Question Answered: How Can Las Vegas Casinos Pay 6-to-5 for Blackjacks?

It’s a question that’s long-plagued blackjack players: How can casinos pay 6-to-5 for blackjack?

For many years in Las Vegas casinos, blackjacks paid 3-to-2. It was the standard. That means if you made a $10 bet, a blackjack would pay $15. In a 6-to-5 game, however, that same $10 bet will get you $12 for a blackjack.

Doesn’t sound like too much at first glance, right? This simple change in rules gives the house an additional edge of 1.39%. Over time, that seemingly small difference can cost players a lot.

blackjack

Casinos already have an edge. Paying 6-to-5 for blackjacks gives them even more.

In recent years, insidious 6-to-5 blackjack games have started popping up all over The Strip. In some casinos, it’s hard to find a 3-to-2 game at all.

Recently, we tried our hand at blackjack at a downtown casino, and were dismayed to learn, mid-game, that here, too, blackjacks paid 6-to-5. Not downtown! The infection is spreading!

As we do not tend to keep our displeasure to ourself in situations like this, we mentioned our disappointment to a pit boss (a casino floor manager), asking, “How can you pay 6-to-5 for blackjacks?”

We got the most brutally honest answer, ever. The pit boss said, simply, “Because people still play.”

As we were picking our jaw up off the new casino carpet, we realized he was absolutely right. Poor game rules aren’t something casinos do to players. We do it to ourselves.

We vote with our business. If we refuse to play 6-to-5 blackjack, casinos won’t offer it. (Well, it won’t offer it as often, because there will always be people who don’t particularly care. They want to play where they want to play, and they clearly have money they don’t need.)

If we stay at hotels with resort fees, hotels will continue to charge resort fees.

If we attend shows where performers lip-sync, performers will continue to lip-sync.

It’s important to remember, though, we decide. So, what kind of Vegas experience will you have?

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  • Mr. Bill

    As a blackjack player, I’ve grown dismayed to see the dreaded 6:5 blackjack spread even outside Vegas Lucky that many of the East coast gaming boards have mandated that 3:2 and even S17 are required! It’s driven me into other table games which I enjoy, but I long for a low limit 3:2 game that’s not downtown or off-strip when I’m in town!

    • vitalvegas

      Agreed!

  • Vice

    I quit playing Black Jack for this very reason. The 3-2, dealer hit soft 17, and continuous shufflers have made it a carnival game.

    • vitalvegas

      The odds still aren’t bad, but yeah, sort of making it a less appealing game.

  • DanShort

    Thank you for this. It is especially ittitating in a 4 or six deck shoe game. I can almost (?) ubderstand it in a single deck but not a shoe. Also thank you vice for the hit Soft 17 comment. The dealer at 17 is a plus for the player but try and find a stay soft 17. good luck.

  • Travis Forbes

    Certainly some 6:5 blackjack on Fremont, but as of right now it isn’t hard to find a 3:2 game there. I’ve also seen some advertising 3:2, catering to the educated gambler. The wife and I played 5 hrs of 3:2 at Main Street last night. No double after split, unfortunately, but other than that a decent game. If you have two tables, side by side, and one is 6:5 and the other is 3:2, please make the right choice!

  • David McClintock

    Because the United States is slowly declining. People today are IDIOTS. That’s why. They don’t know basic math! So they sit down at a 6/5 blackjack table with $20 minimums! This is just more proof.

    I’ve been to Vegas a zillion times. I gamble and drink and smoke and talk to the dealers (the ones that actually speak clear English)

    Get this: The younger generations actually sit down at 6/5 BJ tables thinking they will pay more because,… get this,… 6/5 is “bigger” then 3/2. !!!! So it must “pay more” !!

    Ha ! Ha ! Ha! Ha!

    How stupid can you get?? This is also why the smarter people aren’t playing those tables. The casinos need money so they are raising minimums and offering these games – yet they wonder why they are losing gambling revenues????

    The other thing is: when you make the minimums $20 per hand, use 6/5 rules , use constant shuffling machines – at even $10 per hand. players can lose $100-$200 within minutes. This leaves a bitter taste in visitors mouths and bingo – the casino just permanently lost a new customer! How is it ANY fun to sit down and lose $100-200+ within minutes?

    It’s not. Now you have online gambling and other places to gamble outside of Vegas. You would think they would want to make gambling in Vegas more PLEASURABLE instead the fools in MGM management insist on these games minimums and rules. Ha!

    There are NO $5 tables on the strip except very occasionally at the Tropicana. They don’t have any calendar and are hit and miss. It’s just if you happen to be there. So they will just randomly open up a few $5-$10 minimum tables then raise to $20-50 minimum tables once they fill up then most people leave.

    It’s a bone headed strategy. Your turning people OFF to gambling at your casinos. Your making the rules even more unfair and with this minimums it’s NO FUN.

    Look. I can afford to gamble at the $200 minimums tables if I wanted. That’s not the point. I want to play BJ with old school rules (see: fair rules) for a few hours or so. Ok so I lose a few hundred. So what. IF I didn’t get out that’s my fault and at least I had some fun. But sitting down for 5-10 minutes and losing $200-300? That’s NO FUN and turned everyone at the tables off.

    People want to feel like they are “getting something” at Vegas even if they lose money. They are getting the experience, the freed drinks, the ups and downs etc. However today you have these greedy owners/shareholders have forgotten about the basics and are constantly pressuring the CEO’s and management for “more more more” gambling profit.

    So when you put pressure on people shoulders like this .. people with mortgages and kids and put their jobs at stake (get fired now or later?) they are going choose short term profits at the expense of long term customers/profits every single time.

    This is exactly what all the Casinos in Vegas are doing:

    1) Unfair games
    2) Higher comp times
    3) Higher minimums
    4) Continious Shuffling Machines (speeds up play, house edge losses, and takes away ALL “intuition fun” out of the game of BJ. They blame card counters but this is just an excuse since counters, even with classic rules, “take” 0.000000000000001% away from a casino (under constant watch few people can do it without getting caught) vs. the shuffling machines witch are in fact, CHEATING on the houses part since these machines have nothing do with B.J. and take away all “intuition”. What I mean is that on some subconscious level, on a 6 deck game, your “intuition” tells you that ALLOT of number cards have been dealt … there are tons of faces cards .. “I have a feeling something good is gonna happen” time to increase my bets!! This is “feeling” and the “high” that comes from being right is TOTALLY removed with C shuffling machines.

    This is what Vegas has become and why so many gamblers aren’t coming back. They have turned off ALLOT of people with these rules and until they wake up and change things casinos are going to see their gambling profits keep going down like they have since 2007.