I just came back from my Memorial-day weekend Vegas trip and wanted to comment on BJ conditions at various places that I played at. Since I’m a BS player, my comments will mainly be helpful for the BS players, but counters might find some of the information (shuffling conditions, minimums etc.) helpful as well. I solely played on the strip, and never went to off-strip or downtown (I just don’t like the rundown, dumpy vibe, or find the remote locations unnecessary). All games I played of course had BJ 3:2 payout. But, most of these casinos had single decks, paying 6:5, so beware of the single decks. Monte Carlo: My favorite place throughout my trip. Although I haven’t stayed there, I was there most of the time on the BJ tables. I believe this is the best place on the strip for a BS player. During the busiest times of the weekend, they always had a lot of $10 tables with very liberal rules such as DAS, DOA, Surrender, RSA. Some of you might not like these, but for $10, these were by far the best rules on the strip, at a pretty upscale place in a great location. On Monday, they even lowered most of those tables to $5 minimums, with the same rules. People usually comment on MC to attract mostly older crowd, but I think there was a good mix. I also haven’t seen much ploppie behavior; people mostly seemed to know what they’re doing. MC used ASMs, and 8D shoes. There is a little cut in the shoe, from where the dealer slides in the cut card, so the pen is always exactly the same (I believe ~2 decks, but I’m not a pro on this stuff). MGM: Exact same rules with MC, but during the peak times, there was no table under $15, and on Monday they lowered those tables to $10. I played for a while (before learning that MC lowered limits to $5). The only difference was that they do hand shuffle, no ASMs here. Mirage/Bellagio: Both have exact same rules with MC and MGM, however they both use CSMs. They usually feed the discarded cards back into the machine every other hand. They always had $10 tables available to my surprise. It was interesting to play at a really classy location like Bellagio for $10 with pretty good rules. But, even as a BS player, CSMs made me feel a little uncomfortable. Most of you guys don’t like it because obviously, you cannot count with a CSM, but my reasoning was that I don’t like to or want to trust a machine. I’d rather have all 416 cards in my sight during the whole dealing session. Maybe I’m too suspicious but that’s me, so this made me go back to MC more often. Excalibur: Didn’t play much, so cannot comment on the rules, but I believe they were the same with other MGM properties. As far as I remember they had CSMs and they almost always had a $5 table, which was packed the whole time with 10 more people camped back in line. Mandalay Bay/Luxor/NYNY: Couldn’t find any table under $15, so never played at these places. Can’t comment on the rules as I only checked the table limits. On Monday, they had some $10 tables, but so did MGM, which was a much more crowded place (better for BS players). Aria: Nothing under $25, got in and out pretty quickly. MGM Mirage player rating: All the casinos I played except Excalibur refused to rate under $15, and Bellagio actually even asked for $25 to be rated. So, I almost always played unrated, but what the hell (as if the lousy NA casinos give good comps to a red chipper). For you counters out there, this might even work to your advantage, because you don’t even have to bother with a cover. Just start off with a $10 bet, and they won’t even ask whether you have a player’s card. Obviously this applies to MGM and MC as Mirage and Bellagio have CSMs. Treasure Island: This place was like a ghost town, even at peak times, with lots of empty $10 tables. They had only one $5 table which had only one player! So, on a Saturday evening of an extended weekend, a $5 table on the strip in a nice hotel being empty was pretty weird. Seems to me these guys are not doing well in terms of bringing traffic to the casino. All other locations on the strip were bustling with action, while TI was in snooze mode. I played on the $5 table, but I really was bored since I couldn’t enjoy it much with two players on the table. So, I don’t even remember the rules (didn’t have to surrender or RSA) and conditions. PC refused to rate my play under $10/bet, I said “really?”. Was out after about 20 minutes of play. Tropicana: Lots of $5 tables available at peak and off-peak times. It was fun to play here, when I didn’t want to risk a lot of money at $10 tables at MGM properties. However, Trop rules were not as good, as they didn’t offer Surrender. They use CSMs, and usually wait 2-3 hands before they feed back the discarded cards to the machine. I think their casino got remodeled, so it was looking pretty cool. Though, the casino was so brilliantly lighted, it felt a little bit like an office. It felt just like playing in the daylight. As a fun fact, Trop had the best and the newest chips on the whole strip. They’re very nicely designed and literally brand new, and was fun to play with during the game. Venetian: Nothing under $25, got in and out quickly. Harrah’s properties: Wow, these places were really ridiculous. They not only have the same minimums with MGM group hotels, but also the worst possible rules. Whoever plays in these places should be banned from BJ altogether. It’s like an insult when they ask for $15 minimum at Flamingo, with 6:5 payout, while you can just cross the street and play at the beautiful Bellagio for $10 and 1%+ more player edge. I would’ve understood if they had $2-$3 tables, so in that case, one can understand that they also need to make money. O’sheas and Casino Royale apply the same bad rules, but at least they have ridiculously low minimums, so they’re good just for fun. But all Harrah’s hotels were double greedy both with the rules and the minimums.