A week ago I embarked on my first ever AP tour of combat. The trip was not quite the roaring success I expected it to be, but it was certainly a learning experience, and I hope that some of the information I've obtained during my rollercoaster through hell can at least be of use to the community - fellow noobs and veterans alike - despite its now limited usefulness to myself. First stop on the way to Reno was Boomtown. It's technically not in Reno, but in a place called Verdi, just off I-80 (you'll see signs) west of the Reno-Sparks metro. Their single decks don't allow doubling after splitting, but you can double on any two cards and the penetration is all right (about 60% - 70%, dealer dependent). The dealers and floor personnel are all friendly and pretty cool, and in the very little time I was at the tables, I made a small fortune and felt no real heat. For those amongst you that are struggling with your bankroll, you'll like that fact that Boomtown has extremely low table minimums, at one point (during a weekday) sitting at only $3. They also have full pay deuces wild video poker machines. I made a few hundred on those while there. It can be a grind, I'll admit, but if you've memorized the strategy and are willing to sit through it, it's really easy money. The Peppermill. Located outside of downtown Reno, so easy parking and little traffic. The casino is amazing in terms of visuals. Unfortunately, they're incredibly sweaty and that can kinda kill the fun. I mean, I've heard people talk about this so many times before, but I didn't think they'd actually crack down on my for winning $200 with a 1-3 spread in less than an hour. As you may well imagine, I didn't spend much more time there. Rules on the single deck are double on 10 and 11, no double after split, and about 65% - 70% penetration. Silver Legacy was the first casino to begin ruining my trip. Their single deck games are D10, NDAS, and about 50% pen. I'm not even sure why it took me $600 to convince myself that my time is better spent elsewhere. They do have full pay deuces wild video poker, though. I made some money on that a few times. Worth checking out, just not for the tables. Circus Circus can go straight to hell. Seriously, I'd rather subsist entirely off of jenkem for the rest of my life than ever set foot in that den of degeneracy again. I mean it. It's a dump. The patrons are all apparently homeless, the cocktail waitresses seem to be recruited out of retirement homes, and the dealers are all likely graduates of the John McEnroe School of Charm. Thanks for the $400 though, guys. If anyone cares to go nonetheless, the rules on the single deck are NDAS, double on either 9+ or 10+ (sorry, I didn't record this one into my log so going off memory) and the penetration is fairly decent at about 75%. Just make sure to stiff those huns. They won't appreciate your tip even if you give them your entire bankroll anyway. El Dorado surprised me the first time around. The rules are nothing to write home about (D10, NDAS) but I got to experience a single deck game with around 90% penetration. No, I'm not exaggerating. The dealer literally had only about 5 or so cards by the time he shuffled again. I returned the next day, but much to my dismay, I found that their dealers aren't actually trained to do that. Conclusion: if you're in the area, roll on by and have a peek if any of the deep dealers are around. Be advised, though, El Dorado has a lot of "Super" single deck tables that only pay 6:5 on a natural; the tables (all two of them) with the rules I described above are in the "high limits" section. I put that in quotes because the minimum on them is often between $5 and $10. This obviously does not apply during peak hours. The Siena is probably the best casino of the ones I visited, and I say that despite the massive losses I incurred there. Single deck, double on any 2, no double after split, and about 60% - 75% penetration (dealer dependent). Apart from the liberal rules, what really struck me about the place is how pleasant all of the employees are. The Siena is basically the polar opposite of Circus Circus. The pit is tolerant, but heat comes from the eye. In other words, don't be the only person at the tables. I did stop by The Truckstop of Death and Dispair, and the rules are indeed as liberal as you've probably read. I didn't play, though. There were too many people at the table (absence of plurality intentional), and I was far too spent to play anything other than heads-up. Their buffet is amazing, though. Country style cooking. Held me over for the long drive home. Despite my losses, the trip was a great learning experience. While I would certainly have preferred to not have to learn anything and just jump straight into the winnings, reality doesn't quite work that easily. Below are a few things I learnt, some of which are universal, other perhaps a bit more specific. Paranoia of heat, while not unfounded when in Reno, will do you more harm than good if left unchecked. Do NOT be so afraid of heat that you limit your spread to the point where you're playing a losing game. That will NOT end well for you. Single deck with the common set of rules in Reno is a whole different animal compared to other games. I made the grave mistake of not really tweaking my strategy, betting ramp and cover plays to suit the new setting. I subconsciously assumed that since Reno has "easier" games, I can just use the same strategy and I'll win more anyway. In hindsight, I'm a dumbass. Playing rated in Reno is not a good idea. Not getting a player's card is one "cover play" that costs you nothing. Believe me, the suspicions you'll raise in not having one do not outweigh the effect of getting flagged. Some of you who live or "work" in gambling cities may be thinking I'm stating the obvious in saying this, but I'm putting this point up for the benefit for those - like myself - who live in areas where there are few casinos and sitting down at a table without a card gets everyone's attention pretty quickly. Bet consistently. After incurring some heavy losses while betting with a high minimum, my inner ploppy took charge had me betting as low as one fifth the previous day's minimum bets when I returned the next day. This latter day, I won, but because of the change in betting, my win paled in comparison to the previous loss. Looking at the numbers back at the hotel, I realized that if I had bet the same both times, that day's win would almost have covered the previous day's loss. This was a totally irrational, ploppy move on my part, and I'm still kicking myself over it. (Before anyone says it, no, my bankroll was in no danger of depletion at that point, so I can't even use the Kelly excuse) I realize I'm just repeating a lot of what can be found on every other advice thread on this forum, but sometimes it takes feeling the burn and saying it out aloud to really have it sink in. Learn from my fail, folks. Finally, Circus Circus blows. Eff everything about that place.