To understand the blackjack house edge let’s imagine this example: you are playing blackjack with a €10 bet, the dealer goes on and deals you a 10-8 and the dealer’s up card is an 8. You stand on your 18 but the dealer has also a queen, totalling 18 too.
In blackjack, the house edge can be defined as the casino’s profit expressed as a percentage of the player’s original bet. The dealer, a representative of the casino, acts last in any hand. Acting last gives the dealer an upper hand over other players as he/she would be able to observe all other players’ moves and mistakes. The house edge may vary from one blackjack variant to another, so understanding how the house edge can change will help you choose the right variant.
Blackjack House Edge Explained
To understand the blackjack house edge let’s imagine this example: you are playing blackjack with a €10 bet, the dealer goes on and deals you a 10-8 and the dealer’s up card is an 8. You stand on your 18 but the dealer has also a queen, totalling 18 too. This is known as a ‘push’ because you both are tied and when that happens you neither win or lose.
Now let’s imagine again that you kept the same bet but this time you are dealt a 9-7 and you draw another card and get a 6, giving you a total of 22; in this case, the dealer also busts with 22. Unlike the previous ‘push’, this time you both busted with more than 21 but you get to lose your bet alone – this is called ‘double-bust’ and that helps create the house edge in blackjack. In any blackjack table, the players have to draw first, and if they bust, they automatically lose regardless if the dealer subsequently busts in the same blackjack hand or not. This is the casino’s advantage in a blackjack game.
Proper Blackjack Strategy to Reduce the House Edge
- Fortunately, the house is not the only one with a few tricks on the sleeve. Players have certain advantages and options that are not available to any dealers, no matter which table you play at. They include receiving a 3 to 2 payoff on a blackjack hand, where the dealer gets paid only at 1 to 1 on his winning blackjack.
- Another option you have is being able to double down your bet in favourable situations (like being dealt a two-card 11), being able to split pairs to have more winning chances and you can stand between 12-16, where a dealer must always hit on a 16 total or less.
- You have more options than the dealers will ever have and it does allow you to beat them quite a lot and also reduce the edge significantly. By using a proper blackjack hitting and standing strategy, in the right time, you can reduce the house’s edge below 1% in some cases; this is not a rule of blackjack but having these in mind can make the difference between winning or busting at the blackjack tables.
Keep in mind that you are always playing against the dealer a.k.a the casino, this means that the dealer is trying to beat you because it is their job basically. And your job as a player who wants to win is to study and understand the blackjack rules as well as applying a solid blackjack strategy when needed.