Blackjack House Edge: Ways to Reduce It

Amelia Thompson

Casino expert

Updated:
Blackjack House Edge

You might already be familiar with the house edge in Blackjack if you’re a frequent player. Do you know how to decrease it even more?

What Is “House Edge”?

The house edge of a specific title represents the advantage a gambling website or land-based casino has over a player’s total bets over time, no matter if successful or not.

Hence, the house edge equals the sum of funds a casino registers after every real cash bet a player makes.

To illustrate this through a hypothetical example of a sum that goes to bets, let’s say you bet £100 on a casino game whose house edge is 5%. In that case, 5% (or £5) of your £100 will always go to the casino for profits.

When playing at land-based or top online casinos, know that each game has a built-in house edge. You should always be aware of the house advantage before playing because it affects your budget over time.

For Example

  • First, consider that the game you want to play is European Roulette, with 37 different pockets.
  • Applying the Black and Red Roulette strategy will give you a chance to succeed in 18 spins out of the 37 possible variants.
  • Then, your chance of having a successful round is 48.65%. However, this means you will lose the remaining 19 spins or 51.35% of the time.
  • Therefore, the house advantage is the difference between the two percentages – 2.70%.
  • Know that the house edge can be modified but will never reach zero.

If you want to know how to calculate the house advantage for a casino game, here is the example we’ve created.

All the examples in our text are hypothetical and have the sole purpose of making you understand the mechanics of House Edge and how it relates to real money online Blackjack. It is not meant to illustrate any casino offer.

Blackjack House Edge Review

Blackjack House Edge Review

Since this title has a low house edge, it is one of the most popular gambling games.

The classic Blackjack game has a house advantage of less than 1 per cent.

Remember that six decks of cards are used in the typical Blackjack game you may find in casinos. In this case, the house edge is 0.551%.

When playing multi-deck Blackjack with less than 8 packs, the house edge lowers more than that!

Multi-deck Blackjack House Edge Deep-dive

  • For four decks of cards, the house edge is 0.499%;
  • For two decks of cards, the house edge lands at 0.341%;
  • With a single pack of cards, Blackjack has a house advantage of only 0.014%;
  • An eight multi-deck blackjack increases the house advantage to 0.577%.

You Can Use These Strategies to Enhance Your Play Methods

Beating the dealer is difficult without specific strategies or the ability to guess the future.

However, the following actions within the Blackjack game are easier to learn and apply than you might think.

  1. Everything presented in this article is legal in land-based UK casinos, London casinos, and online sites.
  2. Actions like counting cards are legal but seen as cheating in most casinos, so we don’t advise you to do that as it may get you banned. This is why we don’t include this practice in our guide!

How to Reduce the House Edge

  1. Split our bet
  2. Double down
  3. Avoid the multi-deck Blackjack game

There are several ways to lower the house advantage in Blackjack.

However, you also need to know when these moves are acceptable within the game.

You can technically split every hand that has a double, but should you? What is the threshold value above which you should never split your cards?

Blackjack Split

Blackjack Split

In this type of bet, you can only split a hand if the cards’ numbers are the same.

Remember, you need to be observant and not fall into a pit of despair if you get two fives. Instead, use Blackjack split and have another card dealt on each of the split cards.

This will help you increase your chances of beating the dealer.

After splitting, you are playing two hands at the Blackjack table. This means you must also match your initial bet on the other split hand.

But when should you split, and when should you wait for the outcome?

When to Split Cards

Usually, it would be best to split your hands when you get double eights or lower.

Splitting your eights, for example, gives you a high chance of beating the dealer.

Considering you could get a maximum of 19 card value per split hand (when you pair an eight with an Ace), this gives you a good chance of having successful rounds at Blackjack.

If you need clarification about the values of Blackjack cards, a Blackjack guide for beginners is recommended.

However, it would be best never to split when you get nines or tens.

Why?

Because with two nines, you already reach 18, which can be a strong hand in itself. Two tens reach 20, which is almost the perfect number for Blackjack.

In some cases, you split a pair of nines, and one of them gets paired with an Ace. Even so, this risky move is better suited for professionals with a lot of game experience.

Blackjack Double Down

Blackjack Double Down

Blackjack Double Down is an action that allows you to double a wager while playing a hand in exchange for one extra card.

Although it’s risky and reserved for more experienced gamblers, you can double down on a split hand to increase your payout.

Remember, you can double down on split hands, but the trickiest situation is a pair of Aces. In this case, you can only have one card attributed to each Ace.

In addition, getting a ten with your split Ace will not be considered a natural 21.

Know that you can double down even if you don’t split your hands. The additional bet on doubling down will usually be your ante.

Only use the Blackjack double-down action if you have an advantage over the dealer or if the dealer seems to have a weak hand.

Single Deck Blackjack

Single Deck Blackjack

You can keep track of cards even if you’re not a card counter.

With only a single deck, your chances of guessing the cards are much higher, and if you’ve been focusing on the game, you likely have a good guess of the cards left in the deck.

Single-deck Blackjack is great for splitting or doubling down, as you may intuitively guess the next cards’ approximate values correctly.

Single-deck Blackjack only works wonders with some action you can take.

For example, within a single pack of cards, the insurance wager has a higher house edge in Blackjack – 5.9%. This happens due to a smaller number of 10s within the deck.

Single deck Blackjack is a good idea for the classic version, but multi-deck Blackjack also has advantages.

Newer variations like Free Bet Blackjack work best with more than a few packs of cards.

Don’t Take Insurance

What is Blackjack insurance?

Simply put, it is a wager a player can take on the side. This bet is offered when the dealer’s upward-facing card is an Ace.

Insurance, in this case, is a protection bet against the dealer’s supposed natural 21, or Blackjack.

The odds of insurance payout are at 2/1. However, the top value you can attribute to your wager is half of your bet.

Why Shouldn’t You Take It?

First, the insurance bet technically means you’re betting on the dealer having a natural 21. If you are right, you are paid on 2/1, as mentioned above.

In this situation, your main bet is no longer available.

To put it shortly, the insurance bet is only worth taking if you’re convinced that the dealer’s total card value will amount to 21.

Even so, you are more likely to lose this way in the long run, so most casino experts will advise you to stay away from it.

Play Blackjack Online

Play Blackjack Online

Your chances of finding diverse games with a lower house edge improve when you play at online casinos.

Maintaining an online gambling venue doesn’t compare to the high utility costs and employee salaries that land-based casinos have to pay monthly.

This means that virtual casinos can afford to lower the house edge for certain games if more players engage with them.

This is also one of the reasons why online casinos are more likely to offer promotions like welcome bonuses, no deposit bonuses, and other types of casino offers.

Be careful when choosing an online casino. Some unlicensed virtual casinos offer unbelievable bonuses to attract customers but sometimes refuse to apply the bonus or pay the earnings to the respective players.

Calculating the Expected Loss

Calculating the Expected Loss

Another important thing when playing at a casino is calculating the expected loss.

This represents an equation that will help you understand the risks of betting for a more extended period.

In addition, it can help you measure exactly how much profit you get after playing certain casino games for longer.

There Are Two Ways to Calculate Your Casino Losses – Hourly or Per Session:

  • The presumed hourly loss multiplies the house edge by the number of hourly bets by the average wager. (house edge x No. of hourly bets x average wager)
  • To calculate the expected loss per session, we add the number of hours spent in the session to the above calculation. (house edge x No. of bets per hour x average wager x No. of hours in the session)

Remember, casinos use the house edge to add an edge to their odds of having a successful round against experienced gamblers who know how to juggle strategies. You should calculate your odds and losses to maximize your performance.

FAQs

What is the Blackjack House Edge formula?

Blackjack variants can have the House Edge applied from 0.1% to a maximum of 2%, depending on the game version. That percentage will be deducted from the overall wins accumulated in time.

Can you beat the Blackjack House Edge?

No, that is imposed by the casino and cannot be completely removed. You can reduce it by choosing game versions with smaller percentages.

Does multi-deck Blackjack have a better House Edge?

Yes. Generally, the House Edge in Blackjack decreases progressively as multiple decks are added to the game.

What is the percentage applied as House Edge on free bet Blackjack?

Usually, on free bet Blackjack, the mean percentage is 0.5%. Remember that this ratio can be changed by the casino at their discretion.

Is it true that Blackjack has the lowest house edge?

Yes, out of the card games in casinos, Blackjack has the lower rate overall.