Blackjack House Edge

House edge is a term casino players and especially Blackjack players and experts use very often. You probably already know that lower house edge means higher chances for you to win and that you should prefer Blackjack variants with lower house edge over ones that have higher house edge percentage.

How House Edge Works

The rules by which a game is guided determine the house edge. If the dealer is supposed to hit soft 17, then the house edge would be higher than when he is supposed to stand at soft 17, all other things being equal. Then, a version where the player is allowed to re-split to just two hands would have a higher house edge compared to a version where it is possible to re-split up to 4 hands.

The pay-out for Blackjack is the rule that has a very strong influence on the house edge rate. If the Blackjack pays out a standard 3 to 2, then the house edge will be significantly lower than if the pay-out is 6 to 5. The number of decks also has a bearing on the house edge, the fewer decks, the more favourable the house edge would be.

The Way You Play Has an Impact

However, it is not only about the rules, as Blackjack is a game which requires skill, it is not just a game of mere chance. The house edge determined by the rules and the number of decks that are used is just the optimal house edge. If a player applies the Basic Blackjack Strategy, then they can hope to get a house edge pretty much equal to the optimal house edge and with a bit of luck come with a profit at the end of the gaming session.

Mistakes Can Cost You

Not sticking to a strategy, making wrong moves and obvious mistakes can significantly lower the house edge and bring the player in an unfavourable position, where it is practically impossible to achieve a positive balance. Some estimates show that a majority of Blackjack players will make an occasional mistake like always stand on 12 when the dealer has a 2 or a 3, or split the pair when they shouldn’t.

Even if you play a total of 100 hands and make a bad judgement on 10% of the hands, i.e. 10 that might result in you losing at least few hands which you would’ve otherwise won. At the end of the day, that is the difference between having a positive and having a negative balance at the end of the session.

Strategy Equals Improved Winning Chances

Contrary, applying a strategy, preferably advanced strategy can significantly improve the player’s chances of winning. The more advanced strategy the less likely it is that you’ll make a mistake that can be avoided. In other words, you will only lose the hands that simply wasn’t possible to be won.

A player who employs the right strategy and makes no mistakes can even turn the house edge in their favour. The casinos are aware that few players will manage to do so, but they are not too worried as the vast majority of the players won’t even get the optimal house edge due to their mistakes.