Where I Play Blackjack in Las Vegas, NV and Why

Blackjack routinely offers the lowest house advantage over players as compared to all other casino games off the top. Players can enhance that inherent gambling advantage further by applying very accurate basic strategy play and insistence on playing only those games that offer player-favorable rules. There’s a plethora of variation between game rule-sets and table conditions and these directly affect the mathematical player expected value (EV) which ultimately translates to enhanced winnings / minimized losses over time. Proper game selection can easily reduce house advantage to.5% or less for the conscientious player who employs accurate basic strategy decision plays for a specific game and set of rules. Blackjack also provides one of the best venues to accrue comps for gamblers interested in playing the comp game; wise use of certain comp accrual tactics can increase real dollar value expectation and provide a means to keep losses to a minimum when including the values of potential awarded comps.

It’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of learning basic strategy for those interested in enhancing the value of their blackjack experiences. It’s the foundation of all efforts to beat the game for both novice and professional players. Basic strategy play is based on literally billions of computer simulated hands to arrive at proper hand play decisions regarding standing, hitting, doubling, and /or splitting pairs against a given dealer’s upcard. Those players who might be interested in becoming serious students or professional blackjack players will learn that further advancement in learning advantage play methods (eg card counting) is pointless without a solidly grasped knowledge of basic strategy. Memorization of specific basic strategy play is not difficult, especially for those who are interested in increasing their expectation at the blackjack table. As a new player in the process of learning these systems, basic strategy charts (specific for specific games and rule-sets) are available in countless books and on the internet; these are also available at most casino gift shops and or player’s clubs in Vegas. Using these at a live Vegas blackjack table is perfectly acceptable and common and is encouraged for novice players. With minimal time and effort at using and memorizing these basic strategy hand decision play charts, proper play will become second nature. Remember that there are some variations in given basic strategy play depending on the number of decks in play and the specific rules in force at a given table. There’s also a “generic” basic strategy chart that is utilized to cover all games and rules; this version is not as accurate as specific charts for specific games and conditions but is far superior to those proverbial “gut” play decisions. Keep in mind that use of perfect basic strategy play will not put players in a position to have an advantage over the house; the casinos will still have an edge over players in virtually all games except a few 3:2 payoff single deck games (which are beyond scarce in Vegas these days).

What are the blackjack rule sets / table conditions that enhance player expectation? I routinely play 6-deck (6D) shoe games that don’t utilize continuous shuffle machines (CSM’s) with $5 – $25 dollar minimum bet conditions. Keep in mind that games with higher minimums ( $25 and up) MIGHT have comparatively better rule sets for players than lower minimum tables; players should scope the better games out at all denomination minimums. The minimum rule sets / conditions (ultimately rendering a house edge between.25 and.42% off the top in 6D games and involving accurate basic strategy play) that I seek out in Vegas include..

Base games = 6D shoe games, $5 – $25 minimums, 1 – 12 bet spread variation (x minimums), 75% penetration, no CSM’s; 2D pitch games, $5 – $25 minimums, 1 – 6 bet spread, 60 – 65 % penetration.

Rules Lowering House Advantage / Increasing Player Expectation (EV) :

– Insist on 3 : 2 payoffs on naturals (blackjacks); adds + 2.5% EV; players cripple their blackjack expectation off the bat if they play tables with either 6 : 5 (there are tons of these in Vegas now, particularly 1D games) or even money payouts on naturals. One of the single biggest errors unknowing, average players make is electing to play these games if they’re concerned about value.

– DAS ( doubling bets allowed after pair splits ); adds + 0.14% to player expectation. There are plenty of games offering this rule in Las Vegas.

– S17 (dealer stands on all soft seventeen hands, eg A, 6 etc.); adds + 0.20% EV vs H17 games (dealer hits all soft seventeens); there are a few Vegas casinos who offer this rule, though most games are H17.

– LS (late surrender offered; allows player to surrender hand and half their original bet with certain 2-card totals against specific dealer upcards AFTER dealer checks for blackjack ); adds + 0.075 % EV. There are a very limited number of games in Vegas that offer this rule, but they’re locatable. Often this particular rule is not posted at tables so ask when you approach for play.

I don’t play 6D blackjack games in Las Vegas unless it offers all the above rules unless there is a specific set of other rules or promotions that drives the house edge down. Obviously, the above games are few and far between and you may consider this an anal approach…I just adhere to this axiom ( you don’t have to ). I agree that blackjack should be an enjoyable, “fun” experience; it’s simply neither of those for me if the house advantage off the top is insurmountable over time. I have found the above 6D rules / games with some consistency at the following Vegas casinos ( keep in mind that you may have to play $15 – $25 dollar minimums to collectively locate the above rules at a given table; additionally some of the properties may require these minimum bet levels for players to even get rated for table game comps, which can potentially add significant real dollar value to player expectation / EV) :

– MANDALAY BAY (Strip)

– MGM GRAND (Strip)

– MONTE CARLO (Strip)

– TREASURE ISLAND (Strip)

– TROPICANA (Strip)

– RED ROCK (Off-strip)

Notice there are no Harrah’s properties on the above list. Be aware that there are changes to blackjack game rules with some regularity which requires players to seek out current info just prior to a trip and then scout and confirm derived information upon arrival. Excellent sources (modest subscription fee required) for blackjack game conditions in Vegas (and elsewhere) is Current Blackjack News (CBJN) or Trackjack. Be advised that the above 6D games are typically easier to find and play during the day on weekdays than on more crowded weekends. When conditions are more crowded for any reason, the better games are more difficult to find and obviously more difficult to find a seat at. Further, the casinos traditionally increase table minimum bet levels as demand increases and on evening shifts.

There are other additive rules ( in addition to and including S17,DAS, and LS rules) that some casinos offer that reduces their advantage and increases EV;

-RSA (resplitting of aces after initial split ); adds + 0.06 % EV; variations are RSA3 (resplit only once to make three hands) and/or RSA4 (split twice to make 4 hands total). The designation UR refers to unlimited resplits.

-D3 (player allowed to double down on first three cards ); adds + 0.23% EV.

Casinos that have recently offered S17, DAS, RSA, and LS (all at $25 dollar minimums or less) and house edge of.26% include;

– MANDALAY BAY (Strip)

– MGM GRAND (Strip)

– MIRAGE (Strip)

– MONTE CARLO (Strip)

– RED ROCK (Off-strip)

– TREASURE ISLAND (Strip)

– WYNN (Strip)

Two “sister” off-strip casinos that offer H17, DAS, D3, LS, RSA3, and UR with initial house edges of.25% are;

-BIGHORN*

-LONGHORN*

* Note that the current rules at the above two locales involve H17 (dealer hits soft seventeen); the cumulative advantage gained by including RSA3, D3, and UR more than offsets the H17 disadvantage (vs S17) to arrive at a playable house edge with accurate basic strategy play. It should be noted that the above two off – strip casinos offer exceedingly minimal glitz and glamour (like..zero) but they do offer decent blackjack rules and very low minimums. I like them both even though I realize Bruce Willis or Britney Spears won’t be there.

Other rules that can enhance player expectation but are seldom (if ever) found in Vegas casinos are;

– DSA (doubling after ace splits); adds + 0.10% EV

– 21S (suited blackjack pays 2:1 ); adds + 0.56% EV

– BJ2:1 (all naturals pay 2:1 ); adds + 2.28% EV

– 6 (player’s unbusted 6-card hand; automatic winner even against dealer blackjack); adds + 0.10%

– ES (early surrender allowed; allows player to surrender hand and half of original bet BEFORE dealer checks for their potential blackjack ); adds +0.63% EV; this rule hasn’t been offered for several years, beyond rare.

As mentioned earlier, more decks in play results in increased house advantage over players. Single – deck (1D) games in Vegas with reasonable rules and 3 : 2 payoffs are extremely rare these days and essentially nonexistent on the strip. In times past, a player could play even or have a slight edge over the house in 1D games with 3:2 payoffs, reasonable rules, and application of basic strategy. In Las Vegas presently, most 1D games offer 6 :5 payouts on naturals; you might as well ride up the Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel and toss cash off the observation deck. My most current info indicates there are 4 downtown (on Fremont street) casinos that offer single deck games with 3 : 2 payoffs;

– EL CORTEZ

– BINION’S

– FOUR QUEENS

– WESTERN

The 1D games at the above downtown locations are all H17 but due to use of single decks ( though they usually only deal out about a half deck before reshuffling) the house edge for all these games is 0.18% and thus playable for a basic strategy player. As a sidenote, if any players employ any type of advantage play techniques (eg card counting, etc.) the pit and eye-in-the-sky surveillance crews may ask them to leave at these games (or any game, anywhere if they’re not adept at camouflage / disguising play). Just be aware. The El Cortez has been referred to as The Sweaty Spaniard for years and there’s a reason why.

There are some playable two-deck (2D) games in Vegas; simply playing a 2D game vs 6D adds.25% EV off the top. Theoretically a player can sacrifice some other rules as a tradeoff to arrive at a reasonable / playable house advantage range. A 2D game with base rules of S17 and DAS only provides a house edge of.19%; two strip locales where these games have been offered recently are;

-MIRAGE*

-LUXOR*

*both have $25 minimums

Recently the following off-strip casinos offer 2D, H17,DAS, and RSA games for $2 -$10 minimums and a house edge of.35%;

– ARIZONA CHARLIE’S BOULDER

– STATION CASINOS (BOULDER,TEXAS, SANTA FE, PALACE, AND SUNSET STATIONS)

– GREEN VALLEY RANCH

– RED ROCK

– SILVER NUGGET

– WILD, WILD WEST

Player expectation from blackjack play can be enhanced by taking advantage of short-term promotional games / buy-in incentives, blackjack matchplay or free ace coupon plays, and by employing comp accrual tactics. Info regarding blackjack promotions may be found in casino newsletters / mailers for players club members or on Las Vegas gambling info websites. Some occasional short-term blackjack promotions include 2:1 payoffs for naturals, payoffs on tied blackjacks (vs dealers; normally a push), increased payoffs for suited blackjacks (usually 2 :1 or 3 : 1 payoffs) or specific card combinations for player 21’s (eg 7-7-7 or 6-7-8). Blackjack matchplay coupons (usually 5,10,or 25$ denominations) are historically worthwhile to low-midlevel gamblers and usually valued at approximately 50% of face value for basic strategy players. Free ace coupons are also a valuable coupon to collect and use; player’s club ‘funbooks’ are available at many casinos and can reduce expenses (and thus add to EV ) if players put these to use. These coupon and funbook sources can significantly enhance EV particularly for low- moderate level gamblers. Contact me for some info regarding coupon / funbook sources if interested. Additionally, accruing comps at blackjack can at times mean the difference between winning vs losing sessions or trips depending on bankroll and wager levels. Signing up for player’s clubs and casino e-mail website subscriptions is a must for being able to obtain awarded comps. Specific tactics to employ at the tables include enhanced initial buy-ins (buying in for more than you intend to lose or gamble with), increased wagers when pit crews or floor people are watching / recording your gambling levels during actual play, and any number of methods that slow down the speed of the game and thus the number of hands / wagers per hour. Additionally, it’s suggested that players develop a relationship with a specific table host at specific casinos where they choose to play; often it’s good to select a host of the opposite gender in my opinion. At some casinos (usually not at Harrah’s properties), floor reps and pit bosses can award meal comps for table play. Developing a friendly, “ask-for” relationship with blackjack pit personnel and previously mentioned hosts can go a long way toward enhancing real-dollar value of player expectation when playing. Some of these casino staff members are people, too.

Any discussion of blackjack should at least address bankroll management elements. Play with money that won’t affect your daily life if you lose it. Staying too long at any table to recoup losses is both common and foolhardy. I seldom stay at a given table beyond 1 hour for several reasons; this time is extended only when experiencing a particularly good winning session or other important factors. There is a plethora of info regarding what’s known as Risk of Ruin (ROR) charts which outline betting ramps and bet levels with a defined starting bankroll. Some of these aspects are quite detailed and are usually restricted to use by serious, professional players. If players are interested in becoming a serious student of the game, there’s a massive amount of pertinent info on the web and within the pages of many books. Avail yourself of this info and over time you will be able to discern the credible info sources (there’s some misleading and inaccurate info out there, of course). For those interested, contact me and I’ll provide a decent info starter list.

The present economic downturn Las Vegas is enduring has resulted in a general trend of lower table minimums to a noticeable degree in several casinos. We could speculate that, in order to attract more patronage, the gaming entities might offer more short-term promotional games with player – favorable rule sets in addition to these observed lower table minimums. We’ll see.

Cheers..

Charles Higgins

Play South Korea’s Casinos Online, But Not The Dubious Ones

The gambling and casino scene in South Korea is well organized and well structured, based throughout the major cities. South Korea casinos are quite popular too. As per the statistics of 2009, Korea casinos were the seventh largest casino market in the world with a revenue equivalent to US$2.4 billion.

The growth of casino culture in Korea is a result of phenomenal increase in Korea tourism during the last decade. It is quite likely casinos contributed substantially to the upswing in tourism in this highly urbanized East Asian country.

Interestingly, gambling in Korea was restricted to placing bets on horses till 2000. However, within a short time, the scenario underwent a sweeping change when the country lifted the ban on gambling, paving the way for more than 20 casinos to emerge scattered across the entire country. Online casinos nevertheless had to struggle to make their presence felt in this country as the government was reluctant to allow land-based casinos to operate on the Internet. The situation seems to have changed now with more than 130 online casinos operating in Korea, a clear fact that the online gambling fad has also bitten this country’s populace.

If you are playing Korea casinos online or, for that matter, any game play that accepts bets online, a well-researched review is something you cannot do without. Here are a few tips that will help you find a dependable site that will provide quality entertainment and also a great gaming experience.

Try To Get Answers To The Following Questions:

* Is the casino licensed in a trusted jurisdiction?

* Is the online site operated by a reputable Korea casinos software provider?

* Does the casino offer fair payout percentages and returns to players?

* Is the casino offering a good casino bonus with fair betting requirements?

* Has the online casino a fair selection of games to choose from with a variety in each category, such as Progressives, Slots, Video Slots, Poker, and Blackjack to name a few?

Even if you feel confident enough that you have done thorough research, nothing beats evaluating the system on your own. Remember, rogue online casinos exist in Korea, too, as elsewhere in the world. Rogue casinos do not credit due bonuses you earn, delay or default in crediting withdrawals, and sometime don’t make payments. Weeding out the dicey ones from among the numerous positive sites spread on the Internet, though not easy, can be done. Just look out for the following:

* See if the site provides the name of the owner with an address. If it does not, then exit the site in a jiffy and for good.

* If the owner is mentioned, find out if the company is listed on the native stock exchange and if it offers gaming online too. If the answer is yes to both the questions, then you are in the safe zone.

Go ahead and play in online casinos. Just make sure the one you choose from among the various South Korea casinos is reputable and has passed all the stringent checks made by the best reviewers-and most importantly by you.

How Worth It Is To Follow Professional Tips To Play At Online Casinos?

When it comes to choosing the best online casinos, the first thing which comes into our mind – is it worth to invest in an online gaming site and what if they takes all your money and just go? Well, the simple answer to this question is – you must choose a professional casino which has relevant customer feedback, offers huge returns, years of experience, always updated, etc. In short, the best online gaming sites in the world offer attractive bonuses and promotions like free spins, tournaments in various board games, protection in private data, and a variety of payment methods.

Enjoy and read carefully about guides regarding all the games that offer endless resources to become an expert. If you love playing, then you should do proper research where you can find recent information regarding new brands, news, reviews, tips, games, the best bonuses, and more. They will keep you up to date with the latest news, offers and a list of the latest bonus offers, so you can enjoy your favorite games and have fun to the extreme. In a professional website, you will find all the information regarding the world of online gaming. There you can check all the new brands for your convenience with the best bonuses like free spins, welcome bonuses, slot games, gaming providers, sports betting and news and reviews.

Advantages of Playing at Online Casinos

So let’s take a closer look and get in full to see what advantages it has when playing online.

  • No physical establishment will offer you free bonuses and spins of up to $3,000 as it is possible online.
  • You can participate in all current bonuses and promotions.
  • VIP scheme for frequent players.
  • Poker tournaments among others.
  • Big jackpots in slots with millions at stake.
  • A giant diversity of games, slots and sports betting.

Why Choose Online Gaming vs. a Physical One?

Everything in this life, there are always pros and cons. While in the physical land-base casino you can find tasty food and a fun gaming environment, in the online establishment you get massive bonuses, free spins, promotions, and tournaments that a physical land-base casino does not offer to you. Besides, playing online offers you virtual money to keep playing if your account is empty. It is not possible for everyone to visit Las Vegas, Macau or Goa to play.

In general, all sections can be found from the Menu bar of the website like bonuses, current news, special offers, free spins, guides to become an expert player, best slots, table games, live games by attractive dealers, sports betting, game developers and a variety of payment methods offered worldwide, deck and chips, etc. Within the portal, there is a section where we introduce of all the best online casinos with bonuses, free spins and all the advantages offered by these new establishments which will take you there by simply clicking on the brand of your liking.

Rewards When You Play the Free Online Roulette Games

Just like the other casino games, the roulette has developed some changes through the years. Because of the success of internet, the ways are laid out for the commencement and the eventual success of the online roulette. From the moment the online roulette has been introduced, it has been in the list of top casino games since it is very comparable to the real roulette in the casino. The more essential thing here is that these online casinos let gamers try the free roulette games online.

Having asserted that, this piece of writing will make you understand how you are benefited when you try the free roulette online. Better yet, before going into the rest of the advantages, we will give you an overview of the two of online roulette games.

An Explanation of The Roulette Game Mechanism

The main aim of roulette is for players to predict where a ball will land on a spinning roulette table each time the table is spun. The curt reality is that the play is all about luck, and yet gamers will need to use some strategy for a bigger opportunity to win.

All you have to do is to bet on either a number, a pair of numbers, even number, odd number, or whether the number’s color will be red or black. It sounds easy right? As long as you know how it goes about. However, you must take not that whether online roulette or not, even in a free online roulette, there is a house edge that you must maintain which will be based on what table: The European roulette has a house edge of 2.6%, while the American roulette has a 5.26% house edge. When you are unsure which wheel to play, formulaically it is easier to beat the odds in the European than in the American roulette.

The Various Forms of Free Online Roulette:

As what you have understood by now, a free online roulette online has two types; specifically: the American roulette and the European roulette systems. As you can see, the American wheel has a bigger house edge than that of the European.

The difference of the house advantage in European and American roulette lies in the fact that the American table has double zeros and the European table has one zero. On top of that, another difference pointed out is that the European system has numbers placed randomly, on the other hand, the American system’s numbers are in pairs and they are arranged in opposite of each.

Benefits of Playing Free Online Roulette Games:

The best thing about playing free online roulette games is the fact that you get the chance to practice for free before you actually bet your money on anything. You should make sure that you have absorbed all the tricks and strategies you need to know so you can lessen the possibilities of losing money soon.

No need for you to take a trip- You do not have to go to miles and miles from home just to enjoy the roulette game. What you will be needing is a PC, an access online, and little money when you want to have real gambling.

Free money is given to you for you to begin gambling – The money increases as you play more free online roulette. Nevertheless, this is not genuine money you can withdraw; it is virtual money.