Replicating a pyramid discovered at the site of the Ancient Egyptian city of Thebes, the Luxor features an atrium so large—29 million cubic feet—that nine Boeing 747s stacked atop one another could fit comfortably inside.
The slanted ceilings overhead and the sprawling, 120,000-square-foot casino floor certainly make this an unusual place to play blackjack, but the atmosphere at its 85 gaming tables is far from that of a warehouse or mausoleum.
Quite the opposite, ever since the most recent remodeling in 2008, a concerted effort has been made by Luxor management to infuse the table games pit with a modern, dynamic, up-tempo energy.
Within the main pit area, two versions of blackjack are offered—the double-deck version with cards dealt face down and the eight-deck version with all players’ cards exposed, face up.
Both versions are best played at the tables where the minimum wager is $100 and the dealer must stand on all totals of 17 or higher, including soft 17.
Those games allow doubling down after splitting (DAS) and re-splitting of Aces (RAS).
The only difference between them is that surrender is not allowed in the double-deck game, which has a 0.20% House edge compared to 0.30% for the eight-deck game.
A $10~$1,000 six-deck version is also played at the Luxor, with the dealer hitting on soft 17.
The rules allow DAS, but not RSA or surrender, and the House edge is 0.64%.
However, pay close attention to the blackjack payouts, as some of these tables pay only 6:5 for a natural instead of the customary 3:2, and that bumps the House advantage up to a whopping 1.99%.
For those seeking some variation at the table, there’s Blackjack Switch available, and for beginners, the pit offers free blackjack lessons at the Dice Pit located near the Casino Cage, starting at noon daily.
One other feature that attracts a crowd on Fridays and Saturdays is the Luxor’s “Party Pit,” with its non-stop music and girls on stage located next to the Centra Bar & Lounge; players should beware, however, of tables paying 6:5 instead of 3:2 for a natural blackjack and half of the ten Party Pit tables use continuous shuffle machines.