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Wake up, blackjack players!29 October 2016
Most of the players were male, no doubt because most of the blackjack dealers were female wearing skimpy attire (get my drift). Not far away from this party pit in the main casino were dozens of blackjack tables. These tables had players but they were not nearly as crowded as the blackjack tables in the party pit. So why was I appalled? The rules, baby, the rules.
The biggest difference in the rules was the payoff for a blackjack. In the main casino, a player blackjack was paid at was 3-2 payoff odds, but in the party pit, it was a woeful 6-5. Why, I asked myself as I stared at these clueless players, would anyone want to play a blackjack game and get paid only $12 for every $10 blackjack hand when 30 feet away they can play the same blackjack game and get paid $15 or $3 more for each blackjack. Don’t think this is a big deal? Let’s see what it is costing someone who plays a 6-5 game vs 3-2.
Statistically, you can expect to get a blackjack about once in every 21 hands. (Easy stat to remember since the game of blackjack was once called 21). Let’s suppose you play 100 hands per hour. I realize that number could be higher or lower depending upon the number of players on the table and, of course, the speed of the dealer. But for the purpose of this analysis, let’s use the round number of 100 hands per hour.
If you are dealt 100 hands per hour, you can expect to get five blackjack hands per hour on average. (You can expect 1 blackjack every 21 hands on average, so in 100 hands you can expect 4.8 blackjacks on average, which we’ll round to five blackjack hands.)
Let’s assume you are betting $10 a hand and every hour you get those five blackjacks on average. Here is what you will get paid:
• At 6-5 game, you’ll get paid $12 for each blackjack or a total of $60 per hour.
• At 3-2 game, you’ll get paid $15 for each blackjack or a total of $75 per hour.
This means that playing a 6-5 game costs a player $15 each hour compared to playing a 3-2 game (assuming the rules are the same in both games).
If I asked you to fork over $15 in cash to the dealer every hour that you sit at a 6-5 game (betting $10 a hand) would you do it? I didn’t think so. But that’s exactly what these clueless players were doing in the party pit. Folks, trust me on this: It’s tough enough to beat the game of blackjack with a traditional 3-2 blackjack payoff, and it’s virtually impossible with a 6-5 blackjack payoff.
What is sad is that as long as players sit down at the rip-off 6-5 games, casinos will continue to put those games on the casino floor. If you were smart, you would boycott those games and tell all your friends not to play any 6-5 blackjack game.
If the word gets out and players stop playing this horrible game, casino managers would have no choice but to bring back the fairer 3-2 blackjack payoffs. I’d also suggest you e-mail or talk to the casino manager at your local casino that offers 6-5 games and tell him/her you are planning to do your playing elsewhere where they offer only 3-2 blackjack games. (If enough players do this, what do you think would happen?)
Dear readers, you’ve got the ball on this one. Take some action or keep forking over $15 each hour to the casinos. Your choice.
Henry Tamburin, Ph.D., is the author of the Ultimate Guide to Blackjack and editor of the Blackjack Insider e-Newsletter (www.bjinsider.com). For a free three-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter, go to www.bjinsider.com/freetrial. To receive his free Casino Gambling Catalog, call 1-888-353-3234 or visit www.smartgaming.com.
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