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The importance of deck penetration in Blackjack

Blackjack and Deck Penetration: Key to Card Counting

Staff Writer 04/24/2019 Blog 561 views

Blackjack is a fun game to play especially when you know how to lower the house edge and beat the dealer. One of the most efficient techniques to do it is card counting. The time you need to master this skill is not the only difficulty you will have though. Another factor that can make card counting more difficult is so-called deck penetration. Stay with us to learn what deck penetration in Blackjack is and how it can help you gain an advantage over the casino.

What Is Deck Penetration?

Deck penetration is a term that refers to how many cards have been dealt before the deck is reshuffled. It is expressed as a percentage rate. This rate is particularly important when it comes to card counting. To put it simply, the higher the percentage the more accurate the card count. If you know the basics of card counting, you are familiar with the fact that it is based on the cards that have been dealt and the number of cards that remain in the deck.

You can easily guess that single and double-deck Blackjack games have a higher deck penetration percentage. In Blackjack games using 4, 6 or 8 card decks, you can still make use of deck penetration provided the shoe is not reshuffled after each hand. The best case scenario for a 6-deck game would be that 5 full decks are dealt before reshuffling. However, typically, deck penetration is lower with 4 out of 6 decks being dealt. Such a penetration percentage is considered poor while 4.5 out of 6 decks dealt before reshuffling is average.

Deck Penetration when Playing Blackjack Online

When playing Blackjack online, card counting is not a technique that can help you much. Whether you prefer virtual or live dealer tables, all of them are designed to prevent players from card counting. Deck penetration in Live Blackjack games is one of the hottest topics on gambling forums as players are looking for the table with a deck penetration percentage higher than 50%.

The thing with online Blackjack is that the decks are reshuffled automatically after each hand. As for Blackjack live tables, the situation is more favourable to players with the dealers trained to shuffle the deck after half of the cards or so are dealt. Yet, a deck penetration percentage of 50% is still low to help you predict which the remaining cards in the deck are.

Closing Thoughts

If you are into card counting, you can learn and master this technique. However, if you want to use it at an online casino, you may be disappointed that you cannot take advantage of it properly. Have you already raised your game and know how to count cards at a Blackjack table? Then, stay away from RNG-operated games. With a 50% deck penetration percentage, Blackjack games operated by live dealers are more attractive, but you should not rely on card counting when playing them either. It is more important to learn the basic strategy and find tables with better rules such as splitting and doubling down allowed. Also, you should avoid Blackjack variants in which the dealer hits on a soft 17 as this rule increases the house edge.

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