What Are Your Chances?

Having already established that Blackjack provides the best chance for walking away from the casino with some money, what are your chances really like?

To put things into perspective, let’s compare a few casino and card games and understand what edge the casino have over the player.

Baccarat: 1.17% – 1.63%
Roulette (Single zero): 2.7%
Roulette (Double zero): 5.56%

When looking at these numbers, it seems the casino does not have a significant advantage, but what it does mean is that the Casino will always win in the long term. This means that we need to choose a game that gives the casino the least advantage and here it would appear to be Baccarat.

So how does Blackjack rate in the scheme of things? At face value, it would appear that Blackjack does not provide very good odds for the player with the casino having a massive 8% edge over the player. This is only because of one reason, and that is the player needs to act before the casino. Remember the dealer only reveals a single card and the player needs to make a decision on what action to take. Should the player mirror what the dealer would have done, 8% of the time both would go bust. Of course once the player goes bust, it does not matter what the dealers hand is, hence 8% advantage to the casino.

Luckily though there are a number of rules that improve the players chances by allowing the player to act a lot more independently than the dealer. We have already mentioned that should the dealer have a score of 16 or less they need to draw another card or should they have a score of 17 they need to stand.

These rules are not imposed on the player and the player therefore has carte blanche on when to hit and when to stand. Done correctly, this improves the players chances by 3.25%. The player can also double or split and in addition to this the Blackjack bonus payout is in the players favour. The advantage regained by the player is summarised below

  1. 3-2 Bonus payout for the player: an improvement of 2.25%
  2. Proper hitting and standing: an improvement of 3.25%
  3. Proper doubling: an improvement of 1.5%
  4. Proper splitting: an improvement of 0.5%

All in all this reduces the casino’s advantage from an initial 8% to 0.5% – almost equal odds.

There aren’t many other games that will give you that.