Single Deck vs Multiple Deck Blackjack

Those of you who are new to the game of blackjack may have noticed that some blackjack games are played with one deck of cards while others are played with 2, 4, 6 or even 8 decks of cards. Whats the difference between single and multiple deck games and what are the advantages or disadvantages?

Single deck blackjack has often been looked at as the holy grail of the game because it offers players the best chance to win profits. In fact, the house edge is just 0.15% when players stick to blackjack games with a single deck.

Long ago, single-deck blackjack was the standard and the only game in town. In recent years, however, casinos have moved towards multiple deck games to make it harder for players to count cards, a strategy which has gained popularity over the past few decades. Not only is it more difficult for players to count cards with multiple decks in use, but using multiple decks also increases the house edge slightly.

Many casinos have reintroduced the single-deck blackjack game, but dont be fooled into thinking that playing a single-deck game will give you better odds. In fact, you will notice that when playing a single-deck game of blackjack many casinos only offer a 6:5 payout for blackjack, while multi-deck games offer 3:2.

If you placed a $10 bet and got blackjack on a multi-card game with 3:2 payout youd walk away with $15, whereas youd only get $12 for a single-deck game with a 6:5 payout. The slight increase in the house edge isnt worth the decrease in the blackjack payout that the house gives for a single-deck game. Therefore, unless you can find a casino that offers a 3:2 payout for single-deck blackjack it is a wise decision to stick to multiple deck games.

single deck blackjack game

Casinos also often enforce disadvantageous rule variations on single-deck and double-deck games in order to give the house more of an edge. These variations can include requiring the dealer to hit on soft 17, not allowing players to double down after a split, not allowing the resplitting of aces and a number of other variations.

Card counter have tried to employ their strategy even when using multiple decks, even though it involves more calculations and a greater risk of losing the correct count. Casinos have developed an arsenal of tactics to disrupt counters who try to count multiple decks. Many have decided to use continuous shuffle machines which shuffle the cards back into the shoe with every hand.

With this being the case, you d think that finding a single deck blackjack is the greatest thing ever. However, there are actually some disadvantages to the subject as well, which is covered below along with single deck blackjack advantages.


The obvious advantage to playing single deck blackjack is just as we stated before in that you re getting the absolute lowest house edge. Facing a 0.15% house edge puts you on nearly a level playing field with the casino, and makes your chance of profiting seem like a coin flip. Of course, to take advantage of the low casino edge, make sure that you understand good basic blackjack strategy first otherwise, it doesn t really matter how many decks you re dealing with.

There is another big advantage for card counters. Usually, card counters these days are dealing with six and eight deck shoes, which means they have to wait longer for favorable counts. But with single deck blackjack, card counters don t have to wait nearly as long to get a favorable count, thus letting them bet big much sooner.


Based on the aforementioned advantages, you wouldn t think there d be much downside to single deck blackjack. But the problem is that casinos often advertise single deck games, yet offer unfavorable rules to increase the house edge. And what s bad about this is that the house edge can actually end up being higher than with six or eight deck blackjack.

In the worst case scenario, casinos will only make 6:5 blackjack payouts instead of

3:2 payouts. This one rule alone will bring the house edge from 0.15% all the way up to 1.45%. Considering the fact that you can still keep the house edge at around 0.5% with both six and eight deck blackjack, it s sometimes not even worth the effort to search for single deck games. Casinos might put other unfavorable rules in the single deck games too, so watch out for this.

Single and double deck games are generally dealt with the cards face down. This is another tactic that casinos use to thwart counters. Players who stand before your turn will place their cards face down on the table. Since no one has no idea what they are holding, counters not value those cards in the count.

Another disadvantage to single deck blackjack is that you re very unlikely to earn many comps with this version of the game. After all, if it s true single deck blackjack you re playing, the casino won t make much money off you in the long-term. That said, they aren t going to be generous with comps either.

Casinos usually offer a few lower limit single deck games to entice players to visit their casino. It is the old bait and switch technique that often works. They know that if the table is full or the betting limits are severely restricted, players will move to higher earning tables.

Single deck or multi deck blackjack

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Single deck or multi deck blackjack

When we look around in a casino, we'll usually see blackjack played either as single deck game or multiple deck game. One question that usually pops up every once in a while is which type of game is better for blackjack players, is it the single deck game or the multiple deck game?

The straight and simple answer is that a single deck game is better for blackjack players than multiple deck games. The big major reason behind this is that you'll get more blackjack hands in a single deck game than with multiple deck game. Let's get on with the specific reasons why this is so in blackjack.

If we randomly picked a card from a single deck after it is shuffled what are the chances that that card will be an Ace? There are 52 cards in a single deck, and four of those cards are Aces. That's going to be a ratio of four out of 52. But, there is more to it when we calculate the probabilities in a single deck game of blackjack.

Once you have drawn that Ace you are left with 51 cards on that single deck. The next question we would like to know is what are the chances for us to get a ten-value card given the 51 cards left in our deck? In a deck of 52 cards there are 16 ten-value cards. This includes Tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings in our deck standard deck.

If we multiply these ratios we get the probability of getting an Ace then followed by a ten-value card in a game of blackjack. The result will boil down to 2.41%. This computation hasn't taken into account the probability of getting a ten-value card before getting the Ace. This doubles our chances; therefore, our actual chance of getting a combination of Ace plus a ten-value card is 4.82% in a game of blackjack. That is your probability of getting a blackjack in a single deck game.

This probability goes down dramatically when you move to a multiple deck game of blackjack. The chance of getting an Ace in a six-deck game for instance is 24 out of 312. You can get a blackjack in a single deck game one for every 20.72 hands dealt. A double deck will give you a blackjack for every one in every 20.93 hands. A four-deck game gives one for every 21.02 hands. And the numbers go up as you increase the number of decks.

Since it is easier to get a blackjack in a single deck game than a multiple deck game, it is indeed better for a blackjack player to stay away from multiple deck games and stick to single deck games as much as possible.

Basics of Blackjack: Everything You Need to Know about Blackjack Strategy

Blackjack is one of the most entertaining casino games, combining skill, analytical thinking and luck in one. To master the game and derive the greatest satisfaction from your gaming session, though, you need to turn to a proven blackjack strategy.

The good news is that the game offers depth, but it also relies on simple rules to help you familiarize yourself with it. We have prepared a blackjack basic strategy for you to find out more about the foundations of the game and pick the useful habits that will help you become a professional if you choose to.

The key to each blackjack strategy is practice as well as analyze your mistakes in a way that allows you to avoid them in the future. Once you are done with the blackjack basic strategy, you can switch to more sophisticated stratagems, such as card counting.

By choosing to stick to card counting and a blackjack strategy, you can improve the frequency and quality of your winnings. That said, you are about to discover both basic and advanced play in order to produce the best results you can during your own gaming sessions.

  • 1 DECK
  • 2 DECK
  • 4-8 DECK

Single-Deck, Dealer Hits on Soft 17

Single-Deck, Dealer Hits on Soft 17

Double if allowed, othrwise hit

Double if allowed, othrwise stand

Split if double after split is allowed, otherwise hit

Split if double after split is allowed, otherwise double

Split if double after split is allowed, otherwise stand

Surrender if allowed, otherwise hit

Surrender if allowed, otherwise stand

Decoding Table Values

Reading the blackjack strategy chart isn t at all complicated. Each chart displays your hand, as well as the dealer s hand. Depending on what cards you receive, and what hands the dealer has, there is a recommended action for each situation.

To clarify the meaning of each action in the table, we have posted a short legend below to make your blackjack strategy a little more successful. These actions could change and be slightly different for single-deck, as compared with double-deck, blackjack strategy.

First, you need to understand the colors. Red is for Hit, yellow is for Stand and dark blue is for Dh. The table uses purple for Ds and green for Split. For Rh, Rs and Rp, you will notice that all three options are marked in white, because they rarely occur in any blackjack strategy.

This should make interpreting the blackjack table and blackjack strategy a little easier now. Here are the actual values:

  • H means Hit, where you will receive one more card from the dealer
  • S means Stand, where you will play with your current hand, without adding additional cards
  • Dh stands for Double, if allowed, or otherwise Hit
  • Ds means to Double, if allowed, or just Stand otherwise
  • P is used to indicate a Split
  • Ps means that you should Split, if double after split is allowed, otherwise Stand
  • Ph reads as Split, if double after split is allowed, or otherwise Hit
  • Pd asks you to Split, if double after split is allowed, otherwise Double
  • Rh means Surrender, if allowed, or just Hit if not
  • Rs reads Surrender, if allowed, or otherwise Stand
  • Rp calls for you to Surrender, when allowed, but otherwise follow through with a Split

How to Read the Charts

Now that you understand how to decode table values, the next part of the simple blackjack strategy is to learn situational blackjack, i.e. blackjack strategy for single-deck and double deck blackjack strategy, and so on. You see, to win at blackjack, you need not only to play through many hands, but also to understand the statistical probability attached to each card.

Depending on the number of decks, and therefore the rules that apply, you will have to use a different blackjack strategy against the dealer. We will start with single deck, dealer hits on Soft 17, and give you a rundown of the chart.

Single Deck, Dealer Hits on Soft 17

In this situation, you will play against the casino where the dealer hits on Soft 17 and uses a single deck. Most blackjack strategy cards here are easy to follow, thanks to the single deck. However, you can further improve your blackjack strategy single deck.

So, the table gives you a very good idea of how to act in certain situations. Let s assume you have Hard 16 and the dealer has 6. You would want to stand in this situation. However, if the dealer has 10, you would want to hit.

Another situation in the same version is if you have a Hard 11. In this situation you would double, if allowed, or otherwise hit. If you just refer to the table and follow these situations, you will see how the blackjack strategy advises you to act in each. Let s have a look at another, more complicated version right now.

4 to 8 Decks, Dealer Stands on a Soft 17

Clearly, when you have more decks in the game, you will need a different online blackjack strategy chart. The gameplay will change a whole lot. But the good thing is you can use the same blackjack basic strategy, i.e. repeatedly referring to the chart.

After all, the blackjack strategy chart sums up all the information you need to know and makes it accessible. This way you can read a situation in a matter of seconds regardless of the difficulty of the game and play immediately.

If you hold a Soft 15 and the dealer has 4, 5 or 6, you will want to double, if allowed, or otherwise hit. However, bear in mind that in any other situation, i.e. you have a Soft 15, but the casino holds 2,3,7,8,9, 10 or ace, you want to hit.

The blackjack strategy here is simple and relies on proven mathematical algorithms that are duly summed up in a simple list of actions to undertake. There are other variants you can explore, naturally.

For example, you can find a reference sheet for a blackjack strategy 6 deck or look for another specific number of decks. Most of the time, you shouldn t have any trouble using the 4-to-8 reference sheet for anything in between.

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Blackjack Basic Strategy in Rules and Tips

We have talked about blackjack strategy a lot, but we believe to help you establish a foothold in the game, it would be best to break down the different stages for you, as in surrender, split and double, and specifically when to implement each one. But first, we need to give you some general pointers.

To begin with, you must realize that a blackjack basic strategy isn t enough; you must focus on developing in-depth understanding, and that comes with practice. More importantly, you must memorize the blackjack strategy and references, because you won t always be able to check a reference chart.

Once you advance enough, you will notice that there are more variations, especially as you explore new formats and games, and casinos introduce new versions of blackjack. In the meantime, though, you will want to stick with the games that offer the best house edge.

Whichever blackjack strategy you use, you must make sure the house edge is the best you can get. Here are some proven rules for you to memorize. They refer to the 4-to-8-deck version of the game we discussed before. So, you should:

Hit or Stand
  • Make sure anything on par or below Hard 11
  • Stand on Hard 12 if the dealer runs 4-6, or hit otherwise
  • Stand on Hard 13-16 if the dealer holds 2-6, but hit otherwise
  • Always stand on anything on par or above Hard 17
  • Always hit Soft 17 or anything below it
  • Stand on Soft 18, unless the dealer has 9, 10 or A
  • Always stand on Soft 19 or anything above that (in most cases, ust 20)
  • Double your Hard 9 vs the dealer s 3-6
  • Double your Hard 10 unless the dealer holds 10 or A
  • Double Hard 11 unless the dealer has A
  • Double Soft 13 or 14 if the dealer holds 5-6
  • Double Soft 15 or 16 if the dealer holds 4-6
  • Double Soft 17 or 18 if the dealer holds 3-6
  • Split aces and 8s
  • Don t split 5s and 10s
  • Split 2s and 3s versus 4 and 7, and against 2 or 3 only if double after split (DAS) is allowed
  • Split your 4s if double after split is allowed vs. the dealer s 5 or 6
  • Split 6s vs. the dealer s 3 or 6, and vs. 2 if double after split is allowed
  • Split 7s vs. anything 2-7 the dealer holds
  • Split 9s if the dealer holds 2-6 or 8-9
  • Only surrender Hard 16 (never a pair of 8s) vs the dealer s 9,10, or A
  • Hard 15 vs the dealer s 10

You can treat this as a basic blackjack strategy that will work for your 4-deck and 8-deck games, driving some decent results your way. Modifications can be made, of course, but this comes over time as you begin to understand the game a little better.

Card Counting as One of the Blackjack Strategies

Card counting is a buzzword in any blackjack strategy, yet you need to know that it is not a panacea an all-out solution for anything blackjack-related. Counting cards is an intellectual challenge and carries risk, because most casinos forbid it.

When done right, this basic, yet highly-efficient, strategy can take you a long way at any land-based casino, but it has zero utility in online casinos, because the decks are reshuffled each time a hand has been played.

This eliminates any opportunities to card count reliably online. However, you can benefit from this blackjack strategy at most retail and commercial casinos. To get yourself involved in card counting, you will need to study, have rudimentary mathematical knowledge, and be very patient.

Only if these three conditions are met can you begin to grasp card counting. Time will be of the essence in order to grasp the necessary skills to count cards, and you will need to practice. With this said, let s take a look at what the blackjack basic strategy principles of card counting are:

  1. Assign a value to each card
  2. Start counting
  3. Calculate the true count per deck
  4. Adjust your bet based on the true count
  5. Bring the house down

You see, these four conditions are in fact very simple to follow through with. Assigning a card value is the simplest. Most players go with the following values in their blackjack strategy:

  • 2-6 = +1
  • 7-9 = 0
  • 10-Ace = -1

Once you have the values, all you have to do is pay attention and count the cards. A single deck would allow you to figure out the true count, as there are no additional challenges. But this is where your blackjack basic strategy should begin to adapt.

Casinos are aware of card counters; in fact, they employ many card counters to help them catch other players who are counting cards. Therefore, casinos have introduced additional decks to make your job more difficult.

Now, the true count is split between several decks and you need to keep track, adjusting your bets. But this is not quite all. There are additional challenges threatening to throw a spanner in your blackjack strategy.

For starters, a dealer might chat you up, a waitress may start bringing drinks your way in an effort to see if you are easily distracted or focused on the game almost always a dead giveaway you are counting cards. With this said, you are probably wondering right now is card counting worth it? The simple answer is yes; any blackjack strategy will benefit from counting cards. Here are a few things to keep in mind however:

  1. The casino will actively pursue you if you are a card counter, especially if you re good at it
  2. You can be asked to leave if you win too much and systematically
  3. To master card counting, you will need months, if not years
  4. Casinos use artificial intelligence, card counters and staff to see if a winning customer is a counter
  5. A dealer might shuffle the deck if he suspects a customer is winning too much, or request a new deck and cards

This sums up card counting, painting one of the most popular blackjack strategies in broad strokes. Card counting is worthwhile, but you must commit to it over a long period of time to see benefits.

Best Blackjack Betting Strategies. Do They Work in Blackjack?

Blackjack has a lot of depth. It offers very simple gameplay, but there is much to master. Therefore, players continue to turn to blackjack strategy in order, hopefully, to reach their full potential in the game and earn a little more.

Some blackjack strategies are arguably better than others, but what will work for you will depend on the type of player you are, the version of the game you play, and how good you are at following the prescribed play.

With this said, there are three blackjack basic strategy options for you to try here. Each is worth your attention and consideration.

Win Little by Little

This blackjack strategy is rooted in a very conservative approach towards blackjack. Instead of taking on any big risks, you will want to streamline your experience and focus on small bets.

That said, you won t place big amounts at all, and you will probably find the best-RTP game while still looking for the lowest basic bet.

One way to apply this blackjack strategy is not just by betting small amounts but rather, from time to time, you will want to double your bet, for example. You can double until you catch up on a loss. This way, even if you lose five times in a row, you will recuperate your losses if you win on the sixth hand

The strategy relies on the fact that a player bets very small amounts, so it s statistically very unlikely that the player will turn up a loss in the end.

You don t have to double up anything, though. Just play with small amounts and try to balance how much money you spend on blackjack and how much you earn back.

True, this particular blackjack strategy doesn t rely on a mathematical edge or depth, but that s part of its charm and what makes it so accessible in the first place.

The Martingale Strategy

Martingale is one of the timeless classics you will use to improve your blackjack winnings or at least give yourself the best statistical probability of doing so. The idea in this blackjack strategy is again to bet conservatively just place a minimum bet and play.

Use the reference charts to advise you on the best play in each case and use them well. Every time you win, just bet the same minimum amount, and do so until you lose.

Now that you have lost, it s time to get your last bet back. Just double up; if you lose again, don t worry. You can double back until you win back everything you have lost. Once you do, you not only have your original winnings, but you have also made back your losses, too.

This blackjack strategy sounds bulletproof and it almost is. However, because of the small advantage the casino has, you will need to realize that in the long term, you are eventually going to hit a bunch of losing hands.

To avoid this, the best thing to do is use the Martingale blackjack strategy and quit while you are ahead. This is not the most exciting game plan, but it s one that brings you steady results over time.

1-3-2-6 Blackjack Betting System

This is another viable blackjack strategy that has been used time and time again; clearly, it works. Now, there are no ultimate solutions, and our guide s goal is to instruct you well. Therefore, the 1-3-2-6 system can be quite useful, but only on the condition that you understand and accept the risks.

Basically, the strategy asks you to bet in a sequence. Based on the numbers here, this sequence (assuming your bet is $1) would be $1, $3, $2, and $6. Does this make sense? It does, because it s mathematically proven to help you recuperate part of your losses and keep you betting according to a pattern.

Now, this strategy should be restarted once you lose, or each time you reach the $6 bet. If you lose on $3 (based on the previous example), then you should go back to $1, not fast-forward to $2 or even $6. This blackjack strategy only works if you stick to it without unnecessary deviations.

Another big plus here is that you don t really have to own a big bankroll to make it work and, even if you lose, you can control your bankroll to the point where your losses will be negligible, in theory.

Where did the basic strategy come from?

The blackjack basic strategy is actually a computer simulation. Once upon a time, a computer was taught to play blackjack, and it played through several hundred million hands, coming up with a cornerstone blackjack stratagem to use in your games. Basically, today’s ground-zero blackjack strategy is the result of analyzing a computer play.

How to memorize blackjack basic strategy?

To commit everything to memory, you will need patience and determination. You shouldn’t exactly rush into it, but you shouldn’t give up one week in. You need to keep rote-learning and play-testing. The Internet is full of blank strategy sheets you can use to actually lay down the strategy as a form of exercise. This is the answer to how to memorize blackjack basic strategy.

Is using a basic strategy table legal?

Yes. You can even use a basic blackjack strategy chart legally in Las Vegas casinos, and they are more than happy to have you try to outsmart them. If you start winning too much, you might be asked to hand over your sheet for inspection or the casino might look into whether you are counting cards.

What is the optimal size of the bet?

Some blackjack pros advise betting around 3% of your total bankroll when you sit down at a table. Others suggest betting 25% if you are the only player playing. Both of these could work, but we recommend you stick to smaller amounts. In fact, if you are playing according to a blackjack strategy, even a minimum bet should do.

What’s the percentage of winning by using a basic strategy?

Using a basic blackjack strategy and betting $25 per hand for six has been proven to lead to losses between $10 and $100, which is pretty decent, given how much time you have spent playing. However, because the game is based on chance, you can end up winning 5%, 10% or more of your original bankroll before you quit your session.

How to win and not lose?

You can only win by sticking to a repetitive blackjack strategy and quitting while you are ahead. This is the main condition of winning. Nobody can beat the casino over the long term if they continue playing. However, by calling it quits early on, you will be able to collect your winnings and move on.

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