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Why Do People Obsess Over $5 Blackjack?

5 Dollar and Blackjack

Blackjack comes in many stakes. It’s most often available at $10 and $25 tables in brick-and-mortar casinos.

However, a small percentage of casinos also offer $5 blackjack. Many gamblers go crazy over these low-stakes tables.

Why is it that blackjack players are so obsessed with $5 stakes? I’ll provide some reasons on why below along with where you can find these tables.

$5 Is an Extremely Cheap Blackjack Bet Today

$5 blackjack used to be common until the later 2000s. Since then, it has become much rarer in land-based casinos.

The main reason why is because $5 isn’t worth much to casinos. Gaming establishments have a tough time paying their dealers and other operational costs on $5 blackjack wagers.

The same $5 bet that was popular in the 1990s isn’t worth quite as much today. When adjusted for inflation, a $5 wager today would only be worth $2.40 in 1990.

Most gamblers can afford many $5 bets, especially when considering blackjack’s low house edge. Low rollers appreciate being able to play one of the most popular casino games for so cheap.

Most Gaming Jurisdictions Don’t Offer $5 Blackjack

A $5 blackjack table is a rare sighting in most gambling jurisdictions. In fact, only a few jurisdictions offer these stakes on a consistent basis.

Las Vegas is definitely the premier spot for $5 tables. Many Sin City casinos provide these cheap stakes, most notably downtown and in North Las Vegas. Some Reno casinos also offer $5 tables.

Vegas and Question Mark

Outside of Nevada, though, you’ll be hard-pressed to find these low-limit games. This makes $5 blackjack all the more special when you can enjoy it.

$5 Blackjack Leads to Low Theoretical Losses

Real money blackjack is one of the highest-paying games in the casino. It can offer up to 99.5% RTP or higher with the right rules.

Nevertheless, blackjack is still a negative-expectation game. You’re probably going to lose some money by playing long enough.

With that said, you should consider your theoretical losses when choosing stakes. $5 blackjack allows you to enjoy this game with relatively few losses.

Here’s a look at what kind of theoretical losses you’d see at different stakes:

$5 Minimum Bet

  • Your table sees 85 hands an hour.
  • 85 x 5 = $425 wagered per hour
  • The house edge is 1%.
  • 425 x 0.01 = 4.25
  • You’ll theoretically lose $4.25 an hour.

$10 Minimum Bet

  • Your table sees 85 hands an hour.
  • 85 x 10 = $850 wagered per hour
  • The house edge is 1%.
  • 850 x 0.01 = 8.50
  • You’ll theoretically lose $8.50 an hour.

$25 Minimum Bet

  • Your table sees 85 hands an hour.
  • 85 x 25 = $2,125 wagered per hour
  • The house edge is 1%.
  • 2,125 x 0.01 = 21.25
  • You’ll theoretically lose $21.25 an hour.

A Great Way to Pass the Time With Gambling Friends

Not everybody who enters the casino is a serious gambler. Some players simply visit as a social outing with friends.

If you’re this type of gambler, then you’re probably not looking to bet high stakes. Instead, you want to risk less money and enjoy your gaming time longer.

$5 blackjack is an excellent way to extend your bankroll. You can last for hours on the table even with a relatively small amount of money.

Here’s the math on how long you can expect a $100 bankroll to last on $5 tables:

  • You play 80 hands an hour.
  • 80 x 5 = $400 wagered an hour.
  • The house edge is 0.7%.
  • 400 x 0.007 = 2.8
  • You’ll theoretically lose $2.80 per hour.
  • 100 / 2.8 = 35.71
  • Your bankroll will theoretically last for 35.71 hours.

You Can Still Win Decent Money

As mentioned before, casinos hold the advantage with blackjack. Nevertheless, you can sometimes get hot and win lots of money.

You can only win a lot, though, if you’re betting enough. $5 wagers won’t help you get rich during a hot night, but they do leave some room for big winnings.

And you could win several hundred dollars if the cards are going your way. You might even be able to win thousands when increasing stakes during a hot streak.

You’ll Get Comps

All land-based casinos comp blackjack players who are part of the loyalty program. You can look forward to free drinks and even more based on your betting volume.

However, you’ll need to sign up for the players club first. You can register for a casino’s loyalty program online or in person.

Blackjack Table and Cards

In either case, the goal is to get a players club card. You’ll then present this card at whatever blackjack table you choose.

Your card will eventually make it to the pit boss, who’ll then rate your play. Once the session is over, the pit boss will calculate what kind of comps you’re in line for.

$5 blackjack isn’t going to deliver the penthouse suite. It can, however, get you a free meal under the right circumstances.

Where to Find $5 Blackjack

Unfortunately, $5 tables are becoming less and less common. But luckily, you can still find this game in certain jurisdictions and online. Here’s a closer look at where to begin the search for $5 games.

Las Vegas

Vegas is home to the most casino games and largest range of stakes. Not surprisingly, it boasts more $5 blackjack tables than any other place in the world.

Sin City even offers tables that accept $1, $2, and $3 minimum bets. These extremely low wagers almost make $5 tables seem normal.

As a general rule, you should head off the Vegas Strip to find the cheapest games. The Boulder Highway, downtown, and North Las Vegas are the best spots for low-stakes play.

You can also use this blackjack survey as a reference to find the exact casinos with $5 stakes or less. This guide even shows the rules and house edges at different casinos.

Reno

Reno is a popular gaming destination for those who want to enjoy outdoor activities too, like hiking and skiing. It’s also perfect if you want to play low-limit blackjack.

Several Reno casinos feature $5 tables. They also offer pretty favorable rules when considering how low the stakes are.

Reno Nevada

Reno casinos are known for offering generous rewards programs, too. With that said, you can look forward to plenty of comps while playing here.

Online Casinos

As a low roller, nothing beats playing online blackjack. Every mobile casino that offers blackjack allows you to play for just $1 per hand. A small number of gaming sites even feature $0.10 stakes!

Unlike with land-based blackjack, $1 stakes aren’t just confined to a few rare Vegas casinos. Instead, they’re prevalent across the board.

You also don’t have to worry about facing a high house edge when playing this game. Most blackjack tables feature somewhere around a 0.5% house advantage or less. Some of these games can even feature less than a 0.2% house edge.

Live Dealer Casinos

You don’t necessarily need to sacrifice the live blackjack atmosphere just to play for low stakes. Live dealer casinos combine the best of both worlds.

Live dealer blackjack takes place in a land-based studio. The action is streamed so that you can enjoy it through your smartphone, tablet, or computer.

Additionally, you don’t have to bet much when playing these games. Live dealer blackjack only requires between a $1 and $5 minimum bet.

With that said, you can sit at home, play for low stakes, and feel like the brick and mortar casino atmosphere is right in front of you.

Conclusion

$5 blackjack may not be the most common casino game. However, it’s definitely popular wherever it’s available.

Gamblers love when they can enjoy such cheap blackjack and extend their bankrolls. They also feel like it’s a treat to find these less-common games.

$5 tables offer comps just like any other stakes too. Therefore, you can play your way towards a delicious meal or some other comp.

Las Vegas is the best place to find land-based $5 blackjack. Reno is also a good spot for locating these stakes.

If you don’t live anywhere near Nevada and aren’t visiting any time soon, you can look towards online blackjack. Both traditional mobile blackjack and the live dealer version feature $5 stakes or less.