The majority of people who visit Las Vegas aren’t high rollers. For reference, I read somewhere that the average sports wager in Las Vegas is around $20. Gambling on the main casino floor is no different.
Most people at the blackjack tables on the main casino floors are wagering a few red chips ($5 units) each hand. Medium and high rollers will play green ($25) and black ($100) chips. Bigger bettors tend to play blackjack in the privacy of high-limit rooms.
Machine players are similar to sports bettors and table game players. Video poker players usually play at the quarter denomination while the majority of slot machine players may play the penny games. While a max bet is usually recommended for the best returns, many players don’t bother. The best bets aren't always the most fun bets.
Since moving to Las Vegas, I’ve become more of a low to medium roller. Nowadays, I tend to keep my wagers on the low side since I visit casinos so often. My gambling budget remains similar to what it used to be but it’s now spread out between more visits so the units are usually a little lower.
Being a sharper gambler
I always try to be a sharper gambler in sportsbooks and in the casino. Research is important for both parts of my gambling life. Finding the best bet isn’t always easy and sometimes isn't the most fun. My friends who don't gamble regularly hate how I bet (basic strategy at the tables, under in games)
The casino floors are flooded with different gambling options and it can be confusing — especially for blackjack players. A single casino might have five types of blackjack games.
One table could have a 0.5% house edge. The next table could have a 3% house edge for a game with the same minimum bet. Obviously, playing the game with the smaller edge for the casino is the best bet.
I probably spend as much time looking for the best lower-limits games. Unfortunately, over the years this research takes less time. The most popular casinos on the Vegas Strip have been removing some of the best affordable blackjack games and replacing them with options that are less than optimal.
This problem grew last year when Las Vegas casinos had limited positions available. In order to keep revenue somewhat close to normal the more popular and busy casinos increased limits from $15 to $25. Not all casinos have gone back to lower limits now that all seats are open.
Cheap blackjack in Vegas
When I do Las Vegas casino game research, I focus on this low-to-middle level of gambling. Specifically, I focus on blackjack which is the most popular table game to play in Las Vegas. There are more blackjack tables in Las Vegas casinos than any other game.
I most often look at the best blackjack for low rollers on the Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas. I focus on these two parts of Las Vegas since this is where most visitors spend their time.
Casino gambling odds and rules tend to be kinder to the high rollers than the low rollers. If there’s a bad rule to be found, you can expect to see it start at the lowest limit tables. It’s because of this that it’s important to do some research about games before hitting the casino so you know which games to look for.
Much like general admission seating at sportsbooks, you’ll find plenty of good blackjack games when you leave the touristy parts of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, most of the good low rolling blackjack has left the most popular casinos on the Vegas Strip.
The house edge refers to the casino's advantage over the player. The information below is based on the type of blackjack being dealt and assuming that the player is playing with a perfect basic blackjack strategy. Any wrong plays will increase the house edge for the casino. Finding the best house edge at an affordable limit is the best way to have fun on the casino floor.
Best low rollin’ blackjack on the Vegas strip
Here's a list of casinos that offer friendly limits and rules for blackjack players. The house edge for all of these blackjack games is under 1%. All casinos listed have blackjack games with a minimum bet of $15 or less (depending on the day and time). Nights and weekends usually have a higher $15 minimum bet. Depending on the casino the house edge will be between 0.28% and 0.63%.
- The Strat
- Treasure Island (this casino has the best blackjack games on the Vegas Stip under $25)
Best low rollin’ blackjack in downtown Las Vegas
Downtown Las Vegas has plenty of good gaming rules. Almost every casino in the area offers 3:2 blackjack games. Many offer good or fair rules and odds for craps and roulette, too.
Downtown Las Vegas is also home to the single best blackjack game in Las Vegas. Once again, the El Cortez takes this honor. Keep the bets here low and have fun. The casino will remove anyone that remotely resembles an advantage player.
The minimum bet for these blackjack games is between $5 and $15. Expect $15 minimum bets during prime time. Depending on the casino the house edge will be between 0.32% and 0.63%.
- Circa (all blackjack inside the casino pay 3:2)
- Downtown Grand
- El Cortez
- Golden Gate
- The D
Vegas Advantage is a great resource if you're looking for up-to-date changes in table game rules and odds.