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.
Casino visited in December 2013 includes:
Pioneer Hotel and Gambling Hall (2200 S. Casino Dr.)
The Pioneer Hotel and Gambling Hall is located between the Colorado Belle and the Golden Nugget. The Pioneer features old-west charm, with new-west excitement. The slot floor offers over 500 liberal slot, video poker, and video keno machines. The table games offered includes; Blackjack, Let-It-Ride, 3-Card Poker, Roulette, and triple odds on Craps; also, a William Hill Sports Book is on the premise.
There are five blackjack tables offering six-deck shoe games. Two of the tables have Lucky Ladies Ten side bet. The rules for all tables are H17 (double down on any first two cards, and dealer hits soft 17). The table limits are $3- $200 and house advantage is 0.76%. The penetration varies anywhere from 1.5 to 2.0 decks and the pit shuffles the shoes.
Golden Nugget (2300 S. Casino Dr.)
The Golden Nugget offers all the casino classic games: Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, 3-Card Poker, Pai Gow Poker, and a variety of video and slot machines. There is a variety of blackjack games offered that include single-deck, double-deck, and six- and eight- deck shoe games.
There are two tables of single-deck blackjack. The house advantage is 1.57% due to the 6:5 blackjack payouts; obviously, these tables should be avoided. There is one table of double deck with H17 rules and $10-$1000 table limits. The house edge is just slightly over a half percent for the basic strategy player, and penetration is around 60-64 cards.
The shoe games, both six and eight deck offer the same rules; H17, double after splitting, and you can re-split aces. The table limits are five dollars to two thousand dollars, and the house advantage is 0.56% for the six-deck game and .59% for the 8 deck games. There are four tables of six decks and three tables of eight decks. The cut card is placed two decks deep on the eight-deck games and slightly over a deck for the six-deck games.
Although I did not eat at any of the restaurants at the Golden Nugget, the Salt Grass Steakhouse looked intriguing. There is also a Claim Jumperís and a Bubba Gump Shrimp Company on the property (that is all I have to say about that).
Tropicana (2121 S. Casino Dr.)
The Tropicana Hotel and Casino is the only casino not on the banks of the Colorado River; it is located across the street from the Colorado Belle. The hotel has been voted best accommodations in Laughlin, and boosts more than 1,000 newly renovated rooms.
The Tropicana has over 1000 slot and video poker machines, and the most popular table games. There is currently around $100,000 in combined Table Games progressives on the floor at the Trop, including 3-Card poker Progressive, Fortune Pai Gow Progressive, Mississippi Stud Progressive, and Let-It-Ride Progressive.
There are two twelve-foot craps tables offering triple odds with $5-$1000 betting limits, one roulette game, and approximately ten tables of blackjack; three tables of single- deck, two tables of double-deck and five tables of six-deck shoe games.
The single-deck games offered are...
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