Has The Advantage at Blackjack?
is different from other casino games.
Games like craps, roulette and baccarat are games of
chance, where each play is an independent event, which is the
way of saying that whatever occurs in previous rounds of play
has no bearing on the c
example, with roulette, the house will maintain a constant edge
against the player. American
roulette wheels have 36 numbers colored red or black, and zero
and double zero spots colored green.
If the color red has come up ten times in a row on an
American wheel, what is the probability of the next spin of the
wheel landing on a red number?
Regardless of the previous outcomes, the odds of rolling a red
number on the next spin of wheel are 18 chances out of 38
numbers or 47.37%.
is unique among casino table games in that the odds change after
every hand is played. How
well the player does is also dependent on the player's skill at
playing his hands and his betting strategy.
people believe that it is impossible to win in any casino game and that winning is just a matter of luck.
Luck may be a factor in winning or losing in any game of chance;
however, blackjack is primarily a game of skill, not chance.
only advantage the dealer has over the player is that the player must play out his hand before the dealer plays
his. If both the
player and the dealer bust (go over 21), the dealer will win. Considering
that a player will bust on the average about 28% of the time, this advantage is not
easiest way to assess a dealer's chance of busting is with the information revealed by turning over one of his
following chart shows the dealer's chance of busting depending on his up-card.
The chart also shows the player's win/loss rate with each dealer up-card.
dealer's worst up-cards are 2 through 6, which may be possible stiff hands. The
dealer must hit these hands regardless of the value of his hole card, and the
probability of busting is high.
other hand, if the dealer shows a 7 through Ace as his up-card, the dealer is more likely to have a pat hand — a hand on which he can stand without drawing.
Table Showing Player's Win-Loss Rate
With Each Dealer Up-Card
The Player's Advantages
While the dealer's advantage is formidable, the player
has several potential advantages over the dealer:
The player will receive a payoff of 3 to 2 on his blackjacks while the dealer will not.
The players do not have to pay the dealer 3 to 2 when the dealer has a
blackjack (a natural).
The player has flexible playing options while the dealer does
not. Thus a dealer
must hit a stiff hand (a hand totaling 12 through 16) even if he has the players beaten
The player has the option of doubling down so that he can get more money on the table during favorable situations.
The player can split pairs, allowing him to improve poor hands or to take advantage of the dealer's potentially
The player can take insurance, while this option is not available to the dealer.
When offered, the player can surrender a poor hand, forfeiting only one-half of his wager.
The dealer never has this option.
you can see, the house's sole edge arises from the fact that the player must play first.
Because of this, if the player breaks, the house wins immediately, even
dealer would have busted had he been forced to play his own
hand out! It
has occurred to more than one player than
mimicking the dealer may be the best way to play. However, if you decided to do this, you would give the house an edge
of about 8%. This
is the house's initial edge in blackjack.
can you do about this? You
will notice that except for the dealer's advantage in acting first, every other rule
favors the player. The
dealer has no options whatsoever and must follow a fixed set of rules in a robot-like fashion. As a result, the ultimate edge the house has against a
player is dependent upon how well the player exercises his options.
can just learn to hit, stand, double down and split pairs properly, you will reduce the house advantage to about
1/2% in a multi-deck shoe game with typical blackjack rules. In many of the Internet games, you can play even with or at
an advantage over the casino just by learning proper playing rules!
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