If you’re new to blackjack, you might find it difficult to know how to choose between a GOOD blackjack game, and a BAD one, in Land Based casinos. Whilst playing conditions in casinos around the world are similar, there are definite variations in the rules they offer – and these rules can make a huge difference to your bottom line and likelihood of winning in the medium to long term. The following advice is by no means fully comprehensive, but I’m hoping it will help you to choose a game which gives you a better chance to win.
GOOD Blackjack Game Rules:
1. Dealer stands on ALL 17s.
2. Double-down on ANY first two cards.
3. Split and resplit ANY pair of cards.
4. Split and RESPLIT Aces.
5. Double-down AFTER splits AND resplits.
6. Blackjack pays 3 to 2.
GOOD Blackjack Games:
1. Two-deck hand-held games, shuffled by a HUMAN dealer.
2. Four-deck shoe games, shuffled by a HUMAN dealer with at least 70% penetration.
3. Six-deck shoe games, shuffled by a HUMAN dealer with at least 75% penetration.
4. Any of the above – as long as they have the majority of the GOOD blackjack game rules.
5. Any one-on-one blackjack game, between you and the dealer, that have all of the above.
And here are the types of games that you want to AVOID!
BAD Blackjack Game Rules:
1. Dealer HITS on soft 17.
2. Double-down only on 9, 10 and 11.
3. No resplitting of pairs.
4. No resplitting of Aces.
5. No Double-down AFTER splits.
6. Blackjack pays anything other than 3 to 2 (i.e. 1 to 1, etc).
BAD Blackjack Games:
1. Any game shuffled by a machine.
2. Any game shuffled by a machine that is a continuous shuffler or randomiser.
3. Any game that has less than 70% penetration.
4. Any game that cuts 50% or more off the deck (or decks).
5. Any game that has the majority of the BAD blackjack game rules.
6. Any single-deck game played with less than two thirds of the deck, and without all of the GOOD rules.
When you next go into a casino, take this checklist with you. If the games seem to fit into the “GOOD” category for rules, play. But if they don’t, go and play at a casino that offers you a better chance to win.
Shopping around for online casino blackjack games is also advised, if you’re an online player. There are a lot of rule variations around – but almost all online casinos publish the game rules and options they allow on their websites, so that you can make an informed choice before playing. All online games are of course shuffled by a machine, but some casinos offer great player incentives which can overcome this negative (i.e. Betfair Casino offer a ZERO EDGE BLACKJACK game with some great player friendly rules).
Wherever you play, stay lucky. Hopefully the above information is helpful to you!