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LAS VEGAS BLACKJACK REPORT:

PALAZZO, VENETIAN, AND IMPERIAL PALACE

by KC Brooks

I have been addicted to blackjack ever since reading Revereís "Playing Blackjack as a Business" when I was 15. The art of blackjack is a lifetime endeavor. I went through the learning process backwards, learning Revereís Advanced Point Count first. I found out early that the actual count system is only a small piece of the puzzle. Presently, I travel "my" Devils Triangle (Reno, Wendover, Vegas}, playing mainly single- and double-deck games. Hi Lo is my choice of strategies and "Professional Blackjack" by Wong is my bible. I worship a large spread, and have been known to wong everywhere I go. Thank God I havenít had to register as a wonger yet, but I am sure it is not too far off. I also help fellow AP Nick teach card counting at www.Blackjackclassroom.com. 

The observations of casino conditions were made in September 2012.

Palazzo

The 105,000 square foot casino offers over 2,000 slot machines and 80 tables for your gaming pleasure. An 80-foot dome allows natural light to brighten the lobby, while the cathedral ceiling in the gaming area makes for an almost smoke-free environment. Smoking is not allowed in most of Palazzo, including 50% of the casino floor.

Dining at Palazzo is among the best on the strip, with chefs like Charlie Trotter, and Wolfgang Puck you can see why. Enjoy football at Emeril Lagasseís Stadium, a sports book and bar which offer up Emerilís signature dishes, with over 100 HD televisions and a 9 foot by 16 foot main screen.

On the casino floor, you will find that the majority of blackjack games are eight decks. There are around forty tables with the rules; H17, DAS, RSA, and surrender. Table limits are $15-$5000, the house advantage is 0.49%, and a little less than two decks are cut off. There are seven tables of six decks with the rules; S17, DAS, RSA, and surrender. Table limits are $100-$10000, the house advantage is 0.26%, and one and a half deck's cut off.

The double-deck games are brutal, with only 50% penetration. There are seven tables with H17, DAS rules, the table limits are $25-$5000, and house advantage is 0.40%. Two tables of Spanish 21, and one table of Blackjack Switch round out the blackjack action, if you read Henryís great article on Blackjack Switch last month, the game has a house advantage of a mere 0.18% using the correct basic playing and switching strategies. The table limits are $10-$2500 with two decks cut-off of an eight-deck shoe.

Venetian

From Palazzoís pit, you can walk past the waterfall and a slew of high-end shops and enter the lavish and spacious Venetian, or from Las Vegas Boulevard you can take the cobblestone bridge crossing the canals. Either way you will swear you have been transported to Italy.

Guests can float past the Grand Canal Shops on an authentic Italian gondola, or enjoy a fabulous meal from one of the nineteen restaurants; Thomas Kellerís award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, and Mario Bataliís B&B Ristorante, to name a few.

The Venetian has over 3000...

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