You might think that a trip to Las Vegas has more to do with staring into the neon glow of slot machines or trying to conjure your inner Rain Man to see if you can beat the odds at the Blackjack table, but the fact is that iPhones have become so ubiquitous that even the most die-hard gamblers in Vegas take a break now and then to play with something on their iPhone or snap a photo of that Michael Jackson impersonator dancing in place on The Strip.
There’s a selection of iPhone apps for Las Vegas listed below – some are overall travel guides to the city, some are casino-specific, and some are tools you’ll want to study before you get to Sin City.
Best iPhone Apps for Las Vegas Travel & Fun
Las Vegas iPhone Travel Apps
- Lonely Planet Las Vegas – Anyone who plans to spend their time in Las Vegas beyond the buffet line and casino floor should pick up a good guidebook. In some cities, it’s easy to get away with just wandering to find the good stuff. Las Vegas? It’s a bit harder. The Lonely Planet Las Vegas app ($15.99) will help you get past the hucksters to the best of Las Vegas.
- DK Top 10 Las Vegas – Looking for something a bit less intensive than an LP guidebook, but more than just a pamphlet you’d pick up at your hotel’s front desk? The DK Top 10 Las Vegas app ($7.99) is what you’re looking for. It’s not a top 10 list for the whole city, but it is highlights of Las Vegas instead of a comprehensive guidebook.
- Vegas Mate – Looking for the best-selling Vegas app? Look no further than Vegas Mate ($1.99 on sale right now). This app is crammed with information on nearly 500 listings for places to eat and things to do in Las Vegas, on and off The Strip, as well as hotel information. There’s a map included, and if you’re using the GPS on your phone the app will tell you where you are.
- Vegas Way – Frequent travelers may be familiar with the NYC Way app; Vegas Way ($1.99) is made by the same people and is sort of a collection of apps within an app. There are categories for weather, spas, wedding info, golf, shopping, night life, shows, events, and a host of others. The listings don’t have ratings or recommendations, but if you’d rather be the judge then that should work for you.
- Las Vegas At a Glance – The Las Vegas At a Glance app ($4.99) has a few major categories that are useful to visitors (eating, shopping, lodging, nightlife, things to see, & “history & culture”), and for each listing under each category there’s basic information available as well as a map pinpointing its location. This app doesn’t have ratings or recommendations, but it’s a decent list of points of interest and useful info. (There’s a free lite version to test before you buy.)
- Casino/Resort Apps – Some of the casinos have their own apps that you might want to check out if you’re staying in one of them. There’s the Caesars Palace Las Vegas app (FREE) for guests at Caesars, which is handy for trip planning – you can check out menus for the restaurants at Caesars, look at the different kinds of rooms, and learn your way around with the resort map. The apps for Mandalay Bay (FREE) and the MGM Grand (FREE) are a little more full-service, so even more worthwhile to download. In addition to the basics (resort maps and restaurant menus), you can use these apps to reserve a table at resort restaurants, get last minute tickets to a show, book a tee time at one of four area golf courses, and even order room service. Staying in a different resort? Search for that resort’s name in the app store to see if they’ve come out with an app (and if I’ve missed some here, please let me know in the comments below).
- Las Vegas Street Map Lite – Even if you’re US-based and you don’t have to worry about roaming charges on your iPhone during your Vegas visit, this is a city that attracts people from all over the world – so having access to maps on your phone that don’t require being connected to a cell network or WiFi is a very good thing. The Las Vegas Street Map ($1.99) is just that – a map that works with no connections whatsoever. (There’s a free lite version you can test before you buy.)
- Las Vegas Genius Map – Another map that works completely offline is the Las Vegas Genius Map ($0.99); it’s somewhere between the “lite” version of the map listed above and the full $1.99 version in that it will let you bookmark certain locations (the “lite” version of the above map won’t), but it’s half the price of the full version of the map listed above. You can also share those bookmarks with people you’re traveling with so they can find you, and if you turn on your iPhone’s network functions you get a pinpoint on the map of where you are.
- Las Vegas Walking Tours – You’ve gotta get away from the craps table at some point, right? So when you’re ready to get outside and remind yourself what air smells like, if you’ve got the Las Vegas Walking Tours app ($4.99) you’ll have a dozen walking tours of the city in your pocket. The GPS function on your iPhone means you won’t stray off-course, and there’s information about each point of interest on each tour. (There’s a free lite version you can test before you buy.)
- Cab Meter USA – As the name suggests, this isn’t a Vegas-specific app – but because taking taxis is pretty much a way of life for visitors in Las Vegas, the Cab Meter USA app ($0.99) might just pay for itself on your way from the airport to your hotel. The app gives you estimates for what a particular fare should cost from point to point in a few US cities, including Vegas (and reviews say it’s surprisingly accurate). Note that it doesn’t take traffic into account.
- VelvetRope – If the Vegas nightlife is even part of the reason you’re going for a visit, then download the VelvetRope app (FREE). Several night clubs in Las Vegas have partnered with the folks behind this app so that you can check out what’s going on at various venues around town and reserve a table. Clubs included so far are: Cathouse, Christian Audigier, Coyote Ugly, LAX, Noir Bar, PURE, & Voodoo Lounge.
- Vegas Reality – If you’ve got an iPhone 3G, then you might be interested in the first augmented reality app for Vegas: Vegas Reality (FREE). Just by viewing the city through your phone’s camera, you’ll get information about what’s around you. Note that this app was developed by the MGM Mirage, so you’ll get the most detailed information about MGM properties.
- Entertainment of Las Vegas – Another MGM-developed app is Entertainment of Las Vegas (FREE), which lets you look up show times, directions, and video previews for any of the shows at MGM properties, as well as nightclubs and attractions at the same casino hotels. The app also lets you buy show tickets.
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Fun Las Vegas iPhone Apps
- Card Counter – You won’t be surprised to know that whipping out your iPhone when you’re sitting at a table gambling isn’t exactly allowed. But if you’re interested in learning the techniques card counters use to increase their odds in Vegas, then the Card Counter app ($2.99) might be a good one to download well before your trip. It’s part lesson and part game, so even if you don’t master the art of card counting you might still have fun. There’s also a free app called Vegas Card Counter (FREE) that has a few levels of difficulty to choose from.
- 25 Popular Card Games & How to Play Them – Obviously if you’re new to all the card games they play in Vegas, downloading the reference app 25 Popular Card Game & How to Play Them ($2.99) would be something you’d want to do long before you hop on the plane. This isn’t a game, but it’s full of information and terminology on 25 different card games.
- How to Play Poker & Other Card Games – Looking for a game-based app to help you learn how to play cards rather than just read a book about it? Then the How to Play Poker & Other Card Games app ($1.99) might be for you. It has how-to videos and instructions to play several different card games, and although they’re all positioned as “drinking” card games you can also just learn the basics before you start adding alcohol to the mix.
- Poker Success – The Poker Success app ($5.99) is a reference guide that focuses solely on Texas Hold’em Poker, so if that’s the only game you want to master then this might be the app for you. It includes chapters designed to help you keep your “tells” in check, figure out the odds of each hand, and read opponents.
- Poker Odds Teacher – For those who know how to play poker but are interested in understanding the odds rather than just trying to memorize the odds for various situations, then the Poker Odds Teacher ($0.99) is worth checking out. The app says it’ll teach you how to estimate the odds for whatever poker hand you’re dealt, in real-time in your head.
- Craps University – Not interested in the card games? Then perhaps a degree from Craps University ($2.99) is for you. This app is a game that functions as a teaching tool to help you understand the basics of how to play craps as well as how to calculate and increase your odds of winning.