Good blackjack isn’t always good and bad blackjack isn’t always bad. That probably makes little sense to most of you. Let me explain. First of all, this wouldn’t have even been a topic for a blog post five years ago.
Blackjack players by nature are always looking for the best rules in the casino for their favorite game. I think everyone wants to play the games with the player friendly rules. Unfortunately, affordable blackjack games with the best rules are going away. Still, there are worse games in the casino than the worst blackjack games.
Finding Good Blackjack Games
In Las Vegas, it’s difficult to find a blackjack game with good rules on the Vegas Strip that has a minimum bet under $25. Low rollers can head to El Cortez for a blackjack game with great rules and a $5 minimum bet. There are actually plenty of fair 3:2 blackjack games around Las Vegas. However, these games won’t work for everyone that visits Las Vegas.
El Cortez has that great blackjack game it’s located in downtown Las Vegas. Only about half of visitors to Las Vegas leave the Vegas Strip (Source: Las Vegas Visitor Profile). Fewer tourists explore even further into Las Vegas. Time constraints and environment come first to many visitors to Las Vegas.
They may be able to leave a hotel for a better game but if time and location are a factor they may not want to go too far. Frankly, this is why casinos on the Vegas Strip can offer blackjack games with less than optimal rules. That’s putting it nicely but I digress.
The person in Las Vegas for a convention probably doesn’t want to spend time traveling 20 minutes each way for an hour or two of better blackjack. A good portion of the house edge gained from playing a better $5 or $10 game is partially negated by the taxi or Uber fare.
Likewise, a weekend visitor who wants the glitz and glamor of the luxury resort they may not want to get in a car to drive 20 minutes to a comparable property off the Vegas Strip for a better game. That 48-72 hours in Las Vegas is precious. So, maybe there’s a middle ground where the games with bad blackjack rules have low enough limits where it won’t ruin anyone’s experience.
What’s Your Goal Playing Blackjack?
I recently wrote about the new Blackjack n Brews pit at The Linq. This $5 blackjack game has a house edge just under 2% when played with perfect basic strategy. This game is not optimal and will never be played by gamblers looking for the best game. However, this 6:5 blackjack table offers something the others don’t.
The beers offered at these tables sell for about $2-$3 more and offer some value back to the player. Again, the rules are not optimal for the gambler but at least the recreational player can find value in the beer. If your goal is to drink beer with a high alcohol content and hang out with friends this blackjack game might be the right place to gamble.
Hooters Casino (across from MGM Grand and next to Tropicana) offers a $1 blackjack game. This game pays even money for blackjack. Players at this table aren’t looking to “take down Vegas.” The goal is more likely to say “I gambled at Hooters!” and have a few drinks on the cheap. If that’s the goal this even money blackjack game might prove to be the right choice.
If your goal is to play the blackjack game with the best rules in Las Vegas you have two options. Play blackjack with a $50 minimum on the Vegas Strip or visit one of the casinos off the Vegas Strip for a lower limits game. It’s that easy.
Treasure Island Offers Great Value Blackjack
If you’re looking for the best combination of location and rules you might want to visit Treasure Island on the north end of the Vegas Strip. You’ll find plenty of 3:2 blackjack games with a house edge under 1%. You’ll even find some $10 blackjack games with a house edge below 0.50%.
All hope isn’t lost for blackjack players looking for a fair game in Las Vegas. You’ll just have to look for the right match for your needs.