What can consumers do about 3-2 vs. 6-5? Van Nostran suggests going out and playing — but not at 6-5 tables.
He encourages celebrating National Blackjack Day on Monday, playing the game at your local casino, playing only at 3-2 tables, sharing your love of the game on social media and calling on casinos to rid their floors of 6-5 payouts.
“I’m no pro at it, but I really enjoy playing and have been playing dozens of years now,” said Derek Van Nostran, who recently took a job with VSiN Sports Betting Network. “In the last few years, I got into it on social media talking about it, and it’s been a lot of fun.”
There are other pockets of 3-2 tables around town, but sometimes it takes a little time to find them.
As far as anyone can tell, another Atlanta-to-Las Vegas transplant can take credit for deeming March 2 National Blackjack Day.
State Gaming Control Board statistics indicate blackjack is the most popular table game in Nevada. No regulation prevents casinos from paying winners at a 6-5 rate as long as the casino clearly explains it.
“Maybe they will,” he said. “6-5 will be MGM Day forever now.”
“It’s all about the wallet,” Van Nostran said. “If you express yourself with your wallet and only play at tables that pay 3-2, that’s the absolute best thing you can do. Avoid the tables that pay 6-5 as much as possible.”
I asked Van Nostran if he expected some casinos to counter with a blackjack celebration on June 5. You know, 6-5.
More than 60 percent of the Strip’s blackjack tables pay players $6 for every $5 wagered for a natural blackjack instead of $3 for every $2 bet on others. Is that fair?
“My fear is already we have people who are spending the money that’s coming in before it’s gotten here,” she said.
Once the casino opens June 24, it will stay open 24/7. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
“It’s a whole different, new generation coming in,” said Del Brown, who owns an auto body shop downtown. “You can’t stay back in the ’50s and expect to have the 20th century good stuff. It just doesn’t work.”
“I don’t want to live in a town that garners a good deal of its revenue, its so-called revenue, from what I consider picking the pockets of its residents,” she said.
But Greanier also praises town leaders for the approach they’ve taken to the casino revenue. Nearly all non-property tax payments from Plainridge Park will go into a special fund and cannot be used to balance the town’s budget except in extreme cases. That way, if casino revenues fall off a cliff, the town is still protected from becoming over-reliant on the slots parlor.
Construction at the facility is not quite complete. The machines still need to be tested, ceiling tiles installed, and carpets vacuumed.
Mary-Ann Greanier led the organization No Plainville Racino. She calls the gambling revenue set aside for the town and the state a mirage — something that will never fully materialize.
But you will be able to play electronic table games, complete with their own virtual dealer who periodically calls out, “blackjack anyone?”
“The odds are that something additional will happen. So if there’s 3,000 people there as opposed to 100, obviously the odds are we’ll have some types of incidents,” he said, adding that he believes most of any increase in crime that could happen would likely be at the facility itself.
Four years after Massachusetts legalized casinos, the slots parlor is set to open its doors next week.