The closure of casinos due to Covid-19 in 2020 brought plenty of changes. For a period last year, some local governments only allowed limited players at table games. This forced casinos to change how they operate.
Casinos made two specific changes. First, the casinos increased limits at blackjack tables and other games because of social distancing and capacity limits. This was a way to make up for the reduced number of players.
Second, casinos added more electronic table games. Even if the positions were limited, there was no cost to staff these games. These games allowed blackjack players to be more comfortable returning to casinos if they weren’t ready for human contact.
Higher Minimum Blackjack Bets
The higher limits for live blackjack games helped the casino operators make up potential lost revenue. A strange thing happened. Players have gotten used to paying these high limits at many casinos around the country – especially in Las Vegas.
As capacity restrictions have been removed the minimum bet at blackjack tables remains the same at many casinos. Many customers would prefer a lower minimum bet but have become used to the higher wager.
Blackjack games that were $15 may now be $25. The $5 and $10 minimum bet blackjack games are also more expensive. These tables at many casinos are now $10 and $15 respectively. There may be no turning back from the higher minimum bet at live dealer blackjack games inside casinos.
It’s one thing to see higher limits and a good blackjack game. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. The limits are higher on even the worst games that pay 6:5 when a player is dealt a natural blackjack.
It’s wild to walk into a Vegas Strip casino on any given night and see every 6:5 blackjack game with a $25 or $50 minimum bet. Las Vegas may be an outlier but the higher limits don’t seem to be going away anytime soon.
These new minimum bets work for some budgets but not all. So, what’s a blackjack player with a limited budget to do? If you’ve been reading this blog recently you know the answer.
Blackjack Players Heading To Machines
There’s one major physical change on casino floors all around the US that everyone can see. There has been a massive influx of electronic table games and stadium gaming installations over the past year or so.
While these games may have been added for more inventory they’re also replacing live dealer games for some casinos. These gaming installations are great for players who want to limit human contact. Now they’re becoming the main casino option for some blackjack players for a different reason.
Blackjack players looking for lower-limit games in casinos have been making the switch to play these machines. The experience isn’t quite the same, but these games serve a purpose for players and casino operators.
The electronic tables and stadium gaming installations may be the only $5 or $10 blackjack games in casinos today. Some casinos have lowered their table limits back to pre-Covid levels but that doesn’t change the behavior learned over the past year and a half.
Some blackjack players have become used to playing machines and they’re not going back to regular live dealer blackjack games inside casinos.
It will be interesting to see how this changes the casino floor in the future. There’s another divide forming between casino guests. There used to be a separation between high and low rollers with high limit rooms.
There could be a further separation between high, medium, and low rollers forming. High-limit players still have their room. Medium rollers have tables outside those rooms. Low rollers have machines.
I’m not sure that means anything but it’s something to follow.