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One of the greatest annual parties in Las Vegas history is about to tip off Thursday morning with the beginning of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. It’s a four-day rager that combines all things most of us love: drinking, college hoops, hanging with your buds, meeting new friends, and of course betting on all the games.

There’s a little something for everyone in Las Vegas during March Madness so let’s start out with a few suggestions to maximize your Vegas experience beginning with opening a few phone accounts. You don’t have to be a Las Vegas resident to open a phone account, you just have to be here while making the wagers.

Almost every sportsbook in town has phone wagering so before getting your party on go deposit a few bucks in each of them and do a scouting trip along the way to where you want to spend some time at during the weekend.

The waiting in lines is such a waste of time. You don’t want to get shut out. And for whatever reason, it’s in the DNA of most bettors to wait until a tipoff or kickoff is five minutes away and then yell at the book supervisor to get more tickets writers. Come on, It’s 2019. You all have smartphones, and these apps work for both Android and Apple.

The reason you want multiple accounts is that you shouldn’t have to settle with one spread offering at the book you’re watching the games at. Every half-point matters and you can have the best opportunity to gain some type of edge over the books who, by the way, win more consistently in March year over year than any other month. Don’t be that guy that pushes on the thrilling last-second shot while the guy next to you wins because he shopped around and got the extra half-point using his phone account.

CG Technology books across the strip have a great offer if signing up for a new phone account. They’ll match $68 (amount of teams in Tournament) if wagering $68 through the phones. It’s free money, don’t leave it. 

Now that you have your phone, it’s time to bet away. But don’t fall too quickly into being part of the category so many fall into that give the sportsbooks such consistent win in March. Balance your budget around the teams you like, but don’t make it harder on yourself by playing too many teams in a parlay, especially four teams or more at a book that uses a pay chart.

The books feed off your greed. The books always win in the end with parlays of four teams or more, so why contribute to their success? Straight bets or maybe two-team parlay here or there would be my advice.   

Now you need to find a place to watch the games and what I’ve found is that I get more of the total Vegas Madness experience by not parking in one book all day. Explore the city. Every book is going to be packed, as will every bar and most lounges. They’ll all have the games on with good viewing and sound presentation and you are using mobile wagering with your phone so you don’t care how long the lines are at the counter.

“We are excited to once again be hosting the ‘Get In The Game Viewing Party’ at Encore Theater, Thursday through Saturday,” said Wynn’s Castaneda.  “The viewing party is open to the public and will feature betting windows and a mobile app sign-up location.”

The strip properties are a blast to book hopscotch throughout the day. And you almost have to visit the Westgate Superbook with their free viewing party ‘Hoops Central’ that seats over 1,500 in their smoke-free showroom with giant HD screens. They also have the most extensive props offered in town and they’re available on phones as well.

The South Point on South Las Vegas Blvd. will have multiple parties going on between their bars, lounges and the sports book in addition to opening up a huge banquet room with giants screens, bet stations, food, and drinks. This place is a must visit just because it gives everyone a fair shake whether it’s odds in the sportsbook, cheap beers, or affordable restaurants not putting the squeeze on your wallet. It’s the last old school Vegas place in Vegas.

And wanting things cheap or free should be a priority because you should be using your money to make more bets rather than spend $9 for a beer. And I’m sure most of you plan on downing a few beers, so just pace yourself and mix in some water here or there. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Four straight days, games all day long. Also, ask for drink tickets each time you wager.

If willing to jump in an Uber for a short ride, any of the Station Casinos properties off the strip are great spots to watch the games. They all have amazing video and audio presentations and all offer the best drink specials such as $10 for a bucket of Miller Lites. The closest Station property to the strip is Palace Station on Sahara. The most exotic luxurious Station books are at Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Station. 

I’ll also offer some advice for the cheapest drinks on the strip beginning with the Stage Door across from Bally’s on Flamingo. It’s the ultimate dive bar, but so cool amid all these beautiful strip properties. Do a couple of $2 shots and then go back to the Cromwell or Cosmopolitan to watch the games.

Another place that offers great drink value is the Casino Royale right across the street from the Mirage. They also have a William Hill sports book inside, so put that on your itinerary when signing up for phone accounts.

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