Ah, single deck games. We blackjack players hardly ever see them anymore. So where did they go?
I’m going to go with greed sweeping them away. Casinos got greedy. They saw that they could make money off of people who were willing to put it on the line in games of chance—games in which the players were at a disadvantage. But blackjack is a game of skill. And players became more skilled at blackjack and the casinos weren’t having it.
More decks were added to the blackjack tables. But basic strategy is attuned to this and players who use it can still lower the housed edge to 0.5%, which all in all is not a bad house edge. But card counting was made illegal in casinos. It seems that the casinos weren’t eager to allow any advantages—it would be bad for business.
But blackjack players aren’t stupid. They noticed that the casinos were getting greedier and greedier. Thankfully the rise in online gambling and blackjack online happened. Players were finding better edges to work with and that basic strategy could still be used. Blackjack players began to frequent online casinos for their blackjack fix.
Over the last few years there has been a drop in revenue from blackjack games in casinos. This could be attributed to a combination of casino greed and the rise in internet gambling. But casinos weren’t going to go down without a fight.
They reintroduced single deck blackjack games. With a twist.
Hoping that players would be eager to flock back to blackjack tables, casinos opened their 6-5 payout blackjack games. And in the beginning it worked. Players assumed that because there was only one deck, that the house didn’t have as much of an advantage. They would be wrong.
Because of the 6-5 payout any advantage gained in it being a single deck game is cancelled because of the payout change. With players receiving less for their blackjacks, the casinos are hanging on to more of their money and that is what turns the odds back in favor of the casinos.
What a blackjack player needs to keep in mind is that no matter how tempting those single deck games may be, if they carry a 6-5 payout they need to be avoided. Playing at those blackjack tables will only encourage casinos to think that blackjack players are gullible and we don’t want them thinking that.