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It’s a question that’s long-plagued blackjack players: How can casinos pay 6-to-5 for blackjack?
For many years in Las Vegas casinos, blackjacks paid 3-to-2. It was the standard. That means if you made a $10 bet, a blackjack would pay $15. In a 6-to-5 game, however, that same $10 bet will get you $12 for a blackjack.
Doesn’t sound like too much at first glance, right? This simple change in rules gives the house an additional edge of 1.39%. Over time, that seemingly small difference can cost players a lot.
Casinos already have an edge. Paying 6-to-5 for blackjacks gives them even more.
In recent years, insidious 6-to-5 blackjack games have started popping up all over The Strip. In some casinos, it’s hard to find a 3-to-2 game at all.
Recently, we tried our hand at blackjack at a downtown casino, and were dismayed to learn, mid-game, that here, too, blackjacks paid 6-to-5. Not downtown! The infection is spreading!
As we do not tend to keep our displeasure to ourself in situations like this, we mentioned our disappointment to a pit boss (a casino floor manager), asking, “How can you pay 6-to-5 for blackjacks?”
We got the most brutally honest answer, ever. The pit boss said, simply, “Because people still play.”
As we were picking our jaw up off the new casino carpet, we realized he was absolutely right. Poor game rules aren’t something casinos do to players. We do it to ourselves.
We vote with our business. If we refuse to play 6-to-5 blackjack, casinos won’t offer it. (Well, it won’t offer it as often, because there will always be people who don’t particularly care. They want to play where they want to play, and they clearly have money they don’t need.)
If we stay at hotels with resort fees, hotels will continue to charge resort fees.
If we attend shows where performers lip-sync, performers will continue to lip-sync.
It’s important to remember, though, we decide. So, what kind of Vegas experience will you have?
Note we have a more current article with updated recommendations here: Best Blackjack in Las Vegas, 2014
Great to know if you are going to Las Vegas and plan on doing some blackjack gambling. It really depends on your taste, whether you are looking for atmosphere, the people surrounding you, the limits, the games around available, the House edge, and so forwards. Looking it that way, then any casino could be the best. So lets try to look at several views for your choice.
Low Limit Blackjack Tables
Having beginners in mind, lets concentrate mainly on low limit tables and Casinos, and include extra points here and there. These low limit tables after all are great to stretch your budget and entertainment experience.
Las Vegas Club Casino –Not only do they have some good blackjack rules such as hitting an extra card after splitting Aces and doubling down on more situations than usual, but they also offer $5 tables, most of the time, with some rare instances of $3 tables. The casino is located in Old Vegas, which will be a great excuse to go see that area of town.
$5 tables are great, and $3 from time to time even better – but, how about $2 tables!
Slots-A-Fun offers $2 tables as well as $3 tables. That is crazy low, and can definitely help you extend your gaming budget, especially if you are a beginner at offline tables. Online Blackjack after all is somewhat easier in that you can pace yourself. Slots Of Fun is not the best casino, but with those limits, it does not really matter.
Apart from that, you can find $5 table almost everywhere that aren’t premium strip casinos (Wynn, Bellagio, Aira etc.) – although the issue is finding an open seat or enough of those tables to join. The Sahara, Circus, and Stratosphere for instance are good places to play $5 tables, except on Fridays and Saturdays when it gets way to packed.
High Roller Blackjack Tables
Now, lets look at some other points apart from the low limit casinos and tables.
For instance, higher stake blackjack tables with great atmosphere can be found at what we consider the premium strip casinos like the Wynn and Bellagio (picture provided by Bellagio Wikipedia). The players are better there since the limits are higher, so you will be seeing high rollers, and better treatment. For instance, the Wynn definitely shows off the luxury and style, and includes tables going all the way up to $100,000 per hand minimum, and $500,000 per hour minimum – do not worry though, they obviously have more reachable limit tables too.
One thing to consider is that even though Casinos tend to concentrate on higher limits, they do offer $10 tables in the mornings – around 6am to 10am more or less. MGM, Mirage, and Luxor for instance will have less people at the tables around this time, so even dealers will take their time to help you out more, in hopes of keeping players at the tables. Seeing that since in Vegas one does not do much sleeping anyway, then that might be a good time to get on some gambling.
Single Deck Blackjack
You might also want to play at 1-deck tables, since the fewer the decks played with, the better the players’ odds are.
In that case, you might want to go to the Binion’s Horseshoe, Las Vegas Club (already mentioned with good limits and rules), El Cortez, and Fiesta Rancho, which have single deck games. Not exactly low limits tables, but at least the winning odds are more towards your favor.
Tuscany is also another good casino near the Strip for single deck games, with an even lower House edge of 0.30% and $10 tables.
As for double-deck games, you can get some good ones with low House Edge at NewYork NewYork, Bellagio, Treasure Island, and Texas Station within others – the limits however, are not that low.
Finally, lets look at atmosphere. For instance, the PALMS Fantasy Tower has the ‘Playboy Club’, where apart from partying and dancing, you will be able to play blackjack and roulette, with some sexy, bunny-dressed dealers.
Card casino near me. That is not it for the PALMS though, they also have 6 pool side blackjack tables, with a good vibe of people usually staying there, especially since the Hotel/Casino is just off the Strip.
The Wynn (picture provided by Wynn Wikipedia) is another venue with grea pool side blackjack action at the Cabana Bar, equipped with flat-screen TV, and an European style pool side… obviously a great place for men to relax and gamble – but we cannot promise you will be able to concentrate much on your game. At least you will have fun and relax. Just like Caesar’s Palace with another European Style poolside and BJ tables.
A few other hotels where you can relax on the pool area for some blackjack, especially great for families where the kids will be occupied at the pool, is the Tropicana Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel, where the tables are actually in the water, and so obviously, the dealers will accept wet cards, chips, and money.
Lastly, for those interested in Blackjack Tournaments, you might want to consider the Hilton hotel hosting the World Series and Million Dollar Blackjack Tournament, as well as the Imperial Palace and Boulder Station with weekly tournaments.
Don’t be shy though, let us know what you think are the actual best blackjack venues in Vegas.
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This is not to say that there are no other casinos in other states, but just to project that best casino franchises target the sin city of Las Vegas. Find a casinos near me.