Having just returned from a recent gambling trip (Las Vegas),
I was surprised to see many casinos offering single-deck blackjack.
I thought single-deck was very rare because it affords a player
the lowest house advantage and is a card counter's delight. Well,
my surprise soon turned to disappointment when I approached a
table and read the fine print. They only pay 6-to-5 on a blackjack!
What's up with that? Isn't 3-to-2 the proper payout? How much
does that tactic improve the house's edge? Is this game worth
playing? Michael H.
Many casinos are now offering
single-deck blackjack games that pay a natural blackjack 6-to-5
instead of the traditional 3-to-2. One word, Michael, can best
describe this subtle rule change many players have not even noticed.
As the schoolmarm says, "YUCK!" (I know you've got
a better word, so spit it out.)
Here's some 'rithmitic to analyze this pickpocket variation of
single-deck blackjack being offered to the inattentive in Las
Vegas and elsewhere.
Theoretically, single-deck games do offer the best odds for skilled
players, with a house edge of only about 18 cents for every $100 wagered.
When a casino offers single-deck games that reduce the payoff
on a player's blackjack from "7.5 to 5" down to "6
to 5," meaning instead of winning $7.50 for your hard-earned
snapper, you win $6, that payoff slash increases the house edge
from 0.18% to 1.45%, which, Michael, is a colossal 800% increase
in the house edge.
YUCKS! (or better) loud and clear, please.
Concerning blackjack versus roulette, which does a player stand
better chance of winning? I am leaning more towards roulette due
to the black/red or odd/even scenario. I am aware of the 0 and
00 killing my bets, but does blackjack still provide better odds?
Blackjack is a game played poorly
by many, and well by few. The desirable rearrangement is quite
simple: Employ perfect basic strategy. Playing it correctly will
bring the house advantage down to well less than 1%.
But, even Ho-hum Hannah's careless play at blackjack is far-and-away
a better deal than double zero roulette, where the house edge
is 5.26% of every bet you place on the table. Yep, Odd/Even, Black/Red,
it doesn't matter. The casino advantage is 5.26% and you aren't
going to change that with any particular wager.
Now if your blackjack play is ghastly, like splitting 10s against
a dealer ace, well . . . stick with roulette, but only on a single-zero roulette wheel where the house edge is a less murderous 2.70%.
What's so special about single zero? Because, Damon, while in
the end you will lose about $5.26 for every $100 wagered on a
double-zero table, your loss at the single-zero table drops to
a more digestible $2.70.
When is the best time to double down for less in blackjack? Dick
I'll ask you, Dick, why do you
double down in the first place? Answer: you double down because
you are more likely to win the hand than lose it. For that reason,
you always want to wager the maximum amount. Never shortchange
yourself when it comes to doubling down. It is the double downs,
splits and blackjacks that shove blackjack play from the red into
Gambling quote of the week: "I am shocked, shocked, that there's
gambling going on here." Captain Louis Renault, Casablanca