Blackjack odds are of particular interest than those of other games due
to the fact that blackjack is a game of skill. The house edge, or the
odds against you, are not hard and fast like they are for other individual
bets at other games. Each decision you make in blackjack changes your
odds of success, and over time if you make more good decisions than bad
decisions, you will have won more, or lost less.
There are a number of ways people attempt to bring blackjack odds into
check, some more useful than others. The most consistent way to play blackjack
as close to fair as you can without being mischievous is to follow basic
blackjack strategy. Using these suggestions consistently for the table
you're at will bring the house edge down to almost even. It's also not
considered cheating, which is nice.
The biggest blackjack odds killer is card
counting. Counting is the process of tracking large and small value
cards as they leave the shoe, to gain a general sense of what's left in
the deck. This knowledge lets you know when you have a slight advantage
and a slight disadvantage, which you can use to lower the odds by betting
big or betting small appropriately.
This approach is usually considered cheating, although truly, it isn't.
You only ever use knowledge the casino presents to you. Even Vegas knows
blackjack can be beat this way, and it's taking measures to prevent it.
Playing at a major strip casino these days you see auto-shuffling shoes
that shake the deck by its heels every few hands. Going downtown is a
better bet to find a card counting friendly table.
Different rule changes can alter the house edge different amounts. Take
a look at this very revealing chart of how much a rule change affects
on Player Expectation
only on 11 (no soft, no 10, no 9, no 8)
only on 10 or 11 (no soft, no 9, no 8)
only on 9, 10, 11 (no soft, no 8)
of any pairs
1 to 1
2 to 1
on any number of cards
after splitting pairs
pushes dealer's 10-up Blackjack
|Draw to split