While some people spend their nights in Las Vegas hunting for a black 26, others are happy just to play a few slots before calling it a night – and either player could hit it big. Las Vegas is a city of extremes -- the biggest hotels, the most extravagant meals, the over-the-top nightlife — and you do not have to be a gambler in order to appreciate the diversity and energy pulsing the city’s veins.

The four-mile stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip and a small section of downtown known as Fremont Street can seem like one large 24-hour party seeped in sensory overload. But it can also be the perfect place for a romantic getaway, a bachelorette party or a weekend with the family -- and that is perhaps Las Vegas’ biggest strength; there really is something for everybody. There are dozens of resorts in Nevada’s Sin City, and while they almost all offer gambling, dining and entertainment options, each has a personality of its own. The question is not if you will find one to suit your tastes but which one will keep you coming back for more.

Best for first-time gamblers
A bet is a bet, no matter where you put down your money, so there is no casino that goes easy on first-time gamblers. But if you are new to the casino floor, it is a good idea to learn the ins and outs of the game before sitting down with more experienced players. The Golden Nugget, located off the Strip in downtown Las Vegas, offers free daily gaming lessons for several table games, including craps, three-card poker, pai gow (a Chinese gambling game), roulette and more. Golden Nugget, like many downtown casinos, is older than many of the properties found on the Strip, but thanks to recent renovations the resort is now relatively classy and still affordable. Though you will not find any celebrity chefs or nightclubs here, the resort’s pool (known as the Tank) is noteworthy for its three-story waterslide and being home to entertainer Gordie Brown’s popular show.

Best for slots
Long gone are the days of dropping quarters into slot machines. It is now commonplace to play the slots using debit-like tickets and by pressing buttons instead of pulling levers. But El Cortez is one of the few places left in the city where old school slots still stand and coins are welcome. El Cortez is also an older downtown casino, with lower ceilings and a floor plan that is not as open as the newer resorts, though it too has undergone multi-million dollar renovations in recent years to update its hotel rooms. If you are looking for a large variety of slot machines, head to Mandalay Bay, which has more than 2,000 of them on its casino floor, ranging from video poker (a computerized version of five-card draw poker) to progressive slots (a group of slot machines linked together to create a progressive jackpot based on a percentage of all the money played into all of the linked machines).

Best sports book
Just about every casino has a sports book (a designated area within the casino where bets can be made on athletic events), but not all sports books are the same. Some are smoky and cramped while others are impressively high class. With more than 100 high definition televisions, a nine-by-16ft main television, plush stadium seating and an outdoor patio, Lagasse’s Stadium in the Palazzo Las Vegas on the Strip offers more than just a place to watch the Kentucky Derby or the Superbowl. The food is also superb; celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse cooks up his signature Creole- and Cajun-inspired dishes such as po boys sandwiches, but even the chicken wings and burgers have a refined flair.

Best interior decor
Even if you are not a gambler, it is worth wandering through Las Vegas’ massive casino resorts just to look at the decor. Many of the properties have some sort of theme — Excalibur is known for its medieval theme and Luxor is reminiscent of ancient Egypt — but the one that most embodies its alter ego is the Paris Las Vegas, centrally located on the east side of the Strip. Street signs lead the way to Le Village Buffet, which features cuisine from five French regions, and La Creperie, which serves a large selection of sweet and savoury crepes; rich red fabrics outfit much of the furniture; and cobblestone pathways pave the way to the resort’s top attractions, including the Chateau Nightclub and Gardens, known for its outdoor terraces. For a bird’s-eye view of the Strip, travel to the Eiffel Tower’s observation deck, which stands 460ft above Las Vegas Boulevard.

Best haute cuisine
Squeezed between New York City and Los Angeles – both geographically and metaphorically --, Las Vegas has made a name for itself when it comes to dining. Although there are award-winning restaurant scattered up and down the Strip, a concentration of particularly good restaurants can be found at Caesars Palace, which has a Roman Empire theme complete with sprawling gardens and grand statues located throughout the property. Though there are some restaurants located in the casino areas, the vast majority can be found in the hotel’s Forum Shops. Even if you are not a shopper, the high ceilings and ornate decor are worth noticing on your way to dinner. Restaurant Guy Savoy, run by the celebrity chef of the same name, offers upscale French dining with dishes such as roasted veal chop with black truffle potato puree and roasted turbot in basil crust with fresh polenta,  and Bobby Flay of Food Network fame shows off his skills at Mesa Grill, which features Mexican and Southwestern fare, such as mango and spice-crusted tuna steak and green chile cioppino (a seafood stew). If you want to dine at these popular restaurants, like many others in Las Vegas, make a reservation in advance, especially on weekends and holidays.

Best for families
Though Sin City has a gaming reputation, it has become a destination more suited to non-gamblers — and especially families — over the past couple of decades. Shows, shopping and other attractions are nearly as abundant as slot machines and poker tables, and, in fact, many people visit Las Vegas without ever spending time on the casino floor. For those travelling with young children, Circus Circus, located on the north end of the Strip, is the ideal casino resort. The property’s Adventuredome is the premier attraction, with an indoor amusement park featuring five acres of rides. A midway with more than 200 classic and new carnival games and free circus performances on the hour are also popular.

Best for luxury and nightlife
Though it has an extensive gaming area, the Bellagio, located mid-Strip on the west side of Las Vegas Boulevard, is also good for non-gamblers with its 16 famous fountains that shoot nearly 500ft into the air and dance to music every evening; an enclosed conservatory and botanical garden; and a fine arts gallery. The Bellagio is known for its opulence and superb customer service, and many people check in for a romantic weekend or luxurious getaway.

For those who want to party all night, there is no better place to sport the little black dress than Cosmopolitan, the newest resort in Las Vegas (located mid-Strip next to the Bellagio).  The resort’s Marquee nightclub is known for its multi-million dollar sound stage and features popular DJs from around the world. Cosmopolitan also has several lounges and bars including the Chandelier, a three-story structure featuring unique lounge experiences enclosed within one of the largest chandeliers in the world.