There are a multitude of Las Vegas-specific iPhone apps, and all focus on the neon Mecca’s attractions, restaurants, hotels, shows and casinos. But with a wide range of price points (free to several dollars) choosing the perfect apps to pair with your vacation can be a gamble. But don’t worry; you only need one app to have a great time.
The ultimate app for Vegas information is Vegas Mate ($4.99). It is pricier than other apps, but it’s ease of use and comprehensive information makes it worth the buy. Using the iPhone’s GPS, Vegas Mate finds hotels, food and activities. In addition to ratings, comments and reviews, users will find information including dress code and dark days for shows and clubs. The app also displays if a restaurant is currently open while you’re viewing in list format. Menus can be viewed if available and a map opens if you aren’t familiar with the area.
With the availability of Vegas Mate, iGoGuide Las Vegas (99 cents) and Las Vegas GPS Map and Guide ($2.99) pale in comparison. Rather than downloading a couple sub-par apps, spend the extra money and stick with Vegas Mate.
Serious poker players (not me) will want to pack Pokerzig ($2.99) for their trip. This app locates the closest live poker tournament based on your location to help plan your casino-hopping schedule. The app includes important details such as buy-in, length, number of players and average payout. It also includes major tournament data for the entire U.S. as well as smaller tournaments in California and Nevada.
Vegas has been on high alert for card counting apps that can be used in stealth mode—the highly controversial app, A Blackjack Card Counter, has already been removed from the App Store. The use of any sort of device is illegal at a table, but the technique itself isn’t. I walked away from the Blackjack table a winner through pure dumb luck, but Card Counter ($2.99), Card Counting (99 cents) and iCount Pro (99 cents) can each give you the knowledge on how to beat the house; just don’t blame me if you get the boot.
The weather is already turning cold in Vegas, so if you’re waiting to head to the desert until spring, you can still simulate a casino experience with Vegas Slots ($1.99). This app features five machines, and is reminiscent of a real one-armed bandit with reel motion blur and bounce. No, you won’t win any money but you usually don’t in Vegas either.