Worst Blackjack Games in Las Vegas

Written by: Cliff Spiller, Online Casino and Game Expert
4 minute read

We recently covered the best blackjack games in Las Vegas.  Those tables all offer great rules that include blackjack paying 3-2.  That is not the case with the games that you will find in this article.  This is a list of the worst blackjack games in Las Vegas.  The house edge in every one of these games is at least 2%. Players are better off playing craps than at any of these blackjack tables.

Worst Blackjack Game in Las Vegas

The worst blackjack game in Las Vegas is spread at California and Fremont in downtown Las Vegas.  It is a $3 six-deck game that pays 6-5.  Players that only bet $3 or $4 receive even money on a blackjack. The game only permits double down before splitting.  Double down after splitting is not allowed.  Players may not surrender or re-split aces.

Players that wager $3 or $4 at these tables are giving up a house edge of 3.03%.  Players that wager $5 or more cut the house edge to 2.12%.  There is no reason to bet $5 at these tables because there will be $5 games that pay 3-2 throughout California and Fremont.

Hooters used to offer this game before becoming OYO Hotel & Casino.

Second Worst Blackjack Game in Las Vegas

The second worst real money blackjack game may be found at 12 different casinos in Las Vegas.  It is Free Bet Blackjack that pays 6-5.  Free Bet Blackjack gives the player free splits and double downs.  The dealer pushes on 22 to offset this rule.  The game was rolled out with a 3-2 payout everywhere except Casino Royale, which paid 6-5 from the first day.  Many casinos lowered the payout to 6-5 over the past year.  This game has a house edge of 2.4%.

Any Free Bet Blackjack game on the Strip outside of SLS Las Vegas, as well as at all Station Casinos, will only pay 6-5.  Players can still find 3-2 Free Bet Blackjack at SLS Las Vegas, Hard Rock Casino, Plaza, Golden Gate, The D, and the six-deck version at Golden Nugget.

Third Worst Blackjack Game in Las Vegas

Caesars Palace takes third place for the worst blackjack game in Las Vegas.  The casino offers eight-deck games that only permit double down on 10 and 11 and not after splitting.  There is no surrender or re-split aces.  Blackjack pays 6-5.  The dealer hits soft 17.  The house edge for this game is 2.34%.

This game was originally spread only in the party pit.  It has now spread to two other pits.

Honorable Mention

There are some other blackjack games players might want to avoid if they want decent rules.  While 6-5 is always a terrible rule, some casinos go beyond that.  For example, Binion’s has a double deck that pays 6-5 where double down is only permitted on 10 and 11 and not after splitting.  The house edge there is 2.19%.

Rio has an eight-deck game that pays 6-5 where the player can double down on any two cards before splitting but not after.  The house edge there is 2.16%.

Video Blackjack Games With Terrible Rules

There was a time during the movement to 6-5 live blackjack games that I suggested low limit players choose video blackjack over live tables on the Las Vegas Strip.  With the exception of Venetian and Palazzo, that is no longer the case.  Those two casinos still have video blackjack machines that pay 3-2.  Every other video blackjack machine on the Strip pays 6-5 or worse.

Two Las Vegas Strip casinos have multi-player video blackjack machines that only pay even money.  Those are located at Monte Carlo and Mirage.  These machines permit double down before and after splitting plus surrender.  The dealer hits soft 17.  The house edge is 2.82%.

Some Game King machines have blackjack.  The rules vary from one device to another.  Most only permit double down on 10 and 11 before and after splitting.  Some permit double down on any two cards before and after splitting.  Surrender is permitted on some of these games.  The dealer usually stands on all 17’s.  The house edge for these games runs from 2.6% to just over 3%.

Cliff Spiller

Cliff Spiller Online Casino and Game Expert

Cliff Spiller is a global casino industry specialist who writes relatable content for beginners and experts. He's written gambling articles and online casino reviews at OUSC for over 15 years.

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