In blackjack, as in other casino games, the house has an advantage. Though this may seem unfair to casino players, casinos have to make money so they take an advantage over the player to guarantee their profit. The good news is that in blackjack, with an understanding of all the rules and knowledge of basic strategy, you can greatly reduce the house advantage to almost nothing.
The house advantage in blackjack is affected by a number of factors. By understanding these factors you can avoid games with a higher house edge and stick to the blackjack tables that offer rules more favorable to the player.
One of the biggest rules that affect the house advantage is whether or not the dealer hits on soft 17. Games in which the dealer hits on soft 17 give the house an advantage that is 0.2% higher than those in which the dealer stands. Therefore, in order to lessen the house advantage it is important to stick to games in which the dealer stands on soft 17 if you have the option.
The number of decks in play also affects the house advantage in blackjack. The less decks in play, the easier it is to employ basic strategy. However, although the house edge is lower in single deck games the casino often makes up for this with lower payouts and stricter rules concerning doubling down, surrendering and splitting. Therefore, there is a give and take when you decide whether you want to play single or multi-deck blackjack games.
The house edge is also increased when limitations are set on which hands can be doubled down on (all versus 9, 10, 11), whether Aces can be split more than once and whether late surrender is allowed. By choosing a game with rules that are more favorable towards the player you can increase your odds of winning and lessen the house edge.
Don’t miss our House Edge Calculator that is completely free to use. It will calculate the house advantage percentage for 1 up to 8 decks.