3-2 Payouts vs. 6-5 Payouts

Some blackjack players don’t seem to see what the big deal is about the difference in getting a 3-2 payout or a 6-5 payout. Sure you don’t get quite as much money from a 6-5 payout, but then you are getting to play in a single deck game.

Really quick: casinos have been offering 6-5 payouts on single deck blackjack games. These games are to be avoided at all costs by the way.

But the problem with a 6-5 blackjack payout versus a 3-2 payout is not that you are getting less money. Yes, that’s a problem—a very justifiable one—but it’s not the main reason to be avoiding those tricky 6-5 single deck blackjack games.

The main reason you want to avoid playing those games is what it does to your odds.

Part of a player’s odds is how much he’s winning…or not winning.

Think of it this way. When you’re dealt a natural blackjack you are paid 3-2; and when you simply win a round you’re paid 2-1. Now look at what the dealer gets paid: 1-1 for a natural blackjack and 1-1 for winning.

Look at this situation. You’re playing the dealer one-on-one for twenty hands. Of those twenty you win five with blackjack and five you just beat the dealer’s hand; the dealer also wins five hands with blackjack and five only just beating you, how much money have each of you been paid?

You would have won $75 on the blackjacks and $50 on the regular winning hands, for a total of $125. The dealer would have won $50 on his blackjack and $50 on his regular winning hands, for a total of $100.

In a 6-5 payout on a $10 wager, you would only be paid $12 for a natural blackjack instead of $15. In the same scenario as above you would’ve only won $60 for your natural blackjack hands; added to the $50 from your winning regular hands, you have won $110 instead of $125. And the dealer’s winnings would not have changed either.

Which is more advantageous to the player: the $125 or the $110?

The 6-5 payout blackjack games increase the house edge by 1.4%. And that 1.4% is just given to them because they don’t have to pay you as much for your blackjacks.

So between the 1.4% increase in house edge and the lower amount of money paid to you, why would you even think of playing in a 6-5 game?


By the way, increasing the wager from $10 to a more widely wagered amount like $20, makes the payout differences look like this in the same twenty hand game from above in which you and the dealer each won five rounds with blackjacks, and each won five regular hands

3-2 Game: $250 (you) vs. $200 (dealer)
6-5 Game: $210 (you) vs. $200 (dealer)