The MGM Grand certainly lives up to its name, delivering the largest gaming floor in Las Vegas and one of the biggest hotels in the world. It is located towards the south side of Las Vegas Blvd. on the corner of Tropicana Avenue.
Along with its self-parking garage, valet can be accessed off Tropicana. The garage can also be entered off Koval Lane. Unfortunately, parking and valet are no longer free. Fees are determined by how long you stay and your tier status in the M Life rewards program. If you don’t wish to gamble to move up in tier status, you could apply for the M Life credit card to become eligible for free self-parking.
The theme at MGM Grand seems something like Hollywood with the large lion statues lining the outside. Inside, however, there is no clear-cut thematic selection. Despite its massive size, MGM Grand also doesn’t provide the glitzy swank one might expect. It’s by no means an ugly dump, but it’s darkly lit, a bit smoky, and the overall vibe is a little peculiar.
Many boxing matches have been held at MGM over the years. Given how much corruption exists in the sport, that energy seems to spill over into the casino, as its crowd type tends to be a bit rowdy over classy. It’s the sort of thing you just have to see for yourself to completely understand. Nevertheless, MGM Grand delivers the essence of Vegas. It’s got everything you were told you would see and a whole lot more.
As promised, the largest gaming floor in town is 171,500 square feet. Slots are scattered all over the place and the wide selection of table games stretches on and on, with multiple pits. As this is one of MGM’s “big time” properties, table game minimums are all upwards of $10.
Baccarat tables at the MGM Grand have a $10 minimum. All tables feature standard rules.
Unless you go to the high limit section, 6-5 odds are the payout for all blackjack games. Minimums are anywhere from $10 to $25, and the dealer must hit on all soft 17s. If you want lower betting limits, there are some virtual blackjack games in the slots. One is $3, and if you want a live dealer it’s $5.
If you’re interested in some of blackjack’s other variations, Free Bet Blackjack is offered at a $25 minimum.
There are several craps tables at MGM, and all of them are situated in their own, separate pit. Odds on all games are the standard 3-4-5 with a $10 minimum. There are also virtual craps games with a $1 minimum, and they are located within the slots on the main floor.
Roulette table minimums are $10, $15, or $25 with the standard double zero. There is also a $5 virtual roulette machine with a live wheel and camera. These machines are located by the slots.
A view of the virtual table games section from our last visit:
– Let it Ride with bonus ($10 minimum)
– Crazy 4 Poker ($10 minimum)
– High Card Flush ($15 minimum)
– Three Card Poker ($15 minimum)
– Ultimate Texas Hold’em Progressive ($10 minimum)
– Pai Gow Poker ($25 minimum)
– Pai Gow Power Tiles ($25 minimum)
– Big Wheel of Fortune ($2 minimum)
We thought we might see a few additional mixed games considering that the floor is the largest in Las Vegas, but this selection is certainly above average. The most distinct part of the gaming floor is the section dedicated to $3 video baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette. It also has keno for $0.50 and video poker for a quarter. During its peak hours there is a DJ, and this area can be found against the wall behind the sportsbook, far away from the main part of the casino floor.
It took us a few seconds to realize we had entered the high limit section, as it has no seclusion or marked entrance. It is fairly large and features a variety of blackjack and baccarat tables along with some roulette. Roulette in the high limit room is $50 per spin and European style with just one zero. Baccarat minimums are $100 here, and blackjack can be played for $50 or $100. Blackjack pays 3-2, and all rules besides the dealer having to stand on soft 17 are the same.
We don’t have a count on the exact number of slot machines, but what we can tell you is there are definitely at least 1,000. Limits start at a penny and work their way up to $1, $2, and $5 on the main floor. You’ll notice the smaller amounts you can bet, the further away those machines are from the center part of the casino. This is not an accident. The ploy is to get you to want to be near the action where the higher denomination slots are located.
Naturally, there’s a huge selection of games, many of which are popular new machines. Some of the games we noticed include Wheel of Fortune, Casablanca, Michael Jackson, Elvis, Ghostbusters, The Walking Dead, Deal or No Deal, The Goonies, Willy Wonka, and The Hangover (I and II).
Located right behind the high limit table games section, the high limit slots room is large and is broken down into multiple sections. It doesn’t seem like it ever gets too much traffic, but among the many slots you’ll also find some video poker. Those limits begin at $1 and go to $2, $5, $10, and $25, while the slots are $5, $10, $25, $50, $100, and $500. Of the slot game selection, Cleopatra II was one of its standouts, and there is also a private room to meet with a casino host.
A view of the high limit slots room from our last visit:
Apart from high limit VP are many more video poker machines, a lot of which are at the bars and can be played for comped drinks. Bar video poker games start at a quarter, but nickel and dime machines are also available on the casino floor. Limits get up to $1 per credit, and payouts are as high as 99.54% for Jacks or Better. The lowest payout is 98.01% on Bonus Poker.
MGM Grand used to have one of the more active poker rooms in town and a daily 2-5 No Limit Hold’em game. As poker has moved past its prime, MGM’s poker room has more or less fallen off the map.
The redesigned 13-table room, which is right next to the TAP Sports Bar, is still good for a handful of 1-2 No Limit games every day. On a busy day you could even see anywhere from 7-10. The 2-5 No Limit still comes together once in a while, but only during the busiest times. We haven’t seen any other poker variations going recently, and it’s been a while since a 5-10 has popped up, but you never know who will show up during the World Series of Poker. Food comps pay $1 per hour.
There are four poker tournaments every day – $80 at 11:05 AM ($1,000 guaranteed prize pool), $60 at 2:05 PM ($400 guaranteed), $80 at 7:05 PM ($750 guaranteed), or $60 at 10:05 PM ($400 guaranteed).
The completely smoke-free sportsbook is still one of the best in town. Located across from the TAP Sports Bar, MGM’s horizontally-built sportsbook has plenty of big screen TVS and a ton of seating and desk space for sports bettors, VIPs, and horse bettors. It isn’t the most secluded sportsbook, but it is just far enough away from the casino floor that outside noise does not cause a distraction.
Multiple food options are nearby. In addition to TAP which has many more of its own TVs, the Stage Deli which also has a Nathan’s Hot Dogs is right next to the sportsbook and can see inside. Next to that, just outside the sportsbook, is a Bonanno’s pizzeria.
You can’t get a free drink just for showing up anymore. Drink tickets are now obtained after betting. You must bet $10 on the horses or $100 on sports to get a comped drink. While we’re sure this sounds like a lot, these figures are relatively low especially for an MGM property. Some of them don’t give away tickets for less than a $500 sports bet.
If you like live-betting on games after they have started, this isn’t yet available inside the sportsbook, but it can be done for every game on the PlayMGM sports betting app. To download the app, first you must open an account which you can do quickly and for free right inside the sportsbook. Once you’ve done that, all the MGM betting lines are at your fingertips from anywhere in Nevada.
The only thing we recommend is avoid betting the futures lines because seeing as what a major sportsbook MGM Grand is, their futures lines tend to have really stingy payouts since the majority of its bettors are tourists who don’t know or care they’re getting ripped off.
Stunningly, the hotel at MGM Grand has almost 7,000 rooms, suites and penthouses, along with separate VIP hotels within the property, called “Skylofts” and “The Mansion”. The Mansion is for those who want their stay to be very private, so you must call to inquire about staying there. The Skylofts are more of the stereotypical “baller” VIP hotel, and typically hosts celebrities as its guests. These rooms are usually reserved, but if they’re open they can be booked and are well upwards of $1,000 a night.
– Grand King/Queen (446 square feet)
– Executive King/Queen Suite (675 square feet)
– Stay Well Grand King Room (size not available)– Tower Spa Suite (694 square feet)
– One Bedroom Suite(size not available)
– Grand View Suite (950 square feet)
– Penthouse City View Suite (1,250 square feet)
– Skyline Marquee Suite (1,500 square feet)
– Skyline Terrace Suite (size not available)
For the more typical hotel guest, 10% discounts are given to AAA and military members, and M Life cardholders can also receive up to 20% off. The normal rooms which can have strip views begin at either 350 or 446 square feet. They are all modern and often range from $80-$200 per night depending which day(s) of the week you’re staying. Suites and penthouses begin at 675 square feet and get up to 1,500, with price ranges moving up accordingly.
On top of the price for all these rooms except those for VIPs is the infamous mandatory nightly resort fee which comes to about $42 after tax. Resort fees don’t include much worth talking about apart from Internet, pool, and fitness center access. If you are coming to town to gamble, there’s always a chance you can get your room comped if you give enough action, so we advise you touch base with a casino host before you begin.
A day pass to the Grand Spa, Christophe Salon, and barber shop for hotel guests is a rather pricey $30 and $50 for everybody else, but with that are 30 treatment rooms along with saunas, whirlpools, steam rooms, and lounges. Spa treatments which occur daily from 6 AM – 8 PM includes facials, a wide variety of massages, other body treatments, and tanning services.
Also open daily is the fitness center from 5:30 AM – 8 PM featuring top level cardio and weight equipment.
Whether you want fine dining or something fast there are well over 20 places to eat at MGM Grand. If you are parking in the garage, there is a small strip of quick eats along the walkway that leads you to the casino, and a few 24 hour options exist in the food court in a section called The District.
Quality restaurants that won’t cut too far into your pocket are Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, Crush, Tap Sports Bar, Michael Mina Pub 1842, Hecho en Vegas Mexican Grill & Cantina, and Cabana Grill.
Fine dining includes a mix of Italian, French, and Asian cuisines to go with Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak. “Chef of the Century” Joel Robuchon brings you the French and Chef Masahuru Morimoto blends a mix of Japanese and American. Other higher end Asian restaurants are China Tang and Hakkasan, and rounding out MGM’s diverse and exquisite dining options is Fiamma Italian Kitchen.
All throughout the casino are a variety of casual, loud, and swanky bars. Video poker players will probably be happiest at the Lobby Bar and Level Up, both of which are 24/7. If you would rather a bar that’s easier to sit at tables and talk, Whiskey Down is also 24/7 and has more than 50 types of whiskeys.
If you want something that brings more of a party atmosphere, Centrifuge is a very trendy bar and lounge, and if you want live music, particularly country music, stop by the Loser’s Bar.
You should also know about Topgolf. It is four levels high and has a huge outdoor driving range. Your party will have its own section with couches to go with a full food and alcohol menu. Also around the venue are five bars, two pools, VIP cabanas, and a large concert venue. This is one of Las Vegas’ most exciting new developments. It can be accessed with either free on-site parking or walking over from MGM Grand.
Still just a few years old, the world’s largest nightclub holds its position as one of the most talked about nightspots in town. Here you’ll see some of the very best DJs in the business like Kaskade, Tiesto, Calvin Harris, and Steve Aoki.
Hakkasan is a total of five levels, although the restaurant, which is on the first level is separate from the nightclub. Expect to be waiting in long lines and cover charges can vary depending on how quickly they sell out, but normally it is $20 for women and $30 for men. Regular bar drinks are going to be vastly overpriced, and VIP table and bottle service which usually end up costing thousands is available. The club is open Thursdays through Sundays from 10 PM – 4 AM.