First the good news: Conditions for BJ in Vegas are a little better this month! Several casinos got rid of their CSM's.
This post below is my attempt to help Vegas vacationers (not the pros) avoid the WORST BJ games in the Vegas area. For the BEST games available you need to spring for $15 and buy Current Blackjack News, available from this site (includes blackjack from the entire United States, not just Las Vegas). And be prepared to do just a little homework.
These pitiful games from the casinos listed below have 6:5 Blackjack, CSM's (continuous shuffle machines) or such terrible rules or penetration that these games should be avoided by Vegas vacationers.
I used the simulations found in Don Schlesinger's book Blackjack Attack (3rd edition), the general guidelines in Blackjack Bluebook II (Fred Renzey), and some online sources including CBJN from this site. The rules were variable depending on the number of decks, but had to include at least DAS (double after splitting). You should look for more good rules than just DAS, however.
This also assumes that the player knows how to count cards using the HiLo system, the KO system, or another comparable level one system (such as Red Seven count, Kiss-III count, or similar). If you just play Basic Strategy, you might still win money in the short run, but you really need to learn some sort of counting scheme to have a chance of coming out ahead in the long run. Even then, no guarantees for a short trip to casinoland.
Do not worry about heat from the pit crews. You are the customer, you can bet however you want! Some uptight places may kick you out, though. To avoid ruining your vacation, my recommendation is: "Don't stay where you play (blackjack)". Then you will not lose your room and comps, if any. Never forget that you are NOT DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL, you are just using your brain. Don't get into arguments with anyone if asked to leave, however, just do it as smoothly and quickly as possible. Take a cab or walk to your next destination.
The bet spreads used in the sims were as follows:
Double Deck: 1:6 to 1:8. Six and eight deck: 1:8 to 1:16. If you can table-hop you can use milder spreads than the above. You MUST table-hop on some of the 6- or 8-deckers to avoid playing very negative counts.
On your last day in town, I suggest you go crazy with your bet spreads if the count calls for big bets, if you won't be returning to Vegas for at least 6 months.
I personally have sat next to players who varied their bets from $10 to $200 or higher, with consecutive hands! They looked like crazy gamblers, and maybe they were. You need a LARGE BANKROLL to do this, however. Vegas is not for starving college students these days (unless maybe you are on a blackjack team). Play very low-limit poker instead of blackjack, is my suggestion if you are hurting for bankroll.
Any games requiring $100 dollar minimum bets or higher were ignored in the list below. I hope you find the list useful, or at least a time-saver on your vacation!
Again, to find the good games and maybe a promo or two, get CBJN!
BAD BLACKJACK IN VEGAS:
Arizona Charlie's (Decatur)
Excalibur (too many CSM's or 6:5 BJ)
Main Street Station
Sam's Town (still no DAS)
Slots A Fun
Have a great time!