There was a time when video blackjack was one of the sharpest casino plays. Good rules, no players card exclusions, promotions and, sometimes, countable games, made it a great option for those looking for an edge. Those days in Las Vegas are long gone.
The old video blackjack machines, like BJ Blitz and Dealers Angel, are no longer available in Las Vegas. The next generation of games, manufactured by SHFL, offered 3:2 payouts, dealer standing on soft 17 and surrender. A players card was often available, too. None of these machines could be set to pay 6:5 on a blackjack. This kept the house edge on the machines reasonable.
Interblock took over the next generation of video blackjack machines in Las Vegas. These machines have a setting to allow 6:5 payouts. Every Las Vegas casino on the Strip now sets it there, adding about 1.39 percent to the house edge from a 3:2 game with the same other rules. Just five years ago, none of these 6:5 video blackjack games existed.
Many Game Kings spread video blackjack. These are fast games that can deal 20 hands a minute if the player wants it that quickly. Unfortunately, the rules are among the worst that you will ever find. Blackjack pays even money. Double down is typically only allowed on 10 or 11. Some machines do not allow double down after splitting. The dealer hits soft 17.
Where to play 3:2 video blackjack in Las Vegas
There are only two Las Vegas casinos that spread 3:2 video blackjack these days. The D has a machine on its second floor. El Cortez has one by the keno lounge. The D game requires a $5 minimum bet. El Cortez has it for $1. Players may double down before and after splitting. Surrender is offered. The dealer hits soft 17.
Treasure Island has stadium blackjack that pays 3:2 on a natural. It is the only stadium blackjack game in Las Vegas that I have found that pays 3:2. The minimum is $2 during the week and $5 on weekends This is where there are rows of seats with players hoping to beat the same house hand. It allows players to still act independently. Some players may stand while other hit or surrender.
Good video blackjack still spread in other markets
This problem has not affected other markets. For example, Deadwood, South Dakota has about 10 SHFL video blackjack games. All pay 3:2. There are two Dealers Angels and one IGT machine. These also pay 3:2. My last visit to Atlantic City had a 3:2 SHFL machine downstairs at Tropicana. Harrah’s Cherokee and Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River have heads up 3:2 blackjack games with loose rules.