When it comes to blackjack in the casino industry, it’s clear that what happens in Vegas does not stay in Vegas. Most variations of blackjack started at a Las Vegas property, either on the Strip or Downtown, and have spread across the U.S. and around the world. That’s why John Mehaffey’s annual survey of Las Vegas blackjack is so important to not only Vegas but the entire industry. His exhaustive analysis of the market—where he actually visits every single casino and counts every table—is a gauge on the health and well-being of the game. This year, Mehaffey publishes the Las Vegas Blackjack Survey on his own site, VegasAdvantage.com. And he’s got some juicy tidbits to ponder. For example, the disappearance of single-deck blackjack is quite disturbing. The number of single-deck blackjack tables on the Las Vegas Strip dropped by 80 percent over the last decade. This is due to casinos moving 6:5 games to six- and eight-deck tables.
Downtown is home to the last 3:2 single-deck blackjack game in Las Vegas. It is at El Cortez. On the Strip, most Las Vegas blackjack tables paid 3:2 until 2014. That is when Venetian and Palazzo converted all tables under $50 to a 6:5 payout. Within a year, every Las Vegas Strip casino dealt 6:5 blackjack at lower limits. The game cuts the chances of winning for the players substantially. The final chart shows the composition of games in Las Vegas by number of decks and payouts. The most common table in the market is a 6:5 six- or eight-deck shoe. Most of these tables are found on the Strip.
To read the full report, visit VegasAdvantage.com/las-vegas-blackjack, which includes different variations of the games and where to find them.