Las Vegas offer’s everything under the sun with regards to blackjack, so it is important to know where to play. This piece picks out some of the best blackjack casinos on the Strip.
For blackjack aficionados Las Vegas is the Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem all rolled into one. While baccarat overtook it in 2013 as the city’s biggest table game draw, 21 is still what pumps blood through the heart of the Vegas Strip. That being said, the city’s countless casinos offer various games with different rules.
We recently compiled a short list of casinos to stay out of due to their money-guzzling blackjack rules. Today we’ll take the opposite approach, taking a look at some of the most player-friendly places in Vegas.
Most casinos host high and low stakes games. The lower stakes games carry a higher house edge by definition, given that it will take the casino longer to skim money off each player. However, several Vegas Strip establishments offer mid-stakes games with surprisingly low edges. Lets take a look:
MGM’s stunning Egyptian-themed casino is one of the Strip’s main attractions for ambience as well as great blackjack. While the $10 minimum game isn’t one of the better ones in town, carrying an edge of .64 percent, serious players willing to wager $25+ have two great options.
The $25 minimum table is dealt from only two decks and allows the player to surrender. The dealer does hit on a soft 17 and re-splitting and doubling down aces are prohibited, but the house edge is still only .45 percent, under the .5 percent standard.
The $50 minimum table is really the big draw. The dealer stands on a soft 17 and the player has the option of doubling down after splitting and re-splitting aces. The only thing prohibited is surrendering. The dealer standing on soft 17 is a very player-friendly blackjack rule variation, and the edge on this game is only .36 percent. You can sign us up!
The MGM Grand
This Vegas mainstay has drawn the ire of many blackjack players due to its recent hosting of 6-5 single deck games. Steer clear of these tables at all cost! But as long as you know your way around the casino, the Grand still has many great 3-2 tables.
The $15 minimum game has some of the most advantageous rules you’ll find at a low stakes blackjack table. The dealer stands on a soft 17 and the player has the option to surrender, re-split aces, and double down after splitting.
The only downside is that cards are dealt from six decks, but the house edge is still only .28 percent. That’s roughly the same as the Grand’s $100 minimum game.
The Mirage is a great venue for mass-market gamblers, hosting a full range of games with player-friendly rules and reasonable minimum bets. There are decent $10 and $15 minimum games with edges of .48 and .45 percent respectively, but the real draws are the $25 minimum tables. Here you can find some of the best blackjack on the Strip.
In this six deck game the dealer stands on a soft 17 and the player has the option to surrender, double down after splitting and re-split aces. There is nothing not to like about this game, and the house edge is a very low .28 percent. There is also a $25 minimum two deck game with more restrictive rules but a very low edge.
Some casual Vegas tourists prefer to stick to the lowest-stakes games available, but lets be real. A $25 minimum is pretty low-risk. The Mirage is a great place for someone with smart strategies but a modest bankroll.
The Bellagio has without a doubt the most player-friendly rules in Vegas. First of all, the house edge-boosting 6-5 payout single deck games are not to be found here. The $15 minimum game is dealt from six decks, making use of a card counting system difficult.
However, all of the other rules are solidly in the players favor. The dealer stands on a soft 17 and the player is allowed to surrender, re-split aces and double down after splitting. The house edge on this game is only .28 percent, significantly lower than the standard.
For the suckers out there, the Bellagio also offers a $10 minimum game in which the dealer hits on a soft 17 and the house edge is .48 percent. This is attractive for some low-stakes players, but we suggest you stick to the $15 minimum table. If you’re interested in winning at blackjack, it’s a good place to do it.
Blackjack is a rich man’s game in that the larger your bankroll, the easier it is to find a game with player-friendly rules. But Vegas truly has something for everyone, and there are plenty of $15-25 minimum games with low house edges.
The Luxor, MGM Grand and Mirage offer the chance to leave with more than you came with, but the Bellagio is hands-down the best place on the Vegas Strip to play blackjack. After reading this piece, you’ll have no excuse for coming home empty-handed.