Bad Blackjack Is Getting Worse In Las Vegas

Unfortunately for Blackjack lovers, the state of live games in Las Vegas has steadily declined over the past ten to fifteen years. The wealth of information about the game on the Internet has proven to be a blessing for players, and a curse for the casinos. The casinos, of course, haven’t taken this lying down. Slowly but surely, up and down the Las Vegas strip, from one table to the next, the rules of Blackjack have changed, increasing the house edge and making it harder for the player to win.

Easy Education For The Blackjack Novice

When card counters first started to appear in casinos many years ago, the first line of defense was to introduce more decks of cards into the game. Single-deck games became two decks, then four, eventually reaching the six and eight deck games that have become common today. Even with the added decks, it was still possible to reduce, and even beat, the house edge. There just weren’t many people who could play well enough to do it. The Internet changed that. Now novice players could look the game up, study, and play a perfect basic strategy their first time at the tables.

The Decline Of Blackjack In Las Vegas

The casinos have responded to this new breed of educated player by changing almost every rule in the game to make sure they retain their edge. One subtle and devious change was altering the payout of blackjack from 3 to 2 to 6 to 5. Many novice players see the higher numbers and assume the payout is better, but it’s actually worse. Betting $10 and hitting blackjack at 3:2 pays $15. At 6:5, it only pays $12. This simple change alone nearly triples the expected loss for the player.

The casinos didn’t stop there, though. Many other rules have slowly been altered or even removed altogether. Where it was once most common for the house to hit on a soft 17, the dealer will now stand on all 17’s in many games. The number of times a player can split hands, which hands they can split, and how many cards they can get after they split has also changed. Some casinos won’t let players double down after a split, while others do. On some tables, players can’t surrender their hands, and the list goes on. In some cases, the rule changes have gotten so far out of hand that a player actually gets better odds on a slot machine.

Low Limit Blackjack Players Get Hit The Hardest

The worst part about all of these changes to the game is that the same rules don’t apply to all players. In most cases, the ones who get hit the hardest, and have to play with the worst rules, are the low limit players. Several casinos still spread games with favorable rules, but only if you’re willing to play upwards of $25 or $50 per hand.

It’s the casual player who only wants to play $5, or maybe $10, that gets the worst deal. This player not only has to deal with some of the most unfavourable rules, but the rules also tend to change from one casino to another, and even from one table to another within the same casino. Things can quickly become very confusing, and deciding on the correct basic strategy for each set of rules is almost impossible.

Where To Find The Most Favorable Blackjack Games

Even though it’s getting harder to find good Blackjack games in Las Vegas, there are still games with very favourable rules. Even better, in most cases, these games are more accessible to players than the tables in any Vegas casino. You’ll find these games online.

Online Blackjack Offers Better Odds

Most online Blackjack tables offer what you might call the “traditional” Blackjack rules. They still pay 3:2 on Blackjack, they’ll let players split and double down, and the dealer will hit a soft 17. On these tables, players can read all the rules clearly and slowly and make sure they’re using the best possible strategy for the game they’re playing.

Best of all, with online Blackjack games, play the same for everyone. In some cases, one can play for as little as $.10 per hand. You don’t need to have a big bankroll or be ready to risk $100 per hand to get into a game with good odds. The rules are the same for everyone.

So, if you love Blackjack, but don’t like the trend of wild rule changes that have been occurring in live games, playing Blackjack online is the answer. You’ll get to play the game you’ve always loved, with the rules that you’re accustomed to. You’ll also get a much more liberal selection of betting limits.

When you’re in the mood for a good game of Blackjack, the only way to go is to take a stand against the ridiculous live casino rule changes, and hit your favorite online hotspot to get in on a game the way it was meant to be played.