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Some Vegas casinos cut blackjack payout

The change leaves players at a bigger disadvantage.

By MSN Money Partner Jul 28, 2014 2:16PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.


Money Talks News on MSN MoneyIf you're looking to play blackjack in Las Vegas, you need to know that some Vegas casino operators are changing their blackjack payouts.

Earlier this year, Las Vegas Sands, which owns the Venetian and the Palazzo casinos, altered its payouts from three-to-two to six-to-five, according to Pacific Standard. Here's a different way to look at it: A $10 blackjack hand no longer wins $15. The payout is $12 instead.

Blackjack hand with Ace & King of spades© Adam Balatoni/Getty ImagesIn blackjack, players try to get cards whose face value adds up to 21, or as close as possible to 21, without going over.

Henry Tamburin, a gambler, gaming instructor and author, equates the payout change to a hidden tax on players. According to Pacific Standard:

Tamburin says a player can expect to hit a blackjack about once every 21 hands. At an average of 80 hands an hour, that translates to the house snatching an extra $12 out of players' hands every 60 minutes. Spread that over every player at every table at a casino and you can see why pit bosses might go all in on six-to-five.

It appears that other casinos may be following Las Vegas Sands' lead. Tamburin said he's noticed more six-to-five games in recent months.

"Up until about a year ago, most of the six-to-five games were low-limit and single-deck games," Tamburin says. Single-deck blackjack games are generally considered the most player-friendly because they allow players to better anticipate which cards may be coming. "Now these casino bosses have boldly implemented six-to-six on two-deck and six-deck games and they're even doing it on higher-minimum tables."

The timing of this payout change is curious. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority said visitors who reported gambling during their stay dropped from 86 percent in 2006 to 71 percent in 2013.

Blackjack is also waning in popularity in Vegas. It used to account for more than half of casino revenues in the mid-1980s, according to Pacific Standard. Now, blackjack makes up less than 25 percent of house revenue. So you'd think you'd want to encourage more people to play, not potentially chase them off.

What do you think of changes to the blackjack payout?

More from Money Talks News

Jul 28, 2014 3:44PM
Bring back the mob and 1.95 steak and eggs.
Jul 28, 2014 2:59PM

Not surprising, since casinos have been taken over by scumbag corporations. 
Now 2/3 of the strip casinos are owned by two corporations.

At least when the mob ruled Vegas you could get cheap rooms, cheap food prices and free liquor.

Jul 28, 2014 3:57PM

LETS BE CLEAR...Vegas NEVER gives you a fair game.  As a former dealer, I was instructed to change decks, shuffles, balls, dice etc and to do anything to break a winning streak.  6/5 is a tourist game and they know it.  All the suckers play 6/5. That's what their party pit is..pretty girls and suckers playing 6/5. 

Indeed, bring back the least you knew where you stood and they took care of you.  Now your lucky to get a 50% off room for green action and all floor men have no discretion to write comps anymore. 

Jul 28, 2014 4:30PM
Refuse to play tables paying less than three to two.
Turn Vegas back into what it was in the 60s and not a disneyland with gambling, nobody wants to go there and trip over someone's little brats running wild.
Jul 28, 2014 3:59PM
Won't be going there.  The odds are already so far in the houses favor and Mr Adleson wants to make even more? 
Jul 28, 2014 3:54PM
This was done by the same moron that is fighting on-line poker. Anderson  is only interested in what makes him another billion and screw the rest of the world.
Jul 28, 2014 4:19PM
The real gamblers will move to the off Strip and local casinos.
Jul 28, 2014 4:45PM
And the minute a casino does that I promptly get up and leave and never come back again.
The two DUMBEST things ppl do in this country...Gamble at a casino and drink their coffee at Starbucks.
Jul 28, 2014 4:48PM
Odds are still better at  the casinos than the odds of the government spending your tax dollars wisely.
Jul 28, 2014 7:36PM

Amen to the mob, if you refuse to play 6-5 games, they will bring back fairer odds, play off-strip...


Jul 28, 2014 6:49PM
This is one of my few means of entertainment.  And, yes, it was much better  when the casinos were run by an efficient organization.  Of course, they were not always happy if you won too much.
Jul 28, 2014 4:26PM
When you are up some, walk away. Have a cold water, and hit another dealer. etc......
Jul 28, 2014 5:55PM
I don't believe I would engage in that game, house already has a big advantage.....if they do that I will quit playing.
Jul 28, 2014 6:17PM
I would turn my hotel into the only Casino offering Blackjack pays double, and fill the place up.
Marketing 101..

Jul 28, 2014 3:58PM
Someone has to pay for all those fancy hotels and clubs.
Jul 28, 2014 9:17PM
This is great news for Fremont Street. Stay downtown and experience the friendly classic casinos. You don't need to bring back the "good old days" they are already waiting for you. :-)
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