How Does the House Edge Work in Blackjack?Published: April 07, 2021
If you've spent enough time playing casino games, especially blackjack, you already know what the house edge is about.
The house edge works as the anchor that predicts how big or small payout you will get when playing blackjack. We have managed to come up with a list of facts about the blackjack house edge.
What You Need to Know About the Blackjack House Edge
To begin with, you have to know that the house edge works as the statistical way of measuring the advantage that the casino has over the player.
- The house edge applies over a large number of bets only. For example, if you are playing the game with a 1% house edge, and you play a single hand of $100, you can win $100, lose $100, or win $150.
- The blackjack house edge is lower than that of any other casino game. If you use a basic strategy, you will notice that the house edge in blackjack is around 0.05%. This means that you will be looking at an average loss of 50 cents whenever you make a bet of $100. The 0.05% can either go up or down depending on your skill level.
- Not making use of a basic strategy when playing blackjack will make the house edge higher. Most players make the best blackjack decisions copying the dealers, and this is the worst a player can do. All you have to do is use a basic strategy to keep the house edge as low as possible.
- If you know what the house edge is, you will be able to calculate your predicted hourly loss at blackjack. The net amount that you would have won or lost, you take that and divide it by the number of hours that you would have played.
- You can get the edge over the house if you manage to learn how to count cards. The base on the game conditions can make the house edge vary. You can play a game dealt from a single deck while the table next to you can be using 8 decks, leading the house edge to differ based on the game conditions. When an online blackjack casino makes use of more decks of cards, you will notice the house edge going up. The difference in house edge between a game with 8 decks and a game with one deck is close to 0.25%. Whether the dealer hits a soft 17 or not, it will affect the house edge.
- You can make the house edge improve by doubling after splitting. This allows you to put more money into play when you are satisfied with your odds. If you are flexible when it comes to doubling down, you will get a lower house edge. When you manage to double down on any two cards, it takes almost 0.2% away from the house edge compared to being able to only double down on a 10 or 11.
- The house edge is affected by surrender rules too. You have to know that not surrendering will cost you money in the long run. There is the early surrender where you can forfeit half of your bet if the dealer happens to have an ace and you do not like your hand, then the late surrender which offers you the same option too, but it will just be wise to go with the first one.
- The payout for a blackjack (natural) has a huge effect on the house edge as the traditional payoff for a natural is 3 to 2, meaning that if you place a bet of $100 and you get a blackjack, you will then win $150.
- The house edge increases when a casino charges an ante, which is a portion of your bet that goes to the house so in most common cases the ante in blackjack will be 50c on a bet of $5.
- The house edge on video blackjack is much bigger than the house that of a traditional game with a live dealer. The payback percentage for the video poker games is usually set at 95%, meaning the house edge will be 5%. The higher house edge and the increase in play rate add up to make video blackjack an expensive game to play.
Being an advantaged player with an edge over the house does not matter as you can still lose in the short run.
You need to have a huge enough bankroll not to make you go broke during the downswing because the lower your edge, the bigger your bankroll needs to be.