LAS VEGAS TRIP REPORT
by ‘Ian Macalester’
"Ian Macalester" is a serious recreational red-chip blackjack player who has been playing for about two years using mostly the K-O count, and playing mostly in Las Vegas and on the Florida casino ships.
The observations of blackjack conditions were made on April 5-12. The casinos covered in this report include:
Santa Fe Station
In previous trips, Mrs. M. and I had been out to the three Summerlin casinos, Red Rock, the Suncoast and the Rampart and we enjoyed all three. So, when we got an offer for two free nights at Red Rock, we jumped on it.
We had planned the trip and then we also got an offer for three free weekend nights at the Stratosphere. We had only played there once, but our play at Arizona Charlie’s Boulder, which had been one of our favorite stops -- more about that later -- must have gotten us the comp (both properties are owned by same company). We also had a free night at Texas Station, and a night for $29 at Silverton, another place we had visited only once.
Mrs. M and I are red-chip players that made our first trip to Las Vegas only last August, so we were thrilled to be able to pay only $29 plus hotel service and resort fees --a total of less than $100 -- for a week’s worth of lodging. We also wound up getting virtually all of our meals comped. What a country!
We found favorable playing conditions, and more, this time at all three casinos in Summerlin, the upscale suburban area about 10 miles west of the Strip and downtown.
Our first stop was Red Rock. Mrs. M. and I don’t go to Las Vegas to play shoe games -- we’ve got those at home -- but on our first night, I decided to test the waters against Red Rock’s six-decker, which was being offered that weekday night at only a $5 minimum. This game didn’t offer surrender, the dealer hits soft 17, and you can double down after pair splitting. Players can also re-split aces and the dealers we played against consistently cut off only one deck -- penetration as good as we’ve seen anywhere. I won steadily, ending up $200 ahead. (Editors note: Red Rock also offers 6-deck games with s17, das, ls, rsa but the minimums are $25).
Mrs. M. and I then headed a couple of miles east to the Suncoast casino. We had heard this casino was tough on counters...
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