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

Sam's Town (5111Boulder Hwy.)

Eastside Cannery (5255 Boulder Hwy.)

Sam's Town

This month I headed to Boulder Highway to check out the blackjack action at Sam's Town and Eastside Cannery. Boyd gaming, who opened Sam's Town back in 1979, has been quite busy the past few weeks. They just closed a deal to purchase Aliante casino (North Las Vegas) last week for a reported 340 million, and inked a deal to purchase both Cannery properties this week (Eastside and North) . The Cannery deal should close sometime in August (if all goes as planned). I am not a big fan blackjack at the Boys properties because their penetration is roughly a deck for their double deck games. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they leave the penetration alone at Aliante.

Sam's Town is located six miles from the Strip and offers more than 600 rooms that won't break the bank. The rooms are built around a beautiful 25,000 square foot atrium called Mystic Falls Park. Waterfalls, trees, and footpaths must be seen to be believed; this is definitely worth checking out.

Sam's Town has something for the whole family including a 56-lane bowling center, an 18-screen movie theater, an arcade, and Sam's Town Live entertainment complex. Adult entertainment includes a race and sports book, bingo, keno, and an eleven-table poker room.

If you are traveling by trailer, Sam's Town also has two RV parks with over 500 spacious spots.

There are a variety of dining options available at Sam's that include Willy and Jose's Cantina (serves up regional Mexican dishes, and Billy Bob's Steak House Saloon (serves up steaks, ribs, and booze). If corporate dining is your preference, you will be happy to know that there is a T.G.I. Friday's on the property. Fast food junkies will enjoy McDonald's, Panda Express, Sbarro, and Subway.

The gaming action at Sam's includes four 14-15 foot craps tables; two roulette tables; Pai Gow Poker; Deuces Wild; Let-it-Ride; Three-Card Poker; and Texas Hold'em. The blackjack action is as follows: one table of single-deck Super Fun 21; one table of double-deck Super Fun 21; one table using a six-deck continuous shuffle machine; nine tables of double-deck blackjack; and five tables using six-deck shoes. The good news is that there are no 6:5 games in the building.

The double-deck games are dealer hits soft 17, and you cannot double after splitting. No mid entry on the $25 minimum games and up. The house advantage is 0.53%, and penetration is around one deck. I saw one table that was around 60 cards dealt to the cut card. Table limits are $5-$3000.

The six-deck games have the dealer hitting soft seventeen, and you are not allowed to double after splitting. The house edge is 0.76%, and table limits are $5-$500. The penetration is 4.5 decks to the cut card.

A friend was playing blackjack last week, flat betting $10. He was up fifty bucks when he was approached by a pit critter and told...

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