The guide below documents an easy, fast, and profitable way of going about the casino heist. There are many more different ways to do the heists, and this guide merely aims to provide sensible suggestions. By all means, adapt it to match your preferences and play style.
The big con and silent approaches seem most profitable. Aggressive can be avoided entirely, but for the sake of completeness, it is also covered below.
Written by mattiejas, with further input from threepwood, mathilya, myst, madebywitt, roofstone, aleksander, herokin, psychicwarlock.
Current version: 1.0.3 (15 December 2020).
- Have a fast airborne vehicle. The Oppressor Mk II is recommended for fairly good speed, agility, and accurate rockets. For some missions, a Pyro or Hydra can be helpful (especially if doing all the preps solo). A Buzzard will do nicely too, and can be easily called nearby through the CEO menu.
- Quite a lot of casino heist preps involve having to kill a lot of enemies on the ground. The rampage ability of the stone hatchet is your best friend to clean these areas quickly and in relative safety, especially when going solo. It is also really fun. Be sure to unlock it.
- Complete all six casino missions (the story ones, starting with “Loose Cheng”). It will give you access to the Security Intel prep, which will enable you to see all cameras on the map. The prep itself also only needs to be done once.
- Collect all 54 player cards. It allows you to permanently skip one of the big con preps, saving you time in the longer term.
Approach Independent Preparations
For all approaches, these choices work well:
- Gunman: Karl Abolaji (5%) – Micro SMG.
- Driver: Karim Denz (5%) – Sentinel Classic.
- Hacker: Paige Harris (9%). She will give you 3m25s in the vault, which allows you to collect more.
Vault Contents (1p)
Just follow Lester’s lead. Either hack the phone, or just shoot the target and pick up the phone (you can lose cops whilst heading back to the casino, Lester will not be available for losing cops). Note that you can run slightly faster inside the casino by switching to first person view. Change the security camera view until you are looking inside the vault. When Lester tells you what you have, quit the camera view, and get out of there. Stay away from any guards, as that may trigger a wanted level, even after completing the hack.
Unmarked Weapons (1p or 2p)
Choose the micro SMG loadout.
Variant 1 (clubhouse): If you have Paleto Bay, it can be useful to call a Hydra or a Pyro to save on transportation time. Kill everyone with rockets outside the clubhouse, then enter the clubhouse and eliminate everyone inside (stone hatchet works lovely). Grab the weapons and get out of there.
Variant 2 (vans): Approach the NOOSE vans, and shoot it with a rocket using your Oppressor Mk II. Sadly rockets do not lock onto the van, but it is not so hard to manually aim onto the van with your Oppressor Mk II from behind the van. If it has the weapons then destroy the van (it will take quite a few rockets). Once destroyed, two weapon crates will drop. Note that you could also steal the van and drive it back to the arcade, however that’s much slower. Pick up and deliver any weapon crates whilst losing the cops on your way back to the arcade.
Variant 3 (smugglers): Go to the checkpoint with the CEO Buzzard. Ignore the enemies and jump out of the Buzzard when you are nearing the plane. Parachute onto the plane wings (it helps to press shift for a precision landing), and press F to enter the plane. Deliver it to Sandy Shores. Note that you will get enemy helicopters as soon as you take the plane, but you can just ignore them as they do not cause much damage. If your flying aim is good, you can simply nosedive the plane directly into the checkpoint (at a not too steep angle). Be sure your landing gear is lowered. 😉
Note: There are a few more variants (barrage, cargo plane, and cement works), however these appear not to trigger with Karl Abolaji as gunman.
Getaway Vehicles (1p or 2p)
Choose the Sentinel Classic, as this is the fastest car, and has solid handling.
Variant 1 (importers): Kill everyone on location. The Sentinel Classic vehicles can take 3 rockets before blowing up, so it is fairly safe to use the Oppressor Mk II rockets to do so, or alternatively, use the stone hatchet if you want to play it safe. Then grab the vehicles and get out of there.
Variant 2 (valets): Scare the valets by pointing a gun at them, take outfits, and then grab the cars when Lester tells you. Make sure to keep your weapons hidden whilst waiting for the cars.
Variant 3 (depot): Go to the police depot. Do not kill any cops. Instead, stay out of sight whilst taking and moving the cars. It is safe to run in the depot, as the cops will not hear you. For reference, a map of the depot is shown. There is only one patrolling guard, with a patrol route as indicated. The cars are always in the same location, so it is just a matter of safely moving cars to free a route for the target car to exit the depot, moving away from the patrolling guard whenever he comes near. Make sure to stay out of sight from the cops on the outside at the entrance of the depot. The best way to avoid them is to turn immediately to the left as soon as you exit the depot.
If you want to this fast, upon first entry, you can immediately run towards the bottom right car (on the above map, it will be on your left side in-game as you enter the compound) as you enter the compound (using the recommended route) and move one car that is blocking the target car, before the guard can spot you. Then go in the target car, wait for the guard to pass, and then head to the exit. For the other car, wait until the guard patrol is leaving the bottom left corner of his route, then quickly run straight ahead towards the first blocking car, move it slightly back, run towards the second blocking car, move it out of the way into the corner, and then you should still have enough time to grab the target car and drive to the exit before the guard is back.
Variant 4 (race): To avoid a gunfight, wait at the point where the race ends (optionally, you can get a cargobob in the meantime, if you have Sandy Shores), and shoot the drivers (be sure to do this first and quickly, as they will immediately try to take their car and run off with it) along with any other enemies. I would suggest not using the stone hatchet here to make sure that you can kill the drivers quickly. Then collect the cars, with a cargobob or otherwise.
Note: With Karim Denz, these are the only variants you will get. There are a few more variants for Zach Nelson and Chester McCoy. If you have Zach Nelson, you may wish to do this prep with 4 people, since you will need to deliver 4 bikes.
Hacking Device (1p)
Variant 1 (FIB): Blast the FIB guys with rockets. Take the security pass (you will not get a wanted level). At the FIB building, park your Oppressor Mk II in front of the entrance for an easy escape. Hide your weapon when entering the building. You can run all the way, as long as you stay away from enemies (if they spot you, this mission gets a lot harder). Once upstairs, use the app and carefully search for the briefcase. Go down, and once you are in the lobby they will spot you no matter what. For an easy escape, shoot the four FIB guys as soon as you exit the elevator. Then run to your Oppressor Mk II and quickly get out of there to lose the cops (you cannot call Lester to lose them).
Variant 2 (NOOSE): Just shoot the target and grab the keycard. You’ll get cops so get out of there quickly. Go along the Palomino Freeway towards the NOOSE headquarters (the building that you need to infiltrate in the Server Farm setup of the Data Breaches heist) whilst losing the cops (you cannot call Lester). Inside, just keep away from any enemies and shoot any that are close, quietly, whilst looking for the device. You should be able to do this completely stealthy. Once you come out, you will get cops no matter what, so be sure to leave your Oppressor Mk II near the entrance/exit. Lose the cops on your way back to the arcade (you cannot call Lester).
Vault Keycards (1p)
Variant 1 (security guards): Take out the drunk guy with a gun whip to avoid attracting cops. At the motel, just burst in there and shoot the pair. Optionally, you can call Lester to lose the cops.
Variant 2 (prison): Instead of taking the prison bus and going stealthy, it is much faster to go directly to the prison with your Oppressor Mk II, or with your Kuruma if you want the extra safety. Make sure to equip some armour first. Shoot the guards on the towers near the location of the keycard first, as they have heavy snipers. Then quickly grab the keycard and get out of there. You sometimes have to climb the tower to get to the guard. Note that you cannot call Lester to lose the cops.
Patrol Routes (1p)
Doing this preparation allows you to see all guards on the map, making things a lot easier for the big con and silent & sneaky approaches. For the aggressive approach however, you can skip this.
It’s possible to do this quietly, but it’s a bit tedious. So go to the parking lot, take out all enemies with your stone hatchet if you have one (or just shoot them otherwise, but that’s a lot less fun), find the car, open the trunk, photograph the schedule. Wait to send it until you are back on your Oppressor Mk II: cops will swarm the location precisely when you send it to Lester: you’ll be quickest to lose the cops if you can exit the location as soon as you send it to Lester. On this mission, you can also call Lester to lose the cops.
Duggan Shipments (1p or 2p)
For the big con, if you are confident with not alerting and silently knocking out the guards in the heist, you can skip this preparation. However, if at any point guards get alerted inside the casino, having done this preparation may make things considerably easier.
For silent & sneaky, doing this preparation allows you to silently shoot guards from a distance, making things substantially easier. For aggressive, it is also worth doing, as it makes the fights inside the casino much easier.
Definitely use a weaponized flying vehicle for this, such as an Oppressor Mk II, Buzzard, Sea Sparrow, Hunter, Hydra, or Pyro (in order from slowest to fastest). Note that the Oppressor Mk II has only limited rockets, so if you do this solo, it may be safer to take another vehicle. Simply shoot all the targets. Shoot as many shipments as you can, to ensure enemies are very easy to kill in case you need to during the actual heist. Note that you do not have to shoot the helicopter escorts (might save a tiny bit of time), only those targets with a cross hair need to be destroyed.
It’s possible to do this on your own, although you need to be rather quick if you want to destroy all shipments. If you do not use the Oppressor Mk II (which has very accurate missiles), you may want to use the gun to destroy helicopters. It also helps to try to get the targets from the back. With the Hydra, you may want to go to hover mode when nearing targets: this helps with accuracy.
As long as you destroy at least 3 shipments (this will ensure enemies have no helmets, which is normally the main hurdle), you should be ok for the heist.
Security Intel (1p)
This is only available if you have done all six casino missions (the story ones, starting with “Loose Cheng”), so be sure to complete those first. You only have to do this once, so in all likelihood you no longer have to do this prep. This prep is straightforward, just follow the instructions.
Power Drills (1p)
This is a prep that can be skipped, although if you have time left in the vault, and you are not going for an elite run, it can be useful to have the drills handy for a slightly higher take.
Variant 1 (van): Go to the van, make it stop in the road by parking something in front of it, then grab the driver and deliver it. If you have Paleto Bay, you can also transport the van with a cargobob (although it is quite heavy to lift across the mountains).
Variant 2 (construction site): Either blast everyone with rockets and lose the cops, or take the helmet (white dot on the map at the small booth, be careful not to alert the guard that is patrolling to avoid alerting the cops. Normally, he will be walking away from you when you arrive so if you are quick to immediately grab the helmet when you arrive, you should be good. With either method, you can now pick up the drills in safety, and deliver them.
Security Passes (1p)
You only need to get the level 2 passes as these will automatically grant you level 1 access too. Doing this preparation allows you to open casino doors without having to hack (except in the vault itself), and makes things much easier for all approaches.
Variant 1 (hearse): This is very straightforward, just follow Lester’s instructions. To save time, knock out the guy at the back of the hearse, enter and exit the hearse, then fly to the morgue whilst losing the cops. Note that the game keeps telling you to steal the hearse and will not give you a checkpoint to the morgue unless you are in the hearse. However, you will enter the morgue as soon as you come nearby, even if you did not arrive in a hearse. The morgue is quite close to our beloved Vanilla Unicorn. For visual reference, the direction of the morgue from the church is shown.
If you do this mission in a group, only one person from the group has to get in and out of the hearse, and everyone else can go to the morgue directly. Inside the morgue, stay away from any guards whilst searching for the valet, and you should be fine.
Variant 2 (party): Go to the party. At the party, the controls can get glitched easily if you start dancing near a boombox. Just stay near the checkpoint at the entrance and wait for Lester to send you a picture of your target. To reduce your suspicion bar, in the meantime, you can hold down caps lock to perform an action and keep the suspicion bar down. It does not have to be a dance action: any action works. They will normally be lying down. Now just follow Lester’s instructions.
Acquire Masks (1p)
Can be skipped.
The Big Con
Vault Drills (1p or 2p)
Variant 1 (bank): Kill everyone on location with your stone hatchet, or with rockets, take the drills and lose the cops as you deliver (you cannot call Lester). You have to head in and out of the bank, and cops tend to swarm it quickly. If unsure, first clear the front of the bank with rockets, lose the cops, and then go back to collect the drills. You will get a wanted level again as soon as you are near the bank, but it will take a bit of time before cops swarm the place again.
Variant 2 (rival crew): The same strategy works here too. It is a little bit easier since cops are not as keen to swarm the place.
Entry Disguise: Gruppe Sechs Van (1p)
Go to the van location (use a Hydra or Pyro to get there quickly if you have Paleto Bay), and blast all the enemies (rockets are fine, the van is quite sturdy). Lose the cops (you can call Lester), and then take the key from the mechanic, get in the van and deliver it. Sadly the van is too heavy to be carried by a cargobob.
Entry Disguise: Gruppe Sechs Outfits (1p or 2p)
It is possible to do this with stealth but it is slightly tedious. So, go to the parking lot, and kill everyone. Stone hatchet works great here. Do not use rockets or you might destroy the outfits. Photograph the van, take an outfit, and quickly get out of there with your Oppressor Mk II before the cops swarm the place. Then go back and take the second outfit to deliver it. You can call Lester to lose the cops. The location of the outfits is inside the city so it is not too boring to do this preparation alone.
Exit Disguise: Firefighter Gear (1p)
You can skip this if you have collected all 54 casino cards, which automatically grants you the high roller exit disguise. Otherwise:
Variant 1 (arsonists): Go to the location, kill the cops (stone hatchet works lovely here), lose them (you cannot call Lester), then take the fire truck and deliver it.
Variant 2 (fire station): Similar strategy works here. With this variant, you can call Lester.
If the target is art, you only need 2 people. For gold, it is just about possible to take everything with 2 people if you are lucky with the layout and are really good with the hacks, but you might consider going with 3 people. For cash or diamonds, go with 3 people to take everything. If you’re 4 people, you should have plenty of time for drilling too.
- Entrance: security tunnel
- Entry disguise: Gruppe Sechs
- Exit: staff lobby
- Exit disguise: high roller (if you have collected 54 cards) or firefighter
- Buyer: high level
- Clean vehicle: not needed
- Gunman decoy: not needed
Once you’re inside the casino, just run towards the vault, without bumping into any enemies. Inside the vault, have one person focus on hacking the doors, whilst others immediately start grabbing money. For best coordination, the hacker can announce which locations become unlocked as doors are hacked. Make sure not to trigger the alert, and stop grabbing the loot once you have 30 seconds left. Taking art takes about 18 seconds, gold about 25 seconds, and cash/diamonds about 38 seconds.
If the target is art and you’re with 2 people, you should be able to take everything. Otherwise, if you have gold, you should be able to take everything except for 1 or 2 carts. When you have cash/diamonds, you can take everything except 2 or 3 carts. With 3 people, you should normally be able to take all gold, cash, or diamonds if you’re well coordinated and fast with hacking. If you’re with 4 people, you may wish to bring the drills for the safety deposits.
Bear in mind that the take per person will be lower with 4 people, and it is easier to get detected with 4 people. Also bear in mind that if you have a good team to pull it off, it is more profitable to go for an elite run instead of spending time on drilling, since an elite run will give 100k extra for everyone, and drilling does not nearly pay as much. The elite run on big con with the helicopter exit is not so hard to pull off with some training, even with a high level buyer in Paleto Bay.
When you have finished, run towards the stairs (not the elevator). Once you are up the stairs, guards will be on alert. Shooting any guard will bring them on full alert, so instead of shooting them, we will try to avoid them, or if really needed, knock them out, which you can do by pressing R when behind a guard. Knocking out guards can be a bit glitchy. The technique below involves knocking out just a single guard. For reference, here’s a map with the suggested route in blue, and with important guard patrol routes in red.
Do not yet go through the door. Instead, look at your minimap to check for guard 1 who will pass you. Sometimes, if you are in luck, guard 1 is not there. Once he passes you, and turns back, go out the door and take the door to the right. Wait in this area until guard 2 passes you. He will stand still for a short while giving you an opportunity to knock him out. Guard 3 patrols the corridor where the disguises can be found. Just wait until he is walking away from you, and then head into the corridor and take your disguise. From there you can run straight to the exit.
It occasionally happens that the above route is blocked. In that case, you have to follow route 2: run around the other way, past the elevator and past the camera, to approach the corridor from the other side. Obviously you will have to knock out the guard that is patrolling, and evade camera 1.
Head to the exit, and then avoid the cops whilst procuring a vehicle, either the ones you arranged for, or just some random car from the street.
One route is to go to the right once you are out from the staff lobby, and then follow along towards The Lost compound, shooting (or knocking out, if you want to try to remain undetected) any guards in your way. From there, grab any car passing by (or take your own getaway vehicles if they are parked across the road from there), and then head to the sewer tunnel to lose the cops. Follow the tunnel all the way to the highway. You lose the cops around the time you exit the tunnel onto the highway.
Another route is to go onto the Vinewood Tracks and then head right. Be sure to stick to the right side of the tracks to avoid detection. Then go towards the lower end of the tracks, jump over the fence onto the road, and then do as above.
You can also head to the Vinewood police station to grab a helicopter. Your escape will be much faster, at the expense of losing a bit of money as you will likely get shot at for a little bit. If you go for the helicopter, a fast and fairly safe route is to go left around the casino. Shoot a few enemies before crossing the highway. Then grab a car on the street there, quite close to the police station. Obviously this will alert the cops, but fortunately it will take quite a bit of time before they swarm you. Once you are in the helicopter you can lose them quickly. If the helicopter does not spawn, just go around the block again, until it spawns.
Silent & Sneaky
Steal EMP can be skipped. It is useful to speed up your escape when exiting the vault. However, it also causes enemies to go on high alert, potentially making things more difficult later. The heist is perfectly doable without it.
Infiltration Suits can also be skipped. It allows you to enter the casino via the elevator shaft. It does not make entry easier.
Nano Drones (1p or 2p)
Go to each drone location, and shoot it. You can fairly reliably shoot it with your Oppressor Mk II if you shoot a rocket as soon as it locks on. Grab the drone parts. Sometimes you may have to get off your Oppressor Mk II for the collection to trigger. Rinse and repeat. Lose the cops once you have the last one. You will not be able to call Lester.
Sometimes the drone glitches out and the components keep hanging in the air. To avoid that, shoot them once with the normal sniper: this will cause the drone to hover down to ground level. Shoot it again once it is on the ground to make it explode. Then grab it quickly with your Oppressor Mk II.
Vault Laser (1p or 2p)
Variant 1 (military shipment): Go to the location, blast everyone with rockets from a safe distance (there are simply too many enemies to take the stone hatchet for this one), and lose the cops. Then take the drills (typically inside a cargobob or on top of a crate), and deliver them.
Variant 2 (cliffford warehouse): Shoot all the enemies outside with rockets (you will not get cops). Then go inside, shoot everyone, and take the lasers.
- Entrance: staff lobby
- Exit: staff lobby
- Buyer: high level
- Clean vehicle: not needed
- Gunman decoy: not needed
Once you’re inside the casino, do not walk through the metal detectors yet. First kill any guards at the reception (not the guards to the left, as there is a camera there that might see the bodies). Once the guards at the reception are gone, use your taser on the metal detector and go through. Shoot the two guards in the hallway to the right of the security room. Now there are two possibilities: either you can enter the security room from one of the doors in the right hand side hallway (route 1 on the map), or if that is blocked, you have to enter via the reception door (route 2 on the map).
In case of the reception door, destroy the camera at the entrance (you can destroy a limited number, and destroying this one gives you more time for the next part), shoot the guards to the left of the security room if any (they are not always there, however they can look inside the security room through a door so it is best to get rid of them), and finally shoot any guards inside the security room from through the door. Then enter the security room.
In case of the right hand side hallway, shoot the guards through the security door, then enter but be careful of the patrolling guard near the elevator: he can see through the door between the security room and the elevator hallway. So only go through once he is not looking through the door.
From the security room, stay behind the security glass so that the patrolling guard does not see you. A first method is to wait until the guard moves away, and shoot him from the door when he is at his furthest point from you just past the camera. If he is past the double doors, the camera should not see the body. A second method is to go through the door once the camera is turned away as soon as the guard moves to the left towards the elevator. However, wait at the elevator, and when he comes back, shoot the guard. Do not run or he may notice you. Another method is to wait until the guard is walking away and the camera is turned away. Then quickly run towards the staircase. In any case, do not take the elevator, or you will get spotted.
Unlock the staircase door with your keycard. Run downstairs but be aware of a guard that comes up around the second corner. Shoot him quickly. At the next corner, disable the camera.
Downstairs, go out and shoot the two guards in the back. Then move forward towards the vault but go back as soon as you are near the camera. This triggers a guard to start walking towards you, taking either the top or the bottom hallway, as indicated on the map. Go all the way back and take him out once he is past the camera. Now go forward again towards the vault reception. Evade the camera, and safely shoot as many guards as possible. The more you shoot now, the fewer you have on your exit. Evade the camera near the vault entrance.
Now go to the vault, and do your thing (also see the big con guide).
When you have finished, go towards the stairs (not the elevator), shooting any enemies left. Again be careful with the cameras. If you killed everyone in the vault reception earlier, you should only have a single guard at the reception which you can immediately shoot, and two guards walking up the left corridor. Once you killed the reception guard, run immediately to the stairs (evade the cameras), and unlock the staircase door. If you are quick enough, you do not have to bother with the two patrolling guards at all.
Once you are up the stairs, follow the big con guide, with the added benefit that you can silently shoot guards instead of knocking them out, and that you do not have an exit disguise.
Be careful at the reception to disable camera 3, and to avoid any guards near the metal detector. You do not have to disable the metal detector (it will trigger but it is of no consequence).
Note that the aggressive approach is less profitable compared to the big con and silent & sneaky. It is still fun to do, and so it is covered here as well.
Reinforced Armor can be skipped, especially if you have completed Duggan Shipments, which is recommended for aggressive anyway.
Tunnel Boring Machine can also be skipped. It allows a faster entry into the vault, but it makes it harder to get an elite run since you are less likely to get the required number of headshots.
Breaching Charges (1p or 2p)
Variant 1 (rednecks): Head to the location, blast everyone, grab the charges, and head back.
Variant 2 (warehouse): The same simple strategy works here too.
Vault Explosives (1p or 2p)
To save some time, have the scuba gear as a personal outfit, and equip it before starting the mission. Head to the checkpoint and shoot everyone on location. The next part is tricky, as you have to dive down to grab the explosives, whilst helicopters try to shoot you in the water. When coming up, you are very vulnerable to getting shot.
One method is to use the Stromberg to go underwater. You will be relatively well protected from the shooting helicopters. This works well solo, and you do not need scuba gear for this.
A second method, which works great if you are with two people, is to take a Seabreeze or Sea Sparrow on the water near the dive, and then dive down in your scuba gear to get the explosives. Once both players have the explosives, both dive up simultaneously towards the Seabreeze or Sea Sparrow, and then quickly get in and get out of there. Be sure to have full health and ammo, and to be ready to equip some snacks if you get badly hit on your way up. If you have a 3rd person on your team, have them shoot the helicopters.
You will have less time in the vault with this approach, so you may need more hands compared to the other two approaches. If the target is art, you need 3 people to get everything. For gold, cash, or diamonds, 4 people is recommended.
The choice between staff lobby and main door depends on whether you want to go for an elite run. For elite runs, it’s useful to have at least one of the entrance or exit be the main door, as it allows you to get more headshots. If you do not care for elite, just go via the staff lobby (or sewers), as that gives you a shorter route to the vault.
- Entrance: staff lobby or main door (or sewers if you have the boring machine)
- Exit: staff lobby or main door
- Buyer: high level
- Clean vehicle: not needed
- Gunman decoy: not needed
Shoot your way through the enemies. See the big con guide for how to approach the vault itself. Note that you will have less time here compared to the other two approaches.
Shoot your way through the enemies. See the big con guide for potential exit routes.
- 1.0 (17 August 2020) – first public release
- 1.0.1 (28 August 2020) – added aggressive approach, minor corrections
- 1.0.2 (29 August 2020) – minor edit to vault explosives prep (suggested by threepwood); minor edit to aggressive approach settings (suggested by mathilya); other minor edits
- 1.0.3 (15 December 2020) – minor edits, mention diamonds