Sycuan Casino Blackjack Review
Sycuan casino is a casino resort that’s set east of El Cajon in just a short drive from San Diego. The casino is owned and run by the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation Indians from San Diego and it comes with a golf resort, hotel, and a number of casino amenities. The hotel is located at the golf resort, not the casino, which is 3 miles away from the gaming area and can be reached by a free shuttle service. The casino floor has been redecorated and expanded several times since 1983, when the only gaming option it had was Bingo.
Gaming at Sycuan Casino
Sycuan Casino has 200,000 square feet of gaming space that’s mostly filled with slots and video poker machines, There’s also 40 something table games available at the casino that include their own custom Craps game, Pai-Gow, EZ Baccarat, Classic Roulette, Poker, and Blackjack games. The casino has a dedicated poker room as well, where they frequently host tournaments, but also a Bingo hall which has been there since the beginning.
Blackjack at Sycuan Casino
Sycuan Casino has a decent selection of Blackjack games available at several spots in the casino. You can play either at the Primrose Room, which is an Asian-themed high-limit area with a private room included, the main pit and its non-smoking section, or their latest addition called The Party Pit!, which can be found in their sport bar and offers Blackjack games on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and Sundays.
Double Deck Blackjack
Sycuan has a number of Double Deck games with 3:2 payouts scattered throughout the casino. The double deck games here are dealt from a shoe and the table minimums range from $5 to $15, while the max bet size is set at $2,000. There are also a couple of these games at the high-roller area, the only difference being that minimum bets are higher – $25-50, depending on the table.
Six Deck Blackjack
The biggest portion of Sycuan’s Blackjack offer is the six deck shoe games with standard 3:2 payouts. The bet limits at these tables vary from table to table, but they usually start at $5 or $10 and go up to $2,000 per hand. The high roller area, of course, has bigger minimums.
All 6 deck games have the dealer hit on Soft 17 and you can double on any two cards and after splitting. There’s no re-splitting aces here but there is late surrender available, just like the double deck games. The house edge here is approximately 0.54% while the penetration often goes to over 1.5 decks, but if you get spotted the dealer will take it down.
Sycuan also offers the Spanish 21 that comes with a number of bonus bets. There are only a few Spanish 21 tables here and they are all played with 6 decks and have bet sizes that vary from $5-500. Dealer hits on soft 17 at all games and the house edge is approximately 0.76%.
Free Bet Blackjack
Sycuan also offers the popular Free Bet Blackjack for those who find regular Blackjack strategy hard to remember. Basically this is a variation that lets you double down and split without risking your own money, but also has the “dealer 22 is a push” rule.
Card Counting at Sycuan Casino
Sycuan has four areas where Blackjack is played, which makes it easy to do some “table-hopping”. This can only be done on the 6 deck games which don’t have quite the best penetration (1.5 d) but there are dealers that do better than others. However, make sure you do some scouting first, as most dealers will lower penetration if you start betting more near the end of a shoe.
For the double deck games, on the other hand, you will need to do average counts early if you want to make money, since you won’t have much time to do it with the poor dealer penetration. However, if you work the tables well and back out when time’s right, you can have an easier job than back counting the six deck games.
If you’re looking for new places to try card counting, Sycuan offers a decent double deck and six deck game. The penetration isn’t good, especially at the double deck tables, but there are rarely any places left where it’s better. So, if you want a new spot, go for it. But if you haven’t been to any other casinos in the area, you can also find better penetration at the Barona.