Tag: blackjackView All Tags
Gambling / Blackjack / Roulette / Baccarat / Craps / Vegas Observations / → All Tags
The saying "everything old is new again" doesn't always hold true… especially in Las Vegas. Our Vegas Strip is constantly changing and downtown Vegas is being rebuilt from being its Old Vegas beginnings. And, gaming is no different.
Back in 1985, 77% of table games on the casino floor were blackjack. In 2012, that number has changed drastically with only 51% of table games on the casino floor being blackjack. Blackjack was once the darling of the casino, but it's taken a backseat to baccarat recently. Since 2009, not only has the amount played at baccarat increased, but the amount of money lost by players has incrementally increased as well.
Gambling / Luxor / Casino Royale / Stratosphere / Blackjack / OpenThread / → All Tags
Recently, we looked at some low roller gaming options on The Strip in light of the closing of Bill's Gambling Hall and Saloon. While cheap blackjack can be found from one end of The Strip (Stratosphere) to the other (Luxor), they may not come with the best odds.
More often then not, if you play $5 blackjack on The Strip, you will encounter a game that pays 6:5 for blackjack and has a house advantage of about 1.8%. If you play a $5 blackjack game, like the game at Casino Royale, that pays 3:2 for blackjack the house advantage is about .44%. The 1.4% difference may not seem like a lot, but it's almost 5 times more of a house advantage for the casino.
Gambling is funny.
The majority of players believe old wives tales and myths more than they believe the actual math of the games they're playing. Myths can be argued, but actual statistics can't. Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games and it seems like it has the most myths about it. Players recount these inaccurate tales almost every time we sit down to play. It's mathematical fact that the players next to us have little, if any, effect on the results of playing blackjack; however, we can't help but hate when the person next next to us makes the wrong play.
Generally, when sitting at a lower limits table, we'll find a less educated player next to us. That's fine. Low limits are a great way to get into the game and learn how to play. New blackjack players generally don't know the correct strategy on how to play. The players and dealers will often offer friendly advice, for better or worse. Sometimes, the facts and what we see in front of us don't always connect. That's human nature. There is one way to avoid this frustrating situation. Step up to higher limits.
Gambling / Survival Strategies / Budget Vegas / Luxor / Excalibur / New York-New York / Bally's / Harrah's / Treasure Island / Circus Circus / Riviera / Stratosphere / Aria / The Cosmopolitan / Craps / Blackjack / Roulette / → All Tags
The closure of Bill's Gambling Hall makes Casino Royale one of the last low roller casinos remaining on The Strip. Whether you want $1 beer or you're in the mood for a Cinnabon or if you just want to play $5 craps, Casino Royale has it all. While many casinos on The Strip offer poor odds for most casino games, Casino Royale has some of the best inexpensive gaming. That said, they're not the only place you can gamble for cheap, nowadays.
You won't find low roller limits on The Strip at newer casinos like Aria or Cosmopolitan, but you will find $5 and $10 blackjack at a variety of other casinos up and down The Strip. Availability on these games depend on the day and time you visit, but $5 or $10 blackjack can be had at Luxor, Excalibur, New York-New York, Bally's, Harrah's, Treasure Island, Circus Circus, Riviera and the Stratosphere.
Comps / Players Clubs / Blackjack / Gambling / → All Tags
We all want free stuff at the casino. Just sitting at a blackjack table, you'll be able to get a free drink and maybe even a free smoke. Since machines are the most accurate at tracking play, you may even earn enough players club points to get a free sandwich. These perks, along with discounted hotel rooms, are the little things that keep the low to medium rollers happy.
In Vegas, if you're playing blackjack for less than $25 a hand, don't expect much more than a free drink or smoke. Most Vegas Strip casinos will not rate your play unless you are playing green ($25) chips. Some pit bosses will tell you this when you place your first bet with red ($5) chips and some won't. The pit bosses that don't say anything are assuming you don't know or don't care and would rather not take the chance of belittling your play.
With a little time off recently, this chatterer played a lot of low ($5) to mid ($15) level blackjack. Generally, we know that the lower the limits, the less knowledgable the blackjack player will be with "the rules" of playing blackjack correctly. Speaking mathematically, another player's actions won't have an effect on the table but the psychology of most players is that the cards will be bad every time someone plays wrong. On this recent trip to various properties, we encountered three types of players:
Riviera / Gambling / Vegas Observations / Craps / Blackjack / → All Tags
This VegasChatter writer is gearing up for another Las Vegas trip in a couple weeks, and that means another to-do list. So while writing down everything we wanted to make sure to see and do, we ran across something completely unexpected. We wrote on our list to make sure to swing by the Riviera for some gambling. Did we just say Riviera? We sure did.
Riviera has been in the news a lot recently trying to market their property to gamblers. It's an intriguing strategy and completely counter to what every other Las Vegas property seems to be doing. While the big companies are marketing their new clubs, rooms and restaurants, Riviera is making sure you know about their new casino. The big push right now from the Riviera is that they want to provide the best gambling odds of anywhere on The Strip. They have a single-zero roulette wheel, 1000x odds on craps, and single-deck blackjack that pays 3-2.
Blackjack / Craps / Video Poker / Strategy / Gambling / Tips / → All Tags
We've come to find a balance in our gambling that we're comfortable with. When we first began casino gambling, we exclusively played table games -- craps and blackjack. Today, we mix our gambling up between table games, slots and video poker with slots being the least played by a lot. Not only is this the most fun, but it gives us flexibility and a nice variety in our gambling day.
We try not to get too wrapped up in the odds of gambling, but we like to know if we're playing games with comparable odds. The odds only matter so much, it doesn't stop us from playing fun penny slots that only return approximately 90% of what gets played. We're often asked by our table gaming friends, why bother with video poker? It's a machine. It can't have the same kind of odds as blackjack or craps. We thought the same thing, once upon a time.
In our gambling travels and research, we've found that video poker can actually have better odds for the player than any game in the casino. Of course, that comes with knowing what games to play and where to play them.
Roulette / Blackjack / 3 Card Poker / Bonus Bets / Gambling / M Resort / Station Casinos / → All Tags
M Resort introduced a twist on roulette to American gamblers last week with the addition of Double Action Roulette. This game was previously available to players in Europe earlier this year, but just made its debut in America. What makes Double Action Roulette unique is the addition of a second number ring on the wheel (providing an inner and outer number ring). This second ring rotates in the opposite direction to the main ring. With the new ring comes more betting options.
The Double Action Roulette table layout consists of two identical betting areas. Each area is for traditional roulette bets for either respective wheel. Where the game diverts from traditional roulette betting is that there is also a side bet available. When the winning number is lined up on both rings, players who have made the corresponding side bet are paid at 1200-to-1.
We're always skeptical when a casino introduces a twist on a game since the new betting options are usually bad for the player. Double Action Roulette is no different. M Resort's website shows this as a single zero roulette game so odds on the wheel bets have a typical house edge of 2.7%, where things change is the bonus bet. The Double Action pays 1200-1, but it holds an enormous house edge of 12.27%.
While the house edge on that side bet is large it could be worse. The actual odds of hitting that bet are 1369-1 (thanks twitter). M Resorts paying 1200-1 is much closer to the actual odds than Caesars 3 Card Poker Bonus, which pays $1 million on a 20,000,000-1 bet.
The odds in this game could be much worse, but the odds may not be the worst part of this game. Having the second wheel encourages doubling the amount we gamble. Having the bonus bet encourages yet another bet be placed. If we're betting 23 to come out once on each wheel at 35-1 odds, why not throw another dollar on the side bet that will pay us 1200-1. This guy tends to stay away from roulette and will stay away from this game next time he's at M Resort.
Gambling / Golden Nugget / Aria / Palazzo / Bellagio / Planet Hollywood / Craps / 3 Card Poker / Blackjack / Video Poker / → All Tags
Now that we know where you like to gamble, which casinos are the luckiest for you and which seem to be cursed?
We know that, in the long run, gambling odds will even out. For example, if a game of blackjack offers returns of 96% then playing long enough we'll eventually lose just $4 of every $100 we wager. Of course, few of us will sit and play at the same table long enough to attain true odds. It's more likely that we'll hit a string of wins or losses and move on. With that being said, we can understand that many (not all) of our wins and losses are really a matter of timing.
Our gambling at Aria is minimal because we never seem to win at most games we play. Maybe it's the constant shuffle machines at blackjack or maybe it's the cold feeling we get by the decor and maybe it's just bad timing. We don't always lose here, but we lose a lot more than we win so we tend to avoid it unless visiting friends want to check it out. The same cannot be said for the Golden Nugget where we've never had a winning session on any game.
One Fun Thing / Bill's / Bellagio / Caesars Palace / Absinthe Show / O Show / Beer Pong / Fat Elvis / Blackjack / → All Tags
Let’s paint a scenario. You’re in Las Vegas. You’ve done all of the obvious touristy things, but you want to know something not-so-obvious to do. Something fun and different. This series will walk you down The Strip, a few properties at a time, offering one fun and different thing to do at each. We hope you enjoy it and find something new to check out the next time you are in town.
We are almost halfway through our One Fun Thing series. As we cross Flamingo Avenue, we finally make it past Caesars Entertainment Row (or should we call it
Linq LINQ Row?) where we talked about O’Sheas, Imperial Palace, and Flamingo. Today, we’ll offer some reasons to stop in at Caesars Palace, Bill’s Gamblin' Hall and Saloon, and Bellagio.
Party Pits / Pussycat Dolls / Caesars Palace / The D Hotel / Golden Gate / Blackjack / Downtown Vegas / → All Tags
During our recent excursion to Downtown Vegas, we ran into party pits at both the D and at Golden Gate. Unlike The Strip, the casinos downtown aren't large enough to have separate table pit areas for party and not-party vibes so the entire casinos were essentially a party. That's a big part of their renovations. We know. We like gambling with loud pop music and go-go dancers as much as we like watching TV and listening to mellow adult contemporary jams while we try to add our cards during a session of blacjack.
The smart gambler inside tells us to stay away from the party pit as they usually have higher minimum bets and poor odds. In fact, when we were at Caesars Palace last year, we were faced with the worst blackjack odds we've ever confronted while sitting at the Pussycat Dolls pit. Besides paying out 6/5 on blackjack and having $25 minimums, we were only allowed to double on 10 or 11. Sometimes, the upbeat vibe of the party pits tells us that we should just have a good time. After all, gambling is entertainment. As advertised, the D treated their tables the same during party pit hours as they did when the sun was still up. Blackjack was dealt from a shoe, paid 3/2 for blackjack and had normal casino minimum bets $10-$15. Nice.
The atmosphere at party pits is always fun. People are almost always enjoying themselves regardless if they're playing with good or bad odds. The music and boobs tend to make people forget that they're playing bad odds when on The Strip. Meanwhile in downtown, this is a way to get people to come into the casino and play. No matter how good or bad the odds of a game, they're always with the casino no matter how big or small the house edge is.