South Strip Las Vegas Blackjack Casinos
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The South Las Vegas Strip includes everything Aria and south in the west side of Las Vegas Blvd and also includes MGM and Tropicana. There are a few good lower limit blackjack tables on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip. These games can be found at Aria and MGM. Both of these casinos offer a six deck blackjack where the dealer stays on all 17′s and allows double after split, resplit aces and surrender. The minimum at Aria is $25 but the MGM minimum can be as little as $15. Aria also offers a double deck blackjack game where players can double after the split and the dealer stays on all 17′s. The minimum for this game is $50. MGM offers this game with a minimum bet of $50 or $100.
There are several bad blackjack games to avoid on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip. All single deck blackjack games on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip pay 6-5 on blackjack and should be avoided. Tropicana, Luxor, Monte Carlo and New York New York all offer 6-5 blackjack on some shoe games so it is important to look at the placard on the table to make sure that you are sitting at a 3-2 blackjack game, even if it is being dealt from a shoe.
There are several good ways to travel around on the south strip. There is a tram that connects Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and Excalibur. There is also a tram that connects Monte Carlo, Aria and Bellagio. If you are staying at a hotel that has bad blackjack games, you are a free ride away from a better game.
South Strip Blackjack Survey
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South Las Vegas Casinos
Aria – Recommended for $50 Double Deck Blackjack
Aria is one of the classiest casinos to play blackjack in Las Vegas. The high ceilings and wide spaces between tables offer comfort and relief from smoke. The drink service is also great with a wide selection of beverages available. Aria also offers some of the best games. If you do not mind playing green chips, Aria is a great place for comps and low house edge blackjack. The best game is the $50 minimum double deck where players can double after the split and the dealer stays on all 17′s. There is also a $25 minimum 6 deck shoe where players can double after the split, resplit aces and surrender. While you may find games below $25, those games typically use a continuous shuffle machine and hit soft 17′s.
Parking at Aria is convenient. Enter the parking deck from Las Vegas Blvd from City Center. The parking deck is under the casino. Take the elevator to the casino floor and walk right in. The blackjack tables are a few minutes inside the casino, just past the sports book.
Excalibur is average in every way imaginable. The drink service, dealer quality, table quality and overall experience are all about what you would expect from a middle of the road casino. The blackjack games are of low quality though, especially for MGM properties. The minimum bet is low on most tables, with plenty of $5 minimum games to be found at Excalibur. The best game is the 6 deck shoe where players can double after the split and the dealer hits soft 17. Some of those tables have a continuous shuffle machine. The only other two games offered are a $5 minimum Blackjack Switch and a $15 double deck. There is parking located behind the Excalibur. There is also a tram that runs between Excalibur and Mandalay Bay and a walkway to and from Luxor.
Luxor has several blackjack options. Some are good while others need to be avoided. There is a party pit where all games pay 6-5 but most of the other games are playable. The 6 deck games outside of the party pit have a $10 minimum, pay 3-2 on blackjack, hit soft 17 and allow doubling after the split. In high limit there is a $100 minimum game that has the same rules except the dealer stands on all 17′s. There is a $100 minimum double deck that stays on all 17′s and allows double after the split.
Luxor is on the south end of the Las Vegas Strip so it is not convenient to many casinos. There is a tram that connects Luxor with Mandalay Bay and Excalibur. There are also enclosed walkways that connect the three casinos. Parking is located in the back but is crowded and tight. The casino is average in every way imaginable. The felts, dealers and drink service are all as expected in an average casino.
Mandalay Bay is on the far south end of the Las Vegas Strip. The casino is connected to Luxor on the north side and has a tram that connects it to Excalibur. There are several large parking areas as well. Mandalay Bay is upscale and the table games are comfortable. Drink service is average to slightly above average. There are quite a few choices for blackjack at Mandalay Bay.
Most games at Mandalay Bay have a $10 minimum. There are a few $10 minimum games where the house stays on all 17′s but those are hard to find. All shoe games offer double after the split, resplit aces and surrender and most hit soft 17 outside of the high limit room. The $10 minimum double deck allows double after the split but hits soft 17. Blackjack Switch is also offered.
MGM Grand – Recommended for Great Selection of Player Friendly Blackjack Games
MGM Grand has the largest selection of blackjack games in Las Vegas. Most of the games are player friendly. The best game is the double deck with a $100 minimum in the high limit area that offers double after the split and stays on all 17′s. If that is too rich for your blood, there are many 6 deck games scattered around the casino that stay on all 17′s that also offer double after the split, resplit aces and surrender. Some of the games that stay on all 17′s are as low as a $15 minimum but often have a $25 minimum. These are all located in the back pit near the high limit salon. There are also good video blackjack machines. There are over 50 tables to play blackjack inside MGM Grand.
MGM Grand is very classy and the entire casino is in great condition and is in the midst of another remodel. The drink service is exceptional and there are no issues with smoke. There is a large parking area behind the casino for easy access from Tropicana. The south end of the monorail line is also in the back of the casino.
Monte Carlo is one of the few MGM properties where 6-5 blackjack can be found on shoe games. There are a few six deck tables mixed with the normal 3-2 blackjack tables. Make sure to check the rules before sitting down. The best blackjack game in the house is actually the video blackjack game found in front of the theatre. As far as table games go, there is a 6 deck that pays 3-2 on blackjack, allows double after splitting, resplit aces and surrender. These games typically have a $10 minimum. There is also a party pit that only operates on weekend nights.
Monte Carlo is a clean casino that leans slightly on the upscale side. The tables and felts are in good shape and comfortable. The casino is not too smoky and the drink service is adequate. There is parking behind the casino that can be accessed from Frank Sinatra Drive. There is also a tram that runs between Monte Carlo, Aria and Bellagio.
New York New York
New York New York is an upscale casino just a small step down from the top tier of Las Vegas Strip casinos. The casino offers two good double deck games that stay on all 17′s and allow double after the split. Those are the best games in the casino. The problem is that the minimum is typically $50 for those games. There is also a high limit game with a $100 minimum that stays on all 17′s and offers double after the split, resplit aces and surrender. If those games are too rich for you, there are a few good games in the pit with the same rules that come and go. Most of the other pit games are single deck 6-5 games and a handful of 6 deck continuous shuffle machine games where players can double after the split, resplit aces and surrender.
New York New York’s casino is in excellent condition. The tables are comfortable and roomy and the drink service is excellent. You will have a hard time finding a classier casino on the Las Vegas Strip that offers blackjack with a $5 minimum bet.
Tropicana is a small casino, especially compared to other Las Vegas Strip properties. Most of the time there are only a few blackjack tables open. There are two games offered, a double deck and a six deck game. The single deck is mainly in the party pit area which is rarely open. The six deck game, two of which use continuous shuffle machines, are in the main pits. Both games hit soft 17 and the six deck game allows doubling after the split and resplit aces.
Tropicana has a tiny parking deck that is full during most peak times. On weekends valet is a must. The clientele is what you would expect from an average property. The property has been recently remodeled so the tables and seats are in good condition. Drink service is good and the casino is not very smoky.