It’s better to get paid more, so 3:2 blackjack rules

Nov 19, 2013 3:00 AM

The frugal gambler will tell you that 3:2 blackjack rules and 6:5 blackjack drools. They’re right.

It’s better to get paid more. It doesn’t take a smart person to know that. Hey, I play 3:2 blackjack whenever I can but I don’t hold myself to it. It’s not always possible to play those games with friends.

The Riviera recently opened a $1 table that pays 6:5 when you get blackjack. I have friends who are just looking for a fun night out with a little blackjack so we don’t have to look at each other constantly.

The house advantage in this game is approximately 2.02%. If the game paid 3:2 the house advantage would be about 0.64%. That’s about a 1.38% difference. That’s huge, but does it really make much difference in whether you play a $1 blackjack game?

Sure, giving up any percentage to the casino matters, but with the case of $1 blackjack it matters much less than $10 or $25 blackjack. Using round numbers of 100 hands per hour you’d be giving away $1.38 in your advantage. That’s on the high side as you’ll probably play fewer hands per hour with a six-deck CSM. You’ll probably tip more than that on drinks in that time.

At other casinos you’ll find $3 games with similar rules. In that case your loss will triple to a whopping $4.14. Don’t get me wrong, it stinks giving away odds to the casino, but that’s the price we pay to go low rolling.

I get bored by blackjack easily when I’m low rolling so my sessions usually don’t last more than three hours and my buy ins aren’t for that much either. In three hours time I’d be giving the casino almost $4 or $13 in extra house advantage, depending on where I was playing. Paying an extra $4 or $13 for a fun night out isn’t a big deal for me. The frugal gambler would call me frivolous and I wouldn’t argue.

I always talk about finding a balance between smart and fun gaming. 6:5 blackjack wasn’t made for the smart gambler. A few years ago I read an interview with a casino executive who said they can continue to offer 6:5 blackjack because the majority of their players don’t understand or care about the difference. Judging by the packed casinos on the Vegas Strip this person may have been right.

I would normally tell people not to support a casino that doesn’t offer games they want to play. I usually practice this when I’m in charge of an outing but that’s not always the case.

Sometimes the night is meant for me to be a low roller. Through the years, with smart bankroll management I’ve been able to navigate my way to play good games most of the time, so I can afford to give away $13 here and there.

Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gambling and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Follow Marc on twitter @eastcoastgamblr. Check out his blog at Contact Marc at [email protected].

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