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Blackjack Insider Newsletter, June 2004, #53


By Bill Burton

Bill Burton is the Casino Gambling Guide for ( and author of Get the Edge at Low Limit Texas Holdem available at

Summer has arrived in Connecticut. The dead giveaway is not so much the soaring temperatures, as it is the soaring table limits at the Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun Casinos. During the winter months you can usually find a five dollar game early in the morning during the week but when the summer tourists arrive these games disappear faster than an Ice Cream cone in the hot afternoon sun.

I visited both casinos early on a Wednesday morning and could find a few $10 games. However, if you plan to visit at night on the weekend you probably wonít even find tables at that level. It will most likely be $15 or $25 as the lowest denomination blackjack game.

Of the two Connecticut casinos, Foxwoods is the better one for card counters. They offer an eight deck game with about 75 percent penetration. For years Foxwoods has offered a terrible side bet on their blackjack games. You bet an additional dollar and are looking for sevens in you hand. The payout is as follows:

7-7-7 suited pays $5,000

7-7-7 non suited pays $500

7-7 (first 2 cards) suited pays $100

7-7 non suited pays $50

Any 7 (first 2 cards) pays $3


The house edge on this side bet according to Michael Shackleford ( is around 11%.

Now they are offering a new side bet called match the dealer. If either or both of your first two cards match the dealer first two cards the payout is as follows:

Two suited cards pays 20-1

One suited one non suited pays 14-1

Two non suited pays 10-1

One suited pays 8-1

One non suited pays 4-1

Both of these side bets should be avoided.

The Mohegan Sun is a wasteland for blackjack card counters. They used to deal a six deck game at all tables but cut off two decks giving you only around 2/3 penetration. Now however, many of their six deck games have been replaced by continuous shufflers. If this isnít bad enough when I visited there in mid June, I found that they have also been replacing some traditional blackjack games with Spanish 21.

Last September the Mohegan Sun closed their Poker room which is the main reason I have not visited them in a while. After seeing their inventory of blackjack games, I canít see anything there that makes me want to return.




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