Skip to content

Las Vegas Casinos Raise House Edge for Blackjack

A new trend in Las Vegas casinos has left gamblers wondering about blackjack players. Many casinos are offering blackjack with a lower minimum bet and just one deck, but there is a drawback. This game is what is known as 6/5 blackjack. This means that instead of a blackjack paying the standard 3 to 2, it now pays 6 to 5. Hit blackjack on a $10 bet and you’ll get $12 instead of $15. It doesn’t seem so bad at first glance, but it really changes the house edge. Still, players are drawn in.

It’s easy to see why. 6/5 blackjack doesn’t cater to high rollers. It caters to the tourist crowd. First, the casinos drop the minimum bet to attract people with a more modest bankroll. Then they use a number of techniques to make the tables more appealing to the average tourist. For example, these games tend to move a little more slowly than games frequented by blackjack high rollers. Put them in what is known in the industry as a “party pit,” and there’s even more appeal. A party pit is usually found near the nightclub. The dealer is usually female and adds some attractive eye-candy to the gambling experience. There can be music. Basically, it feels like you’re at a bar hanging out with friends and playing a game. While high rollers avoid party pits like the plague, for a vacationer, it’s the ideal Vegas experience.

Some Vegas vacationers were interviewed about their feelings regarding the 6/5 blackjack games, and initially expressed outrage that they were being conned into playing a version of blackjack with poorer odds than the usual game. However, when faced with the possibility of a minimum bet being $20 instead of $5 or $10, some players said they’d prefer to play lower odds for more hands.

In today’s recession, the gambling floor has been hard hit, but gamblers still come. The best way to get the low-rollers to come in, though, is to drop the minimum bets to the floor. Penny slots are becoming more popular, and low table minimums present a big draw. According to Las Vegas casino representatives, the house edge on regular blackjack is simply too low to drop table minimums further. Instead, they’re offering players the game they ask for, but the price is higher than the players realize.

Unlike at a regular blackjack table, if you’re playing 6/5 blackjack, there’s only one deck instead of a shoe of six or eight decks. You’re allowed to touch your cards, pick them up. Card counting works, because there’s only one deck. It looks like a much better deal, as long as you’re not counting your winnings in the equation.

Posted in Las Vegas.

Tagged with , .

0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.

Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.