OK. You asked for it. Here's my report/review for Bethlehem Sands Stadium BlackJack.
There have been reports in various media outlets that the Stadium BJ is part of / integrated into, the already existing Stadium gaming system at Sands. That's not the case. Elsewhere on the floor is a Stadium system with about 100 terminals, playing Roulette and Baccarat, with two dealers for each, and each dealer dealing two games. I.E. 8 games total. The Stadium BJ system has 2 games total.
The Stadium BJ 'pit' contains 2 dealer stations, back-to-back, one with green felt, one with blue. There are 22 player terminals on each side. Just to make things simpler for a novice, I assume that after some inactivity the terminal defaults to being set on the side for the dealer you're looking at. I.E. It appeared to me that all the idle terminals on the green side were set to the green dealer, and the idle on the blue side were on the blue dealer.
Stepping up to the terminal, this is the typical layout. The 20 on the left side is the time I have to place my bets. The 6 in the blue box is the time I have to switch tables and place bets on the blue dealer's table.
Note the help button towards the top left. I hit it and started to scan, then wondered if I could get away with taking pictures.
I don't know if it was because I was playing with the terminal and not sitting, or because I whipped out my phone, but a floorperson came to me pretty quickly to offer help.
I explained that I was going to play later, but that I was heading to poker first, and wanted to read the rules while sitting at poker. (Poker can be boring when not in a hand.) So can I take pictures of the help screens? No problem.
So here they are, in order. I'm not sure if this is the best order they could have come up with, or not.
My wife was playing next to me. On her first hand, she bet $5, and tried to bet $1 on each side bet. When the hand started, a big X appeared on the side bets. I looked over and immediately told her those are $5 minimums. As it turns out, she would have been paid 50:1 on the Royal Match and was PISSED.
The floorperson came over to find out what was going on, listened to the story, then walked over to talk to another floorperson. They really seemed to bet having a head-scratcher. She eventually came back and said she didn't understand why that happened, and started to say that she could file a report to get to the bottom of it, etc.
I couldn't take it anymore and said that it was a $1 bet, but a $5 minimum. I then showed the floorperson the help screen showing the min/max bets. It seemed like she hadn't seen it before, even asking me how I got that screen to appear!
Mind you this wasn't a mere dealer, but a floorperson who is there to help both BJ novices and answer stadium BJ questions, one would assume, that they had training for the job. Apparently not.
While I DID split tens a few times, and had a couple double-down situations, I never got the chance to split aces, so here's one of my split tens:
I guess they're maintaining the real table feel of going right to left by having me play the hand on the right first. I stood on 17 then got another ten on the other hand. As you can see, I can't split again (despite there being PLENTY of screen space available), but I CAN double down. I stood. Then the dealer proceeded to draw to a bust. The dealer then looked and pointed at me, saying "You split those tens? Nice job!" I guess dealing the extra cards told him that some idiot had done it. And my smiling laughter as I took the picture told him it was me. Obviously, photos are not an issue.
Note the big 7 on the screen is my action clock. I've got 7 seconds left before it defaults to stand as per the rules.
I then looked at my wife's screen. She didn't have the balls to split. Sure enough, as described earlier in this thread, on her screen the dealer took the 3, 4, Q to bust. She won one unit while I won two.
I wonder if I had hit on my 17 taking that Queen to bust, then hit on hand two, taking the 4, 2, 9 to bust, would the dealer then have continued to turn over cards to 'fill' the dealer hand on my screen? I DID notice at one point on another had that there were so many community cards up that he started a second row. Sorry I didn't get a picture.
At the top left is a Tip The Dealer button. Unlike some systems (Rapid Craps? Rapid Roulette?) where it's easy to accidentally tip/overtip, and once you tip the dealer, it's locked in, here you're given a confirmation option.
Also note that my $2 tip looks like a single black chip, but with different edge stripes than a $100 chip. Not sure why they didn't just stack chips like every other system does. I noticed the same thing on the base bet. Although I stayed with $5 bets, my wife got a little aggressive by going to $6 where it was a pinkish colored ship, and then pressing all the way to, gasp, $7 for a single orange chip. Kinda weird.
At the start of the hand, the dealer did get my attention to thank me.
You'll notice towards the top right there's a blue area. That's where you can switch tables. When doing so, the main screen area also turns blue. I DID play a couple hands on both tables at once, but it got a little nuts going back and forth, trying to keep up. Mind you, the regular pace of the game isn't too fast, but two tables at once was too much for me. Maybe if I play longer and get more experience. But that's unlikely.
Anyway, after about 1/2 hour, I turned my $100 into $150.50. Considering I split tens three times to get 5 wins and one push, not to mention my other winning hands, I'd say fortune was on my side, but that doesn't influence my review or desire to play it again.
Overall, I thought it was OK. Yeah, I wish it would allow re-splitting, but I doubt that would be the tipping point for most people.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood?
Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition.