Where Are the Best Blackjack Games in Reno?

Reno Sign and Blackjack Hands

Reno may not be the first place you think of when it comes to blackjack. Instead, you may envision yourself playing blackjack in posh Las Vegas or Atlantic City resorts.

If so, you’ll also be missing out on some of the best blackjack action known to man. Reno offers incredibly friendly rules at certain casinos that greatly reduce the house edge.

What are the casinos in question, though? You can find out by reading more on what makes for quality games and where to find the best Reno blackjack casinos.

What Makes For a Good Blackjack Game?

Your preference of blackjack games can vary based on what exactly you’re looking for. Here are key factors that you might consider:

  • Atmosphere
  • Rules
  • Stakes

Reno isn’t known for glitz and glamour. Therefore, you won’t get the Bellagio or Wynn feeling when you’re playing here.

However, the stakes and rules are what separate Reno blackjack from the pack. You’ll find a number of $5 and $10 tables throughout the city.

$10 blackjack is more common in Reno. However, it offers a larger percentage of $5 tables than you’ll see in Vegas or Atlantic City.

The rules are exceptional in the Biggest Little City in the World. Reno is one of the few places where you can still play single-deck games with 3:2 natural blackjack payouts.

Most gambling destinations either feature eight-deck games or single-deck tables with 6:5 blackjack payouts. The latter rule increases the house edge by 1.4% when compared to 3:2 payouts.

The Typical Reno Blackjack Game

As mentioned above, Reno offers some of the friendliest blackjack rules anywhere. Here are the common rules throughout the city:

  • One deck
  • 3:2 natural payouts
  • Dealer hits a soft 17
  • Only double on 10-11
  • No DAS
  • No re-splitting aces
  • No surrender

These rules lead to a 0.45% house edge in a standard, hand-shuffled game. Outside of Macau and a few Vegas casinos, you can’t do any better than this in land-based casinos.

Keep in mind that this is just the average game in Reno! A few casinos offer even better rules and lower house advantages.

Of course, you should never blindly assume that every Reno gambling venue has great games. Some casinos actually have much worse rules that are more on par with a Vegas Strip establishment.
Silver Legacy Resort and Casino in Reno

What Reno Blackjack Casinos Should You Choose?

With 20 casinos, the Reno-Sparks area is one of the biggest gambling destinations in the United States. Therefore, you can’t walk into just any casino and expect an easy chance to win.

You instead want to target the casinos with the best rules. Below, you’ll find the best Reno has to offer regarding blackjack rules at the time of this post (some casinos have different sets of rules):

Rules for Rail City

  • One deck
  • 3:2 natural payouts
  • Dealer hits a soft 17
  • Double down on any 2 cards
  • Double down after splitting (DAS) allowed
  • No re-splitting aces
  • No surrender
  • House edge = 0.19%

Rules for Alamo, Sands Regency, Western Village

  • One deck
  • 3:2 natural payouts
  • Dealer hits a soft 17
  • Double down on any 2 cards
  • No DAS
  • No re-splitting aces
  • Late surrender
  • House edge = 0.28%

Rules for Boomtown

  • One deck
  • 3:2 natural payouts
  • Dealer hits a soft 17
  • Double down on any 2 cards
  • No DAS
  • No re-splitting aces
  • No surrender
  • House edge = 0.32%

Rules for Atlantis, Bonanza, Cal-Neva, Circus Circus, Diamond’s, El Dorado, Grand Sierra, Harrah’s, Nugget, Peppermill, Sienna, Silver Legacy

  • One deck
  • 3:2 natural payouts
  • Dealer hits a soft 17
  • Only double on 10-11
  • No DAS
  • No re-splitting aces
  • No surrender
  • House edge = 0.45%

Rules for Cal-Neva, El Dorado, Grand Sierra, Nugget, Peppermill, Sienna, Silver Legacy

  • Two decks
  • 3:2 natural payouts
  • Dealer hits a soft 17
  • Double down on any 2 cards
  • No DAS
  • No re-splitting aces
  • No surrender
  • House edge = 0.55%

Several games on this list offer house advantages ranging from 0.19% to 0.32%. These options are about as good as it gets anywhere in the world.

Most Reno casinos feature a table with either a 0.45% or 0.55% house edge. These blackjack games are still better than over 95% of what else is out there.

You can’t go wrong at most of Reno casinos. But Rail City, Alamo, Boomtown, Sands Regency, and Western Village offer the best blackjack odds.

Can You Count Cards in Reno?

What if you could combine card counting with some of the top blackjack rules anywhere? You’d be in for quite a score!

But before you jump in the car and start heading to Reno, you should know a few things about the city’s blackjack scene.

This town presents somewhat of a dichotomy regarding card counting. The pit bosses are friendlier than what you’ll find in Vegas, but they also back you off faster.

A back-off either refers to when the pit boss restricts your betting limits or forces you to quit playing blackjack. Restricting your bets serves to prevent you from capitalizing on positive counts.

Reno already features the best blackjack rules across the board. They don’t want to also give you an opportunity to count cards on top of everything.

I’m not saying that you can’t make money when counting in Reno. Some casinos are relatively lax before they take action against suspected advantage players.

However, you won’t be able to spread your bets as large when counting in Reno. Assuming you normally spread from the table minimum to 10x this amount (i.e. 1-10 spread) in Vegas, you’ll need to consider a 1-6 or even 1-4 spread here.

Pit bosses are much more concerned when they see you spreading at 1-8 or anything higher. If you’re going to count here, then you definitely want to be more conservative.

Is Reno Ultimately Worth Visiting for the Blackjack Experience?

Reno is definitely a nice place to visit as a serious blackjack player. It offers plenty of tables and excellent rules.

You’ll benefit heavily from the latter if you’re a serious amateur player. Most of the time, you’ll only face around a 0.5% house edge or lower.

You’re practically flipping a coin with the casino house edge at this point. Compare this situation to the average casino elsewhere.

Many casinos either feature eight decks or only pay 6:5 on natural blackjacks. They also include other unfavorable rules that push their advantage up over 1.5%.

A 1.5% house advantage isn’t terrible when compared to other casino games. However, it’s not quite on par with Reno blackjack tables.

The other side of the situation is the resort aspect. While this city has some quality resorts, it doesn’t have the same glamorous casino-hotels available on the Vegas Strip.

If you’re more concerned about the surrounding atmosphere than beating the game, then Reno isn’t for you. It’s a laidback spot that focuses on comps and favorable casino odds above all.

Tips for Improving Your Blackjack Winnings in Reno

You’ve seen that Reno has incredible blackjack games. Of course, you also need the skills to achieve the lowest-possible house advantage. Here are some tips to help you pull this off.

Study a Strategy Chart

Without proper strategy knowledge, you don’t have a shot in the dark of enjoying a 0.45% house edge or anything remotely similar. Luckily, blackjack strategy isn’t that difficult to master.

You can quickly start on this matter by getting a blackjack strategy chart. A simple Google (Images) search will result in many options.

These charts show what decisions you should make based on your score and the dealer’s upcard. I recommend memorizing as much as you can before playing.

After all, dealers and players don’t like you slowing down the action to review your chart every five seconds.

Exterior of El Dorado Casino in Reno

Make Sure You’re Properly Bankrolled

Blackjack has low volatility compared to slot machines and a few other games. You win approximately 42% of your hands, plus extra for natural payouts and successfully doubling down.

Nevertheless, you can go on some cold streaks and quickly burn through your bankroll. You want to be properly bankrolled to ensure that you can survive these rough patches.

I suggest having at least 20 units for the average stakes you play. Assuming you bet $10 per hand, then you’ll want $200 or more per outing.

Look for the Best Rules

You can refer to the advice covered here on which casinos have the best rules. Again, these rules are accurate at the time of this writing.

You may ultimately decide that you don’t like one or more of the casinos with the friendliest rules. But with several options to choose from, you should eventually find something good.

Conclusion

Reno will never win the title for being the glitziest gambling hotspot. However, it does deserve recognition for being one of the best places to play blackjack for real money.

The Biggest Little City is a throwback to the days when many casinos offered great rules. Now, most gambling establishments feature poor blackjack odds.

You don’t have to settle for such casinos when you’re in Reno, though. Instead, you can look forward to a wide selection of games with house edges ranging from 0.19% to 0.55%.