MGM Resorts slashed payouts at virtually all of its vegas blackjack tables with a minimum bet under $25 earlier this year. These low limit shoe games now pay 6-5 on a blackjack as opposed to the standard 3-2.
We previously suggested playing multi player video blackjack to receive a reasonable return on play at lower limits. MGM Resorts recently lowered the payouts on those games as well.
All video blackjack machines in the MGM Resorts family in Las Vegas now pay 6-5 or worse on a natural. Video blackjack machines at New York- New York already paid 6-5 at Mandalay Bay. Two at MGM Grand also had this low payout. Multi player video blackjack at Mirage only paid even money.
Others – including one machine at MGM Grand, and two machines at Luxor, Excalibur, and Monte Carlo, as well as three at Slots A Fun and Aria – paid 3-2 up until recently.
The 3-2 machines at Monte Carlo and MGM Grand were the Dealers Angel series. These were completely uninstalled. The Monte Carlo machines were replaced by one in the front of the casino that pays 6-5 and one towards the pits that now pays just even money on a blackjack. The MGM Grand machine was removed and the space now sits void of any gaming.
Luxor’s two IGT video blackjack games were removed from the floor. One machine at Slots A Fun was removed and replaced by video roulette. The other two were converted to 6-5. The two video blackjack games at Excalibur were also converted to a 6-5 payout. These machines stand on 17, an odd feature for a 6-5 game.
The three video blackjack machines at Aria that paid 3-2 were lowered to 6-5. One is an Interblock near the sportsbook and two are by the blackjack pits.
Change to Free Bet Blackjack
Free Bet Blackjack is one alternative players have to avoid playing 6-5 games in many Las Vegas Strip casinos. The game gives free double downs to 9, 10 and 11 and free splits to pairs other than those that make 20. In exchange for this, the dealer pushes any hand still in the game if the dealer makes a 22. The game has a house edge of about 1.02%, nearly double a typical 3-2 blackjack game. It is half the edge of a normal 6-5 blackjack table.
Luxor now pays just 6-5 on a blackjack at this game that is dealt out of a continuous shuffle machine. That adds 1.39% to the house edge, putting it around 2.4%. Several other MGM Resorts casinos still pay 3-2 at Free Bet Blackjack. The outlier table at Luxor makes it possible that the rule change is in a trial.
Casino Royale is the only other casino in Las Vegas that pays 6-5 at Free Bet Blackjack with multiple decks. It has done so since installing the game years ago. Golden Nugget offers 6-5 Free Bet Blackjack using one deck.
There are still 3-2 blackjack games on Las Vegas Strip
While blackjack conditions continue to deteriorate in Las Vegas, there are still many places that offer a good value to low limit players. Treasure Island continues to spread 3-2 blackjack at all double deck and shoe tables with a $10 minimum. Its high limit games stand on all 17’s with a $25 minimum.
All Caesars Entertainment casinos in Las Vegas have 3-2 tables under $25 most hours of the day for those willing to look for them among the 6-5 games. Tropicana, SLS Las Vegas, Stratosphere and most downtown and locals casinos also spread 3-2 blackjack tables under $25 for those willing to walk past short pay games.