Single Deck Blackjack

December 11, 200935 Comments

Single Deck BlackjackSingle deck blackjack can be a great game if you’re getting the full 3:2 payment on your blackjacks. Unfortunately a new trend in many casinos is to only pay 6:5 on single deck games. That means if you get a blackjack on a $50 bet you’re going to be paid $60 rather than the traditional $75. This may seem like a small difference, but it can actually change the house edge from under .20% up to nearly 2%. That’s a 10X increase against you! If you’re not getting paid 3:2, then move to a different game. A multi-deck game with the full 3:2 payment has much better odds than a 6:5 single deck game.

Best Single Deck Blackjack – Full 3:2 Pay

Please Note: When I refer to “best” single deck blackjack, I’m simply talking about games where you’ll get the full 3:2 payment on blackjack. For the purposes of this article, I’m not taking into consideration card counting conditions such as dealer penetration or the amount of heat you’ll receive from increasing your bets and making various play deviations. That type of info is covered in my blackjack training.

Updated 3/12/2012: I’ve recently broken my single deck blackjack list into two sections. The first list is of casinos that allow players to double down on any two cards, therefore holding a house edge that is usually under .20% on single deck. The second list is of casinos that restrict player doubling to only on 10 or 11, therefore holding a house edge that is typically just over .40% on single deck.

Double down on any two cards:

  • Barona Casino – San Diego, CA *single deck no longer offered as of June 2011
  • Viejas Casino – San Diego, CA
  • Robinson Rancheria – Nice, CA
  • Feather Falls Casino – Oroville, CA
  • El Cortez – Las Vegas, NV
  • Hacienda – Boulder City, NV *I’ve been told that they allow DAS & RSA!
  • Gold Dust West – Elko, NV
  • Barton’s Club 93 – Jackpot, NV
  • Pioneer Casino – Laughlin, NV
  • Eureka Casino – Mesquite, NV *SuperFun21 changed back to single deck!
  • Boomtown Casino – Reno, NV
  • J.A. Nugget – Reno, NV
  • Siena Casino – Reno, NV
  • Alamo Casino – Sparks, NV
  • Rail City – Sparks, NV
  • Topaz Lodge – Topaz Lake, NV *surrender available!
  • Montego Bay – Wendover, NV
  • Peppermill Casino – Wendover, NV
  • Rainbow Casino – Wendover, NV
  • Red Garter Casino – Wendover, NV
  • Wendover Nugget – Wendover, NV
  • Fitzgeralds Casino – Tunica, MS
  • Gold Strike Casino – Tunica, MS
  • Harrah’s – Tunica, MS
  • Horseshoe Casino – Tunica, MS
  • Sam’s Town – Tunica, MS
  • Tunica Roadhouse – Tunica, MS

Double down only on 10 or 11:

  • Soboba Casino – San Jacinto, CA
  • Colusa Casino – Colusa, CA
  • Coyote Valley – Redwood Valley, CA *table games: Sun-Th 10AM-2AM, Fri-Sat 10AM-4AM
  • Cher-Ae Heights – Trinidad, CA *opens at noon
  • Binion’s Casino – Las Vegas, NV
  • Hooters Casino – Las Vegas, NV
  • Riviera Casino – Las Vegas, NV
  • Silverton Casino – Las Vegas, NV
  • Four Queens – Las Vegas, NV
  • Carson Nugget – Carson City, NV
  • Gold Dust West – Carson City, NV
  • Fandango Casino – Carson City, NV
  • Cactus Pete’s – Jackpot, NV *double 9-11
  • Colorado Belle – Laughlin, NV
  • Edgewater Casino – Laughlin, NV
  • Riverside Casino – Laughlin, NV
  • Atlantis Casino – Reno, NV
  • Bonanza Casino – Reno, NV
  • Cal-Neva – Reno, NV
  • Circus Circus – Reno, NV
  • Diamond’s – Reno, NV
  • Eldorado Casino – Reno, NV
  • Grand Sierra – Reno, NV
  • Harrah’s Casino – Reno, NV *only one table (high limit)
  • Peppermill – Reno, NV
  • Silver Legacy – Reno, NV
  • Sands Regency – Reno, NV
  • Harrah’s / Harvey’s – Tahoe, NV
  • Lakeside Inn – Tahoe, NV
  • Route 66 – Albuquerque, NM
  • Chinook Winds Casino – Lincoln, OR
  • Oneida Casino – Green Bay, WI
  • L’Auberge du Lac – Lake Charles, LA
  • Isle of Capri – Biloxi, MS
  • Ameristar Casino – Vicksburg, MS *casinos in Vicksburg stand on Soft 17
  • Rainbow Casino – Vicksburg, MS *casinos in Vicksburg stand on Soft 17
  • Riverwalk Casino – Vicksburg, MS *casinos in Vicksburg stand on Soft 17

If you’re playing single deck blackjack anywhere other than a place listed above, the odds probably aren’t that great. Every casino listed above offers the full 3:2 payment on blackjacks. You may have noticed there is no legitimate single deck blackjack on the Strip in Las Vegas (Hooters is close) or in Atlantic City. However, you can still find multi-deck games that have excellent odds if you know what to look for (S17, DAS, RSA, LS). The best single deck odds in the entire country are currently found at Barona in California and Topaz Lodge in Nevada because they both offer surrendering. Feel free to contact me if you have a question about a specific casino that you don’t see listed here.

Single Deck Basic Strategy

Playing optimal single deck blackjack requires a slightly different basic strategy than multi-deck blackjack or even double deck blackjack. The exact basic strategy you will want to use will depend on the specific rules of the table.

This single deck basic strategy chart assumes that the dealer will hit on Soft 17 and that the player cannot double after splitting and cannot surrender. These are the most common rules for single deck blackjack.

Single Deck Basic Strategy Chart

Single Deck Basic Strategy Chart

Single Deck Basic Strategy Chart

Blackjack Trainer
About the "Blackjack Instructor":

When I'm on a card counting trip, I'm hitting the tables hard. When I'm home with the family, I run BlackjackClassroom.com and go by the title "Blackjack Instructor". I hope you've enjoyed the site and come back soon. If you're interested in any of my training services, please don't hesitate to contact me to discuss your options.

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35 Responses to “Single Deck Blackjack”

  1. kingkong says:

    Great article and resource. 3:2 single deck blackjack is awesome!

  2. Kara says:

    Which of the casinos listed has the best player odds?

    • Blackjack Instructor says:

      Kara: Barona in San Diego easily has the best single deck blackjack odds. Next in line would be the casinos in Wendover, NV. If you want to let me know where you live, I would be happy to tell you where the best games are in your area.

  3. Luigi Fulk says:

    I just had to post to say how much I love your site, keep up the good work.

  4. E. Collins says:

    Is there no good single deck blackjack on the Strip in Las Vegas?

    ~ E.C.

  5. Clumsy Grandpa says:

    Good article. Is low odds of making 20 or 21 with a pair of sevens against dealers ten the main reason your chart says stand on the pair?

    • Blackjack Instructor says:

      E.Collins: All single deck blackjack on the Las Vegas Strip pays 6:5 on blackjack instead of 3:2. These are terrible games that you want to avoid at all costs. I’d rather play craps… and I don’t play craps!

      Clumsy: If you have 7,7 in a single deck game and the dealer has a 10 showing, your chances of drawing a third 7 to beat a dealer 20 is quite slim. The easy answer as to “why” you don’t hit… because basic strategy says so! Computer simulations have already worked out the tough mathematics behind the correct playing decisions in all situations. Most human minds can’t handle all the calculations, so we trust the computer results and stick to memorization.

  6. Mike S. says:

    Do you know the table betting limits of the single deck blackjack games in Wendover and Tunica? By the way, your Aria article is awesome. Will you be covering more casinos like this?

    • Blackjack Instructor says:

      Mike S: You will find that Wendover has some great single deck blackjack with very low table minimums. You will find plenty of tables with a $5 minimum and I believe you can find tables as low as $2 or $3 at Red Garter. Single deck blackjack in Tunica will carry a table minimum of either $10 or $25 depending on the casino.

      • Mark says:

        As of the middle part of 2012. Wendover, NV only allows double downs on 10 & 11.

        • Blackjack Instructor says:

          Mark: Yes, that was true for nearly a year. However, I received an update from one of my students this week saying that Wendover has now gone back to “double any 2 cards” (June 2013).

  7. Michelle says:

    I just had to post to say how much I love your site, keep up the good work.

  8. Bruce says:

    Is there no good single deck blackjack on the Strip in Las Vegas?

    ~ E.C.

  9. Bruce says:

    I just had to post to say how much I love your site, keep up the good work.

  10. Richard says:

    Recently when in Las Vegas I was told 5$ single deck blackjack is available at the Gold Coast. I didn’t have the opportunity to check it out, but can someone confirm whether it is a 3:2 or 6:5 game?

    • Blackjack Instructor says:

      Richard: Unfortunately it’s 6:5. If you want full payment on single deck blackjack in Vegas you’ll have to head downtown to El Cortez. You’ll get the full payment plus $5 minimums. Not exactly the greatest place to hang out though (no offense intended to those that hang out at EC).

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