6:5 Blackjack IS a Big Deal at New England Casinos

This past week, I was saddened to hear Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods are taking the plunge into lowering BlackJack pay-tables from 3:2 to 6:5 for a blackjack. With increased competition in table games from Twin Rivers & Tiverton Casinos, MGM Springfield and the upcoming Encore Boston Harbor, I thought keeping all of their blackjack tables with a 3:2 payout would be wise – setting them apart for recreational blackjack players and AP’s (Advantage Players) alike.  I guess that assumption was wrong. I guess they believe that lowering the bar to all the other casinos will save them money and the gaming public is too stupid to think it matters. Maybe their right.

Other important considerations in blackjack such as penetration, the number of decks in the shoe, and dealer rules will be in future posts. If you are new to the intricacies of blackjack rules, try our related posts below:

Blackjack – Which Casino Format is Best For You?

12 Tips For Blackjack Beginners

Introduction

Competition among casinos has always been thought to be good for the consumer.  According to the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), “Competition in America is about price, selection, and service. It benefits consumers by keeping prices low and the quality and choice of goods and services high.”

Translated to casino terms, competition should:

  1. keep prices low  – such as dining, hotel expenses, show prices, amenities, parking
  2. keep the quality and choice of goods and services high – good gambling rules, great casino service on casino floor, good hotel service and rooms that are well kept and enjoyable to stay, dining and drink quality high

But what if EVERYBODY raises prices and cuts back on the quality of the casino experience?  Then, there IS NO competition – just a joint greed to rake their patrons over the coals – nickel and diming them much like the airlines have done over the years.

Sure, there are cost of living and inflation changes that come along that are expected. Casinos do compete with little pockets of offers such as rewards clubs tier matching, kiosk swipes and promotions to get you through their casino door. But compared to the negatives – paid parking, resort fees, raising the house edge on gaming rules and payout tables – competition doesn’t seem to be a friend of the gambling consumer.

Black Jack Changes

Which brings me to today’s post – good gaming rules continue to be compromised. It seems casino bean-counters don’t believe the mantra from the gambling masses – “Give us good rules and we will gamble.” So, to my dismay, when I started to hear the erosion of blackjack rules locally, I just couldn’t understand it….. but alas, it’s true.

Foxwoods recently added more tables in their Fox Casino, only to offer $10 black jack exclusively with 6:5 BJ payout, to accompany another terrible payout with it’s $1 6:5 BJ, with $.25 commission per hand. Cedars and Grand Pequot casino offers both. $25 is the cutoff to get 3:2 Blackjack. The Stadium Blackjack is 6:5 also. Rumors of even money coming to electronic blackjack has already showed its ugly face in New England on many video poker machines.

Mohegan Sun raised the minimum limit tables to $10 some time ago – no $5 BJ tables anymore. Much like Foxwoods, they have taken out slots to add more table games and especially blackjack tables with 6:5 payout.

MGM Springfield opened with the same 6:5 Blackjack tables at lower denominations of $10 & $15, with the $25 tables offering 3:2. On the Vegas Strip, MGM is one of many casinos that have put good table games rules on the endangered species list, along with casino “fun books,” free parking and keno.

6:5 Black Jack and House Edge

You get a BlackJack around 1 in 21 hands. So does the dealer. So around 5% of the time, you will be paid $3 less on a $10 bet. So around 15 cents per hand, or 1.5%. Under the proposed changes to 6:5 payouts, the House Edge will be 2.019% vs. the current 0.35% – a pretty big jump in edge from 3:2 to 6:5.

1.5%-2% is still pretty decent odds for a table game, considering the house edge in roulette and carnival games the likes of Caribbean Stud & Let It Ride. For a non-counting average player it’s probably not noticeable. But it certainly screws over Advantage Player’s, especially with other poor rules as mid penetration, no surrender, and dealer hitting on soft 17. Obviously these differences get magnified over the long term, as serious bettors make thousands of wagers over time.

Is this what casinos are counting on to weed out the counters, and keep the recreational gambler and newbie.?  The thing that casinos don’t get is that they will not make more money! The same amount of people will lose the same amount of money, just faster. And AP’s won’t bother with anything below $25 games anyway.

Here’s an very simplistic example. Newbie Norm knows basic strategy and plays for recreation. His usual bankroll is $200 which usually lasts 3 hours.  With the simple change to 6:5 games, his bankroll now only lasts 2.5 hours. Eventually, he finds his money doesn’t last as long and stops visiting all together. How can changing to 6:5 at lower denominations make a difference at the $5, $10, and $15 level?

No Judgement here – play what you want But Vote with Your Wallet

If you want to maximize your odds of having a good turn at the blackjack table, be on the lookout for 3:2 tables.  Spread the word to friends and family, educate them on the difference.  Let them know they have a voice and a vote with every dollar they wager. Let casino staff and dealers know why you play less at that particular casino. Better yet, switch your loyalty to a casino that has preferable rules to you . It’s your choice – no judgement here. Just be an informed consumer before you decide to spend your money wherever you want. You might be surprised how much longer your session will last and how much more fun playing blackjack can be as a recreational gambler.

Binbin

 

New England Sports Betting Arrives – Rhode Island Twin River First in NE

Better late than never!

As the smallest state in the country, Rhode Island became the eighth state to have sports betting yesterday, and NETG paid a visit to Twin River Casino & Hotel you get a first hand look.

If you would like to read about the Twin River Hotel review by our RI correspondent Miguel, go to

Twin River Casino’s New Hotel – NETG In-depth Review

Like horses at the starting gate, a huge line had formed and excitement built until at 3:00pm EST when Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello, Senate President Dominic Ruggerio and John Taylor, executive chairman of Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc., placed the first bets, marking the opening of the Twin River Casino sports wagering.

Now, if you’re thinking Vegas sports books the likes of Caesars or Westgate, think again. It’s more like Golden Gate downtown.

Tiverton, TRMG’s other RI casino is projected to go live with a sports book sometime next month. The Tiverton Casino sports book / pari-mutuel betting is very small.

The racebook at Tiverton has 10 seats.

So they could started ASAP and get ahead of other New England casinos, TR’s setup is temporary, called “Phase 1″ and is found in the third floor in the simulcast wagering area. Staff told NETG that this “Phase 1” area will be kept even after the main sports book is completed.

Wagering is still on the casino property, with online bets slated for the future. The next phase will be completion of the real sports book area overlooking the grassy remains of the greyhound track.

According to Jeff Moony, Staff Writer at the Providence Journal, “Rhode Island will be poised to go online whenever lawmakers are ready. IGT and William Hill power Rhode Island sports wagering. IGT is behind the computer technology, while William Hill is setting the lines.”

A Few Points

  • The State of Rhode Island takes 51% of the sports betting revenue at the start
  • 32% goes to IGT as vendor operations
  • Only 17% of the revenue generated by sports betting goes to Twin River.
  • A Sports Betting Lounge at TR is expected to open in December with dozens of television screens
  • Bets are now allowed on pro sports and college games, but Rhode Island colleges are not available for wagering.
  • Only pre-game betting is available.  In-game betting will be only be ready when the mobile on-line wagering is in place, and that could be for quite a while.
  • Connecticut has approved sports betting, but won’t start implementation until the next legislative session
  • Massachusetts will consider sports betting next year. Data collection by the legislature and Massachusetts Gaming Commission may cause long delay.

Lines continued to form.Here at 8:00pm.

On your mark, get set, ………BET!

Binbin

Rhode Island Casinos “By The Numbers”

 

Rhode Island has two  state-licensed casinos: the Tiverton Casino Hotel, which opened Sep 1, 2018 in Tiverton, and the Twin River Casino in Lincoln. Both are owned and managed by the Twin River Management Group, Inc. The former Newport Grand Slots in Newport, RI was closed Aug 28, 2018 and its slots license was transferred to the Tiverton Casino.

Originally built for greyhound racing, Twin River Casino is now a full casino.

Greyhound racing in Rhode Island began in 1977, when Lincoln Downs, a thoroughbred track, was transformed it into a greyhound track and renamed it Lincoln Greyhound Park. In 1992, Rhode Island approved VLT gaming machines (classII) at Lincoln Greyhound Park (now known as Twin River Casino & Hotel) & Newport Jai Alai (now the closed Newport Grand.)  After a bribery conviction in 2005, was renovated, enlarged the and renamed Twin River. Track owners were required by law to offer 125 days of live greyhound racing a year. Revenues from racing plummeted and in 2009 TR added 4,751 video lottery terminals, bars, restaurants, a comedy club, and an auditorium

Twin River as Lincoln Park before Major Expansion

Twin River as Lincoln Park before Major Expansion

Twin River Casino

Twin River Casino & Hotel

 

Tiverton Casino & Hotel

Twin River Casino & Hotel Tiverton Casino & Hotel
Hotel TR Hotel Tiv Hotel
Location Lincoln, RI Tiverton, RI
# of Hotels 1 1
Hotel Rooms 136 rooms & suites 84 rooms
Hotel Amenities indoor pool, fitness center, spa gym / fitness center
Gambling TR Gambling Tiv Gambling
Legal Gambling Age 18 18
Casino Size 162,000 sq. feet 33,600 sq-ft
Smoke-Free Gaming? ENTIRE 2nd Floor is NONSMOKING Designated on Casino Floor
Total # of Slots & VP 4500 including Video Poker, Video Blackjack, Video Roulette 1000 slots & Video poker
Comped Alcoholic Drinks? No No
Table Games 80 – includes Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat, Three Card Poker, Craps, Spanish 21, Let It Ride, Pai Gow Poker and Big Six ‘Money’ Wheel Blackjack, Baccarat, Craps, Let It Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Roulette, Spanish 21, Three Card Poker, 18 stadium seats
Poker Room 16 tables no
Racebook Simulcast Wagering, GH, HR, JA Simulcast Wagering, GH, HR, JA
Rewards Club TWIN RIVER CASINO REWARDS 3 Tiers Tiverton CASINO REWARDS 3 Tiers, affiliated with Twin River Casino
VIP Lounges 1 1
Dining TR Dining Tiv Dining
Food Options 1 Fine Dining, 2 Casual Restaurants, 3 Food Courts w/ 12 options 2 Fine dining, 4 Casual
Buffet? No No
Bars 5 1 + iPourIt wall
Entertainment TR Entertainment Tiv Entertainment
Venues 1 large Venue, 2 small venues 1 small venue
Convention/ Meeting Space 29,000 sq.ft. Event Center none
Other Entertainment Options none none
Retail none none
Owner Twin River Worldwide Holdings Twin River Worldwide Holdings
PARKING Free Free
Hours of 24/7 24/7
Operation