6-5 Blackjack Payouts and the House Edge

I hate having my hand forced. It is just a really rotten feeling, playing a variation of blackjack that is far from ideal to me.

Such is how I feel when the only blackjack tables available are ones offering a 6-5 payout on a natural blackjack. If I were playing blackjack online I could find a different online casino to play at. If I were playing in Vegas I could simply walk to another casino. But when you are trapped in an environment with no other options, like when you are on a cruise ship for example, and the only payout ratio available is that nasty 6-5 you will find yourself pressed with a choice: to play and accept a poor house edge or to not play at all.

I know, it is a tough call. On one hand you really like to play blackjack. And when stuck on a giant boat with limited gaming options, 6-5 is the only option. But a 6-5 game of blackjack is, to me at least, just not an acceptable option because of the house edge.

A 6-5 payout for a natural blackjack is 1.45%. And that is taking basic strategy into account.

In a 3-2 blackjack game the house edge, again considering basic strategy, is 0.5%. So you have a 1.4% difference that favors the house. And that is one house edge that I will not play with. You can probably guess at this point that I do not play blackjack when on a cruise ship that only offers me 6-5 blackjack payouts.

That is what I mean by a facing down a forced hand. And you thought staring down a hard 16 with a dealer’s 5 was tough.