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by JPB

JPB has been playing blackjack and counting cards part-time since 1996. He plays throughout the country but primarily in Missouri. He has been a Green Chip member of for five years and one-time winner of the Post-of-the-Month. JPB is a professional engineer with three engineering degrees and works as a consulting engineer.

Note: I visited the casinos in this report in December 2015. See the end of this document for a summary of abbreviations used in this report.


From the period of approximately 2007-2011, I made several trips to Phoenix but I avoided the Phoenix casinos like the proverbial "chopped liver" in lieu of the "gold mine" blackjack games in Tucson. Even though Tucson was an extra 70 mile drive, based on what I thought were the conditions in Phoenix, and what I knew existed in Tucson (two of the best blackjack games in the country), I was confident I was making the right decision. Fast forward to 2015 where my blackjack action is no longer welcome at any of the Tucson casinos; therefore, when I had planned two recent trips to Phoenix, I decided to reevaluate the "chopped liver" I had previously labeled the blackjack games there.

Wild Horse Pass Casino (5040 Wild Horse Pass Blvd, Chandler, AZ)

These two casinos are under the same tribal ownership and share the same player card, and I would assume, also share information about players. On my first trip to Phoenix, I only had time to visit one casino: Wild Horse Pass. It is located about 15 miles east of the Phoenix Airport. I received a free play bonus (they were advertising $50 free play) for signing up for a player's card.

The casino is a large resort attraction adjacent to a golf course, with a hotel and large selection of restaurants. In the main pit, there were only six-deck games. The rules were H17, DAS, and RSA, for a house advantage against a basic strategy player of about 0.56%. Penetration varied from about 4.3 to 4.6 out of 6.0 decks.

This game qualifies as very mediocre based on their rules. Table minimums were $10 and I believe the maximum was $500 or $1000. Tables were not very crowded so I was able to hop from table-to-table trying to find a big plus count. They also had a high-limit area where there a few four-deck games with the same rules. Because of the four decks, the house advantage is reduced to about 0.52%, compared to the six deck equivalent. Penetration on the four-deck game was fairly consistent at around 3.0 out of 4.0 decks. Table limits were $25-1000. The four- deck game qualifies as a good, but not great game.

After my initial visit, I started receiving free...

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