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Last Updated: August 1, 2011

San Diego Blackjack Survey


Aug. '11 Update: The Barona single-deck game was removed around June 2011. However, I have not had a chance to revisit my survey, so I leave it as a point in time reference for December 2009.

The following is my survey of blackjack rules of San Diego County. In an effort to save time, only true blackjack games are included in this listing. Novelty versions of blackjack such as 6 to 5, Super Fun 21, Blackjack Switch, and Spanish 21 are not listed. Except as noted, the house edge figures in this table assume the use of a cut card and total-dependent basic strategy. Both these assumptions work against the player, thus my figures may be higher than those with the same rules from other sources, which assume optimal conditions. I am happy to accept updates and corrections.

Following is an explanation of some of the non-obvious columns in the tables.

  • Dealer Action on Soft 17: S if dealer stands on soft 17, H if dealer hits soft 17.
  • Double After Split: Y if double after split allowed, otherwise N.
  • Late Surrender: Y if player may surrender after dealer checks for blackjack, N if no surrender at all.
  • Resplit Aces: Y if player may split aces more than once, N if split aces get one card each.
  • Other Rules or Comments: Other pertinent rules or remarks.
  • House Edge: Ratio of expected player loss to initial bet.

San Diego County Blackjack Survey

Casino Decks Dealer Action
on Soft 17
Double
After
Split
Late
Surrender
Resplit
Aces
Other rules
or Comments
Date
Last
Surveyed
House
Edge
Barona 1 H Y Y N A 11/26/09 0.01%
Barona 1 H Y Y N B 11/26/09 0.12%
Barona 2 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.34%
Barona 4 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.45%
Barona 6 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.48%
Golden Acorn 2 H Y N N 11/25/09 0.45%
Golden Acorn 6 S Y N N 11/25/09 0.43%
Harrah'sD 2 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.34%
Harrah's 5 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.47%
Harrah's 6 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.48%
Harrah's 8 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.50%
Pala 2 H Y N N 11/26/09 0.45%
Pala 4 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.45%
Pala 6 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.48%
Pauma 2 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.33%
Pauma 6 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.48%
Pechanga 2 H Y N N 11/26/09 0.45%
Pechanga 4 H Y N N 11/26/09 0.6%
Pechanga 6 H Y N N 11/26/09 0.64%
Santa Ysabel 2 H Y N N 11/26/09 0.45%
Santa Ysabel 6 H Y N Y 11/26/09 0.57%
Sycuan 2 H Y Y N 11/25/09 0.39%
Sycuan 6 H Y Y N 11/25/09 0.55%
Sycuan 8 H Y Y N 11/25/09 0.57%
Valley View 2 H Y N N C 11/26/09 0.50%
Valley View 6 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.48%
Valley View 8 H Y Y Y 11/26/09 0.50%
Viejas 2 H Y N N 11/25/09 0.45%
Viejas 6 H Y N N 11/25/09 0.64%
Viejas 8 H Y N N 11/25/09 0.66%

Notes

  • A. This row applies to the single-deck game with 3 to 5 players, where the dealer deals two rounds exactly. As I explain in my blackjack appendix 10, a fixed number of hands per round lowers the house edge by 0.113%.
  • B. This row applies to the single-deck game with 1 or 2 players, where the dealer deals down to about 18 cards.
  • C. Player may only split ANY pair once. This increases the house edge by 0.04485%.
  • D. I received an unconfirmed report in December 2009 that Harrah's allowed surrender in the $25 double-deck game.

So, Barona wins the award for the best blackjack in San Diego County, with their single-deck game, having a house edge of 0.01% or 0.12%, depending on the number or players. It should be noted that this single-deck game is only found in the high limit room, at a $100 minimum. When I played there on a Friday night, both five-spot tables were usually full or near full. Barona also offers the most liberal low-limit blackjack, with a double-deck game at a house edge of 0.33%.

Other Games Surveyed in San Diego

Disclaimer

This survey, as well as craps and roulette, was financially supported by the Barona casino.