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ST. LOUIS TRIP REPORT

By JPB

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 of BJ21.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 Ameristar and Harrah’s.

Introduction

I usually try to cover at least three casinos in a trip report, but on my recent visit to St. Louis. I only had time to visit two casinos. However, because the playing conditions at one of the casinos was so good, I decided to write this trip report.

St. Louis Casinos

This report is based on my visits to the St. Louis casinos in October 2012. There are six casinos in the St. Louis area; four are located on the Missouri side: Ameristar, Harrah’s, River City, and Lumiere. (The Argosy and Casino Queen casinos are located on the Illinois side.)

Ameristar

For those not familiar with the area, Ameristar is on the west side of the metro- about 30 miles west of downtown. It is just off I-70 in St. Charles. The casino has a high-roller pit with eight blackjack tables. Two double-deck tables were open on the weekday that I visited. The playing rules on the double-deck game were: dealer hits soft 17, double on any two cards, double after split allowed, and resplit aces not allowed, for a house advantage of 0.40%. Penetration appeared to average 75%, or maybe even a little better, for the three or four dealers I observed. Table limits were $25-5000.

One six-deck table was also open in the high-limit area with the same rules, except resplitting aces was allowed. There are no longer any double-deck games in the main pit, and there were only about three or four six-deck games, which were not continuous shuffle games, open in the main pit.

It appears the double-deck games in the high limit are...

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