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Introducing the 2020 Las Vegas Blackjack and Table Games Survey

By John Mehaffey in Las Vegas
| February 21, 2020 9:59 am PDT
Introducing the Table Game Survey

It’s time to start rolling out the 2020 Las Vegas table game survey, which includes blackjack.

Bar top video poker was included this year, to add to the list of games that previously included tables like blackjack, roulette, and craps.

The data in this includes every table game in Las Vegas. The information has the minimum and maximum bets, game rules, and the number of tables each casino spreads for the game.

Las Vegas blackjack is broken up into three different Las Vegas Strip sections, as well as the downtown and locals markets. There are also sections for specific blackjack games.

About the Survey

I have been compiling Las Vegas table game data since 2014. The game quality in Las Vegas has deteriorated since my first report. A majority of 6:5 blackjack tables in the early surveys were single-deck games. That game is hard to find today, as it has been replaced by 6:5 shoe games. Hundreds of these tables hit the Strip and downtown. A few even exist in the locals market.

Triple-zero roulette is another new game since I first started collecting data. In 2017, there were only three of these tables in the entire Las Vegas market. All were located at Venetian and Palazzo. Today, there are 60 triple zero roulette tables.

Another difference I noticed this year is that Pai Gow Poker has changed significantly. There are five different versions of the game in Las Vegas. This is the first year I tracked each individually. Face Up Pai Gow now has 92 of the 171 installs in the market. The game did not exist two years ago.

Face Up Pai Gow takes all the skill out of the game as players see the dealer’s hand before setting their own. It turns Pai Gow Poker into strictly jackpot chasing.

How I Collect the Data

After years of compiling Las Vegas game data, I came up with a system. I start with the locals market during the National Finals Rodeo in early December. When the rodeo leaves town, I hit downtown and the Las Vegas Strip.

I drive to all the locals casinos by parts of town for a day. I do the same with downtown and the Strip area. I break the work into different days that include:

  • North Las Vegas Strip and casinos east of it
  • South and Central Strip
  • Downtown
  • North Las Vegas/Rancho Strip
  • Summerlin and casinos west of Strip
  • West and south of Strip
  • Henderson/Boulder Highway

When I visit each property, I walk through the table games pit. I note all the types of tables spread at the casino and record the limits. I ask blackjack dealers about rules such as whether the player can re-split aces or surrender. I check out how many zeros are on roulette wheels and craps odds.

Some casinos post these rules on the placard, but most do not. In some instances, I must play a game if I cannot find an idle dealer or pit boss.

I added bar top video poker this year. This involved me going to all casino bars and finding the best games. This includes title, pay table, and denomination.

How Information Is Presented

All blackjack games are broken down by number of decks and location in different tabs. Each will be put into pages. One set of pages is for single deck, double deck, shoe games, and variants. These show specific rules and limits. The other set of pages is placed in regions such as three parts of the Las Vegas Strip, downtown, and the locals market.

Other table games are organized by type. The minimum and maximum bets are shown. For games that can have multiple rule sets, such as craps, roulette, and Pai Gow Poker, those details are provided. For example, in craps, the data shows whether the Field pays double or triple on 12 and the maximum odds allowed on line bets. For roulette, the data is broken down into how many zeros are on the wheel. For Pai Gow, every type of variant is covered.

The core information has now been added on the following pages, and additional pages will be being rolled out throughout February.

 I’ll be posting some more blogs, too, detailing things like which new table games have appeared and which have been lost.

I look forward to sharing our knowledge so that you can get the best value when visiting Las Vegas.



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