With all the different games and rules in the game of Blackjack, I'm often asked how one can tell if a game is good for the player. There are many considerations but if one follows these 3, basic rules, you're most of the way there:
1. Always play a game with as few decks as possible (reason: fewer pairs.. substantial increase in player's odds)
2. Never play a game where certain valued cards are removed from the deck (eg: Spanish 21) or where all player blackjacks are not paid time-and-a-half (1.5 to 1) (reason: big edge to the house no matter what rules they change to make it seem better)
3. Never play against a machine that doesn't allow the players to cut the deck before dealing (reason: maximum clumps of like cards lower odds and intensify streaks).
Amen to your post. The casinos (especially the ones in Las Vegas) don't seem to be satisfied with the inherent advantage they have in the game of blackjack. So they are trying to get blackjack players to inferior games where they have an even larger advantage. Players should beware of this and refuse to play any game other than the traditional hand shuffled games of blackjack. Don't give your money away needlessly.
is the new, single-deck games that don't pay players 1.5 (eg: time-and-a-half) when they get a blackjack. These games jack the house's edge up by almost a full percent!! They're appearing all over Vegas now and they are real cash cows for the gaming companies.
Avoid these games FIRST AND FOREMOST!!!
NEVER play a game that doesn't pay your blackjacks off at a full 1.5 times your bet!