Casinos are a place where you can go in and place bets on games. We spend most of our time there knowing we’ll lose since the maths is on the casino’s side. Nonetheless, we still keep going there, hoping that we will find a way to beat the casino. The reality is, the odds are stacked up against you no matter which casino game you pick — Texas Hold’em, baccarat, blackjack, craps, roulette, slots, video poker, etc. Most players try to find a way to a casino win, and, as a result, they read articles on how to play baccarat or which craps bet is the best one for your bankroll.
Then, there are strategies on how and what to play. For instance, there are different video poker machines which come with different house edges — they can belong to games with the best chances of winning as well as to the list of games to avoid.
But for quite some time, casinos have been much more than just places to lose some money on table games or slot machines. They have become huge resort complexes which will provide you with top service in multiple aspects. Today, when you get a big casino win, you can treat yourself to a spa center, indoor pools, luxurious hotels, and night shows, without even leaving the premises.
Some might say they’ve made these other amenities just so you would spend your casino win right then and there, and you know what? Those people are right! But that doesn’t change the fact that you will have a great time as you can spend an entire holiday within a resort and not lack anything. One of the most important and most prevalent amenities is, of course, casino food!
If there’s one thing that stands out the most when you visit a casino (apart from the games, obviously), it’s the casino food! Many Las Vegas casinos have brought in experienced chefs to prepare meals and dishes in their casinos. Now, you can enjoy a variety of delicious food, varying from burgers and chips to more sophisticated dishes, such as crab legs, shrimp, and prime rib. More expensive resorts have often over ten food amenities, so you can always find something to eat, be it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Or even if you’re just looking for a quick brunch option. These are the most common types of casino food options you can find:
- Quick eats (burger joints, fresh salad stands, coffee shops with sweets, etc.)
- Casino buffet
- Casual dining
- Fine dining
We’ll go over each of these options so that you know what you can expect when you’re inside a Vegas resort, looking for something to nibble on. But before we go there, let’s check out if there’s any correlation between the casino food and gambling.
Does Our Diet Matter?
It turns out it does! The thing is, our bodies react differently to different types of food we take. Some meals will have a high level of calories, which might slow us down. Studies have shown that we (our brains, that is) perform better when we’re working on an empty stomach. This might seem counterintuitive, but that’s how it is.
The reality is, we’re more prone to making a good decision after a light breakfast or brunch than we are after a plentiful several-course meal. When we’ve just eaten, our brains tend to become lazy and lethargic, and we seemingly lose motivation to fully focus on making the best possible decision. Now, obviously, you shouldn’t starve before you start gambling. That would just make you irritable and unable to concentrate. The idea is that you should eat, just don’t overdo it.
That’s why you should look into which (and how much) casino food you should take before you decide to spend hours playing video poker. Luckily for you, we’ve already done that!
What to Eat While Gambling
When we’re playing betting games, we’re fighting against mathematical probabilities. In the long run, game rules will always favor casinos. That’s why we look out for things such as a house edge, which can give us an idea just how big of a task we’re taking on. Even when you find a video poker with 0% house edge, that doesn’t mean you’ll actually win all the time.
With everything being as it is, we need to take every shot we have to give ourselves a better fighting position — starting with the food we eat! Most of the things you’ll find suggested here are something you can fetch yourself at home. So even if you’re playing at an online casino, you can still intake the right material to maximize your brain functions.
Let’s start off with something simple — blueberries! Blueberries are great for you because you digest them easily, and your brain doesn’t really register them as a proper meal as it would with breakfast. Consequently, you can plow through them, which will provide you with the desired effect — deep concentration! They consist of antioxidants which affect your focus in a positive way. By eating blueberries, your senses will sharpen, and you will be able to make a well-thought-out decision. As playing rounds upon rounds of the same game can become repetitive, our minds tend to wander, and we lose track of how much we’re betting and why. That’s where blueberries come in handy.
An alternative to blueberries is an avocado, which contains a lot of fats that are healthy for your brain. Avocados improve your memory and brain activity.
Fish and Chocolate
Well, not at the same time, obviously. Oily fish (such as salmon, trout, and mackerel) contain a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids. Our bodies are unable to produce these acids, so the way we can get them into our system is by eating fish. The acids have a positive impact on our memory and general brain performance. However, if you’re not a fish guy, we have a different option. Go nuts! Nuts also have healthy fats in them that affect your brain. But you have to be careful with nuts and the way you take them. They are high in calories, so you have to pace yourself if you want to avoid them being counterproductive.
Furthermore, you can eat broccoli due to its high level of neurotransmitters, which are good for your muscle control and memory. But that same effect can be caused by something much tastier than a poor man’s bonsai tree. Dark chocolate!
Dark chocolate contains more cocoa than other, regular chocolate. With cocoa comes caffeine, which will keep you alert and awake. The chocolate itself (and sweets, in general) will provide you with a boost of endorphins. Endorphins, in turn, put us in a good mood, so even if the wins lack, you’ll still be upbeat about it.
Basically, the idea is to eat something that will boost your focus and alertness. Drinks that do that as well are coffee and green tea.
What to Avoid
As we’ve already said, you shouldn’t go into a gambling session just after you’ve sucked a pig through a straw! Your body will prioritize digestion over your need to count blackjack cards. So consider eating a light salad, instead of taking a BBQ steak in a casino buffet! Additionally, heavy casino foods are not easy to digest, and they will take their time leaving your system.
Most importantly perhaps, you should stay away from alcohol. When we get drunk, our judgment gets clouded. We become reckless and overconfident. Suddenly, we stop paying that much attention, and we start basing our decisions on a hunch, instead of a game strategy or a system. Furthermore, we stop valuing our money as much as we do when we’re sober, so it’s not that hard to convince ourselves to place more and more bets, most of which will be unwise. We’ve all been there, haven’t we?
Here’s a table that quickly recaps what you should eat and what you should avoid.
|Recommended diet||What to avoid|
|Blueberries||Gambling on a full stomach|
|Nuts||Too many nuts|
Now that we’ve got that covered, let’s disregard gambling for a moment. Say you’ve already done your gambling, and you’re looking at your wallet that’s gained a lot of weight since you walked in. Let’s check out what type of casino food you can find in the resort’s food court.
Firstly, we’ve got quick eats. These are your regular fast-food parlors, such as Dunkin’ Donuts, Burger King, and the like. You won’t find something unique and special in places like these, but you’ll be able to grab a quick bite, and you won’t have to worry about whether you’ll like the taste or not. This is the least quality form of casino food, but at the same time, it’s the most convenient and the most reasonable one. Aside from burgers and salads, you’ll be able to grab a coffee-to-go or a small dessert, such as an ice-cream.
Casino buffet has become a staple that you can’t really imagine a resort without. In the beginning, they were more of a classic buffet, where you could order a meatloaf and sandwiches, with nothing much sticking out really. But with the owners of the resorts realizing how much financial potential casino food amenities have, they’ve decided to revamp them. Now, you have celebrity chefs working on the menus. Some of the best casino buffets out there include:
- Flavors; Harrah’s Las Vegas
- Feast; Red Rock, LV
- The buffet at Bellagio
- The buffet at Wynn
- Bacchanal, Caesars Palace
The best thing about casino buffets is that you can get premium food without paying up too much. With all-you-can-eat and all-you-can-drink service, you can have a meal of your life for less than $20! For instance, at the Red Rock Casino buffet, Feast, you can get a lunch pass for $16.99. Once inside, you’ll be able to eat all the casino food you can imagine! You name it, and they probably have it. Apart from the regular BBQ meat and smoked ribs, they offer a variety of international specialties, covering cuisines such as Italian, American, Chinese, and Japanese.
Some buffets also offer you the chance to organize special events, with the food provided by the cooking staff. This way, you can bring luxury to your meeting or celebrations without having to overpay massively. Many of them also regularly update their menus. Consequently, there will always be something new to look forward to, and you can also enjoy seasonal dishes.
Casual dining, as the term says itself, is for people who are not looking at a top-shelf meal, but are, at the same time, too hungry or unwilling to eat just a burger. Types of restaurants that fall under this category are pizzerias, brasseries, bistros, coffee houses, etc.
The idea of casual dining is for you to have a place to sit while you’re eating your casino food. Simultaneously, you won’t need to pay over the odds for the food you’re getting, and you’ll be quickly on your way out. Think of it as modern, nice-looking diners. Everyone’s happy!
They usually keep their food and their drinks separate. So you can get a beer or a wine list and join one of their bars for the rest of the night. In the evening, they often organize parties or gigs, so you can enjoy yourself while you’re there.
These are your premium restaurants, serving premium casino food! Generally, there’s a dress code imposed, so you can’t walk in wearing cargo pants and an NFL hat. Although tuxedos might be over the top, you still need to dress nicely, so a nice shirt is a must. With a fine dining restaurant, you’ll experience all the glitz and glamor that comes with casinos and the lifestyle they promote.
Many of premium restaurants have received awards for the quality of the service and the casino food they offer. For instance, the South Point Casino has Michael’s Gourmet Room, which has been sweeping awards for over 30 years now, with people visiting the resort just to eat at the famous Michael’s! There’s also Choices, a fine-dining restaurant at Pala Casino, which has a menu with over 200 dishes from all over the world.
Perhaps the most common type of a fine-dining resort restaurant is a steakhouse. In these, such as PY Steakhouse at Casino del Sol, you’ll be able to order some of the best steaks you’ve eaten in your life! Of course, getting a table in these restaurants is on the pricey side, but if you have the means to do it, you should definitely go for it. It won’t be a meal and experience that you will easily forget.
Apart from steakhouses, you’ll also come across luxurious restaurants that devote themselves to national cuisines, such as Italian (Don Vito’s, Blazing Paddles, Ballo), Asian (Journeys East, Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar, ), Portuguese (Emeril’s Chop House, Emeril’s Fish House), and so on.
After all said and done, it all comes down to your personal preferences. You’ll like one restaurant over the other because of the food they offer and the service they greet you with. Choosing between a quick-eats stand and a fine dining restaurant is as much of a financial decision as it is a visceral one.
The one thing you have to have in mind is how the food you eat can affect your gambling. After all, you’re there so you can try and win some money on the slots (or any other game you prefer, for that matter). Make sure you follow our advice on what’s good for you and what’s not. Don’t eat on a full stomach and after a heavy meal because it will be difficult for you to focus. Instead, eat foods that will boost your concentration and decision-making. Just look at Jamie Gold. In 2006, during the WSOP main event, he was eating blueberries all the time. After winning the main event, he said in an interview that blueberries were his brain food and one of the reasons he won. If they helped Gold, why wouldn’t they help you?
If you’re eating after you’ve already gambled, then there are no worries, and you can just eat anything you want, as much as you want. Bon appetit!