Blackjack guide - 6-to-5 Blackjack - painful game?

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An odious variety of blackjack is swiftly spreading throughout the US casinos. A single deck of cards (that is the bait) is used in the game and the main thing that differs it from other types of blackjack is the fact that when a player has a blackjack, he gets 6-to-5 instead of 3-to-2 that is the common payout in traditional blackjack. This change increases the casino advantage by nearly 700%. Let’s see in dollars what a 6-to-5 blackjack will cost you.

If you make a $10 bet and a blackjack is dealt to you in a usual game (3-to-2) you get $15. If you are playing a 6-to-5 blackjack and make the same ($10) bet you will get only $12. Thus you get $3 less for every blackjack hand. Taking into consideration that you are dealt four blackjacks per hour on average therefore for every hour that you play a 6-to-5 blackjack, you lose $12. Do you want to present $12 to the casino every hour? I’m sure you don't but you do when you play the 6-to-5 game at a minimum bet of $10.

This blackjack game appeared first at the Flamingo Hilton in Las Vegas a few years ago.

Many thought then it did not have a chance based on the fact that players weren't going to play the game with the decreased payout. Unfortunately it was a mistake because illiterate players have headed to play this 6-to-5 game. Since then the game has spread to the casinos throughout the country.

The main reason for this popularity is maybe the fact that the majority of players believe "a single deck blackjack game offers better odds." This is the truth and the experienced player who uses the basic strategy can eliminate the casino advantage in a traditional single deck blackjack with 3-to-2 payout. However, the traditional single deck game is almost impossible to find nowadays therefore spreading of this "new" 6-to-5 single deck game among the public has been easy.

There are some other catches in the 6-to-5 blackjack.

The 6-to-5 payoff is bad for all: inexperienced players, skilled basic blackjack strategy players as well as card counters.

If the player makes a bet that is not divided by five, the payout for a blackjack is even worse. Let me explain. For example, you made a $12 bet and get a blackjack. If you are playing a 6-to-5 game you will get $12 for the $10 of your bet and even money for the remaining $2, so you will get a net of $14 which is $4 less than what you’d have been paid in a traditional 3-to-2 blackjack. This happens because a 6-to-5 payout can be paid out only at the correct odds if the bet of a player is a multiple of $5.

Dealers also suffer while playing a 6-to-5 game. If the player makes a $1 tip bet for the dealer in a 3-to-2 game and get blackjack, such a bet would give the dealer $1.50. And while playing a 6-to-5 blackjack, the dealer gets only even money since it is difficult to pay out in small change (a 6-to-5 game must have paid $1.20 on a $1 bet).

Due to the fact that the maths does not work out with the 6-to-5 payoff, the even money option if a player gets a blackjack and the dealer’s face up card is an ace is banned. The majority of beginners and low rollers prefer taking the sure even money if they are dealt a blackjack but in a 6-to-5 game it is prohibited.

Card counting is not beneficial either on a 6-to-5 game as a rule unless the player can get away with a huge wager spread.

A 6-to-5 single deck game can’t be found on high limit tables. It is quite clear! High rollers don't stand for a 6-to-5 payoff (the added cost for a black chip per hour that player is playing against the dealer in a 6-to-5 blackjack is about $180).

It's quite clear that this variation of blackjack has been marketed to amateur players and tourists who do not know very much about blackjack. So do not play any game where the player gets 6-to-5 for a blackjack or worse if they offer even money.