LAS VEGAS BLACKJACK REPORT: LINQ, HARRAH'S and CASINO ROYALE CASINOS
by KC Brooks
I have been addicted to blackjack ever since reading Revere's "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 Revere's 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 haven't 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.
This month I will be reviewing the blackjack action in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. Our destinations will include the Linq Hotel and Casino, Harrah's, and the Casino Royale.
LINQ (3535 S. Las Vegas Blvd.)
Located at 3535 South Las Vegas Boulevard, the Linq opens up onto the LINQ Promenade, where you will find numerous dining spots, bars, and unique shops. Shining bright on the Las Vegas Strip, the 550-foot- tall High Roller (i.e., the world's tallest observation wheel) is definitely the jewel of the LINQ's outdoor shopping, dining, and entertainment promenade.
Measuring 520 feet in diameter, the High Roller beats out the Singapore Flyer and the London Flyer as the tallest observation wheel. The ride takes 30 minutes to complete one full revolution and features 28 glass-enclosed cabins with spectacular views of the city. Ticket prices are $26.95 during the day and $36.95 at night. Locals get 50% discount on Tuesdays with Nevada identification.
There are over 2200 rooms and suites at the Linq and the pool deck has two distinct areas; a standard hotel pool and a day club experience. Avoid using the parking garage at the Linq, it is old and the spaces are very tight. Your best bet is the parking area behind the resort.
Dining options at the Linq Hotel and Casino include; Guy Fieri's Kitchen and Bar, Chayo Mexican Kitchen and Tequila Bar, and Hash House A Go Go. If those don't ignite your taste buds, the LINQ Promenade has a variety of dining and drinking options only a short walk away.
There are over 800 slot and video poker machines at the Linq. Table games include blackjack, craps, Pai Gow poker, and roulette. O'Shea's, which is part of the Linq Hotel and casino, has 11 table games.
There are four roulette wheels scattered about, and four 12 foot craps tables grouped together in one pit. The table limits for the craps games are $10-$3000 with 3x, 4x, and 5x odds offered.
I entered the Linq from the promenade side and was immediately disappointed. There was a group of 14 blackjack tables and two roulette wheels, of which seven blackjack games were operating with the following: 6:5 pay-out for blackjacks and all were using continuous shuffle machines.
There are three areas for table games at the Linq; however, on my visit all but one blackjack game was paying 6:5 for naturals. The lone 3:2 game was an eight-deck shoe game with the following rules: dealer hits soft 17, you can double after splitting, and surrender is offered. One and a half decks were cut off of the eight and the house edge is 0.56%. The table limits are $10-$3000.
During my visit there weren't any double-deck games operating. I was told that there is one table with $25-$5000 limits. The dealer hits soft 17 and doubling after splitting is allowed.
Next door to the Linq heading north is Harrah's, just a short walk away.
Harrah's (3475 S. Las Vegas Blvd.)
I worked at Harrah's Lake Tahoe back in the late seventies, so when I walk into Harrah's now I just want to...
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