Playing Blackjack in Colombia Colombia forum

Playing Blackjack in Colombia, Colombia forum

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Playing Blackjack in Colombia, Colombia forum



26 June 2022 05:38:49


26 June 2022 05:38:49

In 2022 it’s no longer necessary for blackjack dealers

in Medellín to know how to shuffle casino cards.

That’s because automatic shuffle machines a.k.a.

Shuffle Masters (CSMs) are doing all the shuffling.

This is my report after visiting all the table-games

casinos on the Golden Mile strip and the larger

casinos in Candelaria/El Centro.

The changeover to machine-shuffling is

a detriment to card counters and other

players who relied on dealer shuffles

which could make the cards more


The San Fernando casino in Poblado is completely

closed. The Madison casino in Premium Plaza mall

has closed its table games area for ‘remodelación’.

No indication when or if the live games will reopen.

For now, basically slot play is what is offered.

The Hollywood Casino on the Golden Mile in

Poblado blocked me from entering two nights

ago.  The ‘vigilante’ at the door repeatedly

spoke the word “tomado,” from the verb

‘tomar’ (to take or to drink), making me think

he was worried about allowing in a ‘borracho’

(I don’t drink liquor of any kind).

Eventually, the casino manager came out.

I asked him about the shuffle machines ..

and when he confirmed the machines were

in use at the blackjack table(s), I thanked him

and departed.

cccmedia in Medellín



27 June 2022 06:41:14


27 June 2022 06:41:14

Playing blackjack against a dealer with shuffling machine.

I played blackjack on purpose at a machine-shuffle table for the first time ever today.

This was at Gran Casino.  Despite its lofty name, this Medellín casino only had one table game of any kind in action today, Sunday — the blackjack table I played at.

With the machine doing all the shuffling, there is no break in the action every 15 or 20 minutes for the dealer to do it.  This adds some momentum to whatever is happening, such as winning or losing streaks.  Streaks can happen fast, especially when spreading to the maximum three hands per round as I prefer to do.

The reason I have decided to play against a machine shuffle in Colombia is that the rules are so player favorable.

The best rule is Early Surrender, which is rarely ever found at North American casinos, or even in casinos in other South American countries.  You can save half your bet (i.e., player 16 versus a dealer Ace or 10) by surrendering, even if the dealer eventually turns over dealer blackjack.

At many Colombia casinos, split Aces can each be doubled, meaning if you bet 10 lucas and get a pair of Aces, you can bet a total of 40 lucas on the hand.   Each Ace gets one card only when a split is initiated.

Doubling of any two original cards and Double After Splitting, or DAS, are also allowed.

cccmedia in Medellín



27 June 2022 06:51:22


27 June 2022 06:51:22

Dealer personalities?

There is little or no tipping going on at Gran Casino blackjack .. nor at most casinos I have played at in South America.

This means dealers have little to no incentive to chat up the players or display personality.  Most pit supervisors here do not appear to encourage any display of personality on the part of the dealers.

This is a contrast to many casinos in North America, especially the ones (as in Colorado) where dealers keep their tips and tokes as opposed to splitting the ‘zooks’ among all dealers on their shift.  Toked dealers have a strong incentive to root for the players at their table and to appear to openly root for players’ luck and success.  Many casino managers up North encourage this attitude displayed by dealers as a way to entertain players and keep them engaged and in action.

cccmedia in Medellín

South American Voyager

South American Voyager

27 June 2022 19:34:50

South American Voyager

27 June 2022 19:34:50

Very coincidentally 2 weeks back my gringo friend in Medellin invited me to join him but I have never played blackjack so he showed me.

We went into Casino Caribe La Playa in centro (Beach) and I noticed everything you mentioned.

My friend was so patient teaching me, the buy in was 200 mil and min bet was 10 mil on this table, we played for about 2 hours AND……beginners luck I walked away with 220 mil.

Your right about the dealer, a dead fish, hehehehe but had so much fun laughing with my buddy especially so given that he has played for most of his life and yet I was the one whose night it was.

He told me he always likes the casino over at San Diego, don’t know why though.



28 June 2022 12:21:41


28 June 2022 12:21:41

San Diego mall area casinos.

The S.D. mall area has two casinos.

The one your friend likes is probably the Rio, which is

just across the street from the ‘centro comercial’.

This is the oldest mall in Medellín, opened in the

1970s.  Originally it was considered an open-air mall

where you walked outdoors between stores.

The mall has expanded so much that many of

the newer stores are in enclosed spaces, which

makes it easier to pass from one store to another

during rainy seasons such as the current

‘temporada mojada’.

The other casino, which is at Premium Plaza mall

several blocks up the main drag toward

Poblado sector, is remodeling .. and may or may not

reopen table games eventually.  The casino rep

I spoke with didn’t seem to know the future plans.

cccmedia in Medellín



28 June 2022 12:26:54


28 June 2022 12:26:54

Gaining access to the table games

at the Hollywood Casino, Golden Mile,


After being shut out by a security guard

several nights ago (see above), I decided

to try again last night, a Monday.  Many

casino managers have non-holiday

Mondays off — slow times — so I thought

I might encounter less flack.

And so it was:  the manager and the

security guard who had stopped me

earlier were both absent at my arrival.

The guard on duty at the entrance

frisked me appropriately and then

waved me right in.

It was raining heavily at the time ..

which may be why many open seats

were available for blackjack.

cccmedia in Medellín



29 June 2022 09:56:22


29 June 2022 09:56:22

How a rookie dealer was corrected.

Molasses-slow shuffles and plentiful dealers mistakes were common when I played blackjack in the Southern border town of Ipiales, Colombia.

Here in Medellín, the continuous-shuffle machines have eliminated the slow shuffles. 

Until last night I did not detect any dealer errors in my first few sessions of this trip.

Last night, while I was playing multiple hands as the only player at a 21 table at Hollywood Casino, the young dealer bypassed my third-base hand — a hard 14 — and proceeded to pull from the shoe the dealer cards:  she got 8 – Ace – Ace for a total of 20.

I immediately protested to the supervisor, who was standing right there:  “Hey!  No es correcto.  No tuve la oportunidad para señalar en esa mano!”

The game stopped as pit personnel contacted the big boss.  He came by but wouldn’t listen to my story.  Sr. No Nonsense decided to ‘burn’ a couple of cards .. and then gave me the opportunity to play my ignored hand.

I surrendered the 14, saving one chip .. and pushed the dealer on my remaining hand of 20.

The game resumed.  As for the dealer, she was promptly relieved by another ’empleado’.

cccmedia in Medellín



08 July 2022 10:14:42


08 July 2022 10:14:42

The worst bet in the casino.

At the Hollywood Casino on Medellín’s Golden Mile,

they offer a certain option to any blackjack player

who is dealt a natural 21 (Ace + 10 or facecard).

The “wager” is available when the Dealer has

a 10 or face showing.  Apparently, the casino figures

the player is so concerned that his or her

blackjack will be ‘pushed’ by a Dealer natural

(and thus no money for the player),

that the player may want to accept an even-money

payout on the hand instead of “gambling”

on whether the Dealer has an Ace in the hole.

The problem, of course, is that in random cards,

an Ace appears only once every 13 cards.  So if

you take the even money, you are theoretically

giving the casino a 12 to 1 advantage

This is a classic Sucker Bet..

The obvious strategy is never to take the

even-money offering.  It would be the worst

single-wager option in the casino.

Insurance (offered when the dealer has

an Ace showing) is also a dubious wager for

the player.  The odds favor the house, so

it’s generally advisable to avoid the

Insurance bet .. including avoidance of

the even-money option in the case of a

Player natural versus a Dealer Ace.

cccmedia in Medellín



08 July 2022 10:24:37


08 July 2022 10:24:37

A pair of Aces.

Back in the day (meaning several years ago),

it was common for casinos in Colombia to

offer the Player a chance to make double

times double his or her money when dealt

a pair of Aces.

The Player still received one card only

per Ace when splitting Aces.  However,

the Player could simultaneously quadruple

the original bet.  This created a juicy

player advantage when the Aces

were up against a Dealer 4, 5 or 6.

Apparently, that rule has been eliminated,

at least here in the Paisa capital.

I have played in four casinos on this trip,

and none of them is offering the

quadruple Aces play.

Note that the South American

hole-card rule is in effect in

Colombian casinos, and has been so

for many years.  Unlike in many

North American casinos, the Dealer

does not draw the hole card

until all Player hands are completed.

FYI, split Aces receive only one card,

even if it’s another Ace.  In other

words, no re-splitting of Aces

is allowed.

cccmedia in Medellín



08 July 2022 10:35:06


08 July 2022 10:35:06

Who has the advantage in Colombia

    casinos — the Player or the House?

If you go on some of the online blogs and boards

that pertain to Blackjack, you may see that some

Players just love 21 in Colombia.

They inputted the rules into blog software

and figured out that a perfect basic-strategy

Player has a tiny fraction of one percent

advantage over the House.  (This was often

calculated before the split Aces rule was


The big advantage of Colombia Blackjack

over most North American games is the

option to Early Surrender.

This option gives the player the right to

surrender half his bet to get out of a

hand in which he otherwise has an

overwhelming likelihood of losing

the hand and the entire wager.

The Early part of Early Surrender is

generally unavailable in the USA.

In Colombia, the Player may retain

half the wager even against a

Dealer Ace.

Some of the best hands to

Surrender are 15 or 16 versus Ace

or Ten/facecard.

cccmedia in Medellín



09 July 2022 06:42:01


09 July 2022 06:42:01

Proof of human shuffles.

Today I saw proof that Colombian blackjack dealers

still can shuffle the cards with their own hands.

It happened at Hollywood Casino in Medellín at

a 21 table where no automatic shuffling machine

was in sight. A traditional blackjack shoe

was in use.

Questioned by me, the dealer stated that the

machine wasn’t working and was being repaired.

Today’s shuffle appeared adequate, although I definitely

did better money-wise at the game at the last half dozen

casinos I played at featuring machine shuffles

compared with today’s human-shuffled offering.

cccmedia in Medellín



11 July 2022 02:14:51


11 July 2022 02:14:51

Casino row? 

Due to changing conditions at some

Medellín casinos, notably the closure

of the San Fernando, there are fewer

table games casinos these days along

what had been the city’s blackjack row.

However, there is one spot along the

Golden Mile where two casinos still

offer table games in close proximity

to each other.

These are Gran Casino and

Casino Hollywood.

It’s a benefit to have at least

two casinos close by to each other.

For instance, Gran Casino often

has only one blackjack table open.

If all the spots are taken, it’s

convenient that Hollywood is

a mere stone’s throw away.

Also — as happened this week

at these casinos’ 21 tables on

different evenings —

I encountered a slammer and

a steamer, the latter being

someone who was

obnoxiously chasing or appearing

to chase his losses.  The slammer

was smacking the table

in an uncaring manner before

every hand, as if this was

going to change his luck for

the better.

When you can’t change tables

in any casino for lack of availability,

having another table-games casino

so nearby usually solves the problem

by enabling you to get away

from an offensive narcissist.


Between these two casinos is my

new favorite Medellín restaurant,

which features dishes from

Thailand and other places in

Southeast Asia — NaciónSushi.

Nación is two doors down from

Casino Hollywood, located in

the same mini-mall as the casino.

The restaurant offers indoor

dining and an outdoor patio

where you can enjoy your food

in the presence of the Paisa

capital’s famed green landscaping.

cccmedia in Medellín



13 July 2022 08:43:26


13 July 2022 08:43:26

Aces galore.

Aces kept coming up at my session last night

at Casino San Remo in Medellín.

I split a pair of Aces against a dealer

break card and one of the Aces caught

a third Ace.

“Es permitido?” I asked the dealer, trying

to ascertain whether I was up against the

normal rule of no Ace re-splitting and

thus potentially stuck with a soft 12.

Resplitting Aces is allowed at San Remo,

I was told, so I immediately re-split,

with a good result.


A few minutes later, the dealer had a

hard 12, then proceeded to deal

her hand four consecutive Aces.

Eventually, she made a hand, just 18,

and I was able to win two the three

spots I had wagered.  In Colombia,

a player is permitted

to play up to three hands when the

table is not crowded.

In the old shoe games, it was bad news

when so many Aces came out of the

deck in one spurt, as it lessened the

chances of getting a natural Blackjack.

Against these auto-shufflers, though,

the cards get reshuffled so often that

this is no longer a problem.  In this

case, the dealer immediately put the

discards — Aces an all — back into

the shuffler, and I complimented her

on the prompt move.

cccmedia in Medellín



17 July 2022 02:45:52


17 July 2022 02:45:52

Low stakes 21 across from

San Diego mall in Medellín.

Today, Saturday, I noticed a rare

dealer-dealt shoe game at

Casino Río, across

the street from the San Diego

shopping mall and a

few blocks from the newer

Premium Plaza mall.  This area

is between the Golden Mile

and the downtown area of

the Paisa capital.

With a higher-than-usual minimum

bet of 25,000 COP at that table, I chose to

play multiple hands at a 5,000 COP

($1.20 US) table instead.  Most casinos in

Colombia do not offer a minimum

bet at blackjack below 10,000 COP.

Nor will most allow a player to

bet on more than three spots

when the table is not busy.

However, at Río, I was allowed to

play up to six spots .. and did play

five spots most of the time.

The typical protocol in Medellín

is for a supervisor to ask for a

new player’s name .. and then

offer them a beverage, which is

typically delivered by a server

who is not part of the

blackjack/table games crew.

cccmedia in Medellín



30 July 2022 05:17:24


30 July 2022 05:17:24

Blackjack in Bucaramanga.

On my previous trip to Buca (both trips in 2022),

I usually played at Casino El Doral.  It became a

favorite because it’s inside the best mall in the

city, Caciuque (kah-SEE-kay).

As usual for a Friday evening, the 21 table was

packed.  A couple of players were playing two

spots each, and one of them (with supervisor

prompting) relinquished a spot so I could

get in on the action.

Unlike in Medellín, El Doral’s game is shuffled

manually, no Shuffle Master.  It took about

eight minutes between shoes for the

deliberate dealer to mix the cards and

exchange/color-up chips between shoes.

The game seemed molasses-slow, although

that was not exactly unexpected on a

weekend night in the capital of the

Santander ‘departamento’.

One reason the game is slow is other

players’ inclination to place the maximum

three bets per spot, two of those being

for side bets.  The big payoffs on side bets

come when someone is dealt a suited pair,

especially a royal pair of two kings of hearts,

for instance. 

The dealer has to take and pay up to

21 bets per round.  I don’t play the

side bets due to the house advantage,

but — as in Medellín — other players

(with my permission) place small wagers

alongside my 21 bets on a regular basis.

Such action is permitted.  And, by the way,

the use of cell phones

is also allowed at Colombia’s

blackjack tables.

cccmedia in Bucaramanga



31 July 2022 09:40:14


31 July 2022 09:40:14

Saturday night blackjack in Buca.

The 21 players had a big night at the

El Dorado casino on Saturday.

The blackjack dealer’s chip tray

was almost cleaned out by the

time the game ended after 1:30 a.m.

The game was slow as molasses,

enabling the casino to weather the

player-favorable results and not

have to do a late-night tray fill.

As I approached the table and took

the only available seat at 12:30 a.m.,

the shoe was ending.  Eight minutes

later, the dealer got out the first

round of a new shoe and dealt

the third-base player a pair of 7’s.

He had a side-bet that would

pay him handsomely if he could

draw a third seven.

Which he proceeded to do!

The casino erupted in cheers and

a show of celebration as the

man completed a 7-7-7 hand,

entitling him to a pozo or jackpot.

The supervisor told me the

jackpot was worth over a million

Pesos (over $250 US), although

I didn’t see that much in chips

distributed.  The star player

tipped the dealer and gave

smaller tips to all of us

other players.

By the time the round was

completed, I had been wagering

and waiting for over 15 minutes

and exactly one round had

been completed.

The game barely picked up pace

as the players continually wagered

on all seven casillas  plus

the 14 side-bet circles on each

and every hand.

It’s hard to complain about

the game being slow when

the casino was giving out money

as on Saturday night at the

El Dorado casino in Bucaramanga.

cccmedia in Buca



02 August 2022 10:33:11


02 August 2022 10:33:11

How to win the full ‘pozo’.

The maximum wager on the ‘Acumulación’

side bet is just 1,000 pesos (about $0.23 U.S.),

whereas the potential payoff for three sevens

of spades in a single player hand is

approaching ten million pesos.

So this side bet is getting continual play

at the generally full table at Casino El Doral

in Bucaramanga.  The possible payoff would

be worth up to about $2,300 U.S., giving

side bettors all the incentive they need

to play the Acumulación wager on

every round.  I don’t play this bet, but I

do allow the eager players to my right

and my left to place extra side bets next

to my ‘casilla’.

As mentioned above, I was present at the

table several days ago when a player

was dealt 7-7-7.  His sevens were not

suited, so he qualified only for ten percent

of the ‘pozo total’ or total jackpot.

A player who places this side bet and

receives three suited sevens wins

30 percent of the possible jackpot.

As mentioned above, three sevens of

spades in one hand would win

the entire jackpot.  Unsuited sevens

totaling 21 would win a smaller pot.

Last night at the table, a player was

dealt two sevens of spades and

called for a third card, which turned out

to be a five of spades.  So he received

no side-bet payout and lost his

one-peso wager.

I noticed another player split his sevens

against a dealer low card while wagering

on the Acumulación last night.  He proceeded

to split his sevens, which is consistent with

regular 21 basic strategy but is a questionable

decision when a lucrative payoff is possible

should his next card be any seven.

cccmedia in Bucaramanga



04 August 2022 10:49:35


04 August 2022 10:49:35

Broadway Casino of Bucaramanga.

Unlike Casino El Dorado, where the game

is frequently crowded at all hours of the

table gaming day (4 p.m. to 1:30 a.m.),

the Cabecera commercial district of

Bucaramanga has multiple casinos ..

and on a day like yesterday, plenty of

seats are often available.

The Broadway Casino allowed me to

play as many spots as I wanted when

most spots were open — and I

consistently played four spots.

The table games area was over-cooled

by air conditioning.  The staff

moderated the temperature upon

request.  I’ll bring a jacket with me

next time I play at Broadway.

Besides the main blackjack table and

tables for different games, one 21

table was in use for training only.

A staff member was teaching two

young women how to deal

blackjack.  I suspect the table may

be used for regular play at peak

times on the weekend.

cccmedia in Bucaramanga



11 August 2022 05:49:48


11 August 2022 05:49:48

The Cabecera sector of Buca.

The commercial sector of Cabecera is

Expat-friendly .. and gives the 21 player

a choice of multiple table-games casinos

that is not available in the Cacique area.

In addition to the Broadway casino

(aforementioned), there is the nearby

Encore casino and Crown Casino

(not yet visited).

Within several blocks of these casinos

is virtually every type of commercial

enterprise a visiting tourist could

imagine… restaurants, laundries,

shopping malls and supermarkets,

for starters.  And that list does not even

include the many night venues within

easy walking distance, including bars,

nightclubs and Zona Rosa.

cccmedia in Bucaramanga



19 August 2022 05:02:52


19 August 2022 05:02:52

Three cheers for Broadway!

The Broadway casino in Cabecera, Bucaramanga,

has become my hands-down favorite of all the

casinos where I have played blackjack on my

current Colombia trip to Buca and Medellín.

It’s not just that I’ve won consistently at

Broadway.  It’s also that I have been able to

play three to five hands at a time, even when

several other players are in action at the

21 table.  Also, Broadway allows minimum bets

of 5 Lucas  per betting space when playing

multiple hands — half the required minimum

at Buca’s other casinos where I’ve played.

Additionally, players are not opting for the

side bets, probably because (unlike at

El Dorado) there is no pozo  or jackpot

for a hand of 7-7-7.  This means the

Broadway game moves rapidly as the

dealer is not constantly paying and taking

side bets.  Since there is no dealer shuffling

(the shuffle machine is constantly mixing

the cards), it eliminates the 5 to 7

minutes of downtown on the game that

one gets several times an hour

at dealer-shuffled games such

as El Dorado and Encore.

Additional features of this casino are

its proximity, within several blocks, to

other casinos .. and its location near

many restaurants, superior food courts,

two shopping malls connected by a fourth-level

bridge across an avenue) and small

shops from 7-11 style convenience

stores to clothing and shoe repair shops.

cccmedia in Bucaramanga



19 August 2022 06:38:19


19 August 2022 06:38:19

Good info.. We just left Rock n Roll Casino in Bogota off of Calle 82. It was a very uneventful night. But both my wife and myself were exhausted. We are headed back tomorrow night after some rest. Probably do a different Casino though. There are a few right in this area of Zona Rosa



19 August 2022 06:46:51


19 August 2022 06:46:51

On a side note not to hijack your post. We were given a 25k peso’s voucher to visit this Casino today over at a convention at Corferias close to Salitre which is why we chose the casino. However upon arriving at the casino we were told the voucher was no good. We didn’t lose anything by having it. Obviously was just a ploy to get us in the door and spend money. Which it worked, the voucher itself was free so no loss there. Just kinda crappy thing to do to get people in the door.



19 August 2022 08:10:05


19 August 2022 08:10:05

“…not to hijack your post….”

Glad, actually, to get some company on this thread.

Would welcome your impressions beyond what you

have posted so far .. about Bogotá area casinos.

I have not played 21 in Bogotá — but mainly in

Medellín, Bucaramanga and Ipiales.

Do most of the tables in the capital have 10,000

peso minimums?  ($2.40 US)

cccmedia in Buca



28 August 2022 15:49:40


28 August 2022 15:49:40

I have not played 21 in Bogotá — but mainly in Medellín, Bucaramanga and Ipiales.

I vaguely recall years back that you spent some time in Armenia playing blackjack?

What about giving the casinos in Manizales a shake, or does its high elevation, hilly streets and rainy weather steer you clear of it?



29 August 2022 00:42:30


29 August 2022 00:42:30

Blackjack in the Coffee Zone.

You have a good memory, Mr. Barley.

It has been five years since I played blackjack

in Armenia, Quindío, so my recollection of that

is vague as well.

I’d consider going back to Armenia if I

thought the Mocawa hotel and the the

attached Mocawa condo building heated

their pools on a daily basis.  I have stayed

at both, as well as the famous hotel across

the street, and all three places kept their

pools cool and unheated except on

weekends and holiday periods.

As for Manizales, my research indicated

there might be either zero or one

casino offering blackjack with a live

dealer.  That’s not enough.  If there’s

a significant change in the playing rules

or the betting limits or the shuffle method,

there’s no other 21 table in town to move to.

As the blackjack conditions changed in

Armenia, I gradually lost interest in

traveling there again.  The swimming

pool deal was the clincher.

Manizales may be too chilly and hilly

for my taste, as you suggested.

Medellín and Bucaramanga seem to

have all I want, including

well-climatized pools at my favoite

hotels in each city ..

and multiple table-game casinos

within a short distance of each other

such as a city block or two.  In the

Paisa capital, the casinos where

I play are along the Golden Mile

bus route or near the big shopping

malls along what I consider the

Golden Mile extended.

cccmedia in Bucaramanga



01 September 2022 06:53:48


01 September 2022 06:53:48

El Guasón’s Broadway appearance.

The names of special casino cards are not taught

in high school Spanish, so our readers may not be

familiar with the terms Guasón — Joker —

or el comodín — the wild card.

At Bucaramanga’s Broadway Casino tonight,

a new promotion appeared at the blackjack table.

El Guasón was mixed in with the regular cards

by way of the Shufflemaster .. and appeared as

a card in one the multiple hands I was playing.

The dealer immediately put the card aside.  I was

informed that the value of el bono  would be

100,000 Pesos, a.k.a. 100 Lucas.



01 September 2022 07:03:49


01 September 2022 07:03:49

Putting the Guasón bonus into play.

After some paperwork and some waiting,

I received the bonus in the form of

20 special green chips, each one worth

5,000 Pesos or 2.35 USD.

“Cómo se usa?” I asked the supervisor.

How are these chips used?

He told me the special rules for

the Joker chips…

Player blackjacks pay even money instead

of the usual 3 to 2 payoff ..

double-downs require a regular chip

to be wagered for the second bet ..

surrender is not allowed.  I soon learned

that the player keeps the Guasón chip

for additional use on any wager that wins

or ties;  it is only taken by the dealer

on a losing player hand.

The game proceeded quickly as I was

the only player in action, so no side bets

were in play, no delays for a novice player

hesitating on his 13 versus a dealer 10.

When the dust cleared eight minutes later,

I had made a profit of 120 Lucas with

the promotional chips.

cccmedia in Bucaramanga



19 October 2022 22:09:44


19 October 2022 22:09:44

Hi cccmedia,

I enjoyed reading your treads on Blackjack in Columbia. I live in Ecuador, and just came back from a 3 day weekend in Bogota. I played only in one Casiño called Millionaires Casino. Only CSM. I played a total of 10 to 11 hours. All in all came out winning, but not much. First time, and hopefully the last playing without a hand shuffle. I am looking forward to taking another trip either in the end of November this year or January of 2023.  I will fly into Bogota and then hop on another flight to Bucaramanga to try out the casinos you mentioned. Hand dealt shoes is what I want.



29 October 2022 10:37:04


29 October 2022 10:37:04

Justjoy, the blackjack table at Centro Comercial

Cacique (kah-SEE-kay) gets really crowded,

especially Tuesday through Saturday, as there

are no other casinos within reasonable

walking distance.  The shoes are hand shuffled.

There was only one 21 table operating during the

month I stayed at the adjacent Holiday Inn.

There are three casinos within easy walking

distance of Casino Broadway in Cabecera.

Broadway’s game is dealt from a continuous shuffler.

There were hand-shuffled 21 games nearby at two

‘centro comercial’ casinos.  All three of these

casinos typically had seats available in the

afternoons, on weekday nights and on Sundays.

Minimums as of my recent trip:  5,000 pesos

(currently about one dollar US) at Broadway,

10,000 during most hours at the other



Mas Ref

Mas Ref

12 January 2023 03:38:59

Mas Ref

12 January 2023 03:38:59

Hallo Ccc!

am traveling to Colombia in a few weeks for work and staying there for 6 months.

I find your inside on black jack super interesting and useful.

I myself been an AP for a couple of years now.

I was wondering if you could make a a short summary of the casinos/cities where one can still find hand-shuffled game?! thank you so much in advance!!!!



12 January 2023 04:24:00


12 January 2023 04:24:00

Dear Mas Ref,

Welcome to the Colombia forums of …

In the past year — and going forward —

I have been playing blackjack in sectors of my

favorite Expat-friendly cities in

Colombia.  That means casinos along

the Golden Mile in Medellin and in

Cabecera sector, Bucaramanga, Santander.

I have also played at Cacique as it is located

in the same hotel-shopping-casino complex

where I was staying for a month in Buca.

Due to overcrowding at the one 21

table that was in use there at most hours,

I expect to limit my action at that venue

during my next Buca stay.

However, Cacique may be a good casino for you

as it offers manually-shuffled cards, no CSM.

Play at off hours, such as early afternoon when

the table opens, Sundays, late-night on

weekdays and any Monday nights when there’s

not a major soccer game on the tube.

Gradually in recent years, CMS’s have taken

over the blackjack tables of Medellin.  The

table games managers there can absorb the

CSM lease fees since a big city such as the

Paisa capital has plenty of action at most


So, in your case, Mas Ref, I would recommend

you play at Cacique in Bucaramanga and the

other casinos I mentioned above on this thread

that are in Buca.  The exception is

Casino Broadway, which offers

CSM-shuffled cards only.


Mas Ref

Mas Ref

12 January 2023 22:57:47

Mas Ref

12 January 2023 22:57:47

cccmedia thanks a lot for taking the time for the valuable inside!

I will definitely make time to visit Medellin and Bucaramanga

do you have any info on the game in Cartagena or Bogota?

have you ever had back-offs in Colombia? do you know whether it could be potentially aggressive/dangerous? or just similar to in US/Europe?!

thanks again!



13 January 2023 04:02:55


13 January 2023 04:02:55

Back-offs unlikely.

I have never even sniffed a player being

backed off or 86’d for advanced play in

Colombia.  I have played in Medellin,

Bucaramanga, the Coffee Zone capitals and

Ipiales.  The casino at Gran Plaza, Ipiales,

had put its table games in storage in 2021

due to the Situation.

Neither I nor other players I’ve seen

have drawn excessive heat from the

pit personnel.

It’s South America, so keep your wits

about you, especially if exiting a casino

after a win late at night. 

I never worry about back-offs as I don’t

alternate between low bets and table

maximum .. and am often satisfied with a

70 USD win even if the table conditions

remain solid.  My sessions rarely exceed

one hour.

I have no inside information on the games

in Bogota and Cartagena, just what’s

available on the Internet.   The weather in

the capital is cool and rainy .. and in

Cartagena it’s hot and humid, whereas

I prefer the mild climates in Buca and

the Paisa capital.


Mas Ref

Mas Ref

16 January 2023 14:08:35

Mas Ref

16 January 2023 14:08:35

Thanks again for the inside! I will come back to the thread as soon as I make some time at the Colombian tables!



01 February 2023 01:47:30


01 February 2023 01:47:30

There is wide agreement among blackjack players

that online blackjack is filled with scammers.

I once bought in for online play at a casino .. and

accepted what seemed like generous bonuses as

part of my welcome package.

However, much later, when I wanted to cash out,

I learned that the bonuses had beens structured in

such a way that it was virtually impossible to get to my

cash balance.

So far as I know, there is no gaming commission to

decide disputes between player and online casino.

So guess who has the final decision in all matters?


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