If you haven’t already visited, Golden Acorn is a Native-American casino that’s located in the Campo Mountains between Imperial Valley and San Diego, right off the I-8. The casino is owned and run by the local Campo Band of Diegueno Mission Indians and it comes with a RV and Truck parking centre and gas station, but no hotel accommodation. Thus, this is more of a quick stop where you can refuel, eat and get some action, rather than a place to stay long at and work the tables, which is why some also call it a trucker’s casino.
Golden Acorn’s gaming floor is quite small, especially when you compare it with other reservation casinos. The entire gaming area is spread across 40,000 square feet of space, which is mostly reserved for slot games and video poker. There are only 8 tables at the Golden Acorn, so don’t expect to find too many free spots on a busy night, especially at the Blackjack games where limits are only $3. There’s also
Texas Hold’Em available at the tables and the casino offers a Player’s Gold Club Card for those that travel the area often.
Apart from having ridiculously low table limits, there isn’t really much more to add about the Blackjack offer here, as there are only two variations (explained below). However, both variations on tap have a fair house edge of up to 0.63%, since they have the old standard 3:2 payouts. Just keep in mind there are table game hours which range from 2PM-12AM on Monday-Thursday, 12 PM – 2AM on Friday, 10AM – 2AM on Saturday, and 10AM – 12AM on Sundays.
There are a couple of 6 deck games at the Golden Acorn, all of which have the same low minimum, while the max you can bet here is $100-500, depending on the time. There’s no high-roller area, so you’ll just have to manage with what you have or just ask the pit boss for higher limits.
The only other game you can find, apart from the 6 deck shoe tables, are the double deck games which sometimes run 2 at a time. The minimum is the same here, but the max goes to $250. You can also ask to see the burn card, if you want to.
At the double deck game, the dealer hits on soft 17, you can double on any two cards and double after you split. And just like the 6 deck tables, there’s no re-splitting aces or surrender available. The penetration varies from dealer to dealer, but was never close to great.
Golden Acorn isn’t really where any skilled counter would go to play. First of all, the casino is a very small one, so it’s easier to draw heat here as opposed to bigger casino resorts. And secondly, the table limits are set pretty low, so if you start betting anything above $100 you will only be raising the alarm. This is a low-roller casino that’s mostly frequented by truckers and other drivers, but if you still want to give counting a shot, the double deck tables are better for practical purposes, obviously.
While Golden Acorn does offer the recreational entertainment for the slot fan, it isn’t a place you would recommend to those looking for value Blackjack games. Just like its rewards program and the gas station outside it suggest, it’s more of a place where you can have a pit stop and refuel while driving on the I-8, rather than the full blown casino you would expect to find in a reservation. But on the plus side, the dealers are quite friendly, so it might be a good spot to practice your skills for less than what bigger casinos allow you to.