Most of the casinos here are all CSM on the main floor with a couple of shoe games in the HL rooms.
There is 13 casinos here and the distance between each one is very long, so it is hard to get decent hours in with the travel involved and limited opportunities.
I hate to engage in thread necromancy but I'm an Australian too.
When it comes to counting/AP, its exceptionally hard and arguably not worth it.
Basically the main floors are all-CSM or shoe-games-at-$50+ minimums. 3:2 blackjack starts at $25 per hand (or $30 per hand) at the capital-city-casinos from what I know (I'm not familiar with Darwin).
That said, the comps I've gotten from casinos here (when I'm on an interstate VIP program) strike me as reasonable/fair. Sometimes even a bit generous given I'm a relatively modest gambler. And whilst casinos have captive locals markets here, those who can afford to start a VIP program (usually this requires a 5k or 10k buy-in) are competed over pretty aggressively.
My advice to Australian blackjack players is to save up, get an interstate VIP program, gamble only at casinos in which you're on such a program, and play perfect basic strategy. Given the free drinks you get in the VIP rooms, this is actually the least expensive way to get drunk in an Australian casino.
But card counting or AP is essentially impossible here. The security is zealous.
But at least the hotels are pretty good and even modest action on an interstate VIP program gets you fair (and sometimes generous) comps.
ALSO here's an update from Australia (note that I am only talking about 3:2 games here, no "Blackjack Challenge" or other reduced payout scams):
$20, $25 and $30 games on the main floor of SkyCity - 6d CSM S17 d9-11 DAS nRSA RS3 ENHC NS
One shoe-dealt $50 game on the main floor, 8 decks
Grange Room games are $50+, 8 deck and hand shuffled with 7 decks penetration.
House Edge roughly 0.66% Side note for Baccarat players: Adelaide will give you traditional Baccarat rules at $100 mins in the Grange Room. Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne all demand $200 or $300 for traditional Baccarat rules, and only offer Super 6 at $100.
BRISBANE (and presumably Gold Coast and Sydney since they're owned by the same company, but I may be wrong)
$20 and $30 games on the main floor now hit on soft 17. 6d CSM H17 d9-11 DAS SplitOnce OBO NS, House Edge: 0.777%
$50 games on the main floor stand on all 17s but are still dealt from CSMs. House Edge: 0.555%
$100 games in Sovereign/The Suite/VIP rooms are dealt from a shoe which is ASM-shuffled. 5 decks penetration IIRC, House Edge: 0.575%
Main floor games start at $25 (IIRC) for a 6dCSM. H17, D9-11, DAS, nRSA, RS3, OBO, NS. House Edge: 0.733%
From $50+ (it may be $30 at times but my memory is a bit hazy) the game is dealt from an 8 deck ASM-shuffled shoe. House Edge: 0.774%
In the Mahogany Room, the game stands on all 17s. The game is $50 12pm-6pm Monday to Friday, and $100 all other times. House Edge: 0.55%
So yeah, its a pretty grim picture all things being considered. Deep penetration doesn't change the fact the house edges are high, the table mins are high, the shoe-dealt games are watched closely and the casinos here make more from Baccarat than Blackjack. Recreational players on VIP programs, however, can still get good deals on some very nice hotels.
SYDNEY CONDITIONS (Worst I've Ever Seen!)
Same rules as Brisbane BUT the minimums are literally double.
$40 (usually $50) for an H17 game
$100 for an S17 game
All CSM on the main floor. I didn't get to look into Sovereign but I've been told its $100 6d shoes up there
Pontoon is available, but its $50 minimum per hand and dealt from a CSM
Also Baccarat minimums are $50 for dealer-dealt Super 6, $100 for player-dealt Super 6, and IIRC $300 for player-dealt real Baccarat up in Sovereign.
Roulette is $5 double-zero and $10 single-zero
The craps table on the main floor is never open but there's apparently one up in Sovereign that I didn't get to see.
SYDNEY CONDITIONS IN THE VIP ROOMS (Pleasant Surprise!)
$50 for an S17 CSM game in the Oasis Room (Gold+ members only, but you can get in if you bring a few grand on a slow day)
Sovereign Room has 1 x $50 S17 shoe dealt game and at least 3 additional $100 S17 shoe dealt games. There is also a $50 shoe-dealt Pontoon table IIRC. Sovereign is restricted to Platinum or higher members but you can get in if you bring at least 5k on a slow day (I'd recommend 10k for more certainty however). If you're staying at the hotel/s for several days and have 10k you can arrange access across multiple days depending on how busy it is. Usually they'll be more forgiving in the mornings/early-to-mid afternoons.
Also the Craps table in Sovereign is open from midday every day with only $10 minimums and 2x odds.
But yes, overall Sydney is disappointing outside of Sovereign (Sovereign is pretty good though... an excellent bar with free Veuve Cliquot!).
1. Crown Blackjack begins at $30, not $25. At least from what I can see.
2. Mahogany Room's $50 blackjack table is apparently now EVERY day from 12 to 6pm, not just Monday to Friday. I didn't know about this until recently.