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LAS VEGAS BLACKJACK REPORT: GOLDEN NUGGET, MAIN STREET STATION, PLAZA, AND VEGAS CLUB CASINOS

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. 

Note: This is the third of a three-part report on the downtown blackjack scene. Click here to read Part 1 that covered Binionís, California, D Las Vegas, and El Cortez casinos, and here for Part 2, which covered the Four Queens, Fremont, Gold Spike, and Golden Gate casinos.

In this, the last of a three-part report on the blackjack playing conditions in downtown Las Vegas, we will visit The Golden Nugget, Main Street Station, Plaza, and finally the Las Vegas Club.

Golden Nugget

The Golden Nugget is, in my opinion, one of the nicer joints downtown (thank you, Steve Wynn). The majority of blackjack tables (over twenty) are six-deck games with hit seventeen rules. You are allowed to double after splitting, and can re-split aces, both rules favorable to the player. Another plus, late surrender is offered. The house advantage is slightly less than 0.5% with table limits at $5-$15,000.

There are ten tables of double deck with H17 rules. Mid entry is not allowed, nor can you double after splitting or re-split aces, rules that help the casinos bottom line. For card counters, the penetration more than makes up for the poor rules, with roughly 65% penetration, a welcome relief from the 50% penetration found in the majority of double- deck games downtown. The house edge is a hair over .50% with table limits of $25-$15,000.

Roughly ten tables of eight-deck games, round out the blackjack play at the Nugget. Be careful here because only two tables of eight-deck games are worth playing. The playable games sport H17 rules; you can double after splitting, and surrender, for a house edge of .56%. The bad games pay 6:5 for blackjacks and you cannot surrender, for a 2.02% house edge. It pays to look before you leap.

Main Street Station

The Main Street Station, owned by Boyd gaming, is a...

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