New to the board, and a few questions
  • Hi, I just found this board yesterday, and have really enjoyed reading the posts. I think I've figured out some of the abbreviations, but bear with me..I'm still learning.

    My husband and I are contemplating a trip to Vegas in the next 3 weeks. First time for him, first time in 20+ years for me (we play in Mississippi). I don't count cards, since most of the casinos we hit are 6 deck ASM and CSM. I do play very aggressive BS and do pretty well. My biggest win so far was $950 profit on a $300 buy-in(cruise ship). We both tend to play for long (hours) stretches, so we stake the sessions with enough to counter downswings. I generally start play at a $5 table with $10 and move up to about $30-$50.

    My question for you is, is it worthwhile to learn to count just for one visit to Vegas? I've often told my better half that I'd love to play single deck head-to-head and see how I do, but the casinos we go to don't ever play single deck. Can I learn to count effectively in 3 weeks and find a decent single deck game in Vegas? I promise to be a diligent student if someone could point me in the right direction! Even if learning to count isn't feasible for this trip, what are your favorite casinos to visit?

    Thanks for your help. This is a great board, and I hope to learn a lot from you!
  • Hi, Melissa. I will not attempt to answer your very good question since I'm packing to go to Vegas in an hour. I'm just curious about what it means to be an "aggressive" player. I heard another player tell me the same thing when he sat down at my table to begin play. I guess my interest is due to the fact that I also am a basic strategy player for the most part. Does playing aggressively mean larger bet sizes or using progressions?
  • It seems to me that you and your husband are the types that are knowledgable but really enjoy the atmosphere and play that BJ offers. I would think that working hard for three weeks to toss that all aside and concentrate on the counting (which is not trivial to concentrate on) for just this one trip will take away that which you love about the game.

    Keep in mind most (maybe all?) single deck games in Vegas pay 6:5 BJ and should be avoided. I believe you have to go to a two deck game for your best odds.

    See for the latest conditions on Casinos and note the dates of the updates.
  • Hi Slimeo, thanks for the reply. I was mostly leaning towards not trying to learn card counts before I asked. It seemed I'd read it's really hard to find a good single deck game anywhere you go. For now, I'll stick with playing strategy!

    PJ, to answer your question about aggressive play: I play BS, but not progressions. I need to research that, because maybe that's what I do and I don't know it. My starting bet is usually 2 or 3x table minimum, and I never bet table minimum. Once I've won maybe 2-3 hands in a row I increase the bets and keep them up until I've lost 3 hands in a row. Then I'll scale the bet down 1-2 units. Usually within 30 minutes I'm betting $30 a hand. Still keeping with BS, I'll double and split every chance I get and never take insurance. The casinos we go to will allow doubling any two cards, double after splits, but no resplit of Aces.

    Good luck in Vegas!
  • Hello Melissa. If you're looking for a good game that fits your budget, try the Bellagio or Stardust in Vegas. I keep reading others posting about the nice rules. Both are 2-deck, dealer stands on soft 17, you can double down on your first 2 cards, and double down after splitting pairs. The minimum bet seems to vary by time of day, but is usually $10 to $25. Expect the $25 minimum on the weekends, or at night.

    An easy method for occasional play.... try the www link at the bottom of this reply, and head for the 2 deck page for dealer stands soft 17. If you wish, just bet straight basic, instead of the charts... you'll have a small but nice advantage betting 1 to 4 chips, or 1 to 4 minimum bets. With 2 decks as described above the HOUSE has about a 0.2% advantage.... using the info at the site, the PLAYER has better than a 0.3% advantage. Even if you bet 1 or 2, you will still have 1/8% advantage.

    Good cards and have a nice time there.
  • First off you count count down a 6 deck shoe, hard but not impossable at all. The trick is that you got put a lot of time and practice in card counting that most people don't have. If your serrious about card counting I recommend reading the Blackjack Bluebook 2 by Fred Renzey. His system is very effective on a six deck shoe and he'll teach ya things that go beyond basic strategy and into the finer details that most basic strategy players overlook.

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