MGM Grand is located on the northeast corner of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Blvd. It opened on December 18, 1993. It once had a Wizard of Oz theme. That concept was slowly abandoned over the years. That ended when the Lion Habitat exhibit was pulled in January 2012. Since then, all Wizard of Oz throwbacks has been removed, as well as anything else that identifies with the previous theme.
MGM Resorts owns MGM Grand, along with nine other properties on the Las Vegas Strip. MGM Grand is the only MGM Resorts property located on the east side of Las Vegas Blvd. It is the last stop on the south line of the Las Vegas Monorail.
MGM Grand Tables and Games
There are 47 blackjack tables at MGM Grand. The best game in the house is a double deck that stands on all 17’s. Double down before and after splitting is allowed. The bet limits are $100 to $10,000. There are two of these tables on the main floor and two more in the high limit salon. The house edge on this game is 0.25%.
A six-deck shoe in the same areas offers $50 to $10,000 wagers. Players can double down on any two cards and after splitting. Surrender and re-split aces are also permitted. The dealer stands on all 17’s. The house edge there is 0.27%. There are four of these tables on the main floor in the back blackjack pit. There are six more in the high limit salon.
Blackjack goes downhill after the games described above. Players looking to bet less than $50 will be forced to sit at a 6-5 table that uses eight decks. That is right, even $25 players will get shorted on a blackjack at MGM Grand. These tables permit double down before and after splitting. The house edge is 2.01%.
There are two Free Bet Blackjack tables with $15 to $2,000 limits. There are also two $10 to $2,000 Blackjack Switch tables. Low limit players should sit at these tables.
There are three video blackjack tables. These all have $5 minimum bets. The Dealers Angel machine is located by the front of the casino in the former poker room area. It offers double down before and after splitting, as well as surrender. The dealer hits soft 17. Blackjack pays 3-2 on this game. The house edge is .55% on this machine. It also accepts a players card that adds another .1% to the player’s return.
The other two video blackjack games pay 6-5. They are Interblock machines, one of which also offers baccarat. Players can double down on any two cards and after splitting. Surrender is also permitted. The dealer hits soft 17. The house edge is 1.89% on these machines.
MGM Grand offers incredible games for $50 players. The six-deck shoe is one of the best games in Las Vegas. It sometimes drops to $25 during very off peak hours. The video blackjack game records comps as a slot with the MLife card. Make sure to play the Dealers Angel one. The two Interblocks are unplayable. The two exotic games – Free Bet Blackjack and Blackjack Switch – are the best alternative for low limit players that prefer live games.
MLife Rewards for Frequent Blackjack Players
MLife doesn’t offer much to blackjack players. Those betting less than $25 won’t even get rated. It takes black chip action to get anything more than a free buffet comp. Mailers are not common for players that only give blackjack action.
The Inside View
MGM Grand used to be the best place in Las Vegas to play blackjack, even for low limit players. That all changed in March 2015. MGM Grand dropped the payouts at 31 tables to 6-5 in 2015. Some of these tables even have a $25 minimum bet. It is sad to see what happened to such a player friendly blackjack casino.
Another insider observation is the number of blackjack tables these days at MGM Grand. There were more than 100 blackjack tables in 2010. An entire pit by the theater is now gone. A smaller pit near the sportsbook is also gone. This was before the blackjack conditions deteriorated. It is difficult to determine whether the bad blackjack rules killed the action at MGM Grand, or if the players disappeared once the conditions became unplayable.
Players willing to bet $50 or more will find great games at MGM Grand. Those mid and high rollers will enjoy the great rules and action. Low rollers will need to find a better casino to play with the exception of the one 3-2 Dealers Angel video blackjack machine.