Wet Winnings

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It's an age-old problem. You want to play blackjack. I mean, that’s why you came to Vegas. At the same time, you are an avid swimmer and poolside lounger who hates to leave the water on a sunny day for any reason.

For decades, you had to make a hard choice. But with the development of swim-up blackjack, those days of deliberation have been cast into the dustbin of history. A number of casinos on the Strip now offer the opportunity to play blackjack in your swimsuit, including Tropicana, Hard Rock and Caesars.

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Like so many new ideas, it’s actually an old idea. Vegas casinos have offered wet gaming since at least the 1950s, but new facilities and interest make the notion of gambling in your bikini seem like a hip new trend.

There are some important differences between swim-up blackjack and the version you find inside the walls of the casino. The poolside version must adjust to its environment, so cards are shuffled by hand instead of machine, small towels are stacked at hand for splashes and the table itself includes coping designed to keep waves off the table. Wet cash and chips are not uncommon, but still accepted and wagered just as they are in the dry, cool, interior.

Patrons seem to like the lighter poolside environment they find at the swim-up tables, where clean, clear water has its natural invigorating effect. Just remember to bring a zip-lock bag for your winnings.

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