The future of blackjack in Florida was in doubt just a little over a year ago. In late 2015 there was a proposal by state gambling regulators to end traditional card games allowed at Florida casinos. Blackjack players in Florida can now rejoice. That proposal was overturned last year and upheld a second time in another ruling. You’ll be able to play the game blackjack in Florida without leaving the state until 2030.
The state said that Florida regulators were in the wrong in allowing racinos to offer “designated player games” after reaching an agreement with the Seminoles that had provided them exclusive rights to blackjack through 2015. US District Judge Robert Hinkle recently upheld that ruling initially made in November 2016. The ruling allows the Seminole tribe the ability to deal house-banked card games, including blackjack through 2030.
“Designated player games” means that the players wager against one another instead of the casino. The more traditional way of legal casino gambling is based around “casino-banked games” where you, the player, are competing against the casino.
According to the Bradenton Herald, the judge said the following: “This case was tried to the court. A written opinion set out the court’s findings of fact and conclusions of law. The defendant has moved to alter or amend the judgment,” Hinkle wrote in the order. “For the most part, the motion simply reargues the merits. The original opinion correctly analyzes the issues. This order denies the motion to alter or amend.” You can read the two-page order from Judge Hinkle here.
Seminole Hard Rock offers a variety of blackjack games with different rules. The games all have a small house edge under 1%. The major rule is that you’re paid 3:2 when you’re dealt a natural blackjack. The Hard Rock offers games where the dealer hits or the dealer stays when they have a soft 17. When the dealer stays on a soft 17 the players have a smaller house edge by 0.22%. You can see the full rules on the Seminole Hard Rock website.