Tag: BlackjackView All Tags
SLS Las Vegas / Openings / Casinos / Bazaar Casino / Blackjack / Video Poker / Craps / Poker Rooms / Sportsbooks / Gaming / → All Tags
SLS Las Vegas opens in a month on August 23 and this gambler gets more and more excited with each bit of news he hears about the casino. And, now I'm hearing SLS could have the most player friendly gaming on The Strip!
Last May when SLS Las Vegas (formerly the Sahara) shared that it wouldn’t open with a poker room (execs will reconsider if there is demand) or a traditional sportsbook, I was slightly concerned about the kind of gaming that might be offered. A combination sportsbook-slash-restaurant sounds like a very modern way to extract revenue as opposed to offering an amenity to guests.
Earlier this year, however, promising details were revealed about the SLS Las Vegas casino itself. I became cautiously optimistic given the tagline, "generous pay tables you love." When details were revealed on Bazaar Casino (an evenings only gaming concept), I was pleased to learn there would be some very playable blackjack games available.
Attractions / The High Roller / The Linq / Flamingo / The Quad / Blackjack / Free Vegas / → All Tags
Caesars Entertainment has taken to the casino in an effort to drum up business for the High Roller observation wheel. Last week, Flamingo, The Quad and other Caesars casinos began issuing free High Roller tickets to any player that received a suited 21 at the blackjack tables. That means any time the first two cards dealt to a player are an Ace and a 10, Jack, Queen or King in the same suit (diamonds, hearts, clubs, spades), the player would receive a coupon for a free ticket to ride. The coupons are non-transferable (in theory, not so much in application) so whoever the ticket is made out to has to use it.
Gambling / Vegas Observations / Slot Machines / Baccarat / Poker / Video Poker / Roulette / Craps / Blackjack / → All Tags
The American Gaming Association polls casino visitors every year to to see who they are and what they enjoy. One of our favorite survey questions focuses on what casino games people like to play the most. You can expect some differences than what you'd typically expect to see in Las Vegas since there are more slot machine-only casinos across the country. Here's how it breaks down:
SLS Las Vegas / Bazaar Meat / Jose Andres / Bazaar Casino / Blackjack / Roulette / Craps / Gambling / → All Tags
Gambling / Red Rock Resort / Pools / Blackjack / Pool Scenes / → All Tags
Red Rock Resort has one of the best pools you'll find anywhere in Vegas. As you can see from the HDR’d photo above, it’s more like a pool complex with pools of varying size and depth. This is not what you'd expect to find at a "locals" casino. The complex also houses a covered bar and restaurant which features a similar menu to what you’ll find inside at the Grand Cafe. Fans and misting systems almost make you forget it’s 115 degrees. Almost.
Now that it's pool season, this writer is always looking for an excuse to take his gaming outdoors. After placing bets and waiting for the Belmont Stakes to begin, some friends and I decided to head outside and watch the race at the pool bar. It’s been almost a year since I last visited the bar and I'd forgotten one of its most important features.
The Strip / Bally's / Blackjack / Gambling / → All Tags
The best days of finding good blackjack games at every casino are a thing of the past. It's possible to find good blackjack games, but now we have to hunt for them.
The blackjack game at El Cortez is as good as it gets, however, it’s a low limit game. It’s rare that you’ll walk away from a session of $5 or $10 blackjack too rich or too poor. It’s a great game for a fun time but, if the pit bosses see you on an epic hot streak, they'll either ask you to leave or close the table.
Gambling / Blackjack / Slot Machines / Venetian / Club Grazie / Rio Las Vegas / → All Tags
It could be tunnel vision, but ever since Venetian switched low limits blackjack to pay 6:5, the games are virtually empty. In fact, besides on the weekend, all of the low limits tables that aren’t craps seem eerily quiet. The high limits 3:2 blackjack games, however, have been doing brisk business as usual. Nothing has changed there.
While walking towards the beautiful sportsbook recently, this writer noticed the Dealers Angel blackjack machine. This video blackjack machine has seats for five players, but nobody was playing when I walked by. A quick check of the rules showed that this video blackjack game paid 3:2 for blackjack and that the dealer stays on 17. These are great rules for the player. Even better is that the minimum bet is $5. This video blackjack game is one of the best low limits blackjack games you’ll find anywhere in Vegas.
Downtown Vegas / Downtown Grand / High Limits / Baccarat / Blackjack / Video Poker / Slot Machines / → All Tags
The High Limits rooms at Downtown Grand have been closed for a couple of weeks for reconfiguring. This isn't a renovation, just some shuffling around. This was probably a good idea as neither room ever appeared busy. Even though the sign still says "888 Baccarat" for now, the room no longer houses baccarat. The 888 Baccarat room is now home to all of the High Limit slot machines and video poker games.
The original High Limit room is now higher limit table games with two mini pits of three tables that form a circle. One half of the six-table pit is baccarat and the other is blackjack. This semi-circle allows players to be more removed from staring at a wall, although that wall is still pretty close. The High Limit room at Downtown Grand is so small -- how small, is it? -- that a wall isn't very far away. In real estate they'd call this "cozy."
Batman Ben Affleck was asked to stop playing blackjack at the Hard Rock last week after reportedly being "too good." The alleged card-counting crime fighter was removed from a blackjack table by security. Card counting isn’t illegal, but it’s frowned upon by casinos. Casinos have the right to disallow anyone from playing their games.
The Cromwell / Casino / Blackjack / Roulette / 3 Card Poker / Video Poker / Craps / Crazy 4 Poker / Openings / Gambling / Gaming / → All Tags
The Cromwell opened its casino floor Monday afternoon and, boy, did it take us a minute to find a hidden gem! There are two $10 tables that return 3:2 when you are dealt blackjack.
Color this writer surprised that the 3:2 blackjack game we saw over the weekend is available to low limits players. The game is dealt from a shoe and the dealer stands on 17 just like the original picture shows. These are only two of the 66 table games in the casino, but they're definitely worth looking for. Since these tables aren’t in plain view, you may end up at a quiet table. We didn’t see anyone playing this morning and had to ask ourselves before we found it. You'll find them in front of the Drai's construction wall, just to the left of the High Limit nook.
The rest of the gambling is what you’d expect from a Caesars Entertainment property. Here’s a quick breakdown:
Blackjack: $10 minimum, 6:5 blackjack, dealer hits on soft 17; $10 minimum, 3:2 blackjack, dealer stands on 17
Roulette: $10 minimum, double zero
Craps: $5 minimum, 3x-4x-5x odds
Video Poker: 7-5 Jacks or Better (9-6 would be full pay if you’re not familiar with the lingo)
Gambling / Blackjack / Openings / The Cromwell / → All Tags
While 6:5 blackjack may not be the worst bet in the casino, let's face it -- we'd all prefer 3:2. And, the good news is The Cromwell, which is expected to soft open on Monday, will have it. At least, in some variation.
There isn’t a topic in gambling that evokes more emotion than 6:5 blackjack. When Venetian and Palazzo made the switch from having 3:2 blackjack for every denomination to only offering 3:2 blackjack to players betting $100 per hand, the VegasChatter community was in an uproar. A 6:5 blackjack game has a house edge that is 1.39% higher than a 3:2 blackjack game which also translates to about a 300% difference. If you're only gambling once per year, this difference may not add up to much. If you play blackjack often, however, it adds up.
Blackjack has become the most played game in the casino, in part, because of its low house advantage. Some of the best blackjack games you'll find offer a house edge around .50%. For example, the $5 3:2 blackjack game at El Cortez only has a house advantage of 0.19%. While the 1.8% house edge you'll find with 6:5 blackjack is much worse than the 3:2 blackjack game most of us love, it's still one of the better bets in the casino.