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The Cost Of Low Rolling

February 22, 2013 at 4:51 PM | by | ()

Recently, we looked at some low roller gaming options on The Strip in light of the closing of Bill's Gambling Hall and Saloon. While cheap blackjack can be found from one end of The Strip (Stratosphere) to the other (Luxor), they may not come with the best odds. 

More often then not, if you play $5 blackjack on The Strip, you will encounter a game that pays 6:5 for blackjack and has a house advantage of about 1.8%. If you play a $5 blackjack game, like the game at Casino Royale, that pays 3:2 for blackjack the house advantage is about .44%. The 1.4% difference may not seem like a lot, but it's almost 5 times more of a house advantage for the casino.

On the surface, the difference is awful. The casino will always have the edge in blackjack and nobody wants to give away any advantage, but how much does that matter to you? Some people will look to play blackjack where they have the best odds while others are indifferent.

This gambler falls into both categories. If I plan on playing higher limits, I'll almost always (sometimes the vodka tells me to play in the Pleasure Pit), play blackjack that pays 3:2. However, when I'm low rolling with a $100 buy-in on a $5 game, it doesn't matter too much. I'll end up tipping the cocktail waitresses more then I'm giving away in house edge ($1.36 per $100 played). I view that as my cost of playing blackjack on The Strip.

While there are people that will only play where the odds are in their favor, this writer loves Vegas and plays where the night takes him. Where do you stand (or hit)? Let us know in the comments down below!

[PHOTO: fullhouseimages.com]

Archived Comments:

I play BOTH

I agree sometimes it is just for the fun of it.  I play 6/5 blackjacks if I'm at Paris and want to be near a cool-looking place.

However my favorite places to play LOW ROLLING craps is Casino Royale, El Cortez, Nugget, Stratosphere, etc.

LOW ROLLING blackjack at the same places :)

3:2 Only

No chance on playing anything but 3:2... enough casinos on the strip have 3:2 that considering a 6:5 is just ridiculous... plus every comp you get playing low-limit 6:5 you get playing low-limit 3:2. Leave the 6:5 to the tourist.


For myself, I try and go for the best odds.

I've even noticed on some slow days, you can get a $25min table with S17 over at Bellagio. Not bad.

Casino Royal is my spot. I know some may not consider it real blackjack, but blackjack switch is really addicting. That's where you'll see me put most of my money.


I love the differences of opinion. El Cortez is my fav low rolling joint. $5 AND 3:2.

@TwisterII I've never noticed that. $25 table at Bellagio don't have those CSM's either. I like that too!

low rollin'

Casino Royale is my fav haunt on the strip. A block off I'll play at Ellis Island (it's right behind flamingo). They have a microbrew and 5buck 3:2 tables.

Downtown, El Cortez or Main Street Station. I love MSS's microbrews as well as their double deck BJ

MGM Grand or Fremont Casino

I played a 6-Deck-Game at the MGM Grand in February 2013.
They offered even 5$-Limit after Midnight.
It was fun and I doubled my money within 4 hours.

At Fremont Casino in Downtown they had a Bonus-Feature "Free Double".
You could double down without risking your own money, but winning the amount of your original bet. I don't know what effekt this had on the houseedge, but ist was a nice game as well.

No 6:5 for Me

I never play on the Strip anymore.

Closest I get is to South Point.

It's Downtown or Off-Strip for me.