I'll be in Vegas this January. Staying with my sister and brother-in-law at Nellis.
Any advice on the best casinos as a whole? Game conditions, comps, rooms, etc?
The longtime BJ21 'netizens get these questions all the time here. With some less general ideas of what you are looking for, someone can help steer you to the best alternatives. Strip or downtown, pitch or shoe, betting level, etc... It will help to be specific. I am sure you realize that Las Vegas is the penultimate example of 'too many choices' with every possible variation on the theme of 'gaming holiday'.
The ultimate resource on game conditions is CBJN, which is updated monthly by respected players who have up to the minute, first hand observations on all the casinos in Vegas and outlying areas. I will start the chorus and suggest that you buy this before you go. It will set you back $12 but will save you time by highlighting the best plays in town and allowing you to avoid the burn joints. You will make up the cost immediately by knowing the edge and penetration of each casino's games before you ever set foot on the premises. BJ21 will give you e-mail delivery of the latest reports on the 4th of each month in PDF format. You can view a representative but outdated version in the online catalogue.
You can also search for information at your leisure on the 'Free Archives' link to the left. There are six months of collected posts on 'Las Vegas' and 'Vegas Life' that will entertain and inform you.
Everybody has their own choice as to the 'best of Vegas' depending on price, ambiance, comp generosity, conditions, and game scrutiny. Tell us what you are looking for and we will try to point you to some good picks.....those that are not our secret, favorite games, of course.... :-)
I usally play a double deck pitch game. I also try to find a game with less than a .20 house edge and, of course, the greater the pen with as little heat as possible, the better. I seldom play the black chip tables - primarily green (or even the $10 table, if available).
I will order a new CBJN. I have an old issue that answers some of those questions, if nothing has changed.
If I can, I would prefer to get the above conditions and a nice room comped (or partially comped). I love my sister, but I'd prefer to stay at the casino a night or two.
Lots of pretty good games a short walk from each other. I don't think you will get a "nice room" comp on the weekend at your level but let us know how it goes. I had my first trip to Vegas and didn't even get to the Strip except for a couple of short sessions but sounds like you could hang with some of the good Strip DD with a $25 unit. Trezzur Eye Land is on the Strip and supposed to have good DD but very heaty (I didn't get there). WE WANT A TRIP REPORT.
Definitely look into Travelaxe.com. It is an amazing program that will tell you the absolute best price at all Las Vegas hotels by a 'shopping bot' that samples the hotels' sites, major discounters, and all internet offers. You should be able to get a 4 star hotel for under $60 a night, and some of the downtown hotels will be $30. I usually stay at the Golden Nugget and the last time I was able to get a player's club rate of $45 during the week. I ended up being RFB'd, but it requires a $100 average bet for 4 hours per day. I have heard that the Las Vegas Club has newly renovated rooms for $30 during the week. The weekend rates will be 50% more, generally speaking. You may find that some of the lesser strip properties will comp you your room for minimal play at your preferred level, but someone else will have to give you the lowdown on which ones to exploit. There are some highly skilled professors of 'couponomy' on these pages, who have used the 'funbooks' and LVA coupons to greatly improve their EV. I would suggest you not play an inferior game for comps.....this is the voice of experience speaking.
Cellini has posted that the 'M' properties on the strip are running a DD surveillance scam for quarter players by offering decent games to seduce and trap skilled players. Be careful of the time you put in on these strip properties. My favorite DD game on the strip has been tightened up since I whupped them last month. You will find some very good SD and DD games downtown. I personally think the strip shoe games are excellent, de-pen-ding on how generous your dealer may be. I think you should stay away from any DD game that does not offer DAS, since there are plenty that do. Some of the northern stores have surprisingly good games with LS on DD and S17. I think this would easily put you beneath your preferred .20 disadvantage level.
Recent reports suggest that you stay away from the Pirates store. Major heat. You may find that some of the locals' casinos will offer a similar game where you can play safely. In general, the east side of the strip will be less likely to back you off
It goes without saying that a 6/5 game of single deck is not really blackjack.
As El Lobo has said, all that is required is that you post a trip report when you return.
Yeah, I look for DAS/DA2 - you don't find many games that fall under the .20 without them. I also like to be able to re-split my aces - although, that 3rd ace is doesn't come up often, when it does, it's a heartbreaker.
I occasionally play 6-deck in Tunica, Biloxi, and Philadelphia - especially if I can wong my way in.