• And receive email notifications of new posts. Its simple just enter your email address and press submit.

  • Next Trip Counter

    Viva Las Vegas!!May 12, 2016
  • Did You Know?

    • • LV's McCarran International (LAS) is the 8th busiest Airport in the U.S. and number 23 in the world, with 41.7 million passengers
    • • 79 percent of McCarran's departures and 82 percent of arrivals are on time, the average departure delay is 52 minutes and arrival delay is 50 minutes, and cancellations are at 0.6 percent
    • • McCarran Airport is only two to four miles southwest of most Las Vegas Strip hotels
    • • Metered taxi fares to major hotels on the Strip cost approximately $15–$25. A consolidated car-rental center is three miles from the terminal and is accessed by shuttle bus. ScottyVegas always rents a car.
  • My Las Vegas Photos

  • Meta

  • Pages

  • August 2022
    M T W T F S S
    1234567
    891011121314
    15161718192021
    22232425262728
    293031  

Bill’s Gambling Hall and Saloon Review… I’m serious!

After receiving an email from Caesar’s Entertainment announcing hot deals across all their Las Vegas Properties I quickly booked four nights at Harrah’s for $228. The price was right, location good, and Trip Advisor reviews were decent. But after reading several Harrah’s reviews I noticed many people mentioned favorably about Bill’s Gambling Hall and Saloon So off I went to read reviews about Bill’s and surprisingly they were more favorable than Harrah’s and to top it all off the “hot deal” total price for four nights including a Saturday and taxes came to $165! Not one to pass up a screaming deal I booked Bill’s for the four nights and requested a non-smoking Bellagio fountain view room. Now I have two hotel reservations and one wife to convince Bill’s is the place for us.

Leading up to our trip I must have had the following conversation at least 2 dozen times.

Person: So you’re going to Vegas, where you staying?
Me: Bill’s Gambling Hall and Saloon
Person: Bill’s? Off Strip?
Me: Noooo, it’s right there on the strip, corner of Flamingo between Bally’s and the Flamingo. You know it’s the former Barberry Coast Hotel and Casino?
Person: Oh… you’re staying there?
Me: Yes, actually it gets great reviews. The rooms are a little older but they’re supposed to be really clean. It’s in a great location and you’re supposed to be able to get to the strip from any room in about 5 minutes.
Person: (Doubtful).. hmmmmm… with head nod
Me: I got a great deal, four nights including a Saturday for under $170 taxes included plus no resort fees.
Person: Ohh Okay, have a good time
Me: Yeah, I will let you know how it turns out

I must say I was a little apprehensive myself right before we left if I made the right decision to choose Bill’s. I definitely felt the uncertainly from my wife. In fact I frequently checked reviews at Trip Advisor for reassurance.

With adrenaline running through my veins I had a good feeling about Bill’s as we approached. Parking was a breeze as you enter the parking garage just off the strip on Flamingo Dr. It’s very easy to get in and out from all directions. There were plenty of spots near the elevator which was nice. The garage is older but very clean and there was never any traffic.

We approached the small registration desk which is located in the back of the casino. The host said you must be the ScottyVegas’, I said Yes, and she said, we were her last guests to check in for the night. I inquired about my reservation preferences and she said unfortunately we had a smoking room on the Flamingo hotel side and that was the last available room. She said to call the desk in the morning and they will accommodate our request. Not what you want to hear when you’re already apprehensive about a hotel.

Anyway, tired but eager to hit the strip, we quickly headed to our room on the 3rd floor. The room was large and roomy with a plasma TV hanging on the wall, and thankfully not as smoky as I feared it would be.

Tip: All rooms on the 3rd floor at Bill’s are smoking rooms, Floors 1 & 2 are non-smoking

The next morning I called and we swapped rooms, this time our request was honored for a non-smoking, Bellagio Fountain View room. Both rooms were very clean however the room décor was a bit dated with a western style feel to it. Each bathroom had a stained glass window you could open from the tub/shower. I absolutely loved this and thought it was the best feature of the room, it added a ton of character. It was great taking a shower with the window slightly opened and hearing the sounds of the strip including music from the dancing Bellagio fountains.

Like the reviews I read said, you literally can get to the strip from any room in the hotel in about 5 minutes. Try this at any of the mega resorts.

Entertainment

The casino might be dated and feel like it belongs downtown but it’s definitely NOT dull. The patron demographics varied widely but everyone seemed to be having a great time. The table games were packed nightly with plenty of cheers. The casino stage had nightly entertainment with either karaoke or bands, both drew a crowd of on lookers and fun was had my all.

You should also know this is the home of Big Elvis and from what I hear a great FREE act performed Mondays through Fridays at 3, 5 and 6:30 p.m. right there on Bill’s casino stage. Don’t know how we did it but we failed to see this highly rated popular show!

As far as gaming goes the casino offers a decent variety of slot and video poker games of all monetary denominations. We did not play extensively here. But when I did play, usually when I was waiting for my wife, I had fun and won some money playing Video Poker.

Tip: Bill’s is a Non-Total Rewards casino partner of Caesars Entertainment. So in other words they maintain their own independent players club.

Dining

The hotel has several dining options to choose from. However, we only visited one, Victorian Café and that was for the after 11:00pm steak and eggs breakfast special for $5.99. Let me tell you this special rocked, especially after a long evening of drinks and gaming action.

Note: It looks like the times and prices have changed a bit from when we visited. Here is updated information taken directly from their website “3 egg breakfast for only $4.99 Midnight to 8am and don’t miss our Steak and Eggs Special for $8.99 served from midnight to 8a.m.” Still not a bad deal.

Location

Like I said before the location is the best! If you walk out the door to your right you can easily reach the Wynn properties without much effort. Turn left and Planet Hollywood and City Center is just a short walk. Bill’s sits right on the corner so crossover bridges are right there for you to cross Las Vegas Blvd or Flamingo. Did I mention this was the perfect location?

SPA Services, Exercise and Pool

Looking for prime SPA services or a good workout before your day? If so, then don’t stay here. Bill’s does not offer such services. Bill’s does not have a pool either however, you do get full access to the highly rated Flamingo pool, so not all is lost.

The Bottom Line

If you are new to Vegas, looking to impress or want to be pampered by all the amenities of the mega resorts, Bill’s is not the place for you. If its value you seek or just need a good room to serve as a base for your Vegas Adventure then you should put Bill’s Gambling Hall and Casino towards the top of the list of places to consider.

Las Vegas Area Thrills by Land and Air

For most, the Las Vegas strip itself offers enough excitement with all its gambling and entertainment possibilities. Plus if you factor in all the colorful characters that inhabit the area, well, do you really need more excitement? But if you’re looking to kick it up a notch and go beyond the usual, you just might find the following off-strip thrills right for you.

Fremont Street Flightlinez

Looking to sample zip-lining? If so, then why not head down to Fremont Street where you can glide 800 feet down Fremont Street, 67 feet in the air, while reaching speeds up to 30 mph. Don’t let the short ride fool you, trust me, it’s a blast. After harnessing up, the leap off the platform takes a little nerve after you realize you’re placing your life in the hands of some nylon straps and a cable!  But once in flight you’ll appreciate this smooth and easy ride, you’ll be glad you did it.

Flightlinez is open daily with rates as low as $15, see website for details.

Tip: While downtown, take a walk around. You’ll find lower table minimums, better blackjack odds, and a variety dining options.

Tip: The American Casino Guide has many coupons for downtown properties. Coupons include food discounts, free Play (slots) and match play (tables) offers

Bootleg Canyon Flightlines

Looking for the ultimate zip-line adventure? Then head 25 miles southeast to Boulder City where you will find multi-run, multi-line series of zip-lines that range in length from 1150 to 2550 feet and speeds that reach 50 mph! The total length of zip-lining fun is 1.56 miles. The cost is $149 (as of this writing) and lasts approximately 2.5 hours.

See Bootleg Canyon Flightlines website for details

Tip: Hoover Dam is only 7 miles from Bootleg Canyon Flightlines or 35 miles from the Las Vegas strip.  Not in a hurry? do a Dam drive by. Have more time? Take the Dam Tour!

Land Sailing

Looking to try something totally different? Well here’s your chance to sail a land yacht (think 3 wheeled cart with a sail) across 6 miles of wide open smooth desert space and reach speeds of 60 mph!! The website claims its “fast, fun, easy & safe – anyone can do it”.

The cost is $125 (as of this writing) for 2 hour regattas. It’s located just 40 miles south of Las vegas (all highway), see the website for details

Tip: Find Go Land Sailing money saving coupons here

I first saw Go Land Sailing advertised on Groupon. After looking it up I instantly became interested as something I would love to try.

Tip: Check out Primm Valley Casino Resorts and Outlet Mall

Primm Valley

If you decide to go land sailing, then why not plan to spend some time at Primm Valley Casinos and the Outlet Mall. After all, the meet up point for the Land Sailing Regatta begins in the outlet mall parking lot.

Primm Valley Casino Resorts and Outlet Mall is located 40 miles south of Las Vegas right off the highway. Though I wouldn’t make a special trip again, the area does offer a variety of attractions to warrant a stop if passing through. Three casino’s make up this area, Buffalo Bill’s, Primm Valley, and Whiskey Pete’s. These locals style casinos do offer lower table minimums with better odds then the Las Vegas strip and buffet food prices are very reasonable.  Surprisingly some quality entertainment visits this complex (check schedule here) and the recently updated room rates are very low.

Primm Valley Area Attractions:

  • Desperado Roller Coaster, Adventure Canyon Log Flume Ride, and other theme park style rides
  • Carolee Movie Theatre
  • 3 Casinos with monorail service to all properties.
  • Famous Fashion Outlets of Las Vegas in Primm. Over 100 Designer Outlets including Polo, Coach, Kenneth Cole and more.
  • Two Golf Courses designed by renowned golf architect Tom Fazio.

As a frequent Las Vegas visitor I always rent a car to do some off strip exploring, usually in the mornings. Rental cars are very reasonable in Las Vegas and once off the strip navigation is rather easy. So if you’re up for a little adventure, get out and explore the other side of Las Vegas!

Check out these other related posts:

Las Vegas Rent A Car Tips
Up, Up and Away! Stratosphere Las Vegas
Pawn Stars in Las Vegas?
Red Rock Canyon Excursion
What is a player’s card? What are comps?

Getting an awesome Las Vegas hotel deal? Don’t forget about the resort fees!

No Resort Fees

It seems these days all Vegas hotels have screaming deals going on. It’s almost daily that I receive emails announcing incredibly low room rates at some of the strips best properties. But as you sit down to compare all the room offers be warned, all deals are not equal.

As the economy started to sputter in 2008 so did Vegas tourism and room rates. To help boost profits many Las Vegas properties started instituting “resort fees”. Though not necessarily new to the hotel business, they are new to Vegas and they range from a buck or two to over 24 dollars per night! The fee is mandatory and surprisingly enough the fee is even taxed at some places.

Note: Some hotels charge tax on resort fees!

So what does the resort fee cover? Well it varies by hotel but usually it covers such things as internet, newspaper, and local phone service. Some offer things such as free bottles of water while others offer fitness center or spa access (limited), so it all varies. But as a general rule higher resort fees usually include more stuff.

Tip: As a general rule higher resort fees usually include more stuff.

Tip: Las Vegas hotel tax is 12%.

When comparing hotels offers you should do a little homework and find out what, if any, resort fees apply and what it covers. That’s where http://www.vegas.com/incl/resortfees.html comes in. This site clearly lists every casino hotel in Vegas with resort fee amount, if any, plus what the fee includes.

For instance, you might be surprised to learn that all Vegas MGM Resort International properties have the mandatory resort fee (as of this writing, fee varies by property) where Caesars Entertainment (formally Harrah’s Entertainment) properties do not. Once you know this you can make a fare comparison. let’s take a look at an example, Say you’re comparing two offers, one from Planet Hollywood (Caesars) for $62/nt and one from Monte Carlo (MGM) for $49/nt,. For many unaware price conscious people, this may seem like a no brainer and choose Monte Carlo, but is it really the better deal? Let’s break it down with what we now know, we said Planet Hollywood was $64 (room rate per night) + $0 (resort fee) x 12% (hotel tax) = $69.44 per night. Now let’s look at the Monte Carlo offer, $49 (room rate per night) + $15 (resort fee) x 12% (hotel tax) = $71.68 per night, almost $2.00 more per night.

Note: All Vegas MGM properties have a mandatory resort fee (as of this writing, fee varies by property).

Tip: None of the Caesars Entertainment (formally Harrah’s Entertainment) properties charge resort fees.

Don’t disregard an offer just because the hotel charges a resort fee. Here are some things to also consider when deciding where to stay:

  • Will you use what the resort fee includes
  • Location
  • Reputation of hotel/reviews
  • Ease of access from room to casino floor/strip/parking garage
  • Free self parking/valet services
  • Pool(s)
  • Clubs
  • Spa services
  • Complementary shuttle service
  • Freeplay/Show offerings
  • Restaurants in your price range/taste near by

Tip: Many hotels charge resort fees even on Complementary rooms, this policy varies by hotel.

I guess it will remain to be seen whether or not resort fees survive after Vegas room rates return to normal levels or if negative press and complaints cause them to be discontinued.

In the mean time do your homework when deciding where to stay, compare offers and hotel amenities before making your decision, then relax.

Here are some other posts you might find helpful:

Free Room Upgrade? Let me introduce you to “The $20 Trick”
Plan on using a cab while in Vegas? Read this first!
Las Vegas Rent A Car Tips
Tips on how to find the lowest hotel rates in Las Vegas
YES drinks are FREE in Las Vegas!
 Advice from the Veterans, Las Vegas Traveler Style…
What would you NEVER do again in Las Vegas?

2011 American Casino Guide and Coupon Book

Here’s a guide no casino enthusiast should be without! It’s loaded with information and COUPONS!! In fact, the cost of the book (under $13 at Amazon) is easily recouped by simply using a coupon or two. On our last trip we used MANY and saved tons. For Example:

  • $25 in FREE slot play at Venetian/Palazzo
  • $10 in FREE slot play for all slot club members at Hard Rock
  • Many table game match plays
  • Lots of food discount coupons
  • 2-for-1 cocktail and VIP entry to V Bar (Venetian)

See the entire coupon list yourself by clicking here.

The book also contains information on just about every casino in the nation like number of rooms, casino size, restaurants, Buffet Prices, and so much more.

Interested? If so, please purchase by clinking here, you pay the same price I make a few cents, we both win! Thank you in advance – ScottyVegas


Trump Plaza Atlantic City Review

Our first Atlantic City trip in May of 2010 left us with a favorable opinion of the City. So when we received the November Edition of the monthly Trump Plaza newsletter announcing among other things a complementary two night stay, we decided it was time to head back for another quick one night, two day trip. I called and reserved the room for one night, November 7, 2010.

When we arrived it was only 9:30am. We attempted to check in but the host said we would have to wait until checkout which is 11:00am. We checked our bags with the hotel’s concierge and proceeded to hit the casino floor.

The Plaza isn’t a large casino but offers a decent variety of slots, video poker and table games. On our last trip the plaza seemed to give me more play for my dollar so I was eager to drop some coin and play a few slots. During the time we were there Trump was offering Black Jack minimums of $1.00 but with a .25 cent fee per hand! First time I saw this little trick but regardless of the increased house advantage the tables where filled. I really enjoy playing in this casino the waitress service is fantastic (as is most of the casinos in AC), the drinks are tasty and they play some good music at a volume that is just right.

We came back around noon and quickly checked in. The hotel clerk said she got us a nice ocean front room in the east tower room 882. The elevators were just a short walk from the casino floor. Access to the rooms is very secure as there’s a security guard that checks your card just before you need to swipe it to go through doors that lead to the elevators. Once in the elevator you need to insert your card in the elevator before it allows you to press your floor button. Anyway our room was just off the elevator which was convenient.

The room had two double beds and was average in size. I thought from some pictures I’ve seen and the general decor of all the trump properties that the color gold would be everywhere making it all very gaudy.  Though there was some, everything was nicely decorated. The entire room was clean and it was very comfortable. The TV was your basic tube style but had a good selection of channels.  The best part of the room was its view! Staying on the eighth floor offered some great views of the Ocean and some of the boardwalk. I enjoyed chilling out on the bed watching the wave’s role in.

We tried the Plaza buffet, it was small with limited selection but what I had was tasty.

Tip: When you get a players card they give you a coupon book that has a buy 1 get 1 buffet coupon. Even if you already have a card, which I already did, they gave me one when I asked.

The cost of the buffet dinner was $18 dollars, so not bad with the coupon.

From what I have seen the plaza’s rates are very reasonable throughout the weekdays but shoot way up for Friday and Saturday nights this seems to be the case throughout the  Fall, Winter and early spring months. As the weather warms the rates increase throughout the summer regardless of day.  Next to the Plaza (just a short walk) is the Tropicana and on the other side is Caesar’s Palace (very close) which connects directly to Wild Wild West and Bally’s casinos.

Tip: It appears that room comps are very easy to get for the non-summer months as I have received them monthly now and I am a very low roller.

All the employees we talked to at the Plaza were very friendly and eager to help.  Our overall Plaza experience was very positive and would certainly stay there again. With all this said I easily give The Trump Plaza Atlantic City three out of five chips.

Las Vegas Porn Slappers or Card Flippers if you prefer..

Las Vegas is a one of a kind place that’s why I and millions of others like to frequent it as much as possible. Sure the strip is home to some of the world’s best hotels, shopping, dining, entertainment, and of course gaming. But did you know it’s also one of the best people watching spots too? Opportunities are abundant just about everywhere you go in the city of sin. But as the sun and temperature starts to go down the freak-o-meter begins to rise.

One unique “freaky” thing to Vegas is the porn slappers or card flippers as their also known. It’s interesting to hear what Vegas virgins have to say after they encounter porn slappers for the first time. In fact, I love watching unsuspecting passerby’s accept a card, look at it with a shocked expression, pass it to the person they’re with, see their shocked expression, then see them both eagerly discuss their unexpected experience.

People who’ve been before are well aware of the special cards low paying Mexican emigrants attempt to hand out to just about everyone who walks past them. The cards are baseball card sized, with pictures of one or more nude woman on them with a slogan such as, a girl to your door for a specific price.

Tip: Be warned the girls on the cards are not the girls who arrive at the door.

See porn slappers in action:

Here are some interesting facts about Las Vegas Porn Slappers:

  • Another name for porn slappers or flippers is hawkers
  • Many slappers work 12 hours a day, seven days a week
  • Surprisingly some flippers are very dedicated as some have distributed their material for over ten years!
  • Pay is low at only about $75 a day, or $6.25 an hour, less than minimum wage.
  • Many flippers are illegal immigrants
  • People who hand out handbills must have a permit to distribute them

Oh and one last thing, in case you get intrigued:

WARNING: Contrary to common belief prostitution is illegal in Las Vegas!

Although illegal inside the city of Las Vegas, prostitution is legal in many surrounding counties. In fact, Nevada is the ONLY US State to have some form of legalized prostitution.

As Gomer Pyle would say:

Surprise..Surprise Surprise….

Check out these other related posts:

Bring your children to Vegas…. NOT!

Get Happier in Las Vegas with Happy Hour Specials!

I always consider every hour I spend in Las Vegas Happy Hour but believe it or not it gets better! Especially, with this great tip.

I just recently found this cool website I think you just might be interested in. It’s a site that keeps track of Happy Hour Specials all over Vegas. They break down the specials by location in the following categories for easy navigation: On Strip, Off Strip, Downtown, Hotels & Casinos, and Shopping Malls.

The site does a good job of providing you with all the information you need to know such as, location, happy hour times, description of specials, and much more. As I looked around I was pleasantly surprised with some of the offerings. As you can imagine the common special is ½ drinks and ½ appetizers but some places get more creative and specific.

To be truthful I actually never really realized happy hour specials were as common as they are in Vegas. Maybe it’s an economy thing but you can bet that before my next Vegas trip I will certainly review this site and take some notes, as I’m usually ready for a break mid to late afternoon.

So whether you need a break from a losing streak, feel like taking a load off from nonstop walking or you’re simply watching your budget. I see taking advantage of a little happy hour happiness nothing short of a pure win!

Have a Happy Hour tip/experience to share? Post away in the comments below.

Don’t forget to check out these other posts:

Make a Drink List!

YES drinks are FREE in Las Vegas!

Mr. Lucky’s $7.77 Steak & Shrimp Deal

Sports, Drink, Food…

Major League Baseball in Las Vegas?

Do you care? I do, I love baseball and I love Vegas. I’m especially interested because Las Vegas is classified as an American League city and the thought of my beloved Detroit Tigers playing in my favorite playground gets me excited. The Las Vegas Sun just recently published an article about this very subject. Apparently an existing major league team is looking at Las Vegas as a possible new home. It’s still unclear what team it is but many believe it’s the Oakland A’s, Hmmm…. The Las Vegas Ace’s maybe? Or is it the Kansas City Royals? How about The Las Vegas Royal Flushes?

Of course a dome would have to be built because of the extreme summer temperatures. But let’s take it a bit further, how about building a Stadium/Hotel/Casino and take the theming concept to the extreme? I can see it now a retractable roof stadium with hotel rooms and balconies overlooking the field. And the buffet could consist of endless hotdogs, nachos, peanuts, and such. Oh and the casino could have baseball memorabilia throughout (think Hard Rock Café style). Heck, top it all off and hire Pete Rose to be the official hotel greeter. Put this all together and you would have a great money making tourist attraction!

Wishful kidding aside, I think a Major League Baseball team would be good for the city. Baseball has a long playing season with many loyal fans. Plus when you consider Las Vegas has something to offer just about everyone…. I see nothing but a win for all, fans in the seats, restaurants, and casinos.

Unfortunately I don’t see a team coming to Vegas anytime soon as there are many hurdles to overcome like stadium financing, professional league sports and gambling issues, and a host of others like Vegas’ lack luster economy.

Sure it’s nice to dream, and I would visit if it ever happened, but I don’t think the house has the advantage on this one, at this time. What do you think?

How Well Do You Know The Las Vegas Strip Properties?

Anyone who frequents Vegas knows casinos come and casinos go seemingly overnight. Keeping track of which ones are still standing can be tough. So are you up on what casinos are still standing? Do you think you could name/type all the strip properties within 10 minutes? Well test your knowledge with this fun little quiz.

All you have to do is click this link, then after the window/site opens, click the green “Ready? Click to Start” button then just type in all the casino/hotel names in the text box. You don’t have to type the properties in any particular order. Once you type a correct name the name will appear over its spot on the strip.

I finished in less than 3 minutes, probably would have done it faster if I could spell better. Oh well, give it a try yourself and feel free to post your time in the comments below.

Good luck, have fun, and enjoy!

Thanks Valerie for bringing this link to my attention.

BLACKJACK – know the odds, know the strategy, maximize your play!

This is a post I’ve been meaning to write for some time now. So when I read an article in the Las Vegas Sun titled “Blackjack with poorer payouts making headway in Vegas” I decided it was time to start writing.

Of course everyone knows, or at least they should anyways, that the house (Casino) always has the edge on every single slot machine and/or table game in the place. That’s because they’re there to make money, not give it, and the chances of you winning over the long term is statistically against you. Regardless, gambling is darn fun and sometimes you do walk out with a lot more than you walked in with and hence the catch. But with that said you should also know that the house edge is not always the same, in fact it varies widely depending on what you’re playing. Blackjack is known to be a Casino game with an overall lower house edge (typically less than 1%) than other games and therefore very popular because of it.

Number of Decks

But you should also know that not all blackjack table games are the same. For instance, a single desk game (where only one desk is used and reshuffled for each game) has a lower house edge (about 0.17%) than a multiple deck shoe. So with each additional deck the houses edge goes up. Most blackjack table’s today use 6 deck shoes (with a house edge of approx 0.64%) it’s a double win for the casino as it gets a better advantage and complicates card counting.

Note: Single deck games still can be found in Las Vegas.

Tip: The more decks used = A higher house advantage

Soft 17

Another thing to remember but more confusing, for me anyways, is whether or not the dealer must hit a soft 17. The term “soft 17” means a hand that totals 17 with an ace being counted as 11. You can identify which rule is in play by looking for “S17” or “H17” printed on the felt of the blackjack table. In the “S17” game the dealer stands on all 17’s. In the “H17” game the dealer hits on soft 17’s but stands on hard 17’s. The “S17” is less favorable for the player because it has about a 0.2% greater house advantage.

Note: The term “soft” in blackjack just means that an ace in the dealers hand is being counted as 11

Tip: The “S17” game is less favorable for the player as it has a 0.2% greater house advantage.

3-2 verses 6-5

Well I guess I should explain why this matters. Say you’re playing blackjack at $10 per hand and get a blackjack, under 3-2 rules you would win $15. With 6-5 rules you only get $12.00. This $3.00 may not seem like much at the moment but if you analyze it over the longer term it quickly turns into big money. 6-5 blackjack certainly ups the casino’s advantage (a whopping 1.39%) and considered by most a sucker bet. Check out this Las Vegas Sun article from 2003 titled “Taking a hit: New blackjack odds further tilt advantage toward the house”. 6-5 was a big deal in 2003 and hasn’t stopped spreading yet especially with the recent economic obstacles.

Tip: Be smart, stay away from 6-5 blackjack instead seek out and play 3-2.

So why do people play blackjack with such unfavorable odds? Well I guess for most its ignorance. Casinos really do count on amateur gamblers not knowing the difference. Often these games are near or apart of “pleasure pits” (areas where girls dance semi clothed) or other areas where entertainment is provided. Don’t forget about all those “free” drinks, they’re there by design you know. A big plus for many is that these games usually have lower minimums, which do attract gamblers who may be aware of the odds but are on a budget or just want to enjoy the game and entertainment regardless of odds.

Strategy

Unlike slots, casino war, or roulette, blackjack is not just a game of chance. Now you definitely want some luck on your side, but you should also know basic blackjack strategy if you want to increase your odds and not anger the other people playing around you. Check out “How to Play Blackjack” from The Wizard of Odds he does a good job explaining the rules and provides a great easy to understand strategy chart. There is also a link to a blackjack simulator game where you can practice. The simulator prompts you when you make a mistake and tells you the proper play. I highly recommend practicing, even if you are blackjack veteran, before playing for money.

Unfortunately as the strip “tightens up” serious gamblers may have to head off strip to find games with better odds. This is also true for video poker and slot machines for that matter, which I plan to discuss in future posts. But in the meantime, maximize your play by playing smart and remember a little knowledge goes along way.

Good luck with that Ace!!