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Las Vegas Gambling – Everything Else

I didn’t just play slots and video poker when I was in Las Vegas in December.  I played 3 card poker, 4 card poker, blackjack, blackjack switch and of course, bet on sports.  Unfortunately phones and cameras are shunned at the tables and sportsbook so there aren’t any pictures.

I didn’t only gamble at the Palazzo. I played a little at Wynn, Encore, Bellagio and Palms.  The people I was traveling with were blackjack players so most of my time at the tables was spent playing blackjack.

3 Card Poker
I only played at Palazzo and only played a couple of times.  If the table isn’t full I like to play multiple hands.  Palazzo didn’t allow me to do that.  I went at it with just one hand both times I played.  I lost everything I put in both times I played and lost it quickly.  I’d like to blame this loss on the rules at Palazzo.  I’ve had no problem playing two hands in Atlantic City.  Thumbs down to Palazzo.

One point to note; there was only one 3 card poker table open all weekend and it was rarely full.

4 Card Poker
I put a couple hundred bucks up while killing time at Bellagio.  I’ve only played this game once before and wasn’t too familiar with the rules.  Thankfully, I happened upon a table of very nice people.  The game was a slow bleed until my friends found me.  I wanted to play the hand blind, but was told not to.  I didn’t want to look at the cards, so I showed them to someone else at the table and ended up with a straight or a flush.  Whatever it was I won all of my money back + $5!  WOOOHOOO!

I probably won’t play this game again.  Most of the non-blackjack card games at Bellagio were packed.  This was the only table that had players that also had room for me.  There were a couple empty tables.  I don’t like playing these kind of games alone.

Blackjack Switch
This was the game I was most looking forward to trying out.  I wrote about it when I first heard about it last year.  Blackjack Switch it a newer table game where you are dealt two hands of blackjack and can switch cards dealt.  I learned two things about this game after playing at Wynn after a great steak dinner at SW.

First, I had a little too much wine with my steak and probably wasn’t in condition to experiment with a new game.  I lost my initial buy in of $200.  I was too confused to play the game properly.  I lost patience fairly quickly.  As a result I lost my money, but I had a good time losing it.  The game was fun and kind of slow.

The second thing I learned about Blackjack Switch came the following night when talking to a pit boss at Encore.  More people walk away winners at Blackjack Switch.  In fact I was one of the few losers they met that played the game.  Oh well, there will be a next time.  In fact, I just got an idea on when that next time will be!

The tables in this area at Wynn were pretty crowded for a Thursday night.  There was an entire pit area that was empty, so I guess they did a good job shuffling people to one area.

Sports Betting
I ended up at Legasse Stadium every day of this trip.  Unfortunately, I didn’t record all of my bets, but I did ended up on the plus side at sports betting.  I split my action between the NBA and NFL.  I may have lost one NBA game and a couple NFL parlays.  You can see my review of in game betting at the Palazzo here.

One resource I found shortly before my December trip is covers.com.  I like to use trends to help with my knowledge of NBA and NFL.  Covers.com color codes and simply lays out game and total trends.  It’s an easy read on an iPhone too.

Blackjack
I played a lot of blackjack on this trip because that’s what the others on the trip played.  The best time I had at the blackjack table was at Encore.  It was one of those runs that keep people gambling.  Read full details at Wynn and Encore Win Me Over.

I only played blackjack at Palazzo once and I went from up $700 to losing $300.  This was my first gambling session of the trip and it lasted about an hour.  It was a wild ride.  Kenny Rogers said it right..have to know when to walk away, know when to run!

We made a stop at Palms after a quick stink at Bellagio and it was a quick stop.  I turned $200 into $500 in about 20 minutes.  I don’t even remember the game.  A friend of a friend happened by and introduced his girlfriend.  Chit chat began and I just kept pressing winning bets.  Palms rules.

The best thing about my blackjack play is that none of the games I played were 6/5 payouts.

Overall, the tables didn’t treat me too poorly.  Bad runs in 3 card poker and Switch were made up for with wins at video poker, sports betting and blackjack.  I’ll take an even trip to Vegas every time!

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Bellagio and Mirage Not Likely to be Sold

There has been rumor for a while that that either, or both, Bellagio and Mirage would be put on the market to help MGM Mirage amidst their finanacial concerns.  Yesterday, that was put to bed and both casinos will likely not be sold.

MGM Mirage today unleashed a series of financial initiatives aimed at bolstering its balance sheet — and signaled its Bellagio and Mirage hotel-casinos won’t be sold anytime soon…Take on new debt in the form of $1.5 billion in senior secured notes — bonds secured by the Bellagio and Mirage assets, meaning they couldn’t be sold unless other security is designated to back up the bonds.

While this saves both of those casinos, it moves some of the other Las Vegas properties up the ladder to be sold.  Mandalay Bay (a favoritecasino of mine) seems to be on top of the chopping block now.  Initially I thought that MGM Mirage would look to divest assets outside of Las Vegas if they needed to raise funds and they still might end up doing that.  I’m not sure the price to buy on the Vegas strip is right. 

If you were buying a business would you rather be a big fish in a small sea or one of the many in the most popular desitnation?  I would prefer to be the big fish and move from there.

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Vegas Report – Prime Time!

…Friday night I got dressed and headed over to Bellagio for dinner at Prime.  It was at this time I realized that 8pm is a perfect time for dinner in Las Vegas.  I order a glass of wine at the bar while waiting for the table.  We’re taken outside to the patio for dinner.  The weather was perfect.  The patio was at the edge of the lake in front of Bellagio and the view was great.

prime-view

I’m not much of a tourist so I didn’t realize that the water show happens every 15 minutes on the nose.  It was pretty cool to be sitting outside about to have steak watching the show.  Dinner probably lasted 2 hours because I think I saw the whole cycle of shows.

dinner-show

Having a winning afternoon and a little too much to drink I decided to splurge on dinner and I ordered a Kobe beef strip.  It was only 6 ounces and cost $150.  The smallish portion was actually perfect to soak up the alcohol and provided a nice base for the evening.  It was also the best piece of steak I’ve ever had.  Mac and cheese and onion rings were the sides and a nice compliment to the steak.  Another GREAT dinner.

After dinner I headed out to the casino for a little gambling.  One of the best things of gambling at Bellagio is that the drinks served are fantastic.  Tonight was no different.  After sitting down at a 3 card poker table I had a few more kettel one and soda’s.  About an hour and a half later I was up another $400 and decided it was time to hang out with some younger people at the Palms.

The Palms was rocking as usual.  Plenty of hot girls.  This is probably where it hit me that half the girls in Vegas have not learned how to walk in heels.  It’s pretty funny to watch girls on the edge of falling over while they try to look hot.

Anyway, I sat down for yet another session of 3 card poker.  I don’t think I’ve ever played this much 3 card poker in one day.  The drinks at the Palms were not awesome and the service was not as fast as the other casinos so I ordered double since the rest of the table was doing so.  I was dealt 3 of a kind after about 20 minutes and that set the tone for the time at Palms.  After couple more hours I walked away up another $300.

It was time to see how the other half lives at the Gold Coast.  The Gold Coast has done some remodeling since I was there last.  I’m not sure if TGIFridays would be considered an upgrade, but it was prefect for a 2am (or 3am) snack.  It was about to close, but that didn’t stop the last order from going in.  It was perfect.

I’m not sure if it was waking up at 7am or the many many drinks I had, but I was pooped.  After losing $100 in Pai Gow I headed back to Caesars Palace.  I had a great cab driver, who offered lots of laughs.  I don’t remember if I gambled at all when I go back to Caesars.  I do know that PURE was emptying and the corral they have for people was being broken down.

Off to bed.  The next day was Manny vs. Ricky…

Copyright © 2017 Marc Meltzer & EDGe Vegas