Monday, June 24, 2013
My friend was here in LV on business for a week so we spent quite a bit of time playing blackjack at different casinos. We have been counting cards in LV and Reno for over 20 years. We try to move around from casino to casino and as a rule we try not to play more than an hour at any property. If we think there is no heat and the conditions are good we might play more than an hour, but that is a situational call. We try and play the $10 and $15 tables as much as possible with our max bet spread around $150. If nothing else is available we will play $25 with a max bet spread of up to $250. We do play some side bets depending on the neg or pos count. Double deck is the only game we play in LV, unless at the El Cortez then we will play single deck. We do not use player's club cards anymore -- to stay off their tracking system and mainly because table game comps are so crappy now in LV, that it's just not worst the hassle anymore. If I am hungry I will pay for my own lunch....
We have had our share of back offs, but our camouflage and short play sessions, combined with constant rotation of casinos when we play has kept the back offs to a minimum. Places we have been backed off at in LV:
Downtown: We have been backed off from most casinos downtown over the years. However, we just wait a few months and go back with no worries. The one exception is the El Cortez. We play green action in there and cause a real stink. It's usually under 30 minutes before the hammer comes down, but the amusement is worth it. Then we go back in three months and do the same thing. It's a fun to pick on them...
Fiesta Henderson: Been backed off 2x from there. Usually we wait about 6-9 months and then go back. Problem is the place is a such low roller grind joint that excessive green action causes pit shit fit.
GVR: Backed off one time. Floor manager was a such a bitch and so hostile on the back off that we did not go back for a year. Now things have calmed down in there as I believe this manager was fired a while back. One of the better places for AP's and decent basic strategy players to play at in all of LV.
Mirage: Very hostile back off on the morning shift a few years ago. Had to wait over year to go back and play there. Very careful when we go back there now. As soon as the heat gets turned up we hit the eject button.
South Point: Angry and hostile back off about 2 years ago. Have not been back since. Probably the most paranoid and hostile pit in Vegas. Got backed off on a $10 to $50 ramp up. Assholes...
Cosmopolitan: Fastest back off ever on the first time we ever played there. $25 to $250 spread. 30 minutes at most and shoulder tapped. No heat from the pit -- all of it came from the eye. Found out later this place has some of the toughest AP counter measures in Vegas. Personally, I think they are paranoid and probably chase away their share of lucky basic strategy parlay players. Duh... And they wonder why the joint just keeps burning money....
Anyway, here's a summary of our most recent card counting adventures with some commentary.
Sunset Station: Played double deck with a bet spread of $10-$150. Allowed to re-split aces. Some heat on super pos ramp ups. Drink service efficient but restrictions on top shelf liquors -- I tried to order a Johnnie Walker Black Label on the rocks and was denied.
Green Valley Ranch: Played double deck with a bet spreads of $10-$250. Played $10, $15, $25 limits. Allowed to re-split aces. Some minor heat depending on the PB, but otherwise played without any harassment. Good drink service but restrictions on certain liquors. I ordered a Grand Marnier and they served me a knock off version -- very sneaky.
Aria: Table minimums were $100 for double deck. Did not play.
New York New York: Played the $25 double deck. Bet spread of $25 to $200. Terrible chop, terrible drink service. Lots of birds dropping in on the middle of the deck. Not worth playing.
Orleans: Played the $10 double deck. Bet spread of $10 to $200. No heat at all. Drink service was efficient but short pouring was the norm. I ordered a Grand Marnier up and it looked like I got a half ounce pour. Ridiculous. There also appeared to be a pimp convention at the hotel.
M: Played the $15 double deck. Bet spread of $15-$175. Minor heat on pos ramp ups. Drink service excellent -- top shelf not excluded. Hottest cocktail waitresses in all of Las Vegas makes for a very pleasant casino experience after dealing the cranky granny's at the Mirage...
Harrah's: Played the $15 double deck. Bet spread of $15 to $150. No double after split. No heat at all. Drink service very fast. Casino is very crowded and loud, not the most relaxing place to sit and play blackjack. Chop varied from dealer to dealer. Idiot ploppys populate most tables with some of the most stupid and ignorant blackjack play one will ever experience.
Flamingo: Played the $25 double deck. Bet spread of $25 to $375. No double after split. No heat all. Decent drink service but restrictions on certain liquors. Very crowded and noisy. The $25 weeds out some of the ploppys but stupid play is still the norm. Needs a major facelift -- the place is falling apart. Also, hookers are everywhere on the prowl...
Treasure Island: Played the $15 double deck. Bet spread of $15 to $150. No heat on the am shift but things get real nasty there at night after 6pm. Major heat from PB's on bet ramp ups. Major harassment to sign up for a player's club card. They are competing with South Point to be the most hostile place in Las Vegas for blackjack. Toke hustling dealers are irritating also. Drink service was average with restrictions on top shelf.
Mirage: Played the $25 double deck. Bet spread of $25 to $225. Bet ramp ups get attention from pit then heat gets turned up. 30-45 minutes is max amount of time to play there before the hammer comes down. Most dealers are old and cranky. Drink service is average with lots of granny cocktail waitresses.