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by Riverboat Flyer

Riverboat Flyer is a low-stakes blackjack player. He plays the southern Ohio riverboats along with frequent trips to Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Tunica, and occasionally Lake Tahoe. He has been counting cards for over ten years, using the Hi-Op, High Low and currently the half-count system.

Casinos visited:

Beau Rivage (Biloxi)

Isle of Capri (Biloxi)

Treasure Bay (Biloxi)

IP (Biloxi)

Silver Slipper (Hancock County)

Gold Strike (Tunica)

Fitz (Tunica)

Tunica Roadhouse

Horseshoe (Tunica)

Harrah’s (Tunica)

Hollywood (Tunica)

Resorts (Tunica)


Editor’s Note: I recommend at least a 1 to 8-10 aggressive betting spread for card counters playing a six-deck game and at least a 1 to 4-5 spread in a double-deck game in order to get a healthy advantage. Some low-stakes counters, including Riverboat Flyer, prefer a more conservative betting spread. This decreases the bankroll swings but at the expense of a lower edge over the house.

Note: The playing observations mentioned in this report were made in June 2011.

It was time for another trip to play blackjack in Mississippi. This was going to be a longer trip than usual. After hearing and reading about the casinos in Biloxi for years, I was going to visit them for the first time. There were two of us on this trip ... my wife, who is a slots player, and me.

Day 1

We stayed at the Beau Rivage, a luxurious resort and casino located in Biloxi. I was able to get comped rooms based on my play at other MGM properties. As I entered the Beau Rivage, I was immediately impressed with the facility. When you come in from the parking garage, you walk through a promenade of shops lined with flowers. It reminded me of the Bellagio in Vegas. Steve Wynn’s influence is definitely evident at the Beau. Our room would be considered an upgrade room in most resorts. (I suspect it was a standard room at the Beau.)

Scanning the blackjack pits, I found $25 minimum single- and double-deck games, and $10 six-deck games. Penetration was down to about one deck on the shoe games. The game also offered surrender, double after split, and re-splitting aces. I sat down at a six-deck game and bought in for $500. My first session was uneventful. I seemed to lose my double downs, but won enough regular bets to be up eight units after an hour of play (my bet spread was 1 to 4 units).

I met my wife for dinner at the buffet. It was a typical casino buffet ... good, but not spectacular. After dinner, I tried the six-deck shoe game again. I witnessed an unusual conversation between a floor supervisor and a husband and wife playing at my table. The supervisor had almost no personality and featured a permanent, mad-at-the-world-snarl on her face.

The couple sat down and the wife announced that this was her first time playing blackjack and she knew nothing about the game. They bought in with their player cards and started to play. The supervisor came over and informed the husband, in a condescending tone of voice I might add, that...

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