Every sensible blackjack player is familiar with the house edge terms. It is usually also referred to as "superiority of the casino" or "advantage of the institution".
This indicator is expressed as a percentage and means what part of the total amount of bets the client will theoretically lose. For example, if we are talking about 1%, then out of every hundred dollars at stake, one will go to the cashier of the casino.
This is how all gambling games are arranged, but the mathematical superiority of casinos in them is different. It can reach several tens of percent. In the best games, the advantage may be on the client's side, but for this, he must make an effort.
Blackjack is one of the games of chance with a minimal advantage of the institution, which makes it attractive to customers.
Casinoz experts will introduce you to several important facts related to this parameter. They will help you to understand why the casino wins over blackjack players, and will teach you how to deprive gambling operators of the advantage.
The mathematical superiority of the casino is the most important parameter in blackjack
The higher this figure, the more you will lose. For example, if it is 2%, you'll lose $2 out of every hundred at stake. If it's a game with a 5% house advantage, you'll lose $5 dollars out of a hundred.
In blackjack, you play several hands per minute. Calculate the total amount of your bets per hour, per day, per month... and then estimate how much the casino gets. This will teach you to fight for every tenth of a percent in casino fighting.
The superiority of the casino is manifested in a long gaming period
Imagine playing blackjack with a house edge of 0.8%. Let's say you bet ten dollars. In one delivery the following options are possible:
- You lose ten dollars.
- You win ten dollars.
- You win fifteen dollars if you get blackjack.
- You remain at the same if you and the dealer have the same number of points.
- You make a double or split, increasing the total bet twice. As a result, you can lose or win twice as much.
The expectation is that you will lose eight cents (0.8% of $10), but such an outcome is impossible under any circumstances. In order to lose an average of eight cents per hand at this rate, you must play many times.
Even for a thousand hands, the result can be significantly different from the theoretically expected. But the longer you play, the closer it will be to the casino's stated advantage.
Casino superiority in blackjack is lower than in most other games
In any decent online casino you will find blackjack with a house edge of less than one percent. For comparison, in European roulette, this figure is 2.7%. In the latest video slots, it is most often 3% - 5%. In table poker, it is also much higher.
What does this mean in practice? For every hundred dollars at stake, you will lose less than a dollar at blackjack and more than two and a half dollars at roulette.
Just do not forget that you have to play the optimal strategy to achieve maximum results.
Without a basic strategy house edge can be high
The standard recommendations of the so-called Blackjack Basic Strategy are enough to reduce the advantage of the casino to half a percent. Of course, we are talking about the best varieties of blackjack with the most favorable rules.
It seems that this is too little for the institution. How can you earn with such a slight superiority, because you still need to spend on bonuses, charge comp points and bear other costs?
Why do casinos take such risks? The answer is simple:
Most customers do not know how to play blackjack correctly. Their mistakes and banal unwillingness to follow the advice of professionals to increase house edge to several percent.
If you want to succeed in blackjack, learn the strategy and other techniques of real experts.
In blackjack you can get an advantage over the casino
As long as the institution has a mathematical advantage over you, you will not be able to win for a long period. Therefore, you need to turn the situation in your favor. The easiest way is to count cards.
Do not think that only brilliant mathematicians or mega-professionals are able to count cards in blackjack. Almost anyone is able to master the simplest system.
The thematic articles at Casinoz discuss in detail methods of card counting, so here we will not dwell on them in detail. Just briefly explain the basic principles:
- The more large cards in the remaining part of the shoe, the more favorable the conditions are for you.
- The counters classify the cards as large, small and neutral.
- When a big card comes out, they subtract one from the count.
- When a small card is sent to the bump, they add one to the score.
- Neutral cards do not count.
- According to the current account, players increase or decrease the bet, adhering to a certain algorithm.
Of course, this is the most primitive technique. But even it allows you to deprive the casino of superiority over the player.
But there is no point to count cards on the random number generator because the played cards are not stored in the bump. They're going back to the shoe.
All points of the rules affect the superiority of the institution
There are dozens of varieties of blackjack. In each of them, additional variations of the rules are possible. Each of these nuances reduces or increases the house edge.
The number of decks, the presence and type of surrender, the rules of card set by the dealer, the allowable number of boxes, the conditions of double and split-all this affects the advantage of the casino.
You need to understand how different rules change this indicator to learn how to determine the most profitable models. By the way, the optimal strategy of the game takes into account all the little things and involves significant adjustments.
The more decks in the game, the higher the house edge
This is surprising for beginners, but experienced players know that blackjack with one deck is more profitable than the variety with six or eight decks. The more cards involved, the higher the mathematical superiority of the institution. Let's see how their number affects this indicator.
In fact, at the start, until the dealer starts dealing cards, the number of decks has no effect on the casino advantage. The differences arise in the course of the game. Let's explain by example.
- Blackjack with one deck-you get an ACE. The dealer opens a small card. In the game there are sixteen cards worth ten points. The probability of getting blackjack is 16 to 51, or 31.37%.
- Blackjack with eight decks gets you an ACE. There are 415 cards left in the game. The face value of ten points has 128 cards. The odds of winning blackjack are 128 to 415, or 30.84%.
Blackjack is paid at odds of 3: 2. The lower the probability of getting it, the higher the house edge. All other things being equal, this figure in games of one and eight decks differs by approximately 0.25%.
Look for models with one deck and other favorable rules for you.
If the dealer takes a card to the soft 17, the casino's superiority increases
Classic blackjack rules imply that the dealer takes a card at sixteen points and stops at seventeen points. But in some varieties, the dealer is obliged to continue the set at seventeen points if he has an ACE. This combination is called Soft 17.
If the dealer takes a card to Soft 17, house edge increases by 0.2%.
Sitting down at the blackjack table, pay attention to what is written on the markup:
- Dealer Must Stand on all 17's-dealer must stop on all 17's;
- Dealer Hits Soft 17 – the dealer draws a card to "soft" 17.
The first option is preferable for the client.
Double after the split reduces the advantage of the institution
The ability to double the bet in a favorable situation significantly increases the probability of winning. If the double is allowed on the boxes formed as a result of the split, the conditions become even more favorable for customers.
Mathematicians have calculated that a split after a double reduces the superiority of the casino by 0.15%.
Double on any cards also reduces the house edge
In most varieties of blackjack, double can be done only on the first two cards at nine, ten or eleven points. In some casinos, double is allowed only with ten or eleven points.
Professionals recommend looking for models with the most flexible rules regarding double. For example, if it is allowed on any two cards, the superiority of the institution is reduced by 0.2% compared to blackjack, in which there is a double only on ten or eleven points.
But remember that under all such nuances of the rules you need to change the strategy of the game.
The softer the split rules, the lower the casino advantage
In almost all varieties of blackjack, you can divide the same cards into two separate boxes. This is a very attractive rule for customers. It allows you to run the game more money if there is a favorable situation.
Gambling operators understand this and impose all sorts of restrictions. For example, they allow you to split once, do not allow you to divide into two hands different cards worth ten points, and so on.
Remember, the more opportunities you have in splits, the lower the mathematical superiority of the institution.
For example, if split is allowed up to four times on one box, the house edge is reduced by 0.05%.
Surrender reduces the house edge
Beginners often find it hard to give up half the bet in a deliberately unfavorable situation. But any experienced player knows that surrender helps to achieve a positive result over a long period of time. This is why many casinos do not offer Surrender Blackjack at all or compensate for this rule by tightening other points.
Pay attention to the surrender type. In American blackjack there are two variants:
- Early surrender – when an ACE is opened at the dealer, the player can immediately refuse to continue the game for half-time.
- Later (late surrender) - If the dealer opens an ACE, he first checks the presence of blackjack and only then gives the client the right to make a surrender.
Of course, the first option is preferable. Learn more about surrender in blackjack in a special publication at Casinoz. We recommend it to novice players.
The blackjack payout significantly affects the casino's superiority
According to traditional rules, a combination of an ACE and any card worth ten points is paid 3:2. The exception is usually the situation when these cards come to the box formed after the split. In such cases, the payout is 1:1.
Some casinos pay 6:5 blackjack. At first glance, the difference seems insignificant, but it is not. This item of the rules increases the house edge by 1.5%.
You can put up with it only in models that offer more favorable conditions in other aspects of the gameplay.
Most of the unique varieties of blackjack offer unfavorable conditions.
In different offline casinos and in the portfolio of many software developers of online gambling you can find unusual models with non-standard rules. It can be varieties with the ante bet, electronic blackjack machines, games with bonuses and so on.
Before you risk real money in them, carefully study the rules and try to find reliable information about the superiority of the institution. As a rule, the house edge in them is much higher than in the classic types.
Computer programs help determine the advantage of the casino
Mathematicians have long calculated how certain nuances of the rules affect the house edge. If you come across a game that does not include a description of the technical characteristics, you can determine this parameter yourself.
It is not necessary to perform calculations manually. Known computer programs will do it for you. You only need to enter data on all aspects of the rules – and you will get accurate information.
Reviews of several similar utilities are published in the "Software" section of the Casinoz portal.
On a short stretch, you can win even in a very disadvantageous blackjack
Even if you happen to sit at the blackjack table with 5% casino superiority (however, we have not met such), you can play a few shoes and stay in the black.
This is called variance, or deviation from the expected result. You can also consider it pure luck.
But such outcomes should not mislead you. Blackjack professionals always focus on a long-time period. In making decisions, they rely on mathematics, not on the whims of fortune. That's the only way.
Even the best blackjack masters lose in individual sessions
No client is always able to win blackjack. Even professionals who gain an advantage over the institution with the help of optimal strategy, card counting, and other tricks can lose shoe by shoe and leave the casino in a big minus.
In a short period of time, the result of a blackjack game can be the most unpredictable.
That's why professional players need a big bankroll. It allows them to wait out the lingering losing streaks. They know that sooner or later the math will do its job and they will come out in plus.
Read special articles at Casinoz about financial management in blackjack.
At online casinos, there are blackjacks with a minimum superiority of the institution
Operators of gambling web portals can afford to offer customers varieties of blackjack with very favorable conditions. They don't have to maintain huge buildings, pay utility bills and incur other expenses inevitable in offline casinos. The cost of licenses for them, too, is usually lower, and the staff is much smaller.
It turns out that an electronic casino is much cheaper to maintain than a real institution. That's why they meet blackjack with a very low advantage of the institution. In the best models, it reaches 0.2% or even 0.1%.
This contributes to the growing popularity of online blackjack in a wide range of fans of gambling entertainment.
In blackjack based on the RNG, you can not further reduce the house edge
If the online blackjack manufacturer has specified RTP at, say, 99.8%, you will not be able to get rid of 0.2% of the mathematical advantage of the casino. You can only achieve this indicator by playing the optimal strategy.
Card counting and other tricks of professional players do not work here. Each delivery involves all of the deck. Played cards are not stored in the bump. There is no way to follow the shuffle. In general, you just have to make the right decisions in each round.
At online casinos with live dealers, the situation is somewhat more favorable, but the conditions for counters there are also far from ideal. They are described in a separate publication at Casinoz.
In terms of casino superiority, only video poker is better than blackjack
In some models of video poker, the house edge is lower than in blackjack. For example, there are devices with an index of 0.46% and even 0.05%.
But do not forget that in offline casinos, playing blackjack, you can use additional techniques: card counting, shuffle tracking, sequencing and so on. In video poker, such tricks are impossible.
Note that we are talking about traditional varieties. In real casinos and online portals, there are unique models of blackjack and video poker, in which the RTP exceeds 100%. In other words, the client can get an advantage over the institution.
Taking into account the totality of all factors, we can safely say:
Blackjack is the best casino gambling game for the result-oriented client.
Video poker has its fans, but blackjack offers more opportunities. Of course, it is not easy to achieve maximum results. You need to master the theory, practice for a long time, learn different techniques, learn to control yourself in any situation, understand the nuances of bankroll management and constantly develop.
If you are ready to devote yourself to blackjack, be ready to learn and work hard.