by the slots, you will also come across a virtual blackjack game that has a televised dealer. The rules are the same, but if you are looking to gamble inexpensively, the minimum bet here is a very friendly $3.

Craps

If you are looking to play craps at Mandalay Bay, the minimum bets are generally $15 or $25, but $10 could be available on a busy night. The odds are 3-4-5, and like with blackjack, virtual crap games are available by the slots. You push a button to shoot some foam dice, and the minimum is also $3.

Roulette

Whether it’s on the outside or being spread around on the inside $10 is the minimum bet at roulette. The rules are standard with two zeros, and a virtual version of roulette is also in the slots with a $3 minimum.

Other Mandalay Bay Table Games

– Ultimate Texas Hold’em ($15 min)
– Three Card Poker ($10 min)
– Fortune Pai Gow Poker ($25 or $50 min)
– High Card Flush ($10 min)
– The Big Wheel ($1 min)

This additional selection of table games is nothing special. We would have to say that it’s average at best, but whatever game you are looking to play it should be of no struggle to find a seat.

High Limit Room at Mandalay Bay

The high limit room is away from the central gaming floor offering a nice amount of seclusion. It’s funny when you walk into the high limit gaming section because every single staff member you get near or make eye contact with says hi. And you know it’s to make you feel welcome. Not because they genuinely from their heart wish to say hi. Nevertheless, the professionalism is admirable and this high limit room also has a bar.

Blackjack starts at $200 and is available in double deck or a full shoe. Other than standing on soft 17 the rules are the same. Baccarat is also a $200 game, but European Roulette (one zero instead of two) is only $100.

Slots at Mandalay Bay

There are over 1,200 slot machines, most of which are new and all the games can be found all over the floor. Tournaments also run occasionally which includes its own mini buffet. Some of its notable games are multiple versions of Buffalo, Monopoly, Wheel of Fortune, Willy Wonka, Walking Dead, Game of Thrones, and Megabucks.

You will find whatever you want to wager starting at a penny. Limits go up in small increments of $0.02, $0.05, $0.25, and $1. As you get near the high limit section, $5, $10, and $25 denominations are also offered.

Below is a picture of a slots tournament that was happening during our last visit:

High Limit Slots at Mandalay Bay

The high limit slots room here is very private and large. People will show up to this large room that has its own bathroom. Their high limit room features mostly slots, with limits starting at $1 going up to up $50 and $100. Video Poker is also available at the high limit slots room, with limits topping out at $100.

A quick look at the Mandalay Bay high limit slots room:

Video Poker at Mandalay Bay

Video Poker is not a specialty here. There are just four varieties and occupy a small portion of the gaming floor, but you will certainly be able to play them for comped drinks at most of the bars. The machines looked rather old and limits stayed between $0.25 and $1.

Regarding payback, the max amount is 99.17% on Bonus Poker and that’s only for the middle-higher limit wagers between $2 and $100, and drop as low as 98.45% when playing Jacks or Better for $2 or less.

Poker Room at Mandalay Bay

The poker room is small and connected to the sportsbook but is very well run and has great dealers. USB ports are at every seat and discounted hotel rates are offered with enough play.

They’ll spread $3-$6 Limit, but No Limit Hold’em is all they ever get with $1-$2 being the stakes, mandating a buy-in of $100-$300. $1-$3 and its $100-$1,000 game may go once in a blue moon, but don’t count on more than two or three $1-$2 games when there’s no major convention going. The only possibility of $2-$5 going which has a buy-in of $200-$2,000 is during the seven week long World Series of Poker. A Bad Beat Jackpot is also in play.

Tournaments are also offered three times a day every day at 11 AM, 3 PM, and 10 PM. $65 to enter in and the structures are simple. 10,000 chips, 15 minute levels, and reentry or late entry in the first hour.

Sportsbook at Mandalay Bay

One of the best venues for watching and betting on sports is found right here. The Mandalay Bay sportsbook is huge with tons of seating space and TVs. Everything is easy to see and there is as much dedication to showing the horses races as the sporting events which is not something every sportsbook does. There’s just a little entrance path for it, sparing its patrons of overhearing any slot chirping and other casino noise.

The enormous sportsbook VIP section is behind the regular seating, and it has its own video poker bar in the back. The flexibly allows anybody, barring that the sportsbook is not packed for a special event. There is also a bathroom nearby, and there is no smoking.

Food is available at a grill inside the sportsbook with plenty of seating. The biggest drawback here is the fact you must bet $500 on sports just to obtain a single drink ticket. Free drinks are no longer the standard at just about any sportsbook, but $500 is quite a ridiculous requirement considering most major strip books stay between $50 and $125. If you are betting horses, at least it’s only $10. These new rules are very off-putting but get friendly with a cocktail waitress and you might be able to outhustle the system.

Sportsbooks apps have become the norm. You can open an account simply and for free right inside the sportsbook, and once you download the PlayMGM app you’ve got access to all the same lines. The best part is it also has live betting for every game. Live betting is betting on games after they have started and has quickly become a popular option.

Hotel at Mandalay Bay

This exquisite hotel has over 3,300 rooms, and Mandalay Bay also connects to its sister hotel called Delano which has an additional 1,100 suites. Every room is spacious and luxurious with updated bathrooms and strip views available for extra. The standard rooms begin at 550 square feet and go up to 786. The two bedroom standard room measures in at 1,450.

Then there are the suites: Sky View (1,050 square feet), Media Suite, Conference Suite, and Hospitality Suite (all are 2,170 square feet). There will also be some stunning penthouse suites that are essentially large houses, but the exact prices can be hard to find out and are usually reserved for comping VIP players anyway.

Discounts are offered to those who sign up for an M Life Card. As far as getting yourself a comped room with casino play, it will not be especially easy here. Regarding pricing, the average nightly rate is now a little less than its main competing MGM International hotels (presumably because of the shooting), but there is also the mandatory hefty resort fee which is almost $40 every night with tax. For that fee, you get access to the Internet, the 24/7 cardio center, pool, and some business amenities.

Spa and Fitness Center

Spa Mandalay is a massive 30,000 square feet, but it is not included in the resort fee. A day pass is $30, 3 days is $75, and 5 days is $100. Services include a wide variety of facials, body treatment, nail treatment, waxing, and massages. With any 25 minute service you also have free access to Mandalay Beach Monday to Thursday.

The Fitness Center is not to be confused with the 24 hour cardio center. The Fitness center is 3,000 square feet and can be used with purchase of any spa treatment or day pass.

Restaurants at Mandalay Bay

There is a large mix of high quality food and lesser expensive fun food. From numerous desert places, to burgers, to Mexican, between everything in the casino and what’s available in the Shoppes at Mandalay Place there are over 20 options. One of its most notable places is the Foundation Room which sits at the top of Mandalay Bay and offers the best view of Las Vegas. There is also a food court, and Citizens Kitchen and Bar is open 24/7.

Fine Dining

Varieties of high end dining is easy to come by. Here you will find numerous options of steak and other fine meats at Stripsteak, pizza and pasta at Lupo by Wolfgang Puck, French at Aureole, Italian and French at Rivea, seafood at Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood, and Asian at Kumi. Kumi offers Japanese tapas along with a mix of Korean and American.

Bars at Mandalay Bay

All around the casino are numerous bars and lounges, some of which feature live music and dancing. They are liable to get busy especially during peak times and days. Some notable choices are Minus5° Ice Bar where everything is made of ice, Foundation Room, Eyecandy Sound Lounge, Rĺ Rá Irish Pub, Skyfall Lounge, and Rhythm and Riffs.

LIGHT Nightclub at Mandalay Bay

The popular nightclub Light is located right next to self-parking garage entrance. Covers can vary during time of year, but it’s $30 for men and $20 for women. Expect long lines to get in and drinks to be expensive, but cocktails are complimentary before the peak club hours of midnight. Tables are advertised starting at $300 but expect this to be something of a hoax. The table and bottle service that everybody envisions always costs in the thousands.

The club is open Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays with the party kicking off at 10:30 PM and going until 4 AM, but most clubs aren’t in full swing before midnight. LIGHT is a very large 38,000 square feet and comfortable hold over 2,000 people. There are three bars and full catering service is available.

Table Minimum: $10 High Limit Room Minimum: $100
Baccarat
Big Six Wheel
Blackjack
Caribbean Stud
Casino War
Craps
Crazy 4 Poker
Flushes Gone Wild
Four Card Poker
High Card Flush
Let It Ride
Mississipi Stud
Oasis Poker
Pai Gow
Pontoon
Roulette
Sic Bo
Spanish 21
Three Card Poker
Ultimate Texas Hold'em
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