Downtown Vegas
  • while we are on trip reports, here is a "future trip report." :)

    I'm heading to Vegas in early July for a week. We are staying at the MGM, but I plan on playing most of my BJ downtown this time since I have not been to Fremont in ages.

    Any pointers to decent SD/DD games, particularly $5 min or $10 min tables (I can't get my wife to play at anything bigger, and since I am a recreational player rather than a pro, $5 to $40 at DD suits me pretty well.

    I'm aware that I will probably spend a day or two scouting tables to find decent penetration and rules before I start playing. If anyone has any pointers, my future trip report will be most appreciative. :)
  • I will also be at the MGM first week of July. A year ago I played a $10 minimum 2D game at Fitzgeralds. I hear that Las Vegas Club has $5 min. 2D tables. I don't remember if they are S17. I also plan to scout out some other downtown casinos. Last year I had two very good sessions at Hard Rock.
  • I'm going to be there from the 2nd to through the 9th. Perhaps we can figure out a way to say "hello" at some point.
  • Brush up on your NO Double After Split rules, and be prepared for them.

    If you are not noticed with 5-40 OK, generally I recommend 5-30 using RED chips ONLY. NO GREEN.

    JMHO, and good cards.
  • most of the DT DD games are NDAS-type games???

    I can deal with that if the pen is reasonable...
  • N&B knows DT better than I, but I believe the 2D's are definately DAS. You and I should give a report on our findings from July.
  • Sorry to take so long to respond......but Nickels already gave you the straight poop. Most games will be around -0.45 to -0.55. Also, you won't have any problem finding DD in your "price range".

  • I'll definitely give a report when I get back...
  • Grifter said:
    Sorry to take so long to respond......but Nickels already gave you the straight poop. Most games will be around -0.45 to -0.55. Also, you won't have any probably finding DD in your "price range".


    Can you explain again what numbers like -0.45 to -0.55 mean?
    Don't we just measure penetration in percentages ?
  • I short-handed that because SSR would know what I meant.....It should have read 0.45% to 0.55%.

    That is the single-most bit of knowledge you need to know about any game.....The House Advantage.
  • Grifter- If the casino equalizes the HA, DD vs Shoe, do you still
    regard DD as the better game? I suspect that NDAS and H17 are
    the equalizers, but not both.
  • Ray - Two answers.....

    Yes for an AP......because given comparable penetration and spread, the EV for DD will exceed 6D by about 60% - 90%.

    No for a Basic Strategy player....EV will be the same, so play the game you like the best and are most comfortable with.

  • We have two pitch games at the most....usually two 25's or one 25 and
    50. The good thing is they are still S17. If you get a seat at 25 you are
    the 7th player, too many players for me. I've did fair at the 50, but don't
    like to start at that level. Just one of the many problems when the casino's
    are 100 miles apart.

    By the way the double your bet on two has moved into my area. One or
    two tables with all the rules posted with new signs. They are testing the
    thing and like SSS said, they do it because they can. Effectively a 7 player
    table can be 8 or 9 player tables and that is the profit motivation. The rule
    doen't affect my game, but it makes me wonder what else.
  • Yes, I caught it. "player advantage". Or, since the sign is almost always negative except for a few rare SD games scattered around, that would be "player disadvantage".

    Those are in the range of shoe games, which I assume is hinting that the DD rules are a bit more player-unfriendly. Almost no DD games (I know of a couple) offer late surrender (on the MS / LA coast). Etc

    All I would add to that "single most..." part of Grifter's post is that I want to know pen when I start choosing between games. I pull out my trusty laptop in my room, plug in the rules, and the pen, and look at the EV. As a general rule, I'd take penetration over most anything, within reason. Don't give me any 6:5 games with good pen of course. The nearly -2.0 is difficult to overcome..

    The reason I personally prefer SD/DD is variance. If you look at the sim results, the hourly variance for SD is better than DD, which is better than 6D, in terms of units per hour. So if you choose to play all three using the same basic unit, the bigger variance of 6D, along with the larger spread if you play all, makes it a wilder bankroll ride. If you analyze the games from a different angle, for the same ROR, you can use a unit 2X bigger on the SD/DD games than on the 6D game, which doubles your hourly win rate as Grifter said.

    Penetration is another issue. I've seen lots of R06 SD games, and I have heard of R07 as well. If you play heads-up, and play 2 hands, that turns into 8.1 cards per round, for 4 rounds, which is 33 cards dealt out of 52, which is not bad. Compared to a close-by indian casino that cuts 2.5 decks off of a 6 deck shoe, you actually see TC of +4 and beyond in the SD game, but _rarely_ in the poor shoe games the injuns provide. :)

    Grifter/Ray/etc: Are the DT games face down as is usual? I have seen some SD/DD games dealt face up to keep our cheating hands off the cards. :)

    Ray: what is the "double your bet on two"???
  • - yes, cards are face down.

    - yes, pen is critical....but you have to have a starting point = HA = Rules

    - yes, comparable EV's can be double (or more). that is a function of your ramp, and the starting point thereof.

  • Ray,
    "Double your bet on two?" Are you referring to the casino's requirement for a player to double the minimum bet amount if playing on more than one spot? (My local casino allows playing up to three spots without increasing my bet.)
  • Yes, the rule doesn't hamper my play because I'm normally playing at
    $10 tables and my min bet/entry level is two-three times the min anyway.

    I was just trying to figure the casino's motivation behind the grab....and
    I do mean grab. Most isolated casinos don't have much of an off day and
    the low limit tables are generally full. The casino makes a few extra bucks
    from each table by effectively extending the number of players per tble.
    You've got to respect their creativity and greed index................
  • I think I saw DD from a shoe and face down in Tunica. Local.. it's pitch
    face down. The last 4 decker I saw was in the Bahamas face-up and that
    was many years ago.
  • Grifter said:
    I short-handed that because SSR would know what I meant.....It should have read 0.45% to 0.55%.

    That is the single-most bit of knowledge you need to know about any game.....The House Advantage.

    Is a simple HA number that useful when you're counting? For example, I would figure that lax double rules and good blackjack payoffs are more important when counting than rules on splitting aces, for example (since one always splits aces anyway).

    Also, can't good penetration and a laxed pit balance bad rules to a limit ?
  • that is why 'grifter is the 'grifter. :)

    Yes it does matter. There are games that are -.18 off the top. There are games that are -.5 off the top (of course there are games that are almost -2.0 off the top if we talk crapjack). In a -.18 game a TC of +1 is an advantage. In a -.5 game TC=1 is break-even. You really do need to know the off-the-top edge when scouting to pick the best game. If you have a choice of a +1.5 advantage or a +1.0 advantage (including your counting edge) remember that +1.5 is 50% more EV per hour...
  • SSN...Precisely......Your EV isn't affected that much by whether the clientele is upscale or not, or whether the casino in non-smoking or not. :wink:
  • Bad rules are bad news no matter the conditions. There is no way that
    I would play a NDAS game period. Too many good sessions depend on
    a few big hands to give up that option. Hit 17 I may play DD but not
    shoe. Bad pen can be impacted to some extent with a short, steep ramp,
    but you should be ready for some big-time variance. This one place I
    play, the cut gets 1.7-8 and I don't go there very often because of that.
    I went belly-up there last year and almost did it again during March.
  • Grifter said:
    SSN...Precisely......Your EV isn't affected that much by whether the clientele is upscale or not, or whether the casino in non-smoking or not. :wink:

    Well, you could argue that your long term EV of medical expenses increases in a smoking casino. Besides, I can't count while coughing ;)

    As for the clientele, I think it has a certain effect: if you look like a hillbilly among hillbillies, nobody suspects you. Also, it's easier to do weird variations of bets and plays when you are surrounded by people who do it not for the count but because they're jerks.

    Two days ago I was sitting at a table where the bets were going at a 1:20 spread (no martingaling) because three guys (won't mention their ethnicity) had their girls behind them and were trying to prove who was man enough. I saw the pit people snickering, and doubt they would have cared if I spread a little.
  • that just fits with my first rule of casino play:

    watch a few minutes to see what everyone is doing. Then do your best to blend in. The effect you want is that should you suddenly decide to grab a handfull of black chips and run, you were so unremarkable while sitting at the table that the descriptions of you from various people would be "he was 5'10", he was 6'4". He weighed about 150. He weighed about 220. His hair was dark. His hair was light. Etc. There is usually one player at a table that stands out for various reasons. Don't be him...
  • SSS, exactly.....In the place just mentioned is where two brothers play
    and they spot bet at two hands each. Each has several K in front of
    him, but ususally they bet 10-20 on each hand. ever so often out comes
    a big stack of black and green on one hand, never two. I visit their table as much as possible because I look like a small fish in a muddy river.

    Where these guys went to law school did not teach math. One is a judge.
  • btw, Grifter:

    I'm a "stainless steel rat" (SSR)

    not a

    "submersible ship, Nuclear" (SSN)


    For those familiar with the navy jargon. :)


    A couple of my most profitable sessions were where I found a table with a single _huge_ bettor playing. All the $25-200 or $5-50 spreads pale when someone is betting black/purple. :) One has to be careful at a table of ploppies where everyone is tossing out one red every round. Suddenly $50 looks like a fortune. :)
  • BTW, ray:

    Did you and Grifter go to different schools together? :)

    He corrupted SSR to SSN. Now you corrupted it to SSS.

    I can only wait in anticipation untill my wife finds this board and changes it to ASS. :)
  • :D Sorry about that......I don't know what Roy's reason was, but you sure guessed mine about submarines. I was talking to my son (who served on nukes) earlier this morning about the Frisco going aground.....But you have to admit "SSN" is better than Dr. Hilo.
  • no argument there.

    Got a good friend that works for me, retired from the Navy after 20 years, went back and got his BS, and now works for me as our computer science system admin here.

    Learned a lot from him.

    For example, HMFIC, REMF, etc. :)

    Navy has its own language...

    BTW I was not complaining. I make more than my fair share of typo's so they are no big deal to me. I can think of another message board where grammar mistakes are fair game for much criticism. Ought to rename it to


    Seems that the navy nuke drivers have had a bad recent few years... running aground, doing an emergency blow and sinking a private ship, etc...
  • I don't know what gafter's excuse is, but my 3% total recall is slipping
    with age. I can't spell and 7,8,9 and 10"s all come in pairs.
  • You know what they say about old age... "The first thing to go is the brain.... I forgot what the second was."
  • reminds me of the guy that went to the doctor. Doctor examined him, said I have good news and bad news. Which you want first? Patient said let's start with the bad news. Doc said "OK, you have alzheimers." Patient said OK, what's the good news? Doc said you will forget this conversation before you get home. :)

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