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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 Feb. 2016. The casinos visited in Las Vegas this month were:

Wynn Casino (3145 Las Vegas Blvd. S)

Encore Casino (3141 Las Vegas Blvd. S)

This month I visited The Wynn and its sister property Encore. If you want a taste of the high life, this is it. With its luxurious accommodations, championship golf course, and some of the finest dining and shopping anywhere, this is about as good as it gets. Granted, you will have to shell out the big bucks for your stay, but everyone deserves to be treated like a king or queen at least once in your life.

I parked in the Wynn self-parking garage; it makes for easy access to both properties. On weekends, the lot can become very busy but luckily there is also a self-parking garage at Encore.

The two brown and gold curved buildings of the Wynn and Encore properties take center stage in this part of the Strip. For you shoppers out there, you will be happy to know that the Fashion Show mall is located directly across the street, even though although Encore and Wynn have their own boutiques and shops: Esplanade at Encore, and Wynn Esplanade.

There are 2034 rooms at Encore and over 2700 at Wynn. The casino at Encore is 111,000 square foot, and Wynn is at 110,000 square foot. There is a 195-seat Race and Sports book at Wynn, as well as a 23-table poker room. The latter is due to be moved to the Encore to make room for more shops, and I assume more restaurants. Construction on the Wynn Plaza should begin in April; construction on the new poker room has already commenced. I'm not absolutely positive but the Ferrari shop across from the poker room will probably be gone also to make room for whatever.

The Wynn and Encore offer some of the best dining experiences to be had in Sin City. Forbes Travel Guide has awarded six of their restaurants a "Four Star" rating, and another received a Michelin star rating. Following are your fine-dining options;

Tableau; American-style cuisine. Sit in the conservatory and enjoy the gorgeous garden and pool, or dine outdoors poolside on the patio.

Andrea's: Four-star located at Encore, Asian-inspired cuisine overlooking pool at Encore Beach Club.

Mizumi: Chef Devin Hashimoto, named best chef on the strip by Vegas Seven. Located at Wynn, looks out over private Japanese gardens surrounding an idyllic koi pond with shimmering 90-foot waterfall. One of only a few restaurants that offer certified Kobe Beef.

Wing Lei: The first Chinese restaurant in the country to be awarded a Michelin star.

Sinatra: Modern twist on classic Italain cooking, including many of Ol' Blue Eyes favorites.

Costa Di Mare: At the Wynn, showcasing the acclaimed seafood by Chef Mark LoRusso.

Lakeside: At the Wynn, distinctive menu of exceptionally fresh seafood and a spectacular view of Lake of Dreams.

The Country Club: A New American Steakhouse, overlooking the 18th hole on the Wynn Golf Course.

SW Steakhouse: Four stars, Chef David Walzog, also have authentic Kobe Beef.

Casual dining includes RED 8 and Wazuzu for Asian cuisine, The Buffet, The Drug store Café, Jardin, Terrace Point Café, Zoozacrackers Deli, and for Italian check out Allegro.

If you are looking to dine on a budget, I recommend you come to Wynn and Encore on a full stomach, although after checking out some of the food offerings you will probably find room in your tummy, if your wallet can handle the damage.

As for the gaming, you will find pretty much everything: blackjack, roulette, Big 6, craps, Caribbean Stud, Let-it-Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, War, and over 1900 slot and video poker games.

The Wynn had twelve roulette tables spread throughout the casino; Encore has six. There were four craps tables at Encore and eight at Wynn. The tables were 12 feet long and had table limits of $10-$5000 along with 3x4x5x odds.

The Encore had an area labeled the Players Club. Situated in that area were tables and chairs for lounging, a pool table, a couple of shuffle boards, two roulette wheels, a craps table, five blackjack tables and a no commission baccarat table. Nobody was in the area on my visit, so I was unable to get limits and such on the various games.

The majority of blackjack games at the Wynn and Encore are...

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