When given the option a player should always choose a 3:2 game instead of one that pays 6:5 for a natural blackjack. Depending on the rules, a 3:2 blackjack game can offer the lowest house edge in a casino.
This is blackjack 101 but it never hurts to reiterate. Unfortunately, finding a blackjack game with a very low house edge isn’t always possible.
Life doesn’t always bring us to casinos with the better blackjack games at an affordable wager. For example, it’s difficult to find a good blackjack game for a minimum bet under $25 on the Vegas Strip.
The best blackjack games on the Vegas Strip casinos are often found in the high-limit rooms. Good blackjack games with low minimum bets can be found elsewhere in Las Vegas a little easier.
While 6:5 blackjack isn’t optimal it isn’t the worst game in the casino. Depending on the rules a great blackjack game will have a house edge close to .30% using perfect basic strategy.
The house edge jumps to approximately 2% when a player uses perfect basic strategy when playing a game that pays 6:5 when a player receives a natural blackjack.
If a player doesn’t use perfect basic strategy the house edge will be higher for each game.
While 6:5 games are suboptimal for blackjack players, the casino has worse bets. Sometimes playing a (GASP) 6:5 blackjack game isn’t the worst option in the casino.
Nobody is searching out 6:5 blackjack games to play. However, there are worse games to play at some casinos.
Here are some games and bets that have a higher house edge than 6:5 blackjack.
Big 6 Wheel
This is the giant dealer spun or electronic wheel game that’s available at most casinos. It has a massive house edge that ranges from 11.11% to 22.2%.
The Big 6 Wheel should be avoided at all costs. Coincidentally, the last time I told someone how big the house edge is in this game they decided to play anyway and won a couple of hundred dollars. Go figure.
There’s rarely a full table at this game and there’s a good reason for that. The house edge for Casino War is either 2.88% or 3.7% depending on the rules. The option to bet on a tie has a massive 18.65% house edge.
People play Casino War because it’s a game many people know already and there are always open seats.
Live and Video Keno
There aren’t many live Keno games in casinos anymore but they’re still around at some older properties. The house edge for a live Keno game is 25%-29% depending on the specific game played.
Video Keno has a much lower house edge but it’s still much higher than 6:5 blackjack. Depending on the game the house edge for video Keno is between 7.5% to 10%.
Video Keno is still a very popular bartop casino game because of its simplicity and gamble. There are plenty of people who love having the action while drinking complimentary beverages because there’s no skill involved.
Speaking of Video Poker, the bartop kind is usually the worst version of this game in a casino. Similar to blackjack, Video Poker is one of the few games in casinos where skill has an effect on the return to player.
The house edge for bartop video poker games is often higher than 6:5 blackjack. Much like video Keno, this is a popular game to play when enjoying a complimentary adult beverage.
Some casinos have Video Poker games with a high house edge throughout the gaming floor. Visit vpFREE2.com for specific Video Poker pay tables and returns for just about every US casino.
Let It Ride
It appears as though this game isn’t as popular as it used to be. It seems as though there are fewer Let It Ride tables in casinos every year.
The change is a good thing for players as Let It Ride has a house edge of 3.51%. This isn’t the worst house edge in casinos but it’s not the best.
You may be noticing a trend that the games that involve the least skill come with a higher house edge. Roulette is one of those skillless games with a higher house edge than 6:5 blackjack.
The traditional roulette game with two zeros (00) has a house edge of 5.26% Las Vegas casinos are frequently adding another zero or a logo space to roulette games. These triple zero (000) roulette games have a 7.69% house edge.
Even the best single zero (0) roulette game has a higher 2.7% house edge than 6:5 blackjack. Playing this game is easy but it comes at a price.
Three Card Poker
This is one of the most popular non-blackjack games inside casinos today. Three Card Poker is so popular in some casinos that the only game with more tables is blackjack.
Depending on the wager, the house edge for Three Card Poker can be 2.19%, 3.37% or 7.28%.
The house edge doesn’t do justice to how poorly the returns can be on Three Card Poker. Depending on monthly volatility casinos can win 35% or more of the money wagered on this game.