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Not every casino or state has the same type of games, and the house advantage or house edge of each game game offered will vary by the blackjack rules offered. As an example, a major difference in casino blackjack odds can be found when comparing casinos in Northern Nevada (think Reno and Lake Tahoe) and Southern Nevada (think Las Vegas, not Laughlin – which has blackjack odds closer to Reno).
If you know how to play blackjack, then you can understand blackjack strategy and know that in general, the clubs in Northern Nevada only allow players to double down on 10 or 11, and hit a soft 17. In Las Vegas, most clubs allow players to double down on any two cards, including soft hands, and many clubs stand on a soft 17.
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Those two big changes make the game in Vegas .4 percent better (.18 percent for the doubling on any two cards, and .22 percent for standing on soft 17), the blackjack rules are better for the player. Before you hate on Reno and Tahoe, there are several great single-deck clubs, so you gain .48 percent compared to an 8-deck shoe game on the Strip, where single deck games are scarce! You”ll want to play blackjack where your blackjack strategy can help you win by also getting the best blackjack odds.
Use the following lists to check the casino rule changes that hurt and help you in your quest to win the most money at blackjack. The lists assume the standard game is an 8-deck shoe where the player is allowed to double down after a split, blackjack pays 7.5-5 (1.5 to 1), and the dealer stands on all soft 17’s.Obviously you want to play blackjack where you have the best blackjack rules.
The Good Help the Player
- Single deck ( 0.48%)
- Early surrender against ten ( 0.24%)
- Double on any number of cards (0.23%)
- Double deck (0.19%)
- Player may draw to split aces (0.19%)
- Six-card Charlie ( 0.16%)
- Re-split aces ( 0.08%)
- Late surrender (0.08%)
- Four decks ( 0.06%)
- Five decks (0.03%)
- Six decks ( 0.02%)
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Each of these rule chances help the player as your blackjack odds increase. Of course knowing when to split or double down is an advanced skill of basic strategy.
The Bad Hurt the Player
- Double on 9-11 only (-0.09%)
- Split to only 2 hands (-0.10%)
- European no hole card (-0.11%)
- No double after splitting (-0.14%)
- Double on 10,11 only (-0.18%)
- Dealer hits on soft 17 (-0.22%)
Each of these rule changes help the casino, not the player, as your blackjack odds decrease. As you can see, the double on 10,11 and dealer hits soft 17 are two of the rules that really hurt the player the most, but not as much as the following rule changes:
The Ugly Should Be Avoided!
- Blackjack pays 7-5 (-0.45%)
- Blackjack pays 6-5 (-1.39%)
- Blackjacks pay 1 to 1 (-2.27%)
As you can see, messing with the blackjack payouts is a disaster for the player. Some casinos across the US have instituted the 6-5 blackjack payoff and it is a terrible game and should be avoided at all costs. It’s one thing to be playing with your buddies and paying even money on blackjack and not even allowing double downs or splits, but for casino blackjack, forget it! And that game with your buddies is only alright if the deal passes from player to player, either on a regular basis or on a player blackjack, otherwise you better skip that game too unless you are the dealer.
If you have a choice of many casinos and where to play blackjack, add up the good (positive) rules and then subtract the negative rules (the bad and the ugly) and compare the point totals. The highest positive number is the best game for you to use your blackjack strategy to win more often. Your blackjack strategy may change based on the blackjack odds you encounter.
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