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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

This month I traveled south of the Strip and checked out the blackjack action at Silverton and South Point casinos. Both casinos cater to mostly local players but they also promote their properties to tourists who visit Las Vegas.

Silverton Casino (333 Blue Diamond Road, Las Vegas)

Silverton is located off the I-15 at Blue Diamond Road, about a ten-minute ride south from Mandalay Bay.

The property is designed to look like a lodge that you would expect to see situated somewhere in the Sierras and not the desert, therefore, Silverton is unique compared to all the other Vegas casino resorts. You'll find lots of stone and wood, evoking a real outdoorsy atmosphere throughout the resort.

There is a two-story flagship Bass Pro Shop connected to the Silverton casino. Modeled after an Adirondack hunting lodge, Bass Pro Shop has everything related to the outdoors: hunting, fishing, camping, and clothing. Even if you are not in the mood for shopping, there are a lot of things to check out. They have waterfalls and ponds stocked with live fish (trout, salmon and such) plus a variety of stuffed animals displayed throughout the store. There is even archery and shooting range.

At the entrance of the Bass Pro Shop you'll find an 117,000-gallon saltwater aquarium featuring more than 5,000 exotic fish, sharks and stingrays. There is also a mermaid show that you can enjoy at various times during the day. (Yes, a mermaid appears in the aquarium.)

The Silverton offers a variety of dining options for their customers:

  • Twincreeks offers steak and seafood in an elegant setting at an affordable price.
  • Mia Casa Grill Cantina has your classic south-of-the-border entrees, plus over 65 tequila options.
  • Seasons Buffet, which in my opinion, is one of the better buffets in town.
  • Sundance Grill offers grilled entrees and a variety of sandwiches.
  • WuHu Noodle featuring flavors from China, Japan, Vietnam and Thailand.
  • Johnny Rockets a classic 50s diner.
  • Starbucks, for your caffeine rush.

They have three bars to enjoy your favorite libations at Silverton: Shady Grove Lounge, Flare Bar, and the Mermaid restaurant and lounge that overlook the saltwater aquarium.

The casino at Silverton is over 90,000 square feet, and offers more than 2,200 slots and video poker machines. There are roughly 23 table games including blackjack, craps, roulette, Pai Gow poker and Three-card Poker Progressive with a six- card bonus, and Ultimate Texas Hold'em Progressive.

There are two roulette tables and one 15-foot craps table that offers 10-times odds. The table limits for craps are $5-$1000.

The blackjack games offered at Silverton include...

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