Blackjack on the Vegas Strip ain’t what it used to be. Sure, it’s the most played game in casinos. There are more blackjack tables on the Vegas Strip than any other game. According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, there were 1,196 blackjack tables on the Vegas Strip as of December 2019. That’s slightly more than 40% of the 2,850 table games in the tourist corridor.
Unfortunately, the actual blackjack games on the Vegas Strip don’t offer the same experience they used to. Casinos have increased their house edge by changing the rules of the game. Many blackjack purists won’t even play the blackjack games available on the Vegas Strip today.
Gaming researcher, John Mehaffy’s recent survey of blackjack on the Vegas Strip shows that there are 568 blackjack tables that pay 6:5 when a player is dealt a natural blackjack. In 2011, Mehaffey’s research shows there were only 199 of these tables. This information shows that almost half the blackjack games on the Vegas Strip pay 6:5 for a natural blackjack.
The number of 6:5 blackjack games on the Vegas Strip is even worse for tourists and recreational gamblers. The majority of these games on the Vegas Strip have a minimum bet under $25. Recreational blackjack players tend to play lower limits games and are the players affected most by the proliferation of 6:5 blackjack in Las Vegas over the past decade.
Why 6:5 Blackjack Is Bad
Understanding why 6:5 blackjack is bad should help any bettor understand why this game hurts their gambling experience. A 6:5 blackjack game has a 1.39% higher house advantage than a 3:2 game. The house edge is even larger if more traditional blackjack rules are changed.
Let’s look to math to help explain the difference between the two payouts. On average a player will receive about 3.5 blackjacks every hour. On average, a player will receive $52.50 from a 3:2 blackjack game each hour. Someone playing a 6:5 blackjack game will only receive $42 in that same hour of play.
The $10.50 difference is more than just money in the pocket. Over time, this means that the bankroll of a blackjack player won’t last as long if they play the game with the higher house edge. This means that a blackjack player will likely spend less time playing the casino game they prefer.
In essence, playing 6:5 blackjack will lead to fewer casino fun times. Nobody visits Las Vegas for less fun.
The Best Blackjack Games Under $25 On The Vegas Strip
Not everyone cares about playing casino games in Las Vegas with the best odds. That’s understandable since the average trip to Las Vegas is about two days. Traveling to a casino for the best odds may not make sense with so little time.
Having said that, maybe gambling in casinos with good blackjack games can become part of your Vegas vacation planning. Playing the game with a lower house edge should mean playing more blackjack and more fun. We all like more fun!
Here are the best blackjack games on the Vegas Strip according to the 2020 blackjack survey from Mehaffey. Visit the website for much more information on all the blackjack games in Las Vegas.
House Edge 0.46%
Treasure Island – 16 tables
House Edge 0.57%
Bally’s – 7 tables
Caesars Palace – 12 tables
Cromwell – 7 tables
Flamingo – 2 tables
Harrah’s – 5 tables
The Linq – 2 tables
Paris Las Vegas – 15 tables
Planet Hollywood – 17 tables
House Edge 0.64%
Circus Circus – 4 tables
Sahara – 3 tables
The Strat – 5 tables