When to Play 6/5 Blackjack Over 3/2

Blackjack table

Blackjack tables with a 6/5 payout are all over Las Vegas. These games are now available in other casino markets, like Atlantic City, Maryland, North Carolina, and Ohio

The best advice is to entirely avoid these blackjack games. The house edge is about 2%, compared to around 0.6% for a 3/2 game with the same rules. There are usually better pit games than 6/5 blackjack. 

Maybe you just want to play blackjack because you enjoy it or don’t know how to play craps or other better games. If that is the case, here are the times you should choose 6/5 blackjack over 3/2 tables. 

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The minimum bet affects the theoretical loss per hand

The minimum bets make the biggest difference when determining if a 6/5 blackjack table is a better fit for you than a 3/2 one. Your bankroll and comfort level play a big part in this. Below is the math that helps you determine the theoretical loss per hand.

A 6/5 blackjack game has a house edge that is a little more than three times worse than the same game with a 3/2 payout. That should make it easier to determine which is the best blackjack game for you.

It is simple to determine how much a player theoretically loses at a 6/5 table. It is about $0.20 for every $10 wagered. That is a 2% house advantage. At a 3/2 table, it is about $0.65 per hand. If a player has the decision to play $10 6/5 or $25 3/2, the $25 game offers a slightly better value. The expected loss there is only $0.16, while it is $0.20 at the $10 6/5 table. 

A $15 6/5 table and a $50 3/2 table have nearly identical theoretical losses per hand. It is $0.30 at the 6/5 table and $0.32 at the 3/2 one. However, the $50 one may have better rules, like standing on soft 17, which could make it a better deal. Examples of this scenario include Harrah’s, Flamingo, and Sahara in Las Vegas.

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Video blackjack may be an alternative

Blackjack is the most common electronic table game. Most machines pay 6/5 these days. However, you may still find some 3/2 ones in smaller casino markets. There are even a few left in Las Vegas that include video and stadium versions.

You can find 3/2 stadium blackjack as low as $1 on the Las Vegas Strip. If you are only near 6/5 machines, the minimum bet is usually $5. In those casinos, it often takes $25, $50, or even $100 to get a live 3/2 blackjack game. In this case, it is always better to pick the 6/5 game with the lowest limits.

You can just skip 6/5 blackjack altogether

The biggest reason 6/5 blackjack exists is because people play it. If players refused to sit at blackjack tables with short payouts, the casino would be forced to pay 3/2. Blackjack is by far the most popular casino table game, so it seems unlikely any would refuse to deal it for 3/2 if all 6/5 players went on strike. Since the market allows the casino to triple its house edge, it has no reason to stop. 

You can learn other games with a lower house edge than 6/5 blackjack. These include craps, Heads Up Hold’em, and Ultimate Texas Hold’em. The house edge is about the same as a 3/2 blackjack game when taking craps odds and accounting for the raises in the Texas hold’em table games.