Worst Las Vegas Blackjack Games in 2020

By John Mehaffey in Las Vegas
| February 24, 2020 4:59 am PDT

There are many great blackjack games in Las Vegas, even on the Strip. However, there are many tables that should be avoided. Below is the list of the worst blackjack games in all of Las Vegas.

One of last year’s games disappeared. That was Zombie Blackjack at Red Rock. A $1 game in North Las Vegas took its place on my list of blackjack games you should walk past.

Bonus Spin Blackjack at Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget takes the top spot for a third straight year. It has a pit of four tables in the front of the casino where Bonus Spin Blackjack is spread. This $1 side bet is typically optional. At Golden Nugget, it’s mandatory. Even worse, the table only pays 6:5 on a blackjack. The minimum bet is $5.

The Bonus Spin side bet permits the player to spin a virtual wheel when a blackjack is dealt. I estimate a 23% house edge on the side bet as an ace dealt does get the bet back, something normally found in the rules.

The blackjack game has a house edge of about 2%. On a $5 bet, the player theoretically loses $0.23 on the side bet and $0.10 on the flat bet. This theoretical $0.33 loss per hand on a $5 bet puts the house edge at 5.5%.

This is the worst blackjack game in Las Vegas.

What to Play Instead at Golden Nugget

There are several decent blackjack options at Golden Nugget. For $15, you will find a 3:2 blackjack game with surrender and double down before and after splitting.

For $50, you will find a double deck game in high limit with double down before and after splitting. For $25, that game is on the floor without double down after splitting.

Bonus Spin Blackjack – Four Queens and Binion’s

Four Queens and Binion’s have its own version of Bonus Spin Blackjack. Like Golden Nugget, the side bet is mandatory. However, the game pays 3:2 on blackjack. Signage proudly announces this payout to draw players. Unfortunately, it is a gimmick because players are better off playing any standard 6:5 game or even a video version on a Game King that pays even money on a blackjack.

The minimum bet is $5 at each of these casinos. The main bet theoretically loses $.0325 per hand. The side bet has an expected loss of $0.23. This puts the house edge at 4.38%, making it the second-worst blackjack game in Las Vegas.

Note that the house drops as the bet gets larger. This is because the effect of the $1 side bet is diminished on larger wagers.

What to Play at Four Queens and Binion’s Instead

Four Queens has one 3:2 blackjack table. It has a $25 minimum bet and uses two decks. Double down after splitting is not permitted. Binion’s does not have any other 3:2 tables.

If you must play something at Binion’s, I recommend craps, where the minimum bet is $5 and odds are five times. Or walk over to Downtown Grand or Plaza and play blackjack.

Poker Palace $1 Blackjack

Poker Palace in North Las Vegas has a $1 double-deck blackjack table with some terrible rules.

 Blackjack only pays even money. Players may not double down after splitting. The house edge is 2.79%.

What to Play Instead

Drive over to the nearby Lucky Club, and you will find a $1 3:2 blackjack table with double down before and after splitting.

6:5 Free Bet Blackjack

Free Bet Blackjack has become a popular game in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately, every installation on the Strip and at Station Casinos pays 6:5. This puts the house edge at 2.4%.

Where to Play Free Bet Blackjack With 3:2 Payouts

There are still a few 3:2 Free Bet Blackjack tables in Las Vegas.

You will find the better game at Golden Gate, M Resort, Plaza, and The D. The house edge for this game is 1.03%.

Caesars Palace 6:5 Blackjack

The worst blackjack tables at Caesars Palace pay 6:5. This is not that unusual. However, it also has more bad rules. Eight decks are used. Players can only double down on 10 and 11. Double down after splitting is not allowed. Aces may only be split one time. Surrender is not allowed. All of those rules mean that the house edge for this game is 2.34%.

This game was once found in the party pit by the nightclub entrance. That party pit is gone. However, these bad rules made it onto all blackjack tables not located in the pit under the dome.  

What to Play Instead at Caesars Palace

Caesars Place offers 3:2 eight-deck blackjack under the dome. It allows double down before and after splitting, as well as surrender. The dealer hits soft 17. You will find this game from $10 to $25, depending on the time of day and day of the week. For $100, this game stands on all 17s.

Another $100 game is double-deck blackjack with double down before splitting. The dealer hits soft 17 here.

The Best Blackjack Games in Las Vegas

It’s useful to know where the worst blackjack games in Las Vegas are, so you know which tables to avoid. Even more useful, of course, is to know where the best games are.

Check out my post on the best Las Vegas blackjack games in 2020 to find out where you should be playing.