3:2 vs 6:5 Blackjack: Which One is Better? | LeoVegas

3:2 vs 6:5 Blackjack: Which One is Better?

Blackjack, as we know it, is a well-loved game enjoyed with a standard card deck comprising 52 cards, where each card is assigned a value corresponding to its face value. The game's principle objective is to draw cards either adding up to a total of 21 or as close to that number as possible without exceeding it. The dealer will then attempt to beat your score without exceeding 21.

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Observant blackjack players would have picked up on the gradual shift from traditional 3:2 payouts to 6:5 returns in recent years. A 3:2 is the standard payout, while 6:5 offers a lower payout, benefitting the casino by giving them a larger profit margin. Read on to learn more about the main differences between these two payout structures and how they can impact your blackjack experience.


The Basics of Blackjack Payouts

Blackjack is a game that involves players betting one unit per hand. In this game, the payout of a winning hand depends on the type of bet placed. If a player wins with a regular hand (or a non-blackjack hand), they receive a payout of 1:1, meaning the player will receive the same amount as their original bet.

That said, if the player wins with a blackjack, a hand that consists of an Ace and a ten-point card, they will receive a higher payout of 3:2 (1.5x their bet). This means if you place a bet of $10 and are dealt a blackjack hand, you will receive $15 in winnings.

The 3:2 Payout

As mentioned, the 3:2 payout is awarded when a player wins with a natural blackjack, a hand that consists of an Ace and a 10-point card. There are several advantages for players with this payout structure. Firstly, it offers a higher payout compared to other ratios, such as 1:1 or 6:5. This means that players will win more money with this payout ratio when they hit blackjack.

Apart from that, the 3:2 payout ratio can help to offset losses from other hands. For instance, if a player ends up losing several hands in a row but then hits blackjack, the 3:2 payout can help recoup some of those losses. Overall, the 3:2 payout structure is the preferred choice among players based on its higher payout potential and ability to offset potential losses.

The 6:5 Payout

The 6:5 payout is a relatively newer structure many modern casinos have adopted over the years. A 6:5 ratio means the player will receive $6 for every $5 bet. This payout structure emerged as a way for casinos to amp up their profits when offering blackjack games. In fact, most casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have switched to the 6:5 payout structure. This is due to the fact that the payout ratio of 6:5 gives the casino a larger profit margin in comparison to the 3:2 payout ratio. This payout ratio also allows casinos to provide lower minimum bets while still earning a profit.

Despite its rise in popularity, experts and seasoned players have criticized this system. One of the main concerns is that since this payout ratio increases the house edge, it significantly decreases the player’s potential payout, making it difficult for them to win big. Although the difference between a 6:5 and 3:2 payout may appear small to the casual blackjack gambler, it substantially affects the player’s outcome. Moreover, some feel that this ratio can cause confusion among less experienced players.

Key Differences Between 3:2 and 6:5 Payouts

The primary difference between 3:2 and 6:5 payouts is how much a player wins for a natural blackjack. In a 3:2 payout, a natural blackjack pays $3 for every $2 a player bets. On the other hand, a 6:5 payout structure involves players receiving $6 for every $5 they bet.

The difference here significantly impacts a player’s overall winnings. For instance, if a player bets $15 and gets a natural blackjack, they will receive $20 in a 3:2 payout ratio but only $18 in a 6:5 structure. This can result in lower winnings for players over time.

The impact on player strategy is also crucial to consider. Players may be more predisposed to take risks and make aggressive plays to maximize their potential winnings in 3:2 blackjack. On the flip side, in a 6:5 structure, players might adopt a more conservative approach and make more cautious plays since the potential payout for a natural blackjack is not as high.

House Edge Analysis

In a blackjack game using the 3:2 structure, if a player uses perfect basic strategy, the house edge is approximately 0.5%. This means that for each bet worth $100, the casino can expect to keep around $0.50 as profit.

On the other hand, in a 6:5 blackjack game, the house edge is considerably higher at approximately 2%. Here, for every $100 bet, the casino can keep around $2 as profit. As a result, players contribute more money to the casino’s earnings via 6:5 blackjack.

Strategies for 3:2 vs 6:5

When it comes to playing blackjack, the game’s payout ratio can considerably impact strategy, which can be switched based on whether the player is playing 3:2 or 6:5 blackjack.

While basic strategy is always recommended in the game, players may need to adjust their approach based on the payout ratio.

In this case, for 3:2 blackjack, it works best to use basic strategy, avoid taking insurance, and split and double down whenever it seems appropriate.

For 6:5 blackjack, it is recommended to avoid side bets like Perfect Pairs or 21+3, and of course, make adjustments to the basic strategy, such as hitting rather than doubling down in specific situations. That said, experienced players recommend avoiding 6:5 blackjack altogether due to the higher edge.

Overall, the best way to play blackjack is to understand the game’s basic rules beforehand and manage your bankroll wisely. It is also crucial to note that not all casinos and tables offer the same payouts for blackjack; hence, looking at the rules and payouts at the casino you are playing at is always a good idea.


This subtle difference in payouts can be confusing but hopefully, these FAQs below will answer any questions you might have.

What is 3 to 2 in blackjack?

3 to 2 is the payout ratio for a natural blackjack in blackjack games. It means the player will receive $3 for every $2 they bet on a natural blackjack.

What is the house edge in 6:5 blackjack?

The house edge for 6:5 blackjack is approximately 2%.

When did 6:5 blackjack start?

6:5 blackjack has been around since 1999 but became more prevalent in the early 2000s.

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