Facts about Single Deck 6:5 Blackjack

Recently casinos have been offering a new variety of blackjack: Single Deck 6:5 Blackjack. It is named so because it uses only one deck of cards, as opposed to the standard six or eight; and pays a natural at six chips to five, instead of three to two.

This new game is designed to increase the casino's profits while making the player think (wrongly) that he or she is getting a good deal. Single Deck 6:5 Blackjack dramatically raises the house edge since it pays out blackjacks at a much lower rate than the standard 3:2. Yet it is a single deck game, and single deck blackjack is known to offer the best odds for the player. Casinos that provide this game hope that their customers will overlook the former and see only the latter.

Single Deck 6:5 Blackjack promises several advantages to a casino:

- A 6:5 payout for blackjacks adds 1.39% to the house edge - A single deck game, which normally has a 0.2% house edge if played with basic strategy, will have a 1.6% edge - If player mistakes are added, the house edge will be some 2.2% or higher - Positive expected value per hand is greatly reduced - Professional blackjack players are discouraged from playing

However the facts prove that the Single Deck 6:5 Blackjack is not as profitable as casinos had hoped. Many houses have experienced a severe player backlash as a result of their offering the game. Long-time customers have been known to abandon the casino and take their money elsewhere. After all, blackjack players expect to get paid 3:2 - that is just standard - and get surprised and upset when they are paid at the new rate.

It does not help that many casinos intentionally try to deceive players by way of small signage and misleading statements at their tables. Savvy players can't be fooled into thinking a 6:5 payout is a great thing, nor that it can't nullify the single deck benefits. Eventually players catch on and make the houses pay.

If there are casinos that profit from Single Deck 6:5 Blackjack, it is the resort-type of casinos that cater to tourists and wealthy travelers. These people - who probably don't gamble regularly - tend to be more na´ve about casino games and fail to see that the 6:5 game is disadvantageous to them. Even if they knew, they wouldn't care - they are just out having a good time on vacation.

But casinos that target local residents have a tougher time selling the game to their customers. These are regular, middle-class players who know their game well. Single Deck 6:5 Blackjack will never click with such players; rather it works only among unsophisticated gamblers who do not know any better.

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