Why is a blackjack
the player than a
multiple deck game?
This lesson at Learn to
Play Blackjack answers that question.
One of the major
simply due to the fact that you will be dealt more hands in a
deck game compared to a multiple deck game. Here's why this is so.
took a single deck of cards, shuffled them, and
then randomly picked one card. What is the probability that you'll pick
Since there are four aces in a single deck of cards, the chance of
of those aces is the ratio of 4 over 52.
draw the ace, you are left
with 51 cards to draw a ten-value card.
There are 16
ten-value cards in a deck
of cards (the four tens, jacks, queens and kings) so the chance of
is the ratio of 16 over 51. If you multiply these two ratios, you will
the probability of getting an ace followed by a ten-value card in a
to be 2.41%. (4/52 times 16/51 =
However, you could have just
easily drawn the
card first then the ace. Therefore, the overall probability of getting
hand in a single deck game is twice 2.415 or 4.82%.
translates into one
out of every 20.72 hands, an important statistic.
For a 6-deck game the chance of drawing the ace as the first
card is the ratio 24 over 312. The chance of drawing the ten-value as
second card is the ratio 96 over 311. Multiply the two ratios and you
2.37%. Double it and you get 4.74%, which is, less than the 4.82%
of getting a BJack in a single deck game.
In fact, if you do the math for 2, 4 and 8 decks here is
what you'll calculate as the probability of getting a BJack hand.
in every 20.72 hands
Double deck=1 in every
in every 21.02 hands
in every 21.07 hands
in every 21.07 hands
Notice that you'll only be 98% as successful at drawing a
in an eight-deck game compared to a single deck game, which
deck game better.
Essentially the effect of
card from a single deck
affects the percentages of the remaining cards to a much greater extent
a multiple deck game. This is another important point to remember when
playing blackjack single deck.
Although getting more BJacks
is good for the player, it's
even better when you get one and the dealer doesn't. Which brings me to
second reason why the blackjack single deck game is better than a
the dealer’s chances of duplicating a BJack is less
in a single deck game compared to a multiple deck game.
exact probabilities of the dealer duplicating our BJack in the same
Single deck =1
in every 27.25 hands
in every 23.74 hands
in every 22.34 hands
in every 21.92 hands
in every 21.71 hands
BJack pushes are about 20% more likely in a six or eight
deck game, compared to a single deck game, which reduces our earnings
(remember you get paid 3 to 2 on a BJack hand when the dealer doesn't
but gets nothing when he does have a BJack).
This makes a blackjack single deck game a much better game.
Another reason that a player's expectation is better in a
single deck game is that a player is more likely to get a good hit when
doubling down on 10 or 11 compared to the same situation in a multiple
When you get a 10 or 11, it's usually made up of two
undesirable small cards. Their removal from the single deck increases
chances of getting a good hit.
Because of the dilution effect of so many more cards in
multiple deck games, the probability of drawing a good card is less
the single deck game.
To summarize, single deck games are a better deal for players
1. You will be dealt more BJack hands
2. The dealer is less likely to also have a BJack hand and
tie you, and
3. You are more likely to draw a good card when you double
down on 10 or 11.
Even though single deck games have historically been better
for players than multiple deck games, don’t run to your favorite casino
down at any old single deck table.
Check first what the house pays for a BJack because many
casinos nowadays are paying only 6 to 5 rather than the traditional .
is terrible and increases the house edge to over 1% against a basic
Therefore, single deck games are good but only
when the house pays 3 to 2.
Single Deck is followed
by a lesson about Surrender
to Learn to Play Blackjack Program
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