May 20
by Don

It seems like such a non issue, but your interaction with your blackjack dealer is critical.  They can certainly make a tough session easier and a great session even better. 

I have another post on Karma that I am cooking up, but I can tell you that a properly toked (tipped) dealer can certainly make a difference in your session.  I can not tell you how many times I have been overpaid, paid on a tie, or just paid on a loss by a dealer who was looking out for yours truly.

Now I am not saying that they are actively trying to get fired, or that I am running some confidence game with a ring of dealers in Vegas or anything.  That’s just not the case.

What I can say is that I have made eye contact with a dealer on a number of occasions as they made a simple mistake, and they just keep moving the game forward.  You see, they don’t care if you take every last chip from their tray.  It’s not their money, and many of them will tell you just that.  So think of it as a bank error in your favor, just like in the monopoly game of your youth.  Only this time its real money and it’s nice when it happens to you.*Not Actual Dealers

I can also tell you how many times I have been shorted; and that would be only once.  It was an honest mistake and we had moved on to the next hand when someone else mentioned it.  The dealer felt terrible and wanted to roll the game back and called the pit boss over and everything.  I told her it was fine and that things happen, and they do.  But I can honestly say they are much more likely to benefit you than not.

Of course it helps if you are tipping like you should (more on that in another post) and if you are at a table with a dealer that is friendly and engaging.  So let’s get to it!

5. Caesars Palace –

We play in the “old” pit in the Forum Casino near the hotel registration area.  This is where you have the best odds for playing and the dealers are generally much older and are really the salt of the earth.  A lot of them have been dealing for years and many of them have stories of Vegas from “back in the day”.  I have had many great times in this pit just listening to some vintage Vegas vets turn a card or two.

4. New York New York–

This used to be a young a hip place to play that was a bit too smoky at times.  That was fine because the dealers were fun and we used to pull a lot of money off of the tables.  However they are currently going through a renovation and everything looks like crap right now.  There is almost no gaming floor left, and they didn’t have a lot to start with.  Hopefully they can make a comeback for next year’s poll, but as of right now they are 4th purely on legacy.

3. The Venetian –

As our level of play has increase over the years, we have found ourselves playing more and more in the Venetian, which is a good thing.  There are so many tables that you never have to hunt around to find a home.  They rate your play pretty well and the dealers have for the most part been great; fast when you need them to be and slow when it’s hurting.  A class act all the way.

2. Harrah’s –

This one tugs on the heart strings as you never forget your first.  Lori and I stayed at Harrah’s for New Year’s in 2003 and it was the right fit for us.   They had lower limits and some of the nicest dealers around.  We were in Vegas for like 6 days (way too long when you have no concept of money management) and they all knew us on the 2nd day by name.  Lori was actually sick that trip and I still remember Arlene asking me about how Lori was feeling.  It was startling and I remember her to this day, some 5 years and 30+ Vegas trips ago.

1. Wynn – 

Now I don’t think that I have won a dime at the casino from the moment it has opened, but I love playing there.  Everyone (and I mean everyone) is so damn nice that you just want to kill yourself.  Everything just smells good and everyone looks good.  Not that it should matter, but a well put together dealer just sets the mood just right.

So there you have it.  Lori and I don’t play downtown or at local casinos so it’s not a definitive list by any means.  But for the average Vegas visitor going to the strip, you can not beat the group for the best dealer experience around.

Remember, results may vary and check with your doctor before starting any vigorous activity.