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Vegas Trip Report

 Posted by Slack Jack on 23 May 1999, at 12:49 p.m.



Had three days and two nights in Vegas at the end of April, sorry it's taken so long to post. Fun, profitable visit, I play red-chip so if not interested in red chip reports, read no further.


This was my third time in Vegas, second as a counter, but it stands in my mind as my first trip as a competent counter. Last time, three years ago, I had prepared by buying World's Greatest BJ Book and learning Hi Opt I; had fun, learned a lot, but was suffering from a bad cold, and every time I sneezed several of the Hi Opt indices would drop out of my nose and land in my drink. Lost around $800 for the short trip. This time I went armed with KO P for DD and thought I'd stick with Hi Opt for SD.


I'll keep it simple, and mention only the best. I played great, beatable DD games at Imperial Palace and the 4 Queens. I stayed at the Imp Palace, and what a great joint that is. Friendly, fun, lots of DD and rarely heavy crowds. Interesting note. Late at night I'm at a perfect table, a nice guy and his gorgeous wife from Flint, MI, and her sister, all good players, with a dealer who is on Mars. Dealer makes about a ten-card 20 and thinks he busts. Pays the table, sweeps our cards up mixing them together, and as he sweeps his hand realizes he has 20.


Calls floor. Boss comes over, he explains what happened, can't put our hands back, one person had taken her win back, the rest of us hadn't, so our bets and payments are still sitting there, the boss looks the situation over, AND PAYS THE TABLE. A different session there they comped the whole $5 table two buffet comps each. They have senses of humor. They are grateful you are there. Dealers always gave around 75% penetration. Same at the $25 DD table I watched (which was almost always waiting for players). Say no more--even with its only flaw, the H17, it is a great casino.


But won a lot more in less time at the DD at 4 Queens. I just could not lose there. I would play alone, or with one, the table would fill up, I'd leave, and then two or five or eight hours later I'd go back and the table would be empty and I'd win again and then leave when it filled up.


Best SD was at Westward Ho and El Cortez. So-so at Spike. Westward Ho was a hoot, I'd never been there, it's been a long time since I've played blackjack with a bunch of slit-eyed, puffy-faced drunks. I'm talking about the smell of alcohol seeping from pores. Friendly as hell, though, buncha cajuns, and I won slowly and moderately. Three to four rounds dealt with three or four at the table, three rounds to five.


At some point I said to hell with bouncing from one count to another, and went with KO for SD. I'm not interested in playing black, or quitting my day job.


Good SD at El Cortez, although incredible heat. For me!! I've never had heat in my life. I'm playing $5 with a 1-5 spread, alone, and the pit guy is on my left elbow watching me like I'm wearing a name tag that says Hello, My Name is Counter. I'm up around $200, dealer is giving me great pen, one deck the count is way up after three hands and the pit guy reaches into the discard tray and gives the discards a quick count. I get the picture, and out the door I go.


Good SD/pen at Circus Circus, the far pit (West pit, I think it is) but I lost there.


Cross off Silver City from your list. Three of us at the table and the dealer deals one round. I left after three hands.


Binion's is done, I played there because I liked the place, some SD is still there but we only got two rounds.


But my big discovery (for me) was Slot's O' Fun. I go in there about 11:00 a.m. the second morning and there it is--$10 SD, pretty dealer, empty table. I sit down and she gives me 70% pen at least. Baby! Dealers came and went and still the pen stayed good. A $500 win. Next day it's OK there, but heard the boss tell the dealer "only deal one hand after you're through half the deck." That wasn't for me, he didn't know me, but they apparently enforce that rule if the dealers get careless.


I think that's about it. I lost at Lady Luck, but don't see any negative notes on it. Overall a nice trip, and a 26% growth in my bankroll, after all expenses.


Oh yeah--went from Vegas to a five-day biz conference in Palm Springs. Played the famed California collection game, and won a little. Found a game in P.S. a green- or black-chipper could retire on. Will post soon.








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