I admit I'm a lousy reporter because I'm a recreational/casual player so the report is a FWIW one.
I never play more than one hand because I can barely manage that, so I have no idea what kind of heat those of you who do will experience at any of these shops. I bought the October CBJN before I left to see if it saved me any time tracking down games. I'm pretty sure I won't be spending the money on it again because I found it to be wildly inaccurate, even though I was in Vegas 4 days after the new issue came out.
I walked up and down Fremont Street on Thursday night and in and out of stores. It was crowded and I didn't see anything I wanted to play. I know I went into Fitzgerald's, Golden Nugget, Fremont, Vegas Club - can't exactly remember where I went, except the Spaniard. I saw a lot of 6:5 games and CSMs.
Pl*za: I didn't even sit down at any of the tables here. The only weekend night I was there was Sunday; the rest of the days I stayed were weekdays. Mornings are beyond dead - every time I walked past the tables to check them out, they were empty and the dealers were inviting me to sit down and play. The only hand-shuffled 6D game was a $25 table and I only saw that open on Sunday night when I was there. All other 6D tables were CSM. I didn't see a single-deck game or a 4D game, even though both are reported in the October CBJN. CBJN puts the "world's most liberal blackjack" at a house advantage of 1.25. I watched the ploppies play for awhile and nobody was winning much of anything.
M*in Street St*tion: Nice-looking hotel-casino. The 2D game is H17, no RSA no DAS. I walked through and watched 2 weekday mornings and pen is dealer dependent. One morning, it was about 70%, the other morning it was about 50%. I found this to be pretty typical at Boyd properties, like the California and Fremont, which have similar rules.
El C*rtez: Ugh! How can anybody stand to be in this place for very long? The PBs are rude - to dealers and customers. It's dark and dingy. Played the 2D shoe game for awhile and left.
On to Mesquite, where I stayed at the C*asablanc*, which is a nice hotel. I've stayed at the V*rgin River before and they're obviously targeting completely different business, although owned by the same company. It's a nice place - if you like golf, I understand green fees are a lot less than Vegas or St. George and there are 8 courses in Mesquite. Decent 2D game here - H17, DAS, no RSA. Pen is dealer dependent, ranging between 60% to 80%. When there was a dealer change and the new dealer cut at the 60% end, I'd move to another 2D table because there always seemed to be one dealer working who was doing the 80% pen. I'd be careful here - I didn't feel heat, but even on the weekend in the morning, it was so slow the pit crew had nothing much to do so they stand around and watch the action at the tables and socialize. In fact, this is one of the friendliest casinos I've been in and everyone knows everyone else. It's a small town.
St*tion casinos: I went into three of these and it was interesting. All three played the same rules for 2D: H17, DAS, and resplit up to 4 hands (including aces). First, I went into Rancho F*esta. Pen is dealer dependent but none of the four 2D dealers I watched on Sunday night were any better than 50%. Pass. Right next door is Texas St*tion. Really nice place with comfy seats and foot bar and same rules. They cut to a notch - which is at about 60%. I had played 6D at Palace St*tion in January when I was in Vegas so I went there next. They also cut to a notch - which is at about 80%. I found it rather odd that they aren't consistent even though they're all owned by the same company. I had hoped the Texas store would work out because it's more comfortable than the Palace store, but I spent most my time at Palace and did the best there in the mornings when it wasn't very busy.
I accomplished my goal of playing lots of blackjack, having fun and making some money.
Based on the Hash House a Go Go discussion in the other thread, I tried them out. I thought the food was a bit bland but that might just be me.