As all blackjack players will tell you, it is one thing to play blackjack, but it is a completely different thing to say that you have mastered the game and understand it in its entirety. By learning and understanding the rules of the game, as well as such terms as house edge, you can significantly improve your game. If you take some time to learn and implement these steps in your game, you can become a player who can take on the house. By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll find the answer to ‘what is the house edge in blackjack’ as well as some other related questions. Let’s start!
Understanding The House Edge
There’s probably no person in the world who doesn’t understand the concept of house edge, but for those who don’t understand it, we’ll try to give you a simple answer as possible. In simple terms, the house edge represents a mathematical advantage of a casino over their players. The house edge is different from game to game and is usually represented as a percentage. This percentage represents the return that the house will over time and it also represents the percentage of losses that players will suffer.
To put it into perspective, if you decide to bet £100 on a game with a 5% house advantage, the house is likely to earn £5, while the player is likely to lose that amount. This doesn’t mean that players can’t win any money while playing or make a profit, it just means that the house will take money in the end.
So, What Is The House Edge In Blackjack?
As we have already mentioned in the text above, the house edge is a certain percentage that differs from game to game. When it comes to blackjack, it is important to state that the house edge is relatively low. Compared to roulette and craps, which have a house advantage of 5.26% and 16%, respectively, the house edge for blackjack can go as low as 1% if you implement a basic blackjack strategy in your game.
This advantage of the house over the player is due to the fact that the house has a hidden card from which players have to make assumptions. Moreover, if the player busts during the game, the house wins, even if the dealer busts in the same round. If you make an effort to learn the blackjack odds and strategy, this will become less of an issue.
Blackjack Odds Explained
If you think that learning the odds of blackjack is a piece of cake, then you’re wrong. It is even harder than learning the odds of other casino games. This arises from the randomness of the draw and the great number of combinations. However, there is a way of determining the odds of drawing specific cards from the deck. The initial probability of drawing any card, regardless of its value, is 7.69% taking into consideration that there are 13 different possible options.
Let’s get back to the odds of drawing specific cards. Because the 10s, Jacks, Queens and Kings all have a value of 10, the odds of drawing a card that has a value of 10 is four in 13. So, the probability of this taking place is 30.7%. This is how you can reduce the house edge by simply knowing your odds of drawing certain cards.
How Can I Reduce The House Edge in Blackjack?If you want to reduce house edge when playing blackjack, you should know that there are various ways to do it. As we have previously stated in the text, one of the simplest plans, if not the simplest, is to learn blackjack strategy and the simplest is to learn a basic blackjack strategy and commit it to memory before you play. If you are wondering what a basic blackjack strategy is, we’re here to tell you. The basic blackjack strategy is nothing but a chart containing a set of rules that tells players how to play their hand after it is dealt.
For example, if you get a soft 17, ace and a six, you can compare it on the chart to the dealer’s upcard and you can see how to act. In some cases, by choosing to use a basic strategy, you can reduce the house edge to just 0.5%! You can lower the house edge and the way to start is to learn the basics of blackjack strategies.
In addition to the basic strategy charts, gambling experts have developed additional strategies which can help you reduce the house edge in blackjack even further. These strategies are called composition-dependent strategies and give you specific actions depending on the cards you’ve been dealt. They are different from the basic strategies because of the latter focus on the total value of your hand, while the composition-dependent strategies take a look at what cards make up your hand.
To put it into perspective, here’s one example. If you you’ve been dealt 16 and the dealer has 10, according to the composition-dependent strategy, you have a number of different options. Depending on your cards, you could have three separate hands that with a sum of 16. One hand could be comprised of a six and a 10, another of a seven and nine, while a third one of four, five, and seven.
According to the basic blackjack strategy, you’d hit on all of them, but according to the composition-dependent strategy, you don’t hit only on the third hand. The reason why is because it is made up of low-value cards that would otherwise be needed to reach under 21 from 16. With this hand, you have much lower odds of drawing a low-value card than with the other two.
We hope we have given a satisfactory answer to your ‘what is the house edge in blackjack’ and helped you a bit to understand why you need to learn at least a basic blackjack strategy to play.