Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games that can be played, with its popularity largely being down to the fact that the playing card game is one of the easiest to learn and play.
In addition to being incredibly easy to play, another reason why the game is incredibly popular is because it also has one of the lowest house edges, meaning bettors will have a greater opportunity of obtaining a winning hand compared to many of the other casino games that are available to play, such as poker or roulette.
This article will explain what the house edge is, why there is an edge that is favorable to the casino and guide those interested in how to play blackjack with a house edge that has been reduced as much as possible in order to give them an advantage.
What is the house edge?
The house edge is essentially the advantage that a casino has over its players when a game of Blackjack is being played. It is a mathematical percentage that has been devised, however it will vary with each game that is played and will typically be shown as a percentage.
When looking at the advantage that the casino has when playing this particular game, it would be wise to know that Blackjack provides one of the lowest percentages, thus making it more appealing to players and potentially more favorable, as well.
Typically, a game could have a house edge that is around 1% or just slightly higher when a basic strategy has been adopted by the player.
Why does the house have an advantage?
The main reason the casino will have an advantage is down to the card that the dealer has that has been placed facedown.
This card will then force players in to making a decision about whether to ‘hit’ and acquire another card to try and get as close to ‘21’ as possible before busting, or risk going over the total, whilst those that ‘stand’ will have to hope that their sum of cards is greater than what the dealer has.
With the casino not being required to try and make any predictions or assumptions about the hand that they may have, all of the pressure is on the player, thus providing them with an advantage that they can benefit from.
There are ways to reduce the house edge
Despite the fact that there is a house edge in Blackjack, this can be reduced in the favor of the player by a variety of ways, including the adoption of certain strategies that can be used.
One of the easiest ways to try and reduce the advantage is to learn some of the strategies that can be played when at the casino table, with the most basic of tactics being one that follows a specific set of rules that have been created.
For instance, there are strategy charts that have been designed that will teach players what to do after having received a certain hand. It will generally tell them whether to ‘hit’, ‘stand’, or even ‘split’ and ‘double down’ on the bet. By adopting this type of betting strategy, the house edge could be drastically reduced to a point where it is lower than 1% in some cases.
There are a number of other blackjack strategies that can be implemented, though, that can each have an impact on the way each hand is played and what the dealer may potentially have, therefore potentially providing bettors with their next best move.
These blackjack techniques are known as composition-dependent strategies and can help to eliminate the casino’s edge to a nominal percentage if used correctly and effectively.
The number of decks used can impact the house edge
It is worth pointing out that the number of decks used in a game of blackjack can have an impact on the edge that the casino has when a round is played. It is generally considered that the fewer decks used in a game will see the house edge be lower.
Players who play games that feature single or double-decked games will be able to get more blackjacks in these games, whilst for each additional deck added will see the probability of a player achieving the desired outcome drop, therefore boosting the chances that the house will win.