6 to 5 Blackjack? Just Say No!

by Kenneth R Smith

No 6 to 5

There’s a real crisis developing for fans of casino blackjack. Many casinos in the US have begun introducing a rule change that dramatically increases the house advantage in the game. If you’ve been to Las Vegas lately, you may have seen signs advertising “Single Deck Blackjack” at many of the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

But, there’s a catch. Look out for a sign on the table that says “Blackjack Pays 6:5”. In a normal blackjack game, a “natural” or blackjack pays 3:2. If you bet $10 and draw a blackjack, you’ll be paid $15. However, at these new 6:5 games, a $10 blackjack wins only $12.

The casinos have so far been successful in marketing this game, because many occasional players have been told over the years that single deck blackjack is a better game than the more common 6 or 8-deck games on the casino floor.

Using that single marketing angle, the casinos have drawn lots of players to the new 6:5 version, despite the fact that these single-deck games are worse for the player than the worst 8-deck game on the casino floor. Much worse.

Changing that one rule, reducing blackjack payouts from 3:2 to 6:5 adds a substantial 1.39% to the casino’s advantage.

Consider this example from the Flamingo on the Las Vegas Strip:

They offer a single deck 6:5 game, where the house edge for a basic strategy player is 1.45%. (Like most of these 6:5 games, they allow double after split, which doesn’t nearly compensate for the poor 6:5 rule.) They also offer an 8-deck game where the house edge for a basic strategy player is 0.56%. So, a player who chooses their single-deck offering has almost triple the expected loss of a player at their 8-deck game!.

What’s the difference in actual dollars? For a $25 player, assuming 80 hands per hour, the expected loss at the Flamingo’s 8-deck is $11.20 per hour. The expected loss for the same player at the 6:5 single deck game is $29.00 instead. And, remember, this is compared to the game that was previously the worst blackjack in the house!

What can you do to help?

  • Don’t play any blackjack game that pays less than 3:2 for a blackjack.
  • Warn your friends and family if they’re headed to the casino. Tell them to play the multi-deck “shoe” games instead.
  • Let the casino floorperson at your favorite casino know that you hate to see the casino floor filled with misleading games instead of real blackjack.
  • If you have a casino host, let them know your displeasure as well.

If players don’t stop supporting these games, it’s just a matter of time before the casinos remove all the real blackjack games. Don’t let it happen.

Other webmasters are invited to use this article and the “No 6 to 5” graphic on their own sites. If you use the article, please leave the author line intact, including the link to the author at BlackjackInfo.com.

Alternatively, feel free to link to the article here. Either way, help spread the word. Thanks!

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Anonymous
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Anonymous

The Cromwell has made a big push going the opposite direction. Almost entire retail floor is 3/2 shoe and pitch double deck. $10-$15mins normally from what I’ve seen. Maybe up to $25 on the pitch at times but that’s still better than the rest of the strip. Should check it out.

something
Guest
something

But isn’t it worth it if you’re counting cards? If it means playing in a one deck game doesn’t that mean that you will recoup the difference and then some? It depends on the cut card’s location and the number of others at the table, and the min bet and max bet of course, but I was just at a casino that had a min bet of 10 and max of 200 on a game like that. I didn’t play that because I wasn’t prepared for it and I thought even if I pulled it off, it was a quick… Read more »

Phil Calbi
Guest
Phil Calbi

Just came back from MGM Grand. Now blackjack at multi deck games with a show is paying only 6:5. Onl games with $50 or higher minimum pays 3:2.

LVBear
Guest
LVBear

If you don’t want to play the $50 minimum, play elsewhere.

Stacker
Guest
Stacker

You’re really kind of a nasty person, aren’t you?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Sorry you feel that way. I believe I provided the correct answer. Perhaps your annoyance would be more directed towards the casinos like MGM that offer the garbage games.

Donald Carroll
Guest
Donald Carroll

I wish my dum as wouldve ask and learn alil more about the game before wasting 3,000 up there cause how u bet against the dealer hand and lose then somebody elae step in and win all kinda ways…

tim
Guest
tim

/I have a question about another rule change….dealer must hit soft 17. How bad is this for the player? Appreciate any comments

C
Guest
C

Just to update the thread. Golden Nugget in the Rush Lounge had several $15 minimum 3:2 blackjack tables. Unfortunately almost every other blackjack game I have seen in Vegas is 6:5 🙁

JB
Guest
JB

Headed to Vegas next week. Staying at the Monte Carlo. Where can I find a list of the best casinos to play at? 3:2 BJ Payout, Re-Split Aces, DS S17, Deep Deck Penetration, etc?

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Are you better off playing a single deck game with a 6:5 payout where you can count and increase your bet depending on the count or a six deck game with a 3:2 payout playing only basic strategy (not counting)? I can count a single deck perfectly but not a six deck shoe.

J S Cooper
Guest
J S Cooper

As you probably know, this battle has been lost on the strip since both MGM and Caeser’s properties now just pay 6/5 (although I did see a single table in the Margaritaville section of the Flamingo still paying 3/2.

Michael
Guest
Michael

A suggestion, after playing at a number of 6:5 tables on the Strip. Depending on the dealer’s up card, if you have a blackjack, do seriously consider doubling down instead of accepting the 6:5 payout. It’s completely appropriate, and I was successful a good 80% of the times I did it.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Staying at Wynn there are still tables in both casinos with 3:2 and sh17 but you have to hunt them out they are typically higher min bet tables.

Jesse
Guest
Jesse

What about if you count? Can the deep penetration in a single deck games make up for it?

observer
Guest
observer

Not so sure that’s so devastating as you make it out to be. A loss of 1.4% to the house could be worth it to play a 1-deck game. That’s only the same difference in player/house edge as 2.8 in the truecount. And that can happen prettttty easily in a 1-deck game, if you’re halfway through the deck, that’s a count of only 1.4! The standard deviation of the truecount halfway through a n-deck shoe is sqrt(40/n), which means if n is 1, that’s straight-up the square root of 40 or 6.5. Which means a full 16% of the time,… Read more »

observer
Guest
observer

Well I guess more like 6.33 since 6.5 squared is 42.25. But still.

Sold an
Guest
Sold an

Finally a rational voice…All true…6 5 is a great game to practice counting with low limit bets…One important thing not mentioned…When the count goes hot, which casinos order dealers to shuffle up the second run of cards at a full table…THAT can change everything!!!

Jim
Guest
Jim

Was in vegas all week, haven’t been here in ten years. I can’t believe how these strip casinos have changed this to 6:5 so quickly. I ended up going to the Boulder highway casinos a little east of the strip and found they have the old 3:2 games in all of them. I don’t recommend the strip for blackjack at all anymore ….what a joke.

Susan
Guest
Susan

This is how long it has been since I played BlackJack in a casino. Am just about 50, and in the 1990’s, if you bet 100.00 and won that hand, you had 200.00
in your pocket! Have times changed. Went to Vegas a year ago but did not pay any attention to BlackJack or the payouts. Used to go there several times a year. Good Luck everyone

greigmiller
Guest

well said!

Artieboy
Guest
Artieboy

The Monte Carlo had one DD table that was 3:2. Unfortunately it was $25 min 🙁

Is 3:2 on the verge of extinction?

SD Ted
Guest
SD Ted

Late June: Tropicana and Excalibur each have at least ONE table with 3:2 with $15 min. Was wondering for people who insist on playing at a 6:5 game, is it better to double down a BJ against a dealer 4 or 5 with a positive count rather than taking the 6:5 payout?

Frank A
Guest
Frank A

Was in Vegas May 20-23. Bally’s has 3-2, 8 deck shoe, DH soft 17 & surrender. Started at $10 and progressively increased to $25 before I left. No grandfathering of bets though.

Brad
Guest
Brad

The 6:5 was very sneaky by the casinos. Slowly but surely, it is catching on like wildfire and why not, it is saving casinos thousands. Sure for the average gambler it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it adds up…quickly. Also if the dealer has an Ace up and you have a natural blackjack, no more even money. Even the dealers hate the rules as it normally decreases their odds of a better tip. This is just another attempt to water down and make a circus game of Blackjack. Spanish BJ, dealer cards delt face up, single deck with multiple… Read more »

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

WOW! Vegas is absolute shit now! And I keep dreaming about going there and trying out their blackjack tables. I currently reside in Hong Kong so I go to Macau to play and they have some, what I feel, pretty awesome rules namely: 50% surrender (unless dealer shows ace), black jack even pay (if you choose 1 to 1 surrender), Push on dealer and player blackjack, BJ pay out is 3-2, doubling after splitting is allowed, can double on any hand (some casinos only allows you to double at 11). And no tipping (house rules); if you tip, it goes… Read more »

manny
Guest
manny

I just arrived in Vegas yesterday!!! The 6-5 totally took over the strip. I finally found 3-2 blackjack at the SLS hotel and casino.

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