New rules to play blackjack

By | February 27, 2010

Blackjack being the most widely played table game in casinos all over the world has the lowest house edge that can be taken down even lower if employing card counting techniques. But if blackjack was a new game trying to make it to the casino tables in our days it would be very unlikely to get there. Blackjack players that use the basic strategy usually reduce the house advantage to 1,5%, which is two times less that is usually accepted in the casinos these days.

Back in 1963 Edward O Thorp, the author of Beat The Dealer, highlighted the fact that blackjack in essence could be easily beaten when using card counting and made even if the player used the basic strategy. Such revelations made a stir in the gambling world as many players jumped behind the tables with the hope to beat the game. The response of casino officials was very simple – they added more decks to the game, making car counting harder to use and apply. However, the basic strategy still gives the player a house edge of less than 1% even with more decks in the game.

But the reality is far less optimistic than most players think, as a little number of those who play blackjack devote much time to learning card counting to the extent that would allow them using the technique in a real life setting. And the number of those who actually manage to master the basic technique is even smaller. Of course, the calculated house advantage can be less than 1% but the vast majority of those who play blackjack have to deal with 2%.

Seeing how much people choose blackjack to play at both brick-and-mortar and online casinos, you may believe that the casino owners are happy with their incomes. However, the owners themselves have a different opinion. The last couple of years seem some changes introduced with the scope of maximizing the profits casinos gain from blackjack players. Some houses installed automatic shuffling machines for making the game even faster paced. Others changed the rules, increasing the house edge in general. However, some casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have introduced a change to the rules that delivered a very strong impact on the game in general.

Now, instead of 3 to 2 paid for natural blackjacks these houses require 6 to 5. This means that if with previous rules you would get $15 dollars when betting $10 a hand, now you will only get $12 for a natural blackjack. And this leads to the house edge raised by 1.4%, leaving the player who’s using the basic strategy with a 2% disadvantage.

To make things even worse, these casinos are advertising these new rules as an advantage to the player. And inexperienced players fall for such ads, not realizing that they get ripped off in comparison with typical blackjack. The best way to win at such games is to avoid them at all, as it’s not the blackjack most people can win these days. Find a casino with a 3 to 3 blackjack payout and feel the difference.

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