TechnologyIs $5 Blackjack Dead in Vegas?
Experienced gamblers love blackjack because it is one of the rare casino games where decision-making affects results. Thus, it has attained a reputation of being the preferred gaming option for many high-rollers. Nevertheless, it is not only those that have deep pockets that love playing it in Sin City. The reality is that most average blackjack players are not filthy rich, which is why, until recently, $5 games were the gold standard at Vegas establishments.
Those days have since passed, despite $5 tables being available at some Vegas locales, mainly in the Downtown area. The global pandemic has drastically affected many industries, the gambling sector included. Players now believe that things will never be the same again, even after things return to a so-called normal, as gaming hot spots would have already been running with standards that everyone will have accepted as the new norm. Something disheartening to many twenty-one enthusiasts who, over the past decade, have grown accustomed to casinos introducing new rules that make them face worse odds and hamper their gameplay.
Why Are Casinos Raising Table Limits?
Even though most people like to think that gambling operators are greedy business entities trying to squeeze out every possible penny from their clientele, that is not necessarily so. Las Vegas’ brick-and-mortar venues did not choose to up their table minimums due to greed. There is a slew of reasons why they opted for this move. First and foremost, pandemic restrictions caused reduced foot traffic on gaming floors and limited seating options from twelve to six players per table, lowering table revenues by half. In general, players are wary of potentially contracting the virus at gaming locales, further reducing visitation. Therefore, operators have to look for ways to compensate for labor hours and other expenses they incur regarding running their business in conditions featuring a limited number of ways of raking in profits.
Inflation also plays a role, as does the fact that low-stakes tables, in most cases, are loss leaders. That means that they are not profitable but get featured to attract customers who then may navigate over to gaming products that are more profitable for a casino or spend money on a resort’s offered leisure activities and dining.
Where Can You Find $5 Games?
As mentioned, $5 blackjack is still alive at specific Vegas spots. The Sahara Hotel and Casino has a $5 Switch and Free Bet tables that offer 6:5 odds. The Strat also features a $5 eight-deck game during the slower hours of the games, with its minimum limit jumping to $10 and $15 once crowds start to amass. That is pretty much it for the Northern part of the Strip concerning $5 blackjack. In the central and south part of Las Vegas Boulevard, it is virtually impossible to find $5 tables.
That said, those who dare to venture off the Strip, and are willing to travel north of it to Downtown Vegas, can enjoy $5 twenty-one action at the Downtown Grand and the Four Queens. Off-Strip options that offer similar minimum-bet tables are the Oyo, Palace Station, South Point, and Ellis Island. The latter two venues feature 3:2 odds.
The amount of local establishments with $5 tables is sizeable, and it includes Santa Fe Station, Jerry’s Nugget, Club Fortune, Cannery, Boulder Station, Skyline, Suncoast, and the Red Rock Casino.
Naturally, the best tables for low-rollers can get found at lower-limit blackjack sites. The action starts from $1 there and can go up to several hundred/thousand per hand in VIP sections.
Will $5 Blackjack Make a Comeback?
At top-end resort-style venues, its return is super unlikely unless the dollar experiences a massive deflation. Table games cost far more to run than slots on account of them involving a dealer. They also get played at far slower speeds. Therefore, casinos need higher minimum limits to ensure that they can profit from blackjack and other croupier games. So, it is not an extremely plausible scenario that operators will revert to the previously established limits once the industry gets back on track, as the average dollar inflation rate is 2.11%.
For now, online blackjack is a very viable option for those who do not want to break the bank when testing their luck on this game. Casino sites have lower overhead costs, letting them run multiple lower-limit tables. These are ones with minimum bets unseen in the land-based sphere.
To Wrap Up
There is no doubt that $5 tables are becoming more elusive each year. It is slowly becoming economically unfeasible for land-based venues to run these games, which is why premium ones have moved away from them. Online casinos now offer a more diverse live twenty-one experience with more variations and lower wager limits on hand.
About the Author
Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OnlineUnitedStatesCasinos.com. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.
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