6-5 Payouts are to Blackjack What a Smack is to the Face

It does not come any truer than that. Blackjack started out as a single deck game. That is what it was built on. Back in the day blackjack was played on a single deck with a 3-2 payout for a natural. Nowadays you can almost never find that. Nowadays if you see a single deck game it means a 6-5 payout.

And that 6-5 payout is like a smack in the face for blackjack players. Here the casinos are touting that this a revival of the good ol’ classic blackjack with a single deck, and at the same time they are trying to take players for their money with an increased house edge from that 6-5 payout.

Some players, more novice and still green in the casino, virtual or not, do not see what the big deal is. It is a single deck game after all, does that not even out the house edge hike from the payout? No way does it.

Here are the hits and ups to the house edge: A single deck will increase the player’s edge by 0.48%, but a 6-5 payout will decrease a player’s edge by 1.39%. That is a negative hit to the player’s edge of 0.91%. So players still are on the losing end of a single deck game if it is offering a 6-5 payout.

If you have a choice to play in a single deck game with a 6-5 payout or a multi-deck game with a 3-2 payout, take the multi-deck game. In terms of money, you will get a blackjack about once in twenty hands. If you were wagering $10 per hand, a 3-2 payout is $15 and a 6-5 payout is $12. That is a 25% loss to the house for playing in a single deck game.

Is that loss worth it? Giving up money to the house and essentially paying for the privilege of playing single deck blackjack? No. Stick to multi-deck blackjack games both online and in a brick and mortar casino.

Blackjack Payouts and Blackjack Odds

Have you ever thought about the payouts you receive in a game of blackjack?

Oh I am sure you have thought about it in terms of money. You know not to play in a game of blackjack if the payout for a natural is 6-5 because it means you will receive less money.

But have you thought about blackjack payouts in terms?

Probably not.

Another reason not to play in a 6-5 payout blackjack game is what that payout does to your blackjack odds. That so-called payout takes 1.39% off of your blackjack odds. In fact, the only payout worse than a 6-5 is an even money—that knocks 2.27% off.

The reason for the hit to the odds is because a smaller payout is an opportunity to make less when winning. Blackjack odds are based on opportunities for the player to make money. If a house rule or payout provides the player with an opportunity to make more than the standard amount given simply for beating the dealer, then that house rule or payout increases the player’s odd.

On the other hand if the house rule or payout takes away from the opportunity to make money, that house rule or payout decrease the player’s chances.

So is there are a few payouts that decrease a player’s blackjack odds—not to mention money. Are they are payouts that increase the player’s odds?

There is. A 2-1 payout for a natural blackjack increases a player’s blackjack odds and money.

For a 3-2 payout a player receives $1.50 for every dollar that they wager. For a 2-1 payout a player receives $2 for every dollar wagered. It does not sound like much but in terms of a standard $10 wager, you would receive $20 instead of $15.

As for odds, a 2-1 payout increases a player’s blackjack odds by 2.27%, which is quite a nice increase.

So if you can find a game with a 2-1 payout play in that game since that blackjack payout will increase your blackjack odds.

Blackjack Odds: Being Dealt a Natural

The crowning event when playing blackjack is being dealt that natural blackjack—those two cards, a 10 and an Ace. Nothing can beat you. At worst you have to push with the dealer. But that is better than losing. So what are your blackjack odds of being dealt a natural?

You are going to laugh at the answer. Players’ blackjack odds of being dealt a natural are once in every twenty one hands. Ironic, yes?

This does not mean that every twenty first hand is going to be a natural blackjack. It just means those are your average odds.

But I am going to take this blackjack odds knowledge a step further, and I am going to use it to further impress why 6-5 games should be avoided.

Okay, you are playing blackjack at 100 hands per hour. You are at the casino playing for two hours, which means that you are playing 200 hands. Based on the blackjack odds of being dealt a natural, you will have been dealt ten blackjacks. In theory at least, but just go with me.

Now comes the money and the math. Also known to me as the beauty and the beast, respectively.

Just focusing on those ten natural blackjacks we are going to compare what you would get paid in a 3-2 game to what you get in a 6-5 game.

In a 3-2 game, wagering $10, you would receive $15 for your natural blackjack. For those ten that your blackjack odds say in theory that you should have, you would receive $150 in total. Now if you were playing in a 6-5 game you would only receive $120 for those ten naturals.

In short you are handing over $30 to the casino for enjoying what was probably a single deck game.

That is how your blackjack odds of being dealt a natural factor in to your payout. Consider those blackjack odds a part of your blackjack strategy in so much as it will help to further dissuade you from playing in a 6-5 game.

What you need to consider is which do you want more? The single deck game or the $30? Me, I will take that $30, thank you.

Changes in Blackjack in Nevada

Blackjack payout or a dancer, which would you pick?

It seems that while the older generation of blackjack players would like a nice table off to the side where they can concentrate on their strategies and the game, the younger generation of blackjack players seem to prefer other things.

Like dancers.

In the last several months party pits have begun to pop up in brick and mortar casinos around Nevada. In these party pits there can be found blackjack tables that are positioned so that they are facing towards a stage. And on such stages are dancers.

On the surface casinos may appear to be whining about the increased cost of employing dancers, but I do not believe that this is the true case that lies beneath the surface.

Because of the increased cost of dancers, casinos are having to decrease the amount of their blackjack payouts. This is one of the explanations for the recent increase in the 6-5 payouts that are replacing the standard 3-2 payouts.

The reason I do not think the casinos mind this increased cost of dancers is because they can use that as a mask to cover the reason behind decreasing the payout. Because we all know that casinos are always looking for a way to drag a little more money out of a player.

Think about it. Imagine a young man approaching the blackjack tables in one of these party pits. His eyes keep coming back to the dancers. He probably will not really read over the house rules on the felt, which means that he will miss the 6-5 payout on the felt. Those same dancers will also cause him to focus less on his strategy—if he remembers to use it at all—which will cause him to make errors in his playing, costing him even more money.

No, the casinos are making more money from their dancers than they are letting one thanks to the distraction they provide. What I do not get is why any blackjack player would want the distraction. The idea is to play your best and to try to lower the house edge as best as possible. Why willingly throw money away to watch a dancer? I thought the point was to try to make money on blackjack.