WSJ: ‘Why You’re Losing More to Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip’

Katherine Sayre, reporting for The Wall Street Journal (News+):

Blackjack, a fast-paced card game, historically paid out a ratio of 3:2 when a player hit 21 on the first two cards. That means a gambler wins $15 for every $10 bet. Now, many blackjack tables on the Strip pay out at 6:5, which means that same $10 yields only $12.

John and Kristina Mehaffey, owners of gambling-news and data company Vegas Advantage, have been cataloging these changes since 2011, walking miles-long routes through casinos to record the number of blackjack and roulette tables set outside of VIP areas.

According to the Mehaffeys’ data, more than two-thirds of blackjack tables on the Strip currently offer 6:5 payouts, as opposed to 3:2.

6:5 blackjack should be illegal. I mean that. I don’t understand what the gambling regulators in Nevada are doing that this is permissible. What I’ve seen in recent years is that all of the lower-limit tables have 6:5 payouts, and to get real blackjack, with 3:2 payouts, you need to play at tables with $50 minimums, sometimes $100 on weekends.

Update: My own home state of Pennsylvania mandates 3:2 blackjack payouts by law. Who would ever have thought you’d get a better legal game of blackjack in Philadelphia than in Las Vegas?

Wednesday, 31 May 2023