Yesterday on the site I talked about a promotion Plaza Las Vegas is running for a week that has a nice additional bonus for Roulette players on what’s already a better table than many in Las Vegas.
But what’s becoming more commonplace as table game rules as a whole get worse for the player, is casinos will begin to advertise better rules as an advantage to sway players to check them out instead.
For the longest time, Foxwoods advertised a 10x Odds Craps promotion to entice Craps players to play at Foxwoods. Many craps players know that higher odds bets can water down the house edge on the pass line bet, already one of the best bets on the Craps table from a house edge perspective.
They quietly discontinued 10x and went to 5x awhile ago, matching their competitor down the road, Mohegan Sun.
But with competition heating up in the Northeast, other promotions are now surfacing offering other ways to entice players to come play at their casino over another option. As with the post yesterday about Plaza’s promotions, knowing your table games can put you in a better position in terms of house advantage over those who pick a table indiscriminately.
However, it also means you should be sure you’re playing correctly when it comes to games like Blackjack, as differences in rules could see you making slightly different plays in more borderline occurrences.
Ocean Casino Resort: Surrender Rule at All Tables
Ocean Resort Casino announced this week that they’re allowing surrender on any Blackjack table on their property. Surrender is a lesser used, but sometimes advantageous rule to get out of high-bust-potential and high-loss-potential hands. When you surrender, you forfeit half your bet in lieu of playing out the hand.
When the math says you’re much more likely to lose than to win, getting to keep half your original bet could be the mathematically right play to take. When you lose the ability to surrender, and you lose all those hands, it’s just an additional expected loss over time.
There’s two types of surrender: Early Surrender, which lets you surrender before the dealer checks for Blackjack, and Late Surrender, which only lets you do so after they check. Early Surrender tends to be more advantageous as you can avoid losing to a dealer Blackjack under certain scenarios, but even Late Surrender adds some help. The link above gets into more detail about things if you’re curious.
Foxwoods: 3:2 Blackjack Pays at All Tables
It wasn’t that long ago that I was reading many forums talk about how Foxwoods would probably be completely devoid of 3:2 Blackjack payouts at its tables before long. Both it and Mohegan Sun down the street had been putting up 6:5 tables in many places, although if you knew where to look you could still find 3:2.
So it was an interesting surprise for me to see signs by all its Blackjack tables touting the availability of 3:2 payouts at every table, all the time. The difference is pretty clear: On a $10 bet, a 3:2 Blackjack pays you $15, while a 6:5 Blackjack pays you $12.
That $3 difference may not sound like much, but presuming 80 hands per hour, a player will likely see a Blackjack four times an hour (the average is a Blackjack every 21 hands or so). So you’ll lose an additional $12 an hour on a $10 bet, just for the change in Blackjack payouts. No wonder casinos are rolling this out!
The overall house edge changes by 1.36%, a significant increase given many games would be sub-1% without this rule change. This is another reason why casinos are introducing it to more tables. 3:2 Blackjack is generally more available on higher limit tables, but some casinos mix them together and presume players who know better will find the 3:2 and players who don’t will play the 6:5, and they’re generally right. So the 6:5 tables will be front and center, and the 3:2 tables off in a corner most often.
It’s important to note that casinos will change rules periodically, so these rules may be in effect down the road, or they may not. So if the rules and house edge matters to you as a player, doing some homework and checking periodically is a smart move, especially if you have a long trip ahead of you to get there.