Excalibur is an MGM Resorts casino. It is located on the southwest corner of Tropicana Ave and Las Vegas Blvd on the Strip. Excalibur was once the largest hotel in the world. It opened on June 19, 1990. There are 4,008 rooms and 100,000 square feet of gaming space. The property was originally built by Circus Circus Enterprises before being acquired by MGM Resorts in 2005.
Excalibur uses a Camelot theme. Some of this theme is still alive in its medieval era swordfights and restaurant names within the resort.
There is a corridor that connects Luxor and Excalibur. A tram connects Excalibur with Mandalay Bay.
Excalibur Tables and Games
There are 32 blackjack tables at Excalibur. Only five of these tables offer rules where players have any serious chance of winning. All blackjack tables at Excalibur hit soft 17. There is no high limit salon at Excalibur.
There are three double deck blackjack tables. These permit double down on any two cards and after splitting. Blackjack pays 3-2. The limits are $25 to $3,000. The house edge is 0.4%.
There are two Blackjack Switch tables. These use eight decks and a continuous shuffle machine. Bet limits are $15 to $1,000. Blackjack Switch requires players to make two wagers, one for each hand. Cards may be switched from one to another. This makes the game double the actual minimum bet. The house edge is 0.6%.
The remaining 27 tables all have the same terrible rules. Some of these tables are in a party pit that is only open on weekends. Double down before and after splitting is permitted, but nothing else. Blackjack pays 6-5. Eight decks are dealt out of a continuous shuffle machine. The bet limits are $10 to $1,000. The house edge is 2.01%.
There is one good game low limit players will want to choose. There are two video blackjack machines with decent payouts. These have $3 to $200 limits. These machines allow double down on any two cards and after splitting. Surrender is also available. The dealer stands on all 17’s and pay 3-2 on a blackjack, a huge difference from the pit blackjack games. The game also accepts the MLife card. The house edge is 0.46%. This goes down by 0.1% when using the MLife card as free play is issued based on action. Comps are also rated as if the action was given at video poker.
MLife for Frequent Blackjack Players
MLife is the players card used at all MGM Resorts casinos in Las Vegas except Circus Circus. MLife is the worst players club is Las Vegas for blackjack players. One reason for that is that players giving less than $25 action do not get rated at all. Another reason is that those same players are all playing 6-5 tables because it takes green chip action to get 3-2 payouts.
Players at the $25 double deck game will get some attention by the pit bosses when using the MLife card. Four hours of play should be good enough for free buffets and a room. Future offers should also come from that level of action.
MLife players should seriously consider playing the two video blackjack machines at Excalibur. These machines have better rules than any of the live blackjack games and also return 0.1% to players in the form of free play. Comps and player rating tiers are also earned while playing video blackjack.
The only difference between Excalibur and other Las Vegas Strip casinos is its great video blackjack game. This stand on 17 game that permits double down before and after splitting, as well as surrender, is a lone bright spot at Excalibur. The double deck game is playable, but its minimum bet is $25. All of the traditional blackjack tables under $25 pay 6-5 on a natural. Unfortunately, this makes it no different than other MGM Resorts casinos.
The Inside View
There was a time that Excalibur was the best place for low rolling blackjack players. That is certainly no longer the case. There isn’t a single blackjack that pays 3-2 outside of the $25 double deck. There are a couple of Blackjack Switch tables, but this requires a completely different skill set than regular blackjack. The only playable game for low rollers is the video blackjack mentioned several times earlier in this article. It even accepts a players card and rates gamblers as if it were a video poker machine.
High limit players will not find any special games here. Unfortunately, the high limit games at Luxor have deteriorated in the past year. Black chip players will want to head across the street to Tropicana for stand on 17 shoe action that starts at $100. Players will find $100-$200 stand on 17 double deck games at MGM Grand.