Casinos on the strips, which has best rules?
  • I am going to Vegas on the first and staying at the Mirage. Do they have a good game, or how about one of the nearby's. I will be going to old town vegas as well, do they have good games there?
  • Be sure to check out Mandaly Bay. They had very good conditions last time I was in Vegas. I also found a decent double deck game at Fitzgeralds, downtown.
  • At Mirage, if you can afford a $25 minimum you will find a better double deck game than any downtown and also find a good 6 deck shoe game.
    If you can not afford $25, the games are fairly poor.

    ihate17
  • Are the Freemont street casinos good for low min blackjack? Do they have lots of goodies because they are desparate for business?
  • El Cortez is very good for lo-stakes BJ. Both their single deck and their two deck shoes. In fact,their two deck shoes might be the best non-$25 game in Vegas.
    Some of the other Fremont St casinos have decent BJ,but stay away from "The Worlds Most Liberal Game' at the Vegas Club,its a complete ripoff.
    You really need to walk around the entire casino,sometimes they have a table or two tucked away from the main pit,and those tables have better rules.
  • There are still some good games downtown but they are going away much quicker than they should. For overall good blackjack the El Cortez is probably the best place where you will find some good single deck and playable double deck. After the El Cortez the pickings are pretty slim, blackjack Switch at Fitz is the only playable game there, the $25 shoe at the Nugget if you do not mind horrid penetration, and I believe one decent single deck table at the Vegas Club and of course there is the Western with a little decent single deck and some playable double deck.
    There is nothing at all worth playing at the California, Freemont, Golden Gate, MSS, or even the Plaza now. I think there might be some barely playable double deck at Binions but the rest of their stuff is garbage.

    The new ownership groups downtown have raped the decent blackjack that was once there at a very quick pace. Perhaps they think it will help turn around the poor results downtown has had lately but I feel downtowns problems go way beyond anything that blackjack can hurt or fix.

    Today, the appeal of downtown for blackjack is more about low limits everywhere than about better games. You can find enough $5 blackjack games on the strip but downtown you can find (mainly at El Cortez) some $5 games with good rules. For someone willing to bet a $25 minimum, if you which six or seven casinos to go to, the best games are on the strip and not downtown or at the locals casinos. For someone who bets $5, except for the few above mentioned good games, the locals casinos will offer more playable (but not really good) double deck games.
    For a $5 bettor on the strip, the best games are found in Slots-A-Fun. A decent shoe game and a better double deck game than any downtown or locals casino has.

    Finally, there are still some $3 minimums downtown.

    ihate17
  • I was recently informed that the Plaza has some tables over by the poker room that have good rules,unlike the tables in the main pit.
  • Everywhere has horrible games in vegas. I went to Frontier and they had a great game believe it or not.
  • Define great.
  • six deck shoe, surrender allowed, split re-split, dealer hits soft 17. Low minimums, not too bad of penetration.
  • Theshocker21 said:
    six deck shoe, surrender allowed, split re-split, dealer hits soft 17. Low minimums, not too bad of penetration.



    DAS?,resplit Aces? DOA?It sounds decent,I wouldn't call it great,unless your alternative was playing at Harrahs.
  • I just got back from Vegas last week. The best place I played at was 4 queens with their SD game. It was one of the emptiest tables at the casino.
  • Theshocker21 said:
    six deck shoe, surrender allowed, split re-split, dealer hits soft 17. Low minimums, not too bad of penetration.



    Sorry, but though the game you played is the best that the Frontier has to offer, and is better than most Harrah's games. The good six deck shoes, that include all the rules you mentioned plus a rule more important in that the dealer stays on soft 17, can be found for $5 at Slots-A-Fun, $10 (when not crowded) at Mirage and MGM, $15 at Mandalay Bay, $25 at Mirage, Belaggio, Caesars, Hilton, Tropicana, and a few other places and many more at the black chip rate.

    Also for $5, go to Slots-A-Fun. They have the best double deck, $5 game in Vegas though you can find better ones for $25.

    ihate17
  • mgm mirage hotels had nothing great to offer. I stayed at the Mirage! Every table has a shuffle machine except for the crappy single deck games where BJ pays 6-5 with no surrender. Yes, Split any two cards at Frontier was allowed, that includes aces. Why would anyone expect a good blackjack game in Vegas, they are the greediest city on earth and they can easily take advantage of people who are unknowing of the house advantage.
  • Theshocker21 said:
    mgm mirage hotels had nothing great to offer. I stayed at the Mirage! Every table has a shuffle machine except for the crappy single deck games where BJ pays 6-5 with no surrender. Yes, Split any two cards at Frontier was allowed, that includes aces. Why would anyone expect a good blackjack game in Vegas, they are the greediest city on earth and they can easily take advantage of people who are unknowing of the house advantage.



    In my last post I said Mirage had a good 6 deck shoe for $10. That was a mistake, I had meant Monte Carlo.
    But Mirage has both the good 6 deck shoe (HAND SHUFFLED) and one of the best double deck games in the country but the minimum on those games is $25 and if they are busy it might go higher. Played both games last week for hours, so either you were looking at the games in the front and not in the back nearer the cage or you were only looking at the $10 tables.
    Say what you want about vegas and much is true but at the same time, if you know where to look, the best double deck (mostly high stakes) and the best 6 deck shoe games in the country are still there. Problem is if you do not buy something like CBJN before you go, or do not make notes on boards like this about where to find the good games you will either not find them or wear out a ton of shoe leather looking.

    Double deck games where the dealer stays on soft 17 are generally $100 and up games, but Mirage has it for $25 and Slots-A-Fun for $5. Sometimes can be found at Belaggio for $50 but generally more. If you can play $100 min, I can give you a complete list.

    6 deck shoe games, hand shuffled, dealer stays on soft 17, double any, double after split, late surrender (some resplit aces, some not)
    $5 Slots-A-Fun
    $10 Monte Carlo, MGM (like Mirage, the will raise limits when busy and you must go deep inside near the cage to find decent games)
    $15 Mandalay Bay
    $25 Tropicana, Wynn, Venetian, Mirage, Caesars, and a few others I can not think of right now.
    $100 Several more.

    Here you are talking about a 6 deck shoe with a house edge of .26%-.33%, while the Frontier game is over .55%.

    These casinos with good games also offer the sucker games you wrote about for the unknowing. The thing is many of these casinos offer good games because they have learned that eliminating them just means some very good customers go elsewhere. The Hilton used to have some of the best blackjack in town but have drastically changed their game the past year and walking through there last week the pit was empty of anything but the lowest limit players. You will find the Hilton either upgrading their game soon or removing tables and adding more slots, depending upon who is in charge.
    Sucker games are nearly always the closest to main entrances to catch the guy who just sits down at the first empty chair he sees with no care for the rules. Hell, I would do the same thing if I ran a casino. Good games are for those who search or are in the know.

    There are certain casinos that have no decent games at all:
    O'Sheas, Hooters, Sahara, Frontier for instance. Others that only have half way decent games at $100 (their $100 game being inferior to Slots-A-Fun $5 games), such as Harrah's, Flamingo, Riveria.

    Overall, MGM casinos offer better blackjack than Harrah's casinos with exceptions.
    Circus, Ex, TI have poor blackjack though 2 of these are decent at $100
    Ceasars is the only Harrah's owned property with any decent blackjack at $25, but do not expect that to last.

    ihate17
  • Ihate17,

    Thank you for your respectful and informative reply. What is wrong with the game at the Frontier. Wouldn't you say the game at the Frontier is one of the best for those who are limited to low minimums?
  • Theshocker21 said:
    Ihate17,

    Thank you for your respectful and informative reply. What is wrong with the game at the Frontier. Wouldn't you say the game at the Frontier is one of the best for those who are limited to low minimums?


    The big difference for the basic strategy player is the dealers at Frontier hit soft 17. I also believe but am not sure, they also do not offer surrender.
    Hitting soft 17 is a big rule, it adds .2% to the house edge against the perfect basic strategy player but probably adds even more against the average player.
    So to take the MGM $10 games as an example.
    You have the S-17 pit, with DAS, LSR, DA, RSA for a house edge of .26%, go to H-17 and you have .46% and now take away surrender and you have .53%, which might be close to the Frontier game.

    But, for low minimums Vegas makes it tough. Downtown blackjack is deteroriating quickly but you can still find a few decent single deck games (mostly El Cortez) and a couple of decent double decks (disappearing as we speak). The typical locals casino double deck game ($5 at most locals places) is not as good as the good 6 deck shoes but still cheap and quite a bit better than the Frontier game. This game can also be found at Barbary Coast on the strip. The locals casinos all seem to have inferior 6 deck shoes at low limits. On the strip for low limits you have Slots-A-Fun always,and MGM and Monte Carlo when they are not busy. At a place like the Trop you can get a $5 game slightly better than Frontier but not worth the cab ride if you are staying at Frontier. So overall I would call the Frontier game "average for Vegas", which in my mind translates into a game I would avoid unless there was some other reason to play it.

    Now as an advantage player I also found it amazing that with rules most cardcounters would not bother with, Frontier was so paranoid that they were cutting 2 decks off of the shoe as if they had something to worry about.

    Finally, I mentioned CBJN in my last post and do not know if you know what it is. If not, it is Current Blackjack New, updated every month with information on every blackjack table in the U.S. and Canada. Rules, penetration, house edge, and much much more. Much more accurate the the Wizzard of Odds breakdown of games but it is not free. I generally reccommend to people to purchase the current issue right before leaving for Vegas. A single issue costs $12, can be purchased at bj21.com
    Just in time saved it can be well worth it.

    ihate17
  • Most anywhere you go now you,ve got to scout the tables, even in a single casino. Usually, most of the garbage rules apply to the lower limit tables. The reason for this is to increase the revenue because it is marginal when you consider their overhead. Five and ten dollar tables are few and far between. If on a off day they are forced into making those available, it want be long before the min bet becomes 15-20 whenever possible. You will find better rules and playing conditions at the higher limits and it may be to your benefit to figure your BR and hands with that in mind.

    Blackjack games are a necessary customer/player draw, but they are not as profitable for the casino as other table games. Last week I did a count of other table games vs blackjack at our local Ceasars and the ratio was better than two to one in favor of other. Things are changing and you must change with the flow..........
  • There is surrender on the shoe games at Frontier.
  • Straw that broke the back is h17. LS is also rare today. Slots-A-Fun has the six deck game. A good fair game with no play limit pressure for a person knowing BS and a counting system. And they make money on the game. It's not loss leader. I would say that one of of ten counters really understand the game. If the Redskins would take avantage of this the next 5 years and deal a "Slots-A-Fun' six deck game they will have all the money. One thing about he Redskins, they know how to fill rooms. That room costs them $25 a day, and they will comp 50% if they have to. Everly casino should comp rooms to anyone who has a card. Bottom line is they know how to hook someone and they plan on being around. Forget about the Hilton. The wrecking ball will be hitting it soon. I think the Hilton has been comping rooms to anyone 21 this year. Everyday shit offering comp 4 night stays, etc. .....and the pits are still empty. The rules stink. Another case of H17 and consideration of walk through. Yes, you can find a good game if your calm enough to play for $100 a hand...please.

    Peace, Jim Penn
  • The CBJN report is well worth the $12, but not always accurate. I don't think you would need to order it more than once or twice a year.

    I was at El Cortez in December and the double deck game is as good as you will find for a low stakes player, H17 0.40% house advantage, table min as low as $3. MGM DD game is better. S17 .19% HA but $25 min and I guess they use facial recognition and a computer such as mindplay, so be careful.

    I do not remember anything but a 6/5 single deck game at EC. I thought 6/5 was unplayable. I am going back to EC and actually staying their 3 nights in about a month. I'll check into it. Anyone know how the rooms are there, I am paying $49 per night?

    I normally stay at the Hilton and they give me cheap $60 rooms but don't comp me. But you are right, the games there are bad and seem to be getting worse. Sad situation.
  • IF by EC,you are talking El Cortez,I've never seen a 6-5 game there.
    They were down to only one single deck table but it was 3-2 in mid December.
    The rooms are okay,nothing to bragg about. You can do much better than $49 a nite though.Even just by using there website.Unless you re talking Fri-Sat.
  • NYB said:
    IF by EC,you are talking El Cortez,I've never seen a 6-5 game there.
    They were down to only one single deck table but it was 3-2 in mid December.
    The rooms are okay,nothing to bragg about. You can do much better than $49 a nite though.Even just by using there website.Unless you re talking Fri-Sat.


    I am talking Fri-Sat-Sunday. I think the Sunday rate was $34 or so and the other nights were $50-some. I have a $25 cancellation fee, so I don't see me cancelling. $49 is the average of the 3 nights, not too bad in my book. Free is always nice but I don't lose enough money or know how to manipulate the comps good enough for that yet.

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