I recently saw Bohemian Rhapsody, a movie that got lukewarm to horrible reviews from the ‘expert’ critics, but a very high score from general audiences. Currently, critics rate Bohemian Rhapsody at 60%, yet audiences rate the movie at 90%. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Clearly, there is a disparity between the so-called ‘experts’ and the general population.

Which got me thinking…

I go to lots of casinos, and I love observing people at casinos. I also love engaging in online discussions of gambling and casino related topics. When I travel from casino to casino, I notice that the ‘reality’ reality is sometimes completely different from the online reality.

If you follow online forums and gambling discussions, especially on Facebook, you’ll notice that certain topics, casino games, and hotels have online reputations. For example, I just wrote a review on Circus Circus. I enjoyed the hotel and gave Circus Circus a fair and balanced review; but if you follow online discussions regarding Circus Circus, the general sentiment is a negative one.

Here are two screenshots from Yelp regarding Circus Circus, both of which are one-star reviews. While these aren’t  ‘expert’ reviews, these reviews echo the general sentiment of Circus Circus.

1-star negative online review of Circus Circus.
Another negative review.

Despite the negative online sentiment, Circus Circus was packed to the gills when I went there. Clearly, there is a disconnect between reality and what the general public perceives and the overall online critical sentiment.

Which leads me to the issue of 6-5 blackjack. 6-5 blackjack is a game where the online sentiment from the ‘professionals’, such as the math wizards and practically every professional gambling writer, is vastly disparate from the reality of the gambling public.

First, there’s the online sentiment, which can be summed up as: if you play 6-5 blackjack, you are essentially a sucker and casinos are greedy for devising 6-5 blackjack. That’s harsh, and there are generally legitimate defenders of 6-5 blackjack, however, the vast majority of people who engage in online discussions would generally agree with what I stated. Finding a person, online, who would admit to playing 6-5 blackjack is tough. You’re more likely to find someone who admits to hating babies.

Then there is the reality of 6-5 blackjack, which can be summed up if you visit a Las Vegas strip casino. For example, the Cosmopolitan Hotel and Casino, located on the Las Vegas strip. I walked around the Cosmopolitan casino and saw mostly 6-5 blackjack. I couldn’t find any 3-2 tables at Cosmopolitan. I’m not sure they even have 3-2 blackjack. Yet, the Cosmo blackjack tables were packed.

Packed blackjack pit at the Cosmopolitan.
Despite 6-5 blackjack and $15 minimum, no shortage of players at the Cosmopolitan.

I understand that if you’re at the Cosmo, you’re staying there and don’t want to leave; sure, you just plop down in a chair at the Cosmopolitan blackjack table and play 6-5 blackjack. But most people do not stay glued to one hotel; they walk or drive from hotel to hotel. Cosmopolitan is connected via walkway to several mega hotels, such as Aria and Planet Hollywood. People don’t just play 6-5 blackjack at the Cosmopolitan because they’re ‘trapped’; rather, they freely chose to come to the Cosmopolitan and play.

Heavy foot traffic through the Cosmopolitan Hotel & Casino.
Maybe it’s the large selection of slots that brings in the foot traffic.
All brands and themes of slots.

If you head to other casinos, you’ll see that players have a choice. For example, the Linq Hotel and Casino, you’ll find 3-2 blackjack tables right next to 6-5 blackjack tables. Even at Circus Circus, you’ll find one 3-2 table next to several 6-5 tables.  People generally do not care and will gamble at the 6-5 tables and leave the 3-2 tables empty.

If those players were to move just one table over – not more than 4 feet away – their $5 blackjack would pay you an extra $1.50. On a $15 game, that’s an extra $4.50 thrown away to the casino. That’s ‘free’ money for nothing more than moving to another seat 4 feet away. Tons of people would rather not move the 4 feet (or walk across the walkway) and collect the extra money.

If you follow what the ‘experts’ say online, this is not supposed to be happening!

Sometimes, I don’t know what to believe when I read about things online. That’s why I saw Bohemian Rhapsody, and that’s why I went to Circus Circus. Sometimes, the critics are right; however, sometimes, they’re not, and I end up finding a gem.

That’s why I love traveling from casino to casino. So if you ever see me reporting from a casino with a horrible online reputation, just know my reason why: I have to see with my own eyes. I’m curious that way.


Posted in: Blackjack, Casino, Gambling, Hotel

0 thoughts on “Disconnect Between the ‘Experts’ and the General Population

  • Lawrence Roth says:

    I think reviews are a good thing and I do look at them when making travelling plans. I recently stayed at a hotel where our bed had bedbugs in it and shared a review. Wouldn’t that be good information to know? Mountaineer recently made their casino all smoking again. If that disgusts you (as it does me), do you really need to experience it?

    Also, since it appears you don’t set the dice in your videos, what is your opinion of it?

    • Hi Lawrence,

      I agree mostly with what you write. Reviews are important. I’m not going to deny that. I just think it’s weird that there is this disconnect. You ever notice that some of these casinos with horrible reviews are jam packed sometimes?

      Also, sometimes I disagree with the general reviews, and I do need to experience it for myself. One casino I used to absolutely love, but was generally reviled: Casino Royale in the old days. CR now is ‘different’.

      As to the issue of setting my dice…I do. I won’t get into specifics, but there are compromises I have to make to get the footage.

  • Here at the new MGM National Harbor in Maryland, the 6-5 games are on located in high traffic areas with lower $10 & $15 minimums, and the 3-2 games are in a different area with $25 & $50 minimums and the high limit $100 & $200 room is obviously separate. The 6-5 tables are more crowded, but here at least, it had more to do with the minimums and ignorance of the players as the casino is new to the area.

    But the enjoyment of playing 6-5 does not seem to be diminished, as the locals here call the $10 tables the “fun” tables. Which is the cheapest the tables games seems to get most of the time there.

    Great content and great website! Have fun and stay safe on the Road!

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