Blackjack on the Strip
Planning a trip late October, for about 5 nights. Thurs-Tues. Last trip was April 2011. Will be stay somewhere on the strip. We have done Mirage, Ti, Venetian, Wynn and Encore in the past. We have a preference for the Wynn. Last 4 stays were there.
I typically play $100 and up Blackjack. Where is the best place to play these days. Most likely this is where we will stay also. I've gotten into Craps the past 2 years, but that's played with Blackjack profits.
Suggestions with good reasons why, are welcome. Thanks all. Love this site. (wink, wink Chuckmonster)
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Chuckmonster responded on Monday, 28th July 2014
I don't play at that level so I couldn't tell you specifically where you should go. If you love Wynn, and they're giving you what you deserve for that level of play... why change?
I *might* be willing to suggest Aria. Not so sure about their VIP casino services. Hotel is great.
Cosmopolitan has a lot going for it, but I don't think they'll give you the juice you deserve, casino player infrastructure is still amateur hour compared to the big boys.
An outside recommendation - SLS is cobbling together their player database *right now* - they're giving away the farm to prospective players as part of their opening push. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
I'd probably suggest spreading your play around on your upcoming trip. See which seats fit your butt the best, get your play rated, then wait to see who wants to bring you back.
blackjacker1979 replied on Monday, 28th July 2014
To elaborate a bit on Chuck's post and chime in with personal experience here are a few thoughts from a few years of playing that level (before choosing to scale back and use my money elsewhere than buying myself comps from MGM)...
If you're at Wynncore, have a great host, and are getting exceptional comps, then stay there. I've found that I've typically gotten the most bang for my long term buck from Wynn and or Aria (more on that in a second) so why rock the boat. Red Card and the comp system at Wynn are pretty well mired in floor rating, and the ratings are often biased on tips etc. So play there, tip well, earn. That's what I've seen for the most part up to a comp of a 2 BR Parlor Suite and RFB for a fight weekend based on $50-$100 dollar play. Also, I recommend the double deck tables at Encore. Next to high limit, isolated, and good rules last I played at $50 and up.
Aria is a bit more of a mixed bag. While you'll earn pretty consistently, and the tables are plentiful, VIP services tends to be very much hit or miss. If you can form a relationship there, good. You'll be rewarded. Otherwise it's totally self-service with MLife, which isn't a bad thing. That level of play landed me over a year and a half of SkySuites 3 night comps plus $300 in resort credit. Other MGM properties will fight for your business at that level, especially the mid-tier which can result in some good things at Monte Carlo where you could swing into Hotel 32, but Bellagio will likely not turn much of a nose at that compared to Aria.
Caesars, in general, was miss for me. I had one host approach in high limit at PHo, but otherwise nada. The most benefits I had were formed through external happenstance, and room comps were never more than upgraded rooms. No suites, no RFB other than an occasional $25 bucks. Diamond is great, but in my opinion not worth it.
I would also urge you to look into some of the newer places downtown. The high limit areas have exceptional service in the Nugget, the D, and the Golden Gate...and at that level of play it is likely you'll be well taken care of. Worth a shot if you like the Fremont crowd.
Either way, assure your play is comped right and that you're getting what you want. If not, shop around. Ask about matching offers at other properties and find where you're getting what you deserve.
blakjak21 responded on Monday, 28th July 2014
Thanks for the feedback Chuck.
I am trying to get a feel for who has the best house rules for Blackjack. From what I've been reading, it seems like Aria. Aria is #2 on the list.
C'mon board, everyone chime in.
StudiodeKadent replied on Monday, 28th July 2014
The best blackjack rules and conditions can be found at Bellagio, where you can get S17 hand-shuffled 6 deck liberal rules games from $15 per hand!That said, they are a bit tighter with comps than other MGM properties.
Aria starts at $25 for S17 and tends to jack it up to $50 rather quickly, but the rules are the same as Bellagio.
MGM Grand has a place called Whiskey Down which is like Carta Privada/Club Prive except they start at $25 and $50 table mins for S17 rules.
At your level of play however, you'll get great conditions at all the important MGM casinos.
If you're a Wynn guy, you can get S17 BJ at 100+ in the Encore high limit room... otherwise they want 500+ I think... maybe they drop it sometime, but Encore has less expensive conditions than Wynn. The comps, however, are a bit tighter than MGM casinos generally.
chrismorganct responded on Monday, 28th July 2014
Hey there Blackjak21,
First off, best of luck on the tables this coming Oct. I wish I had the funds to do $100 a hand. My go to resource for blackjack is the Wizardofvegas.com He outlines the house odds and rules for all of the casinos in LV. I am not sure if you have seen it or not but here is the link:
From the looks of the list pretty much every single hotel has great odds, you just need to find the table and be willing to bet the table min, but it sounds like you are. So, take a look at the survey on that site. I will check back in a few to see if you got any follow-up questions. I also recently booked my trip to stay at the Encore and got a screaming deal on a room at www.vegasgoodbuys.com they might be worth a gander when you book. I saved a couple hundred on the site.
HedgedBettor responded on Monday, 28th July 2014
I would strongly recommend Aria over Wynn for the $100+ blackjack player. The reason is that Aria has plenty of S17 blackjack on the main floor with minimums never exceeding 100, whereas Wynn only has S17 in high limit by now. If you're playing 100 a hand or more, you should not be forced to play on a H17 table.
Listen, if you love Wynn for its looks and for the better service and are willing to put up with lesser rules, stick with it. Aria cannot compete with the Wynn Tower Suites for service. But I haven't found the comps at either group to be as good as Blackjacker said, despite playing at similar levels to you (though, to be fair, not putting in huge hours).
There's further commentary on blackjack conditions around the strip in my recent trip report re Vdara
Malibugolfer responded on Tuesday, 29th July 2014
You have gotten some good and accurate advice.
For $100 and up you will be able to play at the games with the best odds at any of the casinos HL rooms and some (mainly MGM props)on the floor.
For the most available tables Aria and Bellagio will be, by far, the most consistent. s17 abounds, often at less than $100 even at DD.
Wynn does have 6d s17 on the floor across from the B-Bar but the pit is closed a lot. They have opened it for me at $100 a couple times.
The Aria DD games, and those at Wynn on the floor, are not as good as Bellagio's.
I usually stay at Wynn and play 6d at Encore HL and DD at Wynn.
But Bellagio has the best blackjack on the strip right now (I was just there) and Aria is a close 2nd.
blakjak21 responded on Tuesday, 29th July 2014
Great advice everyone, keep it coming. I knew I came to the right place.
Most likely will be playing @ Wynn/Encore and Aria (60/40 split Or is that 30/30/40???). I want to see where that gets me on Aria's radar.
We have always been treated well @ Wynn. Plus we have a great host. It is the wife's favorite place to stay, away from the mid-strip madness. Great restaurants onsite, but we do go out to other resorts for their restaurants and shows.
Vegas, what's not to love, except our 6hr flight there from JFK!
chrismorganct replied on Tuesday, 29th July 2014
JFK is the a close second in the worst airport category. (Newark is #1 worst, LGA, Westchester or go home!) Did the table odds and rules not have any bearing in your decision? Or was it mostly about what kind of rating you would be able to get? Again, best of luck.
HedgedBettor replied on Wednesday, 30th July 2014
Honestly, once you consider how much you're risking at the tables, consider shelling out for a first class flight. Its circa 400 bucks extra, i.e. a couple hands of blackjack, and it makes the trip a lot more pleasant.
I won't even mention how much I'm looking forward to Jetblue getting planes with the Mint flatbeads on NY-Vegas routes in the next 18 odd months...
blakjak21 responded on Tuesday, 29th July 2014
Table odds are @ the top of the list. Winning take priority over everything else. Rating and comps follow.
The whole reason I brought up the topic is the last time I was in town was April 2011. Rules were getting bad at most places that I past thru. I wanted to get a feel from everyone willing to contribute, their take (and first hand experience)
I do read reviews on this and other boards. Most state that the best gambling odds are off-strip and downtown. My take is that I'm in town once, maybe twice a year, I'm staying and gambling on the strip. Preferably doing both @the same place, BUT not necessarily.
BTW, @ home in NY, I'm 2hrs away from Mohegan Sun to the North and 2 1/2hrs away from AC to the South. I play mostly @ Revel, since they've opened. Prior to that, Borgata and Mohegan Sun. Very favorable 6deck rules, except no RAS and dealers burn a card after tapping in. In AC, NO surrender, unless you a high roller. Most Craps are 5x odds. Foxwoods is 10x odds all the time.
Despite being close to these places, we look forward to coming to the Strip!
Malibugolfer replied on Tuesday, 29th July 2014
When you get up into black chips you will find good blackjack rules everywhere.
As you would imagine, your action will go a lot farther at a Monte Carlo than Bellagio.
I have found my host at Wynn to be considerably more helpful and forthcoming than Aria. But Aria's Carta Privada, along with Encore's HL room, are my two favorite places to play blackjack in LV.
I only stay away from Wynn when I play Shadow Creek. My wife loves Wynn also, so it's an easy default.
Try a few places out, talk to some hosts. One never knows.
blakjak21 responded on Wednesday, 30th July 2014
Appreciate all of the great advice from everyone!
Also looking forward to trying Heritage Steak! :)
zach1234 responded on Wednesday, 30th July 2014
I have always found a good table at wynn/encore. I can usually always find good tables at your price range. On drinking nights, I have found some $50 fun busy tables with players that put a bit of effort into the game but have fun. If I am feeling a bit more serious, $100 tables are plentiful and can always count on a good game. I have always found wynn/encore to be much more personable than aria, for example. Definitely not based on stats, but I have always had a great time with the dealers and managers. Maybe its just coincidence, but I always find they are very friendly and have offered to connect me with someone to book my next trip. I don't stay at the property as I get incredible service from another property, but I definitely feel like there is some personality at the property.
That said, I wouldn't play for anything other than the odds of the game (comps, for example). I did that for a while at a couple of properties and lost big time (and they probably saw me coming, haha). Met my host genuinely through luck, some decent sized bets and a crazy night (hard rock). Since then, I'm sure I have lost gambling but have always been welcomed to the hard rock with not only great comps, but more importantly with people I have built great relationships with. Sure they ultimately try to keep the gaming on the property, but they do that through great personal service. For that, I will definitely play the games. The wynn/encore is the only strip property where I have felt similar personal service. (btw: my big games are $100 min, few grand in chips at most.). If you want a quiet game of black jack, high limit at hard rock is fun. Deck can possibly be cut decently, fun dealers and managers. Dedicated CW.
Craps is a different story - I have no loyalty, I always look for best odds at lowest min. pass line bet. Had great games downtown.
blakjak21 responded on Thursday, 31st July 2014
I've always have fun @ Wynn/Encore with the dealers and table supervisors. Tipping when doing well also helps. I've even had supervisors ask me if they should put up the reserve sign for me when I was doing well a few times. Keeping the drive by players away.
zach1234 responded on Thursday, 31st July 2014
Wynn/encore is definitely the most personal major strip property from my experience. Nothing agains the mgm properties, but I have never had a genuine conversation with staff when playing. Just my personal experience, I have definitely not played too seriously at the mgm properties.
blakjak21 responded on Monday, 4th August 2014
HedgedBettor, I usually fly JetBlue or Virgin America out of JFK. JEtBlue has not first class yet. Crossing my fingers that they will have in the future. Virgin does have and I have upgraded. JetBlue has the better non stop flight schedule..
So we are now looking are being out there the end of October or end March. Those seem to be the only times me and my wife's schedules are aligned.
In the mean time, Atlantic city and Mohegan Sun will have to suffice. To all, please say a prayer for Revel to get new owners that will keep the place open.