Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games of all time for two main reasons- it’s easy to understand, so new players often start off playing card games like these and it’s one of the few games with a low house edge, ensuring that both new and experienced players would get their fair share of winnings. Especially if you’re new, understanding odds and avoiding games with bad odds is as important as choosing the right casino to play in.
Regardless of whether you are just curious about how blackjack house edge works, or if you genuinely want to find out strategies for your next blackjack game, this article will tell you everything you want to know about the facts and figures of blackjack house edge.
Variations in Blackjack Rules Increase the House Edge
Generally, for most casinos, the blackjack house edge is 0.5% to 1%, but this could vary from casino to casino, depending on the set of rules that is set for that particular table and the player’s grasp of basic blackjack strategies.
Amongst the rules and variations in the game that could change the house edge percentage are:
- The number of decks of cards used. This is because the more decks that are used, the lower the chance of the player drawing a blackjack, or in other words, a 21.
- Whether the dealer is required to hit or stand on a soft 17, because standing would lower the house edge and vice versa. This is because if that the dealer doesn’t bust, it would likely be the highest or one of the highest hands of the round, hence winning over most other players.
- The number of hands a player can split and re-split their cards to. Under some rules, players are allowed to split their cards if they get matching value cards, and re-split them again if the cards they get in the split hands are the same. Although allowing re-splitting is rare, the more times players are allowed to re-split their cards, the better the players’ odds.
- The surrender rule, of which there are two- Early Surrender and Late Surrender. If either one is allowed in a game, the house edge would decrease by about 0.08% for Late Surrender, and up to 0.2% – 0.3% for Early Surrender. As you might expect, Early Surrender is very rarely implemented in games, whereas Late Surrender is more common, allowing the player to lose out on half their bet if the dealer checks a blackjack.
Of course, there are many other variations in the rules that may reduce or raise the house edge, but these are the few common rules to look out for when you want to know how high the house edge is.
Besides the changes in rules, it’s still possible for the casino’s house edge to increase to 3% or more if the player doesn’t use basic blackjack strategy in their game, as there will be more chances for the casino to win against the player.
Even though Blackjack is one of the simpler card games, players should still look out for little variations in the games that will clue them in on what the house edge percentage actually is. With this guide, players would hopefully be able to have better winning odds in every game of blackjack from now onwards.