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Deadwood, South Dakota: Casinos and Blackjack Report
By the Bison
(From Blackjack Forum XXIV #2, Spring 2005)
© Blackjack Forum 2005
Ah, yes, winter in the Black Hills, 10 below one day, 65 above the next. With summer being the main tourist season, winter weekdays are usually quiet in all casinos, with many not opening their blackjack tables until 3 or 4 pm. A couple of smaller casinos just have blackjack tables open on the weekends. If you want to play heads up, come during the day before 2:00 or 3:00 just about anywhere.
Most blackjack games in Deadwood, South Dakota are 6 decks, with a few sprinkles of others to be found. State law caps bets at $100, but most places will let you play as many spots as you want if you're playing green or black. This is, however, mostly low rollerville, so card counters betting green and black will draw a little attention. Just look like a happy gambler and you can usually spread to your heartís content.
The downside is that the smaller joints only book $50 max bets. The surveillance departments do not share information on card counters, according to a source. I would be surprised if a number of them actually have a surveillance department. The smaller ones are probably just taping everything in case they need it someday.
This area isn't really looking for card counters. I think on a quick up and down visit of main street a player with a spotter could pull off several hands of black at the right count, then mosey on to the next one. Interested? Here is a rundown of the games that are worthwhile.
Blackjack Rules, Limits, Penetration, and Hours in Deadwood, South Dakota
Silverado, tables open 24/7, S17, 4.5/6 pen, DAS, Lucky Ladies, $100 max.
Tin Lizzie, 5/6 pen, S17, double action spots, only $50 max. Big spreads no trouble for a couple of shoes, then wander off.
Hickocks and Mineral Palace are 3/4 pen, H17, DAS, 50/100 max respectively.
Celebrity just opened a table, but itís only open Friday through Sunday. The 4-deck pen is 75%, with S17, DAS, 100 max, with no mid shoe entry. However, I haven't played this one yet to see if they enforce it.
Gold Dust has 5/6 pen, DAS, H17, and resplit aces on the shoe game.
Double Deck is H17, NoDAS, Double any 2. Penetration varies wildly.
Last but not least in Deadwood blackjack is First Gold Casino, home of the terrible double deck game with fantastic penetration. This double deck blackjack game has Reno rules, but is almost always dealt down to a few cards. No shuffle card. The casino just opened a single deck game with a $100 max.
That's it for winter in South Dakota! ♠
To get the maximum value out of the card counting games in Deadwood, see Arnold Snyder's Blackbelt in Blackjack for the Zen Count and the chapter on depth charging.
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