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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 arenít in plain view, you may end up at a quiet table. We didnít 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 youíd expect from a Caesars Entertainment property. Hereís 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 youíre 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 isnít 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.
SLS Las Vegas / Sportsbooks / William Hill / Blackjack / Video Poker / Slot Machines / Baccarat / sbe / Umami Burger / Beer Gardens / Gambling / Gaming / → All Tags
SLS Las Vegas has revamped their website and revealed some interesting facts about their casino that have us excited for its opening at the end of summer.
Last year, we relayed Sam Nazarian's vision for the SLS sportsbook. He mentioned that it would be operated by an outside company, later revealed as William Hill. He also said that it wouldnít be a traditional sportsbook, rather it would be a combination sportsbook and bar/restaurant. A place to grab a beer and a burger while watching the game you just bet on. Now, we know the sportsbook will be attached to Umami Burger and a beer garden. Add in some 50 TVs and the concept sounds great. We canít wait to see it in action!
One of the many great and strange things about living in Nevada, and specifically Las Vegas, is that you can gamble just about everywhere you turn. Get a carwash and you can play video poker while you wait. Head to a drugstore or supermarket and get the itch to gamble? You can take a break and play some slots. If youíre just grabbing a bite or a drink somewhere, chances are you can sidle up to the bar and gamble, too. If youíre just driving around town, youíll inevitably pass one of many tiny casinos like the Dottyís across the street from In n Out Burger on Sahara.
All of the gambling you see in Nevada takes a little getting used to, but after a while you realize that gamblers get the urge to play just about anywhere.†At least Nevadans arenít gambling while dropping the kids off at the pool like 42% of online gamblers do in New Jersey. (At least, we don't think...) This is different than other states that have legalized all types of online gambling. In New Jersey, you can play online blackjack or slots anywhere, but you can only gamble at a land-based casino in one town (Atlantic City).†Since gambling is so ubiquitous in Nevada, online gambling has been limited to just poker.
Vegas Observations / The Cosmopolitan / Gambling / Video Poker / Crazy 4 Poker / Blackjack / Book and Stage / Queue Bar / Chandelier Bar / Bond Bar / → All Tags
Ever since it opened in December of 2010, The Cosmopolitan has been known for not getting gamblers. Despite having beautiful hotel rooms and suites, great fried chicken (among other excellent dining options) and being home to a nightclub that brings in some of the most money in the country, the Cosmo has continued to lose revenue. That's slowly changing as losses for the Cosmopolitan have lessened over the past year and a new focus on gamblers has begun. In fact, casino revenues increased 25% in 2013 from 2012.
Casino changes at Cosmopolitan havenít been subtle. When you enter the resort from The Strip at night, youíre smashed in the face with the lights, a DJ and dancing girls at the†new(ish) Bond gambling pit. Thereís nothing wrong with another party pit on The Strip (besides the 6:5 blackjack). As you walk deeper into the casino, thereís gambling everywhere now. The once serene Chandelier Bar now has video poker. Even Queue Bar has been morphed into a gambling lounge with Pai Gow Poker and a few other table games. When you hop across the casino, youíll be greeted by a couple hologram dealers throwing hands of (virtual) cards in the air and somehow spinning a detached roulette wheel.
Gambling / Venetian / Palazzo / Blackjack / Wynn / Encore / Casino Royale / → All Tags
Poof! Some of the best and affordable blackjack on the Vegas Strip is gone!
Last week, Venetian and Palazzo changed the payouts for most of their blackjack†games under $100. The majority of blackjack games now pay 6:5 for blackjack instead of 3:2. This affects about 50 blackjack games between the two casinos. The house advantage on a 6:5 blackjack game is 1.39% higher than a 3:2 blackjack game. That may not seem like a lot on the surface, but it adds up over time.
Before March Madness, Venetian and Palazzo had some of the best blackjack games you could find on the Vegas Strip for under $25. Today, theyíre no better than most. Youíll still find a few games that pay 3:2 for blackjack at each casino. There are a few double deck, Super Fun 21 and video blackjack games under $100 that pay 3:2 for blackjack, but those are in the minority.
Interblock / Gambling / Holograms / Technology / The Quad / The Cosmopolitan / MGM Grand / Rio / Blackjack / Baccarat / Roulette / Millennials / → All Tags
You may not be familiar with Interblock, but thatís going to change.
Interblock creates multi-player casino games that allow many to gamble together. You may have seen Rapid Roulette, Rapid Craps and video blackjack from other companies, but Interblock takes those ideas to another level. In the past weeks, theyíve introduced hologram gaming†at The Quad and The Cosmopolitan.
The fella above is Hans. Heís a sweetheart of a dealer at one of this writer's favorite low-rolling casinos. Late last year while waiting for some friends, another friend and I decided to play a little blackjack. Hans was beating me up pretty badly so I took a short break and let him crush the dreams of the other people at the table while remaining in my seat. While still seated, I decided to whip out the iPhone and catch up with email, tweets and friends on Facebook. It was cool. Hans didnít seem to mind. Neither did the pit boss. We were all chatting and having a good time while he busted up other players.
After leaving the table it hit me that I wasnít asked to stop using my mobile phone while others were playing blackjack. Back in the day, dealers and pit bosses would scold or reprimand someone using a mobile phone at the tables like a second grader. More recently, dealers and pit bosses would ask -- nicely -- if guests could step away from the table or put the phone away. Since my experience, I've noticed that dealers and pit bosses all around Vegas are easing up on the scolding. Gentle requests are still made sometimes, but not as often as the past. This has been my personal experience at casinos all over Vegas in the past few months.
Vegas Facts / Blackjack / 3 Card Poker / Baccarat / Sports Betting / Downtown Vegas / Downtown / Gambling / The Strip / → All Tags
Itís no secret we love seeing new data on both gambling and Las Vegas. When you put the two together thereís something magical. The UNLV Center for Gaming Research recently released a paper detailing data from 2013 about gaming win, hold percentage, and handle (total amount bet) for casinos on the Vegas Strip. Whatís most interesting isnít the amounts bet or which games people played most, but how often casinos actually won from players. Each game has a built-in house edge so, theoretically, thatís how much the casino should win. Unfortunately, for the majority of gamblers thatís not the case in a big way.
Casinos won 33.03% of the money wagered in 3 Card Poker. Depending on the casino played, rules and bets made the house edge for 3 Card Poker somewhere between 4% and 7%. This is a big disparity. On the other side of the fence, casinos only win 11.36% of the money played in blackjack. This includes all types of blackjack games (blackjack switch), side bets (lucky ladies) and rules (6:5 for blackjack). Casinos still win less from blackjack than most other games.
The Cosmopolitan / Drinking / Gambling / Blackjack / Video Poker / Bond / Vegas Changes / → All Tags
There was a day where it could be said that the Cosmopolitan didnít get gamblers. It may be still be true that they donít get gamblers, but itís no secret the Cosmo has been trying to acquire gamblers. Over the past year, theyíve been making small tweaks to their casino marketing to draw in more gamblers to supplement their bottom line. One of the more drastic changes to the casino is with Bond Bar.
The Cosmo has copious bars throughout the property making it a favorite place for many to stop, relax and grab a drink. However, gamblers (like this guy) would drop $10 for a drink and head to a casino elsewhere. Thatís no longer necessary as Bond has gone from being just a loud Strip-side bar to being a loud Strip-side bar with video poker and table games.
Casinos / Blackjack / Sportsbooks / Horse Racing / 3 Card Poker / Gambling / → All Tags
When we think about casinos, we imagine thereís no way they can possibly lose money. The casino has a profit margin built into every game they offer. There may be less than a 1% advantage, but thereís still money coming their way. Itís a little surprising when you read the headline ďNevada Casinos Post Fifth Straight Fiscal Year Net LossĒ. However, this †article takes all revenue into account, not just the casino portion of the hotels in the state of Nevada. Seeing stories like this only make us more curious about how the numbers actually work. Luckily, UNLVís Center For Gaming Research publishes a lot of this information.
Since this is VegasChatter and not NevadaChatter, weíll look at Vegas Strip hotel data. Itís time for fun with numbers!