Avoid These Worst Blackjack Games in Las Vegas

Blackjack rules at Alamo

Blackjack conditions continue to decline in Las Vegas at lower limits. There are still casinos that deal $5 and $10 3/2 blackjack games. However, those tables are nearly extinct. Most low-limit games in the downtown and Strip markets pay 6/5. There are eight carnival blackjack games that are worse than a traditional 6/5 game. 

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Lucky Cat Blackjack with a mandatory $2 side bet at Golden Nugget

Lucky Cat Blackjack rules at Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, Nevada

Golden Nugget once again wins first place in the Blackjack Wall of Shame. The front pit hosts 6/5 Lucky Cat Blackjack. This game gets players to the tables because of its $5 minimum bet. However, there is a string attached. There is a $2 mandatory Bonus Spin side bet. Vegas Advantage estimates the house edge on that bet to be 23%. The Lucky Cat Blackjack bet has an estimated house edge of 3.33%. 

Using those numbers, a $7 bet loses $0.627 per hand. That puts the house edge at 8.95% when making the minimum bet. A triple zero roulette game holds 7.69%. 

Bonus Spin Blackjack at Golden Nugget

Last year, Golden Nugget tied for the second-worst blackjack game in Las Vegas. This year, it proudly holds that honor all to itself. 

All blackjack tables on the floor beside the Lucky Cat is traditional 6/5. Like the Lucky Cat game, there is a required $2 Bonus Spin side bet. The expected loss when betting $10 plus the side bet is about $0.66. The house edge on that is 5.5%. 

Bonus Spin Blackjack at Fremont

Fremont’s Bonus Spin Blackjack moves down to third place this year. Its $10 plus $1 mandatory side bet has a house edge at the $11 minimum bet. The house edge is 3.91%.

To Fremont’s credit, it posts $11 as the minimum bet that includes the side bet. The other casinos with this game only disclose the minimum bet for the blackjack part of the game.  Golden Nugget occasionally has $10 tables with a forced $1 side bet, as opposed to its normal $2 one.

Downtown Grand and Oyo $1 blackjack

Downtown Grand and Oyo have $1 even money blackjack. The house edge at the minimum bet is 2.92%. The Downtown Grand tables pay 6/5 on a $5 bet. However, you can play $5 3/2 blackjack there, so there is no reason to do that. At Oyo, the even money tables pay that at any limit. You can play 6/5 for $5. The Oyo 3/2 blackjack starts at $10. 

Poker Palace $2 even money blackjack

At 2.89%, Poker Palace has a slightly better even-money blackjack game as a percentage of house advantage with a $2 minimum bet. Double down before but not after splitting is allowed. There is no reason to play this table. For $3, there is $3 3/2 six-deck blackjack that allows double down before and after splitting on two or three cards. It is one of the best blackjack games in Las Vegas. 

Binion’s and Four Queens Bonus Spin Blackjack

Binion’s and Four Queens offer the same game as the ones described at Fremont and Golden Nugget above. However, it is not quite as terrible as those tables. 

Blackjack pays 3/2. In fact, you will find signs that proudly state this. However, at a house edge of 2.64% at the minimum $11 bet, these tables are worse than the 6/5 ones for players wagering less than $20 per hand.

6/5 Free Bet Blackjack

Almost 100 Las Vegas Free Bet Blackjack tables pay 6/5. The game has a house edge of 2.4%. You can find 3/2 Free Bet Blackjack in downtown Las Vegas and several locals casinos like M Resort, Mohegan Sun, Santa Fe Station, Silverton, and Sunset Station. You can also play $50 3/2 Free Bet Blackjack in the salons at Flamingo and Harrah’s.

Sign for Free Bet blackjack

Alamo 6/5 four-deck blackjack

Alamo deals the only four-deck blackjack game in Las Vegas. It also has some of the worst rules. Players may only double down on 10 and 11 and not after splitting. Blackjack pays 6/5, This game used to have some of the best blackjack rules. Today, you should go across the street to Silverton to play blackjack.

author avatar
John Mehaffey
John, a founding member of Advantage Media LLC, got his start in gaming as a prop player at online poker sites. He played online poker from 2001 to 2005. In 2004, he created a site that served as a directory for an online poker promotional method known as rakeback. He sold that site in 2006 and moved his family from Atlanta to Rapid City, SD to work for a similar company. They later moved to Las Vegas in 2010. John’s favorite game is full-pay video poker. His favorite table game is Ultimate Texas Hold’em, though he would rather play it in video form. Currently, John is best known for compiling blackjack and table game data including all Las Vegas and Clark County casinos.