I just got back from a long weekend trip to Las Vegas. The casino greed has all but destroyed what built the fabulous city of Las Vegas. I can no longer view Las Vegas as a gambling destination, but rather a Resort City for food, lights and shows.
My last few trips, the real Horseshoe would still provide me a seat alone at a single deck game, though POORLY CUT. The only safe downtown single deck games I found this trip were at the Golden Nugget and Las Vegas Club. Not bad games, but NO advantage of sitting at a full table shuffled every hand. The 2 single deck tables at the Nugget were only good between 4-7AM on the weekdays due to the crowds. What happened to the great Downtown Las Vegas odds that attracted the gamblers from all over?
I had to put my life at risk to play my SD game. Yes, I ventured to the Western and El Cortez. All single Deck games, but again had to play graveyard shift for heads-up action (Not the safest place at these hours). The Hookers, Drag queens and Drunks did provide more entertainment than any Pirate battle or Volcano. And, the highlight of my trip was the Fountain show at the Western. A drunk falling off his stool and his beer erupting into a beautiful spray. All it needed was the music.
Anyways, The El Cortez tolerated a couple extended and blatant 1-30 red spread periods during the graveyard hours. This was primarily due to their focus on watching for frequent dealer errors and mispayments. The prime-time pit crew quickly ordered all "check plays" to be re-shuffled even after only 1 hand. This along with the usual heat of glares and the phone call upstairs. I left before the shoulder tap came.
The Western tolerated a 1-10 red spread, but you can certainly expect to be mugged leaving the place if you show more than $50 cash.
All strip and downtown Double deck games I found were poorly cut and the strip games had high minimums for all non-shoe games.
As an East Coast resident, I can not justify travelling 5 hours via airplane to stay at the Bellagio and play graveyard at the Western. I believe the future of Advantage BJ Gaming is Tunica, Mississippi. Friendly Southern hospitality has been the usual from the pit with easier comps and uncrowded single and double deck games available. The high limit rooms are usually only $50-100 minimums and empty. The Atlantic City and CT shoe games are generally crowded and require long playing sessions to get a good positive count and no mid-shoe entry is generally the rule.
Enough Ranting. Count on fellas and always play a beatable game even if it means travelling.