The Stratosphere is the tallest building in Las Vegas. It has an observation tower that is 112 stories tall, putting it at 1,149 feet at its tallest point. There are four rides on top that are not for the easily scared. One is an 855-foot drop down a zip line. It is known as the Sky Jump. This ride costs $120. The others are included in a $35 all day pass. These are called the Big Shot, High Roller and Insanity.
The Stratosphere sits on the former site of Vegas World. It was owned by Bob Stupak, who came up with the idea of building the Stratosphere. The plans had to be scaled back some. The original ones called for a taller tower. That idea was shot down by the FAA.
The expanded tower on top of the old Vegas World hotel opened on April 30, 1996. There are 2,427 rooms and 80,000 square feet of gaming space.
One bit of trivia about the Stratosphere is that it is not located on the Las Vegas Strip because it is actually within the city limits of Las Vegas. None of the Strip is located in the Las Vegas city limits. Stratosphere is located on the wrong side of Sahara Avenue to be considered on the Strip, although some tourist and guides still refer to it as a Strip resort.
Stratosphere Tables and Games
The table game pit at Stratosphere is very small, especially considering the size of the hotel. There are just 20 blackjack tables. Only four of them are playable. There are nine blackjack tables that only pay 6-5 on a natural. The minimum bet is $5 at most of these games. The max is $1,000. Players may double down on any two cards and after splitting. The dealer hits soft 17. The house edge is 2.01%.
There are seven single deck blackjack games that pay 6-5 on a natural. Players may double down on any two cards but not after splitting. The dealer hits soft 17. The house edge is 1.6%. The bet limits are $10 to $1,000.
There are three six-deck shoe games with $10 to $1,000 bet limits. Typically, one will be $10, another $15, and the other $25. Players may double down on any two cards and after splitting. The dealer hits soft 17. The house edge is 0.65%.
The best game in the house is the one double deck blackjack table. It has $25 to $2,000 bet limits. Players may double down on any two cards and after splitting. The house edge is 0.6%.
AcePlay for Frequent Blackjack Players
It is very easy to get comps from playing tables games at Stratosphere. The casino uses AcePlay, which is also used at Arizona Charlie’s, Arizona Charlie’s Decatur and Aquarius in Laughlin. Comps earned at one of these casinos may be used at another. It shouldn’t take much more than four hours of daily blackjack play to get a comped room at any of these casinos. A $25 player should expect upgrades and meals. Red chips players looking to visit the tower should ask the pit boss. These passes are easy to obtain with a minimum amount of play.
There is one obvious difference between Stratosphere and other Las Vegas casinos. It has a 1,149-foot tower on top of it. This is a great place to go relax between blackjack sessions. If you are feeling daring, take a plunge off the Sky Jump. This is a zip line that runs from the 108th floor down to the second floor. There are also nice restaurants, a club and other rides on top.
There is little difference in the blackjack offered at Stratosphere and other Las Vegas casinos. There are no stand on 17 tables. The high limit area consists of slots and video poker. There are no tables in it.
Only four tables pay 3-2. At least the 6-5 games start at a $5 minimum bet.
The Inside View
If you can confine your action to the four 3-2 tables, you should be able to stay for free at Stratosphere every time you visit. Table game players get great comps. Stratosphere likes the action, even at $10 or $15, as long as you stay at the tables a few hours each day. It is by far the best thing about Stratosphere blackjack.