Las Vegas is home to some of the best and worst blackjack in the country. This article covers the worst games. You can find the best blackjack games in Las Vegas here. All of the games below have a house edge that is worse than an eight-deck 6:5 game with standard rules.
One game disappeared from the list from last year. Caesars Palace dropped its terrible 6:5 blackjack rules that only permitted double down on 10 and 11 with no double down after splitting. A $1 blackjack game joined the list to take its place.
Most of the games below are carnival games that are available at the lowest limits in the pits. The house edge is generally around 0.6% for a standard 3:2 shoe game. The ones on this list range from 2.28% to 4.4%.
It is easy to avoid these games with the information below. All casinos with these terrible games offer better ones in the same pit.
Related: 2021 Las Vegas Blackjack Survey
Bonus Spin Blackjack – Golden Nugget and Fremont
Two downtown Las Vegas casinos share the honor of winning our worst Las Vegas blackjack award. This is Golden Nugget’s fourth year in the top spot with its Bonus Spin Blackjack. Fremont joined it by adding the game in 2020.
Bonus Spin Blackjack looks like a normal blackjack game. In many casinos, it is an optional side bet. At Golden Nugget and Fremont, players are required to bet $1 on the Bonus Spin side bet in addition to the base bet. Blackjack pays 6:5. The minimum bet is $10 before the side bet at both casinos.
When I first saw this game, I attempted to determine the house edge on the side bet. I was never able to find the exact amount. My research determined 23% to be the best estimate, which was in the range I predicted.
With that information, I estimate that a player theoretically loses $0.23 every hand on the side bet plus the house edge on the main wager. A $10 blackjack bet would have a $0.20 house edge at these 6:5 tables. The minimum bet of $11 holds $0.43 with this calculation. This gives the game a house edge of 3.91%.
What to play instead: Golden Nugget has a $25 3:2 table or play $10 Super Fun 21, which has about one-third the house edge of its Bonus Spin Poker. At Fremont, there is a $10 double deck blackjack game that pays 3:2.
Bonus Spin Blackjack – Binion’s and Four Queens
Binion’s and Four Queens have a $5 version of Bonus Spin Blackjack with a mandatory $1 side bet. The signs at the tables proudly note its 3:2 payout. The flat bet has a $.03 house edge on a $5 bet. The side bet adds another $0.23. I estimate the house edge for this game to be 4.4%. That is higher than the Golden Nugget/Fremont one. That is because of the lower minimum bet. This game has a lower theoretical loss per hand with its $5 limit, so I rank it second, even with its higher house edge on a percentage basis.
What to play instead: Binion’s and Four Queens deal $5 Double Up Blackjack and Blackjack Switch. Other table games with a lower house edge also have a $5 minimum. You are better off playing a regular 6:5 blackjack table than this game unless you plan on betting $20 or more.
Downtown Grand and Oyo $1 blackjack
Downtown Grand and Oyo offer $1 blackjack tables that use continuous shuffling machines. Any bet under $5 pays even money on a blackjack. Players can double down before and after splitting. The dealer hits soft 17. The house edge on this game for bets under $5 is about 2.92%.
What to play instead: Downtown Grand has $5 3:2 blackjack. It is $10 at Oyo.
Poker Palace $1 blackjack
Poker Palace offers a slightly better $1 blackjack game. It is a double deck that pays even money. Players may not double down after splitting. The house edge is around 2.89%.
What to play instead: There is a $3 3:2 blackjack game at Poker Palace that allows players to double down on two or three cards. It made our best Las Vegas blackjack list.
6:5 Free Bet Blackjack
There are 18 Las Vegas casinos that pay 6:5 at Free Bet Blackjack tables. Every Las Vegas Strip installation is this way, as well as some in the locals market. This game has a house edge of 2.4%.
What to play instead: There are seven Las Vegas casinos that pay 3:2 at Free Bet Blackjack. Those locations are Circa, Golden Gate, M Resort, Plaza, Silverton, Sunset Station and The D.
Alamo Truck Stop
The Alamo Truck Stop at Blue Diamond and I-15 deals an especially bad 6:5 blackjack game. It uses four decks. Players may only double down on 10 and 11. There is no double down after splitting. This game has a house edge of about 2.28%.