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KANSAS CITY 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 five 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.

There are five casinos in the Kansas City Area: Ameristar, Isle of Capri, Argosy, Harrah's and Hollywood. Four of the casinos I have been visiting since the mid 1990s. In this issue, I cover four of the five Kansas City area casinos:

Harrah's

Ameristar

Argosy and

Hollywood.

Kansas City Logistics

There are actually six casinos in Kansas City, two are located in Kansas: Hollywood and 7th Street. I do not believe 7th street casino offers blackjack. Hollywood is on the far western part of the metro, adjacent to the Kansas Speedway. Three of the four casinos are fairly close on the northeast side of the metro area: Isle of Capri, Harrahs, and Ameristar. They are not within walking distance but less than five minutes apart by car. Argosy is located in Riverside about 10 miles west of the main cluster of casinos.

Ameristar

This is the largest of the Kansas City casinos. On the main floor, you can find a few six-deck games with the standard rules: H17, DAS, RSA, and no surrender for a house advantage of 0.56% (against basic strategy player). Penetration is decent at around 4.8 out of 6.0 decks. For as large as a casino, the number of six-deck games appears to be relatively low. On a Friday or Saturday night, you can find more than a couple tables on the main pit, but that is all that I found on a weekday. They have recently added two lower minimum ($15) DD tables with poor rules (no DAS and D9-11 only). House advantage is about 0.65%; penetration is about 65%, or 1.3 out of 2.0 decks.

In the high-limit area, there are usually at least two or three double-deck games with the following rules: H17, DAS, no RSA, and no surrender for a house advantage of about 0.40%. Penetration is decent and varies by dealer but is typically about 60-70%. Table minimums are $25 or $50; the maximum is at least $2000 (higher than I ever bet). There are also a few six-deck games in the high-limit area with the same conditions as in the main pit.

As I mentioned in previous BJI trip reports, a card counter cannot...

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