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SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO TRIP REPORT

by JPB

JPB has been playing blackjack and counting cards part-time since 1996. He plays throughout the country but primarily in Missouri. He has been a Green Chip member of BJ21.com for four years and one-time winner of the Post-of-the-Month. JPB is a professional engineer with three engineering degrees and works as a consulting engineer.

Introduction

Recently, I made my first trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico to play blackjack. Prior to the trip, I tried to research as much as I could about the blackjack conditions in San Juan. For continental U.S. casinos, I usually rely almost exclusively on Current Blackjack News (CBJN), which provides information on the number of tables, the table minimum and maximum bets, the rules, the all-important penetration, and occasionally other information. It is a good resource for blackjack players but, unfortunately, CBJN does not cover Puerto Rico casinos.

I tried the old fashioned Google search and was only able to find very generic information about the number and location of casinos. Other information was limited and sometimes conflicting. Therefore, I hope this report on the San Juan casinos is helpful to anyone considering or planning to visit the area and play blackjack.

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory so I was not overly concerned about casino cheating or being taken advantage of. Nor was I concerned with filling out those immigration forms to declare if I was carrying more than $10,000 cash. (Actually, I brought less than that amount so that would not have been an issue on the trip but at least if I had a decent win (which I did not) and wound up with over $10,000 on the trip home, this was one less thing to worry about.)

Except for the Spanish language, Puerto Rico looks very much like the continental United States, with many of the same restaurants and retail stores. There are two main parts in San Juan that have blackjack: Old San Juan and the Isle Verde beach district. I stayed at the Courtyard at the Isle Verde and the beach, which was just a few steps from the back door to the hotel, was fantastic. A lot of tourists were out and about enjoying the sun on the Sunday that I was there. I had no feeling of being overcrowded, panhandled, or threatened. If you stay in the Isle Verde area, there is really no need for a car since there were three casinos within a mile of the Courtyard, easy beach access, and plenty of nearby restaurants.

Some Peculiarities of San Juan Blackjack

  • All three of the casinos I visited showed the players the burn card. On the six-deck game, this accounts to effectively increasing penetration by one card, and so it is not particularly important, but I did find it interesting.
  • All tables were...

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