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RENO TRIP REPORT

by KC Brooks

I have been addicted to blackjack ever since reading Revere's "Playing Blackjack as a Business" when I was 15. The art of blackjack is a lifetime endeavor. I went through the learning process backwards, learning Revere's Advanced Point Count first. I found out early that the actual count system is only a small piece of the puzzle. Presently, I travel "my" Devils Triangle (Reno, Wendover, Vegas}, playing mainly single- and double-deck games. Hi Lo is my choice of strategies and "Professional Blackjack" by Wong is my bible. I worship a large spread, and have been known to wong everywhere I go. Thank God I haven't had to register as a wonger yet, but I am sure it is not too far off. I also help fellow AP Nick teach card counting at www.Blackjackclassroom.com. 

This past month I take a quick trip to Reno Nevada, and I'll report on the blackjack playing conditions in the Biggest Little City in the World. I love to visit Reno; and when I'm there, I exclusively play single -blackjack games.

What do I like about Reno? All the casinos are within a reasonable distance from one another, no more than 5 miles. Lodging is reasonably priced; therefore, good deals can be found. Table limits are reasonable. Lots of great restaurants and Lake Tahoe is roughly an hour's drive from downtown. If you have never been to Lake Tahoe, put it on your bucket list because you won't be disappointed.

From Las Vegas, head north on the I-95; about 480 miles later, you will be in Reno (just follow the signs). My favorite place to stay is the Peppermill; however, if I don't have comps, I will stay at the Sands Regency. They are pet friendly and rooms are very reasonable. Both the Silver legacy and Eldorado also have decent rooms. This trip I was comped at the Eldorado. The room was adequate and clean. I did not bother to upgrade to a nicer room as they all look the same with closed eyes. The Peppermill has a year round pool and hot tub, which is awesome after a seven-plus hour drive from Vegas.

At Foodies, you will find a lot of great restaurants, and not necessarily connected to a casino. If you are a buffet fan, both the Peppermill and Eldorado offer some great spreads. You cannot go wrong with any of the restaurants in the Peppermill, Eldorado, The Grand Sierra, and Atlantis. If you want to avoid casino restaurants, pick up a copy of the Reno News and Review since they always have reviews of various restaurants in town. I am partial to Asian food and had a couple of good meals at Pho Mein on the bottom floor of the Eldorado.

Depending on the time of day that you want to gamble, most of the casinos offer a single-deck game, a double-deck game, and usually a six-deck shoe game. Mornings usually have the fewest games open. As I mentioned previously, I play exclusively single-deck games in Reno (in Vegas, I play mainly double-deck games). The double-deck games in Reno are mostly dealer hits soft 17, and you cannot double after splitting. The penetration for single deck is computed by the number of players, and rounds dealt and called the "Rule Of." An example of Rule of 5 would be for three players would get two rounds dealt then shuffle.

On this trip, I checked out the casinos on the north end of town and the city of Sparks. Below is what I found...

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