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By Ted Salveson

Ted Salveson is an experienced blackjack player and a scratch golfer. He gets ‘weak’ when his casino host uses the words "Las Vegas" and "golf tournament" in the same sentence. He is a dice controller "in training" and currently learning Speed Count for blackjack.

Over the past several months I have read many reports in the Blackjack Insider Newsletter of playing conditions in at least eight different casinos in Las Vegas. The results, good and bad, were all fairly uniform. But what struck me was that nearly all of the conditions that advantage players look for, were, in fact, present at Luxor, yet no one had ever profiled that property. At the invitation of BJI Editor, Henry Tamburin, I scouted out the playing conditions at Luxor on a recent trip for this article.

I have made three to four trips a year to Las Vegas since 1991, but for the past ten years every one has been to Luxor. I believe that every casino in town is basically "same church, different pew" and only the people there, and how they treat customers, are what differentiates the very best ones. The ladies that run the VIP office at Luxor, and my host (Michael Holland) are absolutely the very best at what they do.

Luxor has five pits that offer blackjack, although one is only open weekends when the traffic is heavy. There are several single deck games, but since they are pay 6-5 for untied blackjacks, I ignored them. There are five to eight double deck tables, all 3-2 pitch games with shuffle cards, and depending on the dealer, a pen of 65-70%. The table minimums are $5, $10, $25 and $50, with the max usually at $2,000. There are also four to six shoe games available, same table stakes, with a notch on the shoe so that the cut is consistent at 1¼ decks off the end. And Luxor has decreased the number of decks in all their shoes to six.

All the games in the main area are H17, resplit out to four hands (except aces on DD), DAS, and surrender is available. They have also posted several games where they will allow mid entry, but limit the maximum bet, usually at $300, until the shuffle.

But the real jewel, if you’re up for it, is in the...

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