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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 

Note: The observations of casino conditions were made in Nov 2015. The casinos visited in Las Vegas this month were:

Bally's casino, 3645 Las Vegas Blvd. S

Paris casino, 3655 Las Vegas Blvd. S

This month I check out the blackjack playing conditions at Bally's and Paris, two casinos operated by Caesars Entertainment. Bally's is located on the corner of Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevard, and Paris is next door to the south.

Bally's Casino (3645 Las Vegas Blvd. S)

I parked in the Caesars employment center parking lot and entered Bally's casinos from the Flamingo street entrance. The Race and Sports Book is straight away, along with an array of fast food restaurants: Johnny Rockets, Nathan's Famous Hotdogs, Pan Asian Express, Sbarro, and Subway.

Bally's is located in the heart of the Vegas Strip, offering its patrons a variety of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Visitors can stroll back and forth between Bally's and Paris Las Vegas next door through the Le Boulevard shopping and dining area, or hop aboard the Las Vegas Monorail to other strip locations.

Fine dining options at Bally's are located in a corner hallway just off the casino floor: SEA- The Thai experience (a Bangkok-inspired restaurant offering Thai fusion cuisine), and BLT Steak, to name a few.

Bally's is home to the Grand Bazaar Shops, a two-acre outdoor complex with more than 100 retail outlets that is located in the front of the property.

The casino at Bally's is over 67,000 square feet offering a multitude of video slots and poker machines, and all of your favorite table games. There is a 14-table poker room, stadium-style race and sports book, and a 24-hour keno parlor.

There are four 12-foot craps tables with table limits of $10-$5000, offering 3x4x5x odds, and four roulette tables.

Blackjack at Bally's consists of double-deck, six-deck and eight-deck games. The majority are eight-deck games, roughly a couple dozen tables. The rules are: dealer hits soft seventeen, you can double after splitting, and late surrender is offered, yielding a 0.56% house advantage against a basic strategy player. The table limits are $5-$5000, and penetration was 4.5 decks. Note: There are about ten eight-deck games that pay 6:5 for blackjacks. The rules are dealer hits soft 17, and you can double after splitting. These games should be avoided because the house has a 2.02% edge.

On my visit, which was on Thanksgiving evening, there were...

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