If you’re playing casino games for real cash, you should be aware there are major difference in the payout percentage from one to the next. You’ll see this referred to as “house edge”, which is basically the statistical advantage the casino has over the player. Blackjack is probably a casino game with the most variations and almost each features below 1% edge. This can be further reduced by skillful players who are well familiar with the rules and use the correct strategy when making each single decision.
Single deck Blackjack is your best bet, and while many developers feature this variant within their portfolios, none can beat the one from Microgaming – the house edge of only 0.13% means the game has a payout of 99.87%. It plays with one deck, dealer stands on soft 17, and players can double down on 9, 10 and 11 (but not after splitting a hand). You’ll earn even money whenever you win, with the exception of Blackjack which pays 3:2.
Playtech is a close contender with a game featuring 0.16% edge. Blackjack Switch comes with a unique feature which offers you to switch cards between hands. You’ll have to make two equal bets to switch the second card dealt to each hand, and accept that this extra benefit requires a trade-off. It comes in the form of the dealer pushing with 22 (unless the player has a blackjack), and blackjack paying even money. The dealer can hit on soft 17 and all Doubles and Splits are allowed. Playtech’s Blackjack Switch plays with 6 decks and is, in terms of payouts, probably the best multi-deck variant out there.
The main difference between this variant and the classics is the ‘peek for Blackjack’ performed by the dealer when their up card shows a 10 or an Ace. The dealer stands on any 17, players can double down on any first two cards, split cards up to 3 times and double down after splitting. If the dealer’s up card is an Ace, you’ll be offered to take Insurance side bet which pays 2:1 in case the dealer hits 21. When played by these rules, the game has a house edge of 0.35%.
Atlantic City Blackjack makes use of eight decks and has a house edge of 0.36%. The dealer stands on soft 17 and peeks if their up card is an Ace or a 10-value card. You’ll be allowed to double down on your first two cards, no matter what they are, and split up to 3 times (with the exception of Aces which can be split only once). This game additionally offers a late surrender option which costs half your bet and lets you pull out before the dealer reveals their hole card.
Pontoon from Playtech features a house edge of 0.38% and plays with eight standard 52-card decks without jokers. The dealer stands on hard 17 and players must hit on any hand showing less than 15. There is no draw, so if the value of your hand is equal to that of the dealer, they win. It’s allowed to double down on any cards and split those of the same value. Any five cards without bust (called 5-card Charlie) beat a standard 21 and pay 2:1, same as Pontoon.