Give Me a 10 Dealer! – Ranking the Best Blackjack Games at Atlantic City’s 10 Casinos by House Edge

Two Atlantic City Casinos With the Atlantic City Logo

I’m a Las Vegas local, born and bred, but even I have to admit that I was blown away the first time I played blackjack in Atlantic City. As it turns out, Sin City might outdo Monopoly Land in terms of entertainment and cuisine, but the East Coast has the desert beat when it comes to blackjack.

First of all, you know those watered-down 6:5 payouts on a dealt blackjack which now plague The Strip? Well, those don’t exist in Atlantic City, only the original 3:2 games which made blackjack such a great gamble in the first place.

Atlantic City is also home to a wide array of affordable tables where the dealer must stand on soft 17. With this player-friendly rule in effect, the house edge drops by 0.22 percent, giving blackjack aficionados a leg up when they visit the Boardwalk. Below you’ll find the best stand-on 17 games running at each of Atlantic City’s 10 casinos, along with a breakdown of their entire blackjack menu.

1 – Bally’s

To begin, Bally’s Atlantic City spreads several $10 minimum bet tables which use an eight-deck shoe and have the dealer hit on soft 17.

Those aren’t very favorable conditions, but thankfully, Bally’s blackjack allows players to take advantage of very liberal rules.

You can double down on any two cards, and doubling after a split is also permitted. Additionally, players can exercise the late surrender option when the dealer is strong. Finally, after splitting a pair of Aces, re-splitting is allowed should subsequent Aces arrive.

Under that generous format, even the $10 entry-level games at Bally’s afford basic strategy players a cozy house edge of 0.50 percent.

But what makes Bally’s the best blackjack room in all of Atlantic City is its signature high-limit game. Here, the minimum wager climbs to $50, but in exchange, players get a six-deck shoe. And because the shoe doesn’t use a continuous shuffler, but rather an old school cut card, a decisive 0.02 percent sliver of house edge is further sliced off.

Even better, the dealer stands on soft 17 when you play the $50 tables, while all of the player-friendly rules described earlier remain in place.

Add it all up, and the $50 six-deck 3:2 game at Bally’s serves up a juicy house edge of just 0.26 percent.

To put that into perspective, the Venetian is the only venue on The Strip or in Downtown Vegas where the same 0.26 percent rate can be played for $50. Everywhere else, it’ll cost $100 per hand to enjoy such a microscopic house edge.

2 – Ocean Casino Resort

Over at the Ocean Casino Resort, the introductory games begin at $15 and they follow Bally’s lead.

That is to say, you’ll have the most liberal rules in effect – double after split, re-split Aces, and late surrender – while the dealer hits on soft 17. As such, Ocean Casino Resort’s basic blackjack tables offer a house edge of 0.50 percent to basic strategy players.

Ocean Casino Resort AC

For just $10 more though, you can bump it up to the second-best game in Atlantic City – the $25 six-deck, stand on soft 17 at Ocean Casino Resort. Combined with liberal rules, but a continuous shuffler instead of a cut card, the house edge here ticks up ever so slightly to 0.28 percent.

One might argue that the 0.02 percent difference between Bally’s and Ocean Casino Resort is compensated for by the latter’s half-off discount from $50 to $25. And indeed, if you’re looking for nearly the best odds, while saving a green chip on every bet, this is the place for you.

3 – Hard Rock

The situation at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is a little more house-friendly than the first two entries.

At the Hard Rock, the low-level games start with a $15 minimum and an eight-deck shoe. The dealer hits on soft 17, while players can’t double after splitting, re-split Aces, or surrender at any point.

With these stingy rules in place, the Hard Rock’s $15 tables incur a hefty house edge of 0.66 percent.

At the $25 limit, you’ll find the same eight-deck game with stingy rules, but the dealer stands on soft 17 instead. With that one subtle, yet pivotal, switch in the gameplay, the house edge on $25 blackjack at the Hard Rock drops to 0.45 percent.

As for the Hard Rock’s most attractive tables, look for the High-Limit salon and its $100 six-deck, stand-on soft 17 games. Here, you can surrender late, but doubling after a split and re-splitting Aces are still verboten.

Even so, the house edge on the $100 tables falls even further to 0.35 – good for the bronze medal on my list.

4 – Golden Nugget

Missing the podium by just a single percentage point is the Golden Nugget Atlantic City.

To kick things off, you’ll find a $15 minimum eight-deck game where the dealer hits on soft 17. With re-splitting Aces allowed though, the house edge is reasonable at 0.59 percent.

Golden Nugget Atlantic City Logo and Casino Images

You can also play eight-deck, dealer stands on 17, players can re-split Aces for $25, and these tables run with a 0.38 percent house edge.

The best game at the Golden Nugget starts with a $50 limit and uses a six-deck shoe. With the dealer standing on 17 and re-splitting Aces a go, the house edge here is 0.36 percent.

5 – Resorts

The blackjack selection at Resorts Casino Hotel opens at $15, with an eight-deck shoe and dealer’s hitting on soft 17. Because players can re-split on Aces, the house edge isn’t all that awful at 0.60 percent.

Interestingly enough, Resorts opts to let players choose between dealer stand soft 17 / dealer hit soft 17 tables, even when conditions are identical otherwise.

That means you can play that bad 0.60 percent game for $15 a hand, or take the same $15 and bet on a table where the dealer must stand on 17.

Don’t be a sucker… choose the second option. There, the house edge plummets to 0.38 percent, making it the best available option at Resorts.

6 – Borgata

The massive Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is by far the most “Vegas-like” venue in Atlantic City.

Borgata Atlantic City During the Day

Appropriately, players are greeted by a veritable army of dealers working $10 entry-level tables. With eight decks and the stingiest of rules, these starter tables spit out a salty house edge of 0.66 percent.

From there, the next best thing at Borgata is the $25 game with six decks and the same stingy rules. It’s not optimal, but a house edge of 0.43 percent isn’t the worst thing in the world.

7 – Caesars

Borgata is owned by MGM Resorts, so it’s slightly surprising to see rival Caesars Entertainment go so stale with its blackjack slate at Caesars Atlantic City.

The beginner game is the exact same as Borgata’s – eight decks, dealer hits, stingy rules, and a 0.66 percent house edge – only with a $15 limit.

And the best tables in the house at Caesars are also six-deck, stand on 17 affairs with a 0.43 percent house edge. But while the Borgata lets you play for green $25 chips, Caesars requires a black $100 just to see a hand.

8 – Tropicana

New players can get their feet wet for $10 a pop at the Tropicana Atlantic City’s standard stingy 0.66 percent house edge games, a la Borgata and Caesars.

For the best odds the Tropicana has to offer, it’ll be $50 per hand to play six-deck, stand on 17, stingy rules with a 0.43 percent house edge.

9 – Harrah’s

The blackjack situation at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City is a nearly perfect replica of what you’ll find at the Tropicana.

So, $10 limits and 0.66 percent house edge to start out, followed by a 0.43 percent game for $100 a hand.

Harrah's Resort Atlantic City Logo and Property Images

10 – Wild Wild West

A casino within a casino, Wild Wild West can be found inside of Caesars A.C.

This place is more about boozin’ and kickin’ up boots than serious blackjack, as evidenced by the woeful lack of options.

Wild Wild West only has one version of blackjack on tap – a $15 limit, an eight-deck game where the dealer hits on soft 17 and the only player-friendly rule is re-splitting Aces. With those conditions in place, this venue is the worst of Atlantic City’s blackjack assortment with a 0.59 percent house edge.

In Summary

I’ll always be loyal to my native Las Vegas, and indeed, nowhere else on the planet can surpass my hometown in offering an all-encompassing casino resort experience. With that caveat out of the way, however, I’ll be the first to admit that Vegas’ blackjack scene has grown stale over the last two decades.

Corporate consolidation on The Strip, and belt-tightening by the house during recent recessions, have spawned a hellscape of eight-deck, 6:5, stingy rules blackjack at the low- and medium-stakes.

Fortunately, blackjack, as it’s supposed to be, is still alive and kicking in Atlantic City, home to some of the best games from coast to coast.