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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 Dec. 2015. The casinos visited in Las Vegas this month were:

Venetian casino (3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S)

Palazzo casino (3355 Las Vegas Blvd. S)

Getting There

It is two days after Christmas and I am headed to the Strip to check out the blackjack conditions at The Venetian and Palazzo casinos. I am not looking forward to the traffic and parking nightmares that go along with the Christmas chaos. I decide to leave my car in the Linq parking area and walk to my destination. The temperature is below forty degrees, a bit nippy. Thankfully there is no wind.

I decide to walk through Harrah's to keep from freezing. I exit Harrah's onto Las Vegas Boulevard, walked a couple blocks north past Casino Royale and Im in Venice, or at least a helluva replica. The Venetian is colossal in size and has everything from gondolas, shopping, and supreme dining; basically, a party waiting to happen.


The Venetian has 4,027 rooms: 3014 suites in the main tower and 1013 suites in the Venezia tower. The casino is 120,000 square feet and has all the gaming action that you will need: craps, roulette, baccarat, Pai Gow poker, blackjack, and a variety of carnival games. There are over 2500 slot and video poker machines, along with a Race and Sports Book and probably the biggest poker room in Vegas.

There are three pools on the property, with selected pools heated to 80 degrees during the winter. If you are into shopping, you won't be disappointed. There are more than 160 shops located in The Grand Canal Shoppes, an 875,000 square-foot themed mall that is intertwined between the two properties, The Venetian and Palazzo.


The Palazzo has 3066 all-suite rooms that start at 720 square feet and are decorated in a modern Italian style. The casino is 105,000 square feet, which includes 1,900 slot and video machines and 80 table games.

The Palazzo's area combines with that of the Venetians to form a five-acre oasis, containing seven pools, four Jacuzzis, 41 cabanas, and Wolfgang Pucks seasonal restaurant Solaro. The Palazzo takes everything you like about The Venetian and raises the bar a few notches.

Because the two resorts are connected you will need to spend a few days to check out all that they have to offer. You won't find any fast food joints, buffet's, or 24 hour coffee shops here, but you will find culinary masterpiece's from some of the top chefs in the business: Wolfgang Puck, Mario Betali, Daniel Boulud, and Emeril Lagasse; BAM, to name a few.

Both the Palazzo and Venetian are definitely...

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