KANSAS TO MINNESOTA I-35 CORRIDOR TRIP REPORT
JPB has been playing blackjack and counting cards part-time since 1996. He plays throughout the country but primarily in Missouri. He has been a Green Chip member ofBJ21.com for four years and one-time winner of the Post-of-the-Month. JPB is a professional engineer with three engineering degrees and works as a consulting engineer.
This trip occurred in October 2012. Casinos visited include:
Kansas Star (Mulvane, KS)
Terribles (Osceola, IA)
Diamond Jo’s (Iowa-Minnesota Border)
H17= Dealer hits on soft 17
S17 = Dealer stands on soft 17
DAS= Double after split.
RSA= Resplit Aces
I generally write my blackjack trip reports based on a geographic region – a city or sometimes an entire state- so that a potential player will have the benefit of deciding whether he or she wants to play blackjack in that region. In this report, the geographic region is the 500+ long x 1 mile strip that runs from Kansas to the Minnesota border along I-35. If you are driving on I-35, you should see giant signs along the highway for these three casinos. The casinos are all within a half-mile of the highway.
I have traveled I-35 several times this year. I-35 runs far south into Texas and way up into Minnesota. I am covering the stretch from around Mulvane, KS (10 miles south of Wichita) up to the Iowa-Minnesota border. There are three casinos along this route I visited: Kansas Star (Mulvane, Kansas), Terribles (Osceola, Iowa), and Diamond Jo’s (at the Iowa- Minnesota border).
Kansas Star has been open now about nine months. I really wanted this to be a great place to play for both card counters and regular players. This is one of only two non-Indian casinos in my home state and a portion of the revenue is going (or supposed to be going) toward schools.
Penetration is always the most important factor in determining if a game is worth a card counter playing, but there are other factors. As a card counter, I prefer double deck- vs. six-deck games. However, I am more than willing to play six deck if the rules are good (S17 and/or surrender). Crowded, slow tables can mean less than half the number of rounds per hour compared to an uncrowded table with fast dealers. Comps, cash back, and other giveaways can also be a big factor that can make a mediocre place to play a good place. Finally, dealer and cashier mistakes that go to the player’s favor (although uncommon) can make an otherwise bad game worth playing.
For starters, the blackjack conditions are...
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