6 to 5 blackjack is the same as any other game of blackjack, that is to say that games of 6 to 5 blackjack have the same rule variations as ordinary blackjack, except that when you play 6 to 5 blackjack the payout for a natural blackjack is 6 to 5 instead of the usual 3 to 2.
To some people this might seem like a better deal. The numbers 6 and 5 are bigger than 3 and 2, so that means you get more money if you win right? Wrong! With 6 to 5 payout odds you get £6 for every £5 you bet. So if you bet £10 with the original 3 to 2 payout you’d win £15, but with the 6 to 5 payout you only win £12. This policy will put a serious dent in the player’s bankroll over many hands of play. In standard blackjack a good player would expect to lose an average of £2.60 per 100 hands assuming he bets an average £10 per hand. The reduced payout on 6 to 5 blackjack means the same player would expect to lose more than £14 over the same 100 hands.
Effectively 6 to 5 blackjack seriously reduces the chances of a player having a lucky run and winning a profit. In fact a player would have to be extremely lucky just to break even. Many blackjack enthusiasts have spoken out against 6 to 5 blackjack saying that natural blackjacks have to payout at 3 to 2 otherwise the player doesn’t have a fair shot at winning.
They also warn that if 6 to 5 blackjack becomes standard in casinos then people will lose interest in blackjack and possibly table games in casinos altogether. They say that a 6 to 5 payout on blackjack makes the game inherently unfair, and as customers begin to realise that the casinos are ripping them off they will leave in droves.
There wasn’t an immediate backlash against 6 to 5 blackjack because, it is alleged, most casual players don’t understand just how much this change affects their chances of winning. When they realise that they’re losing money five times faster than at standard games of blackjack they will start to leave.
The other problem is that many casinos, especially casinos in Las Vegas, have been hyping 6 to 5 blackjack as if it were better for the players. It has been seen advertised as a “whopping 6 to 5 payout” as if 6 to 5 was better than 3 to 2. Certainly the numbers are bigger but that’s all that is! It is often found that casinos will advertise the game as ‘single deck blackjack’, which at 3 to 2 payout rates is good for the player (especially the card counters), but the 6 to 5 payout is in tiny writing. As players wise up to these tactics it is said that their confidence in casinos will drop and that could be very damaging for the whole industry.