How Do You Calculate Blackjack Odds?
Blackjack is perhaps the only casino game that offers a skilled player a competitive advantage against the house. Provided players use basic blackjack strategy, card counting skills, and carefully select the right game, it’s entirely possible to whittle away the house edge. Caesars Games – a leading provider of online slot games – conducted extensive research into the best blackjack game available to players. One game comes up trumps every time, Single Deck Classic Blackjack!
Classic Blackjack Odds
One of the world’s most renowned authorities on casino game probabilities is the Wizard of Odds. This comprehensive gambling portal provides in-depth information on the house edge of blackjack games, given specific rules of play. Let’s assume that 1 deck of cards is used in a game of Classic Blackjack. Several other assumptions need to be made to calculate the house edge, including the following:
• Dealer stands on soft 17
• Players can re-split Aces
• Players can hit split Aces
• Players can re-split to 4 hands
• Players can Double after a Split
• No Surrender and Blackjack pays 3: 2
• Players can Double on any first 2 cards
• Player does not lose original bet against the Dealer Blackjack
Given these rules, the player has a 0.23967% edge over the house. When using a basic strategy with a cut card, the player still has an edge over the house of 0.08797%. If a continuous shuffler is used, the player edge is 0.20097%. The house edge increases when the number of decks of cards increases. For example, if all the rules stay the same and 8 decks of cards are used, the house edge with optimal gameplay is 0.30518%!
Why Would a Casino Offer Classic Blackjack to Players?
Believe it or not, there are a handful of games provided by casinos that offer players a competitive advantage. Classic Blackjack is one of them. True, you are unlikely to find this game at many Atlantic City casinos or Las Vegas casinos for this reason. Classic Blackjack is played with just 52 cards comprising 4 suits (diamonds, hearts, clubs, and spades) with 2-10 worth their face value, Aces worth 1 or 11, and Jacks, Queens, and Kings worth 10.
There is an important blackjack rule that you probably don’t want to miss. Look carefully at the table and see whether blackjack pays 3:2, or 6:5. The best variant of this casino card game is the 3:2 version. Consider the payouts if you place a $100 bet and you hit blackjack. On the one hand you can win $150, and on the other you can win $120 – it’s a no-brainer. Equally important is what the dealer does on 16 and 17. Most of the time, the dealer is required to draw to 16 and stand on all 17s. Sometimes, the dealer is only required to stand on soft 17 (Includes an Ace).
Easy Blackjack Tips to Remember
• Always split a pair of Aces
• Stand if your hand total is a hard 17 – 21 (no Aces)
• Stand if you have a soft hand total of 19 – 21 (includes Aces)
• Always hit if your hand total is less than/equal to 11 – you can never bust!
• A natural blackjack (10-value card + Ace) beats any hand total that sums to 21
• Always use blackjack strategy charts and odds calculators to stand the best chance of winning
How Hard Is It to Beat the Dealer in Blackjack?
The trick to playing blackjack well is knowing which games to play, which rules to select, and how to manage your bankroll well. Blackjack is primarily a skill-based casino card game. An element of luck is involved since players don’t know what the next card is going to be with any certainty. You cannot alter the cards you have been dealt – you can only manage the way you play them. A fixed set of rules requires blackjack dealers to play a certain way. Like all casino games, the house has an inherent advantage, which is typically limited to around 1% in blackjack.
You may be wondering why the house has an advantage over the player? The reason for this is simple: The dealer acts after the player. If the player busts, the dealer is not required to continue playing, and wins by default. Fortunately, there are multiple blackjack guides, articles, rules, charts, and calculators that can teach players the art of the deal. It’s important to understand key terms in blackjack such as:
• Hit – take another card.
• Double Down – opt for one final card, double your bet, and stand.
• Stand – take no further action and stick with what you have.
• Split – Split identical cards such as a pair of Kings, a pair of Two’s, into 2 separate hands with additional wagers on each hand.
• Surrender – this option (if available) allows players to surrender a bad hand for 50% of their bet.
• Choose 3:2 over 6:5 on Blackjack – this simply gives you a higher payout
The importance of basic blackjack strategy cannot be stressed enough. This is typically represented in a grid/chart which indicates the following:
• The dealer’s upcard versus the player’s hand
• Multiple combinations are possible from 2 – Ace (for the dealer) and all the available 2-card combinations for the player.
• Players must either hit, double, stand, or split depending on the cards the dealer is showing and the player’s hole cards.
Players are advised to select blackjack games that require a dealer to stand on all 17. This makes it easier for the player to win in the long-term. Another important point to bear in mind is that of card shuffling machines. If you are an experienced card counter, it is best to avoid these machines since it makes it difficult to keep an accurate count.
Perhaps the most important rule for the game of blackjack, or any casino game is effective bankroll management. If you’re playing Classic Blackjack, you must manage your bankroll well. Set loss limits and profit limits and always know when to walk away