What Is the House Edge in Blackjack Games? – Blackjack House Edge Explained

Blackjack is often referred to as the most rewarding casino game because it has a very low house edge. But if you are new to the game and are not familiar with the blackjack house edge or what the term house edge even means, you should probably learn about it before hitting the tables.

In this article, we will explain how the house edge in blackjack is calculated and how it changes depending on which version of the game you’re playing, as well as which strategy you’re using to play it.

What Is the House Edge?

Before we get down to the nitty-gritty, we will explain what the house edge represents. Simply put, the house edge is a percentage that indicates how much of an advantage the game (and, therefore, the house or the casino that offers the game) has over the player.

If the house edge on a given game is 3%, that means that the house will win 3% of your total stake over the long run. So, if you wagered a total of C$100 during your gameplay, you are statistically likely to win C$97 back, and leave C$3 to the casino.

Blackjack House Edge Calculator

So, how do you calculate the house edge in blackjack? Well, the house edge has already been calculated for every known variation of the game, and it was done based on countless theoretical trials that always consider the basic blackjack strategy.

The blackjack house edge cannot be calculated very easily because, apart from luck, playing the game effectively also involves a lot of skill. Players who don’t know what they are doing will experience a higher house edge than those who use proper strategies.

For example, American roulette’s house edge is always 5.26% for single-number bets regardless of which numbers the player chooses, as the outcomes are random.

Single-Deck Blackjack House Edge

As mentioned before, the house edge in blackjack depends on which version you’re playing. Single-deck blackjack generally has a lower house edge because it uses fewer cards, meaning that the cards are easier to track and that the outcomes can be predicted more easily. However, the single-deck blackjack house edge also depends on the game’s rules, or, more specifically, its payouts.

Namely, some single-deck blackjack games offer a 3:2 payout when you get a blackjack. Those games have a house edge of merely 0.16% when players use basic blackjack strategy to perfection, meaning that the casino barely makes any profit off of those players in the long run. Thus, some casinos have started to offer payouts of only 6:5 on blackjack, thus increasing the house edge to 1.55%.

That’s why single-deck blackjack games are not as popular as they used to be. You will have a much lower house edge in an eight-deck game than in a single-deck game with 6:5 payouts.

Double-Deck Blackjack House Edge

As we have already established, the more decks there are to a blackjack game, the less likely it is for the basic strategy to work consistently. A game that features two decks has a higher house edge than a single-deck blackjack game, but the payouts still play a significant role.

Games that have a 3:2 payout on blackjack have the following house edges:

  • Single-deck: 0.16%
  • Double-deck: 0.46%
  • 4-deck: 0.60%
  • 6-deck: 0.64%
  • 8-deck: 0.66%

On the other hand, games that have a 6:5 payout are much less rewarding:

  • Single-deck: 1.55%
  • Double-deck: 1.83%
  • 4-deck: 1.96%
  • 6-deck: 1.99%
  • 8-deck: 2.02%

Blackjack Switch House Edge

Blackjack Switch is a rather interesting take on regular blackjack, as it comes with a few additional rules and side bets. Namely, every player will play two hands instead of one, with the ability to switch the top two cards and create a better hand. The side bet is called the Super Match, and it rewards players who have a pair, two pairs, three of a kind, or four of a kind amongst their cards.

Since these additional rules put players at an advantage, the dealer doesn’t bust when reaching 22. Instead, every bet on the table becomes a push, which significantly affects the house edge.

However, if you use the right strategy, you can potentially lower the house edge to only 0.25%, making Blackjack Switch the most rewarding blackjack game, not including single-deck blackjack that pays 3:2. That said, you should be aware that natural blackjacks in Blackjack Switch are paid 1:1 instead of 3:2.

Of course, because of the game’s unique rules, plenty of variations are added to the strategy, meaning that the approach is a bit more complicated and challenging to learn.

Also, there are several different takes on Blackjack Switch, so the house edge will always depend on the specific ruleset. Accounting for all the popular Blackjack Switch games, the house edge varies between 0.17% and 0.55% when using the optimal strategy.

Final Thoughts

No matter which blackjack variation you choose to play, you will enjoy a low house edge, especially compared to games such as roulette, craps, keno, or video slots. However, to truly have a low house edge in a blackjack game, you will need to brush up on your basic blackjack strategy. If you use this strategy to perfection, you will minimize your risks and put yourself in a position to win continuously.

One tip that we can give you is that you should never play on blackjack tables that offer a 6:5 payout for a natural blackjack. This payout change might seem insignificant to someone who doesn’t know how the blackjack house edge works, but it makes all the difference. Instead, try to find a game with a 3:2 payout that is played with the smallest number of decks possible.