The question that blackjack players most often ask me is “where is the best place to play blackjack”?
Actually, the “place” is not the real issue. What players are really looking for is a blackjack game with the best “odds”.
What makes one blackjack game better than another is the mix of playing rules. Some rules tend to reduce the casino odds if a player uses the rule to his/her benefit. Like doubling down. If the rules allow a player to double down on any two cards, then a skillful player that knows the basic playing strategy for doubling on hard and soft hands will be able to reduce the casino odds.
Here is a list of the more favorable blackjack playing rules followed by a list of Las Vegas casinos that currently have the best single, double and six deck blackjack games.
- Blackjack hands paid at 2 to1.
This is not a common rule for a good reason. The casino’s edge is reduced by 2.2 percent. Therefore, casinos usually offer this rule for promotional purposes for a limited time. Blackjack pros hammered several mid-west casinos when they first offered this rule.
- Early Surrender
This is another favorable rule for blackjack players. The rule allows players to surrender their hand and forfeit half their wager before the dealer checks his hole card. By being able to surrender specific hands against a potential dealer blackjack is quite favorable, reducing the casino’s edge by 0.6%. The early surrender rule is available in some European and Asian casinos but you will rarely discover a casino in the United States offer it except in some video blackjack games.
- Doubling after Pair Splitting
Known as DAS, this rule is quite common in casinos especially in multiple deck games. Yet I am amazed at the number of blackjack players who fail to Slot Gacor double down after pair splitting when basic strategy calls for it. DAS when used correctly lowers the casino’s edge by 0.14%.
- Drawing to Split Aces
Normally when a player splits aces, you are given only one draw card to each ace. Some casinos will allow players to draw more than one additional draw card to each split ace. This favorable rule decreases the casino’s edge by about 0.14%.
- Resplitting Aces
If you split a pair of aces and draw another ace you are usually stuck with a stiff hand of 12 (ace,ace). Some casinos will allow players the option to resplit aces. Thus if you drew another ace to one of your split aces, you would be able to split the aces again and ultimately play three hands at once, each containing an ace as the first card.
- Late Surrender
Late surrender is the more popular form of surrender offered by most casinos in the United States. A player is able to surrender the hand only after the dealer has checked his downcard for a blackjack hand. You would lose the hand in the event the dealer has a blackjack. Late surrender reduces the casino’s edge by 0.08%.
- Dealer Stand on Soft 17
In most casinos a dealer holding a soft 17 (e.g. ace,6) must stand. However, in some casinos dealers must hit their soft 17. The latter is not a player favorable rule. You are 0.2% better off if the dealer stands on soft 17.
Casinos in Las Vegas that currently offer the best mix of player favorable rules for the basic strategy player are:
1-deck: Circus Circus, Horseshoe, Plaza, Reserve, Sams Town, Santa Fe, Silver City, Slot-A-Fun, Texas Station, Westward Ho.
2-deck: Bally, Barbary Coast, Bellagio, Flamingo Hilton, Hard Rock, Harrahs, Las Vegas Hilton, Luxor, Mirage, Monte Carlo, New Frontier, Riviera, San Remo, Stardust, Treasure Island, Tropicana.
6-deck: Bellagio, Big Horn, Caesars Palace, Desert Inn, Golden Nugget, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, Mirage, Rio.
Given a choice of where to play blackjack, you are better off playing at one of the above casinos that offer blackjack players the lowest odds as long as you are familiar with the basic playing strategy.