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CONNECTICUT TRIP REPORT: Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun

by Joe "Reload" Freda

Joe Freda has been an avid gambler and writer for the past two decades, covering casino and sports wagering. His efforts include several years of articles at Sportsbook Review and Don Best Sports, while enjoying trips for blackjack, craps, and poker throughout North and Central America. Freda can be reached at joe_freda@yahoo.com or through Twitter (@ReloadSports).

Introduction

After my adventure in February at Hard Rock Punta Cana, it was time to visit my own New England stomping grounds again with trips to Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods casinos. It had been a year since my last report from the Connecticut casinos, where not much had changed in recent times. While that was much the case again on this journey, both properties have some new wrinkles to them as the rivals get ready for future competition in nearby Massachusetts.

Mohegan Sun Casino (1 Mohegan Sun Blvd., Uncasville, CT)

I visited Mohegan Sun at the end of April to check out some of its new expansion, as well as the "Stadium Blackjack" game that has been added. The venue opened its new Earth Tower this past fall, and has a forthcoming exposition center in 2018. I felt the Earth Tower had a more secluded feel than the bustling Sky Tower, with a lengthy walkway separating both. The new "Bean and Vine Café" in the Earth Tower's lobby is a nice addition and added some leisure to start my day in mingling with hotel guests.

"Stadium Blackjack" is now dealt in the "Casino of the Sky," with two different live tables to pick from. You can try playing both simultaneously if you are fast enough to beat the countdown clocks with your wagers. Minimum bet is only $5, and most notably, the dealer hits soft 17's while the rest of the property's traditional games have "S17" rules. Blackjacks are paid at 3:2 and you can split any pairs (unlike the rest of blackjack at Mohegan Sun which disallows 10-value cards to be split). Six-deck shoes are used, and leverage a continuous shuffler. Surrender is offered (as with all Mohegan Sun blackjack), and you can even tip dealers during play.

If you choose to split while someone next to you does not, the "community cards" dealt will end up deciding your separate fates. Your individual hand updates accordingly with the next card dealt, and you play out your hand without affecting any others. The "Stadium Blackjack" consoles also allow you to wager on live roulette and baccarat, which are dealt over in the "Casino of the Earth." I found this to be more popular with patrons than I expected, and could see it continue to grow. The low minimum bets, combined with the comradery at a moderate pace, make it a pretty leisurely scenario.

Blackjack conditions have...

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