Casinos always win in the long run due to manipulating various factors in the games they offer to swing things in their favor over the long-run. Of course casinos have large overheads – rent, staff costs, licensing costs and more – so house edge is the price the consumer must to pay in order to ensure that when they gamble in a casino or online – the games are fair and legal.
If you were to bet on a coin-toss (50/50) at a casino – the odds would be set in such a way that you would not get even money (1 to 1) on your bet. I.e you would have to bet $11 to win $10 for a heads or tails, rather than $10 to win $10. the extra $1 in this case ensures the house always wins – and the edge is measurable.
Similarly blackjack is set up in such a way that the payouts don’t accurately represent the odds of specific events occurring (like hitting a blackjack).
Blackjack house edge
The percentage that a casino will win over the long run in a particular game is known as the house edge. The house advantage over a novice player in a 6:5 blackjack game is about 2%, versus a ~ 0.5 percent edge at 3:2 blackjack vs players using perfect basic strategy.
what does this mean ? Simply put – if you bet $100 in a 6:5 blackjack session, you can expect to lose $2, on average in the long run – if you employ basic blackjack strategy. There can undoubtedly be extreme short-term winning and losing swings – but in the long run “the house always wins”.
You can come out of a session with a few hundred dollars in your pocket or you might be on a losing trend and lose $50 in a few hands. However, statistically speaking, the house edge in blackjack is 2% over the long term.
Which Blackjack games have the lowest house edge?
Smart blackjack players look for 3:2 Blackjack as opposed to 6:5 blackjack.
The distinction is small but very significant:
- If your blackjack hand wins at 3:2 blackjack you get paid $3 for each $2 wagered (1.5 to 1 odds on your money).
- However With winning odds of 6:5, you get paid $6 for each $5 wagered, (1.2:1 odds on your money).
Over the long run, over thousands and thousands of plays, this discrepancy makes a huge difference to the expected profit of a gambler, and also the expected profit of the casino running the blackjack game.
Generally speaking, dealing the 6:5 version of blackjack improves the house’s edge or advantage by about 400%.
There are a number real-money online casino apps / websites which offer 3:2 Blackjack as well as a number of fun variants of the game.