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By The Counter

The Counter is an experienced blackjack advantage player.


Foxwoods casino in Mashantucket, CT boasts the largest gaming complex in the word with three primary casinos: Grand Pequot (both high stakes blackjack casinos are inside this casino), Rainmaker, and Great Cedar. Blackjack in all low stakes areas use eight decks of cards with table minimums of $25. During slow periods $10/$15 tables can be found, but it is advisable to move up to the high stakes tables for a six-deck game.

The playing rules are consistent throughout the entire facility. Blackjacks pay 3 to 2, players can double on any first two cards, double after the split is allowed (except aces), dealer stands on all 17s, and you can split any pair (except aces) up to four hands (including tens, but only if want heat), and late surrender is available.

A player can wager money behind another player who is agreeable, but all decisions are up to the primary player. I find it annoying because of the added attention/scrutiny by the pit. Hence, most real players refuse to allow back play.

At a no mid-shoe entry game, this could be valuable for team play if an advantage player has reached the table maximum betting limit.

At some tables, they have the match the dealer side bet with either or both of the first two cards. Payouts are 4 to 1 one (unsuited), 8 to 1 (two unsuited), 10 to 1 (one suited), and 20 to 1 (two suited). Minimum bet is $1.00, maximum bet is $100.00. There are also some tables with the super 7 bet. Itís a $1.00 side bet that pays 3 to 1 for first 7, 50 to 1 for two 7s, 100 to 1 for same suited 7s, 500 to 1 for three 7s and 5000 to 1 for three suited 7s. However if you decide to split your 7s, unsuited 7s pay 50, and suited 7s pay 100.

Six-deck games can only be found in the two high stakes casinos located inside the Grand Pequot. Club Newport on the main gaming floor has $50 to $100 minimums with either $3000 or $6000 maximums, and the Stargazer casino on the 25th floor require a $100 to $200 minimum with table maximums at $6000 or $10, 000. If you require more, thatís not a problem at Foxwoods, because no action is too large for them.

The shuffle is also one of the most thorough in the world, a double riff, double ladder. However, the ending slug which is usually 1 to 1 Ĺ decks is placed on top of the discard tray at the end of the shoe. The dealer will also show the burn card and, if asked, will show 1-2-3-4-5 ending cards.

A favorable penetration (only 1 to 1 Ĺ deck cut off), the ability to spread 1 to 20 with little concern from the pit, makes this play the best on the east coast. But donít be fooled; a very large bank roll is required and that still does not guarantee a win.

A two million square foot expansion is underway as a joint venture with the MGM group. It just keeps getting better.


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