Mirage is located toward the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip, between Caesars Palace and Treasure Island. It is owned by MGM Resorts. It was built through the vision of Steve Wynn and started the Mirage Resorts holdings that eventually merged with MGM Resorts.
Mirage was the first themed resort in Las Vegas. It opened on November 22, 1989. It started an era where virtually every new resort was modeled after a theme. It is not a stretch to say that Las Vegas may look different today if it were not for Steve Wynn’s risk in opening a $630-million resort. Critics said it would fail. Wynn got the last laugh on his way to becoming one of the most powerful figures in Las Vegas history.
The theme at Mirage is all but gone. The volcano still erupts and is one of the few items left from the original exhibits, although MGM Resorts cut it back to two or three times a night, depending on the day of the week.
There are 3,044 hotel rooms at Mirage. The casino floor is about 100,000 square feet. There is a tram that connects Mirage with neighboring Treasure Island.
Mirage Tables and Games
There was a time when Mirage was the best place in Las Vegas to play blackjack. It does not hold that honor anymore. Players not willing to sit at a $25 table will find some of the worst blackjack in the world. Players at tables $50 and higher still receive a good game.
The best blackjack game at Mirage has a house edge of just 0.25%. It is a double deck game that allows double down before and after splitting. The dealer stands on all 17’s. The bet limits are $100 to $10,000. There are three of these tables on the main casino floor and four more in the high limit salon. It is rare to see all of these tables open, but there should always be seats available.
At just 0.27% house edge, the six-deck shoes are another great choice for blackjack players. This game allows every player friendly rule imaginable. Double down before and after splitting is permitted. So is surrender and re-split aces. The dealer stands on all 17’s. The bet limits for this game start at $25 during off peak hours and $50 during prime time. There are five of these tables on the main floor and three in the high limit salon.
Players willing to give green chip action will find 11 tables that pay 3-2 that permit double down on any two cards and after splitting, as well as surrender and re-split aces. The dealer hits soft 17. The house edge is 0.48% in these games. These $25 tables are open 24 hours a day.
The max bet for the shoe games is $10,000. Limits may be raised upon approval, especially in the high limit salon.
There are 12 blackjack tables that start at $10 and have a $2,000 cap, not that you would ever want to bet that much at these games. Most of these tables use continuous shuffle machines, but that is not the worst part. The games pay just 6-5 on a natural blackjack. Players can double down on any two cards and after splitting. The house edge is 2.01%.
It is not just the low limit blackjack games at the tables that are bad. There is a $5 multiplayer video blackjack game that is the worst one in Las Vegas, if not the world. It pays even money on blackjack. Double down on any two cards and after splitting is permitted. Surrender is available on the machine, too. None of that really matters because the game has a 2.8% house edge due to the terrible even money blackjack rule. An MLife card will drop the house edge my 0.1%.
This machine is called Enchanted Blackjack. It is distributed by IGT. Not all of these machines pay even money. One at Circus Circus in Reno pays 3-2. On the other hand, one at The Lodge at Deadwood pays even money on a blackjack, just like the one at Mirage in Las Vegas does.
Mirage offers great games for players willing to bet $50 or more per hand. At $100, the double deck game is available and is the best one on the Las Vegas Strip. For $25, players can get a decent game that pays 3-2 on a natural.
Unlike Caesars Entertainment properties, you will not find a blackjack game under $25 that pays 3-2. The game that makes Mirage different than any other Las Vegas casino is its even money multiplayer blackjack machine. There is no bigger ripoff in Las Vegas.
MLife for Frequent Blackjack Players
Mlife is the players club for MGM Resorts. It is not as generous as Caesars Entertainment’s Total Rewards for blackjack players. That was not a big deal when MGM Resorts had better blackjack. At this point, there is little reason to use MLife at MGM blackjack tables unless you are giving black chip action. Mirage will not even rate you for action below $25. It is tough to get a mailer from middle limit blackjack play. You might as well just play without the card, especially if you are counting.
The Inside View
Mirage used to be tied for the best blackjack in Las Vegas. It turned 180 degrees and became the worst for low limit blackjack players. It is shameful how bad players looking for a sub-$25 game get ripped off these days at Mirage.
Many casinos offer a decent alternative for low rollers at video blackjack. Mirage is the exception to this rule. Video blackjack is an even bigger ripoff than the low limit live tables at Mirage.
Be prepared to play green chip action for any decent live action at Mirage. If you cannot afford that, take the tram next door to Treasure Island. That is where you will find 3-2 games starting at just $10 and good stand on 17 games for $25.