The 6 to 5 Ratio

Questions & Answers

      Date: January 23, 2019     Written By: Heather Ferris


      Q: “What does 6 to 5 mean? Is it bad?” ~ Player

      Q: “Any tips or techniques for how to pay a 6 to 5 blackjack?” ~ Dealer

      A: I’ll go over the player’s question first and then I’ll explain how to pay a 6 to 5 for the dealers out there. When a player gets a blackjack, they’re immediately paid even money plus a bonus. That bonus is also known as 3 to 2 and this term typically describes the odds the player’s paid when getting a blackjack. Normally the bonus is half of whatever the player’s original wager was or if you take the entire wager and multiply it by one and a half times then you can compute a blackjack payoff. 6 to 5 is pretty much the same thing. It describes the odds the player receives when the get a blackjack. So if they’re pretty much the same thing, then what’s the big deal? Well, 6 to 5 pays less than 3 to 2 for exactly the same thing and this is the reason why 6 to 5 is considered bad. For example, if you have a $25 wager and you get a blackjack, then on a 3 to 2 table you would get paid $37.50, however on a 6 to 5 table you would only get paid $30 for exactly the same thing. You would lose $7.50 because you were sitting on a 6 to 5 table versus a 3 to 2 table.

      That’s why people will tell you to never sit on a 6 to 5 table; only sit on a 3 to 2 table. Unfortunately, it’s true that you’ll be seeing more 6 to 5 tables on the Strip because you know, corporations are obsessed with greed and they feel that they can make more money off of ill informed players. This 6 to 5 phenomenon isn’t just on a single and double deck, it’s starting to infiltrate the shoe games as well. You’ll be able to tell what type of table it is due to the markings on the table or the signs next to the table min. max. sign. If you don’t see the odds anywhere then you can always ask your dealer if blackjacks pay 3 to 2 or 6 to 5 before sitting down at a table. The only way players can tell casinos that 6 to 5 isn’t okay is if players never play on those games. If the game isn’t making any money than the casino will eventually take it out.

      Now for the dealer’s portion of this answer. A 6 to 5 payout is easier than you think. Instead of focusing on the dollar amount and the odds, which can confuse anyone, focus on the units and how much they pay. In order to do this you’ll need to memorize the payouts for the four most commonly used units. If the player has a $5 blackjack, then pay him even money plus $1. Every $5 gets paid an extra $1 or in other words a $5 blackjack gets paid $6. A $25 chip will get paid even money plus $5, also known as $30 and a $100 chip will get paid even money plus $20 or a total of $120. $1 chips are easier since breakage applies. Since the casino can’t pay 6 to 5 on a $1, all $1 are paid even money only. If you pay to the units instead of the dollar amount, you’ll have a lot easier time figuring out the payoffs. For example, if the player has a $45 blackjack that pays 6 to 5, what do you do? Take a deep breath and remember to pay in units. So first we’ll pay the bet even money. Second, we’ll break down this bet and pay the units the bonus amount. So we know that a $25 chip pays $5 and we know four $5 chips will pay $4 so we add an additional $9 to the payout and we just successfully paid a blackjack bet 6 to 5 with very little effort. We’ll go over more practice hands at the end of the video. Stay tuned if you want to test your skills.