Pennsylvania Considering Blackjack Rules

Journalist Mark Gruetze of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review is urging Pennsylvania blackjack players to speak out in favor of the current blackjack rules. For the next 30 days, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board will listen to comments on a proposal to make several current blackjack rules permanent. Gruetze is right. Players need to speak up for the good rules.

Pennsylvania has some of the best blackjack rules in the business, including having the dealer stand on soft 17 and, most importantly, all natural blackjacks paying 3-to-2. While that used to be the case for every blackjack table, casinos in many states have asked for the option of expanding and offering further options. In some states, the casinos have been allowed to carry some tables that pay 6-to-5 for a blackjack. As time goes on, more and more of the tables start to carry the worse rules. That is why it’s important to make the regular payout permanent.

Usually the 6-to-5 blackjack games use fewer decks, but they still have worse odds than the regular game. What’s worse is that some offer the low payout for the standard number of decks. If those are your only options in the casino, players will get ripped off.

One of the great things about the game of blackjack is that, with standard rules and using blackjack strategy, players can reduce the house edge to a minimal 0.5%. That means the casino, on average, would only take $1 out of every $200 the player bets. Allowing the casinos to adopt more house-friendly rules turns that on its head and does away with the advantage of playing blackjack rather than other casino games.

Right now, the state Gaming Control Board has a choice to make the current rules, which are friendly to the players, permanent rules. They should do so. To help that become the case, players in Pennsylvania and players who sometimes visit the state’s casinos should notify the board that they support making the rules permanent and oppose and chance for 6-to-5 payouts.

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