Las Vegas and some other casino towns have been proliferated by 6-5 blackjack. This may not seem like a big deal to some players, especially those looking to play low limit games. It is actually a devastating rule that affects every blackjack player’s bottom line.
A standard blackjack game pays 3-2 on a blackjack. A $10 wager would get paid $15 if an ace and a face is dealt on the first two cards. This is called a natural. These tables will not have any disclosure on the felt or a table placard. A casino will disclose at the table if it short pays a natural blackjack.
Most 6-5 blackjack tables are under $25. This gives low limit gamblers a game to play, but these players are better off walking to the next casino to find a better game.
According to Wizardofodds.com, a 6-5 blackjack game has a 1.39 percent higher house advantage than a 3-2 one. This game will often have other bad rules. This may include not being allowed to double after splitting, no surrender, and not being allowed to resplit aces. Some casinos even have the rule that a player can only double down on 10 or 11.
A player is dealt a blackjack about once every 20 hands. The average blackjack table deals about 70 hands per hour. This means that a player receives about 3.5 blackjacks per hour.
A $10 bettor that is sitting at a 3-2 table will receive $52.50 from the 3.5 blackjacks per hour that he can expect. At a 6-5 table, that same player will only receive $42 from the same number of blackjacks. In other words, the 6-5 player will lose one more bet per hour. This formula can be translated into any average wager. A 6-5 player will lose one more bet per hour at any limit than a 3-2 player with the same rules. At shorthanded tables, that hourly rate is even worse due to the faster game.
Casinos started spreading 6-5 single deck games back in the 2000’s on the Las Vegas Strip. The thought was that players had been taught to think that single deck games were better than show games – and they are – until the 6-5 rule is brought into the equation.
The next step was moving 6-5 games into party pits where young women dressed in skimpy outfits dealt. The thought there was that men would be willing to take the short pay games in exchange for the scenery. After that proved to be successful, many casinos decided to make some shoe games in the main table game pits 6-5 games.
Many casinos that spread 6-5 games will also have 3-2 games spread among the pit. It is imperative to check the rules before playing. If you cannot find a 3-2 game in your limits, try the casino next door. On the Las Vegas Strip, the only casinos that do not offer 3-2 games under $25 are Cosmopolitan, Venetian, Palazzo, Mirage, and Casino Royale.