Understanding House Edge in Blackjack

If you’re as crazy about the wonderful world of blackjack as we are, and you also enjoy a bit of reading, we’re fairly certain you’re familiar with the term house edge. In fact, forget blackjack, if you’ve ever read about the mathematics involved in any casino game, you have definitely heard this term.

While you may have heard the term before, there are many that don’t fully understand what it means, nevermind how it works. Fortunately, there are a few facts listed below that aim to help you understand the house edge in blackjack.

Casino Advantage

The first thing to understanding the house edge is by defining it as a statistical way of measuring the advantage that the casino has over the player, which essentially means players can get a clearer view of their average losses.

For example, if a casino has a house edge of 5%, it basically means that for every $100 bet that you place, you will lose an average of at least $5 per bet. Thus, math implications become fairly clearer, so placing 60 bets in an hour and losing $5 a bet would mean you’d be losing $300 an hour.

House Edge and Bets

A good thing to mention in trying to understand the house edge in blackjack is the fact that it is only applicable to players that place a statistically large number of wagers over a period of time.

To put it in perspective, if you’re playing in a blackjack game at a casino that happens to have a house edge of 1% and you play a single game, placing $100 down, there are a few possible outcomes that you will be faced with.

There’s a chance you’ll lose $100, a chance you’ll win $100, you could push and win or lose nothing, with a natural you could win $150,  or you could win $200 or more if you split or double down and win.

Although the mathematics have ultimately lead to the expectation for players to lose $1, it is virtually impossible for a player to lose just $1 on a single hand of blackjack as the math just won’t work.

Blackjack House Edge is Lower

Something that all players need to know if they want to truly understand the house edge in blackjack is that, more often than not, it is lower than that of all other casino card games, and with it a lot less profitable it is almost a wonder as to why casinos still have it on offer.

Consider a game like Casino War with a house edge of 2.88% that involves an average loss of $2.88 every single time you bet, compared to a 0.5% house edge in blackjack that would mean only losing 50 cents each time you play a hand.

General House Edge

You will generally find that the house edge in blackjack typically sits at about 0.5% when using basic strategy, however, this can of course change based on the player’s level of skill.

In fact, some players even tend to give up more to the casino, with a house edge of 2% common to those that are bad enough at blackjack. This sheds light on just why blackjack is offered when the house edge is so low.

Simply put, it is because basic strategy is really just a phrase that has been used to imply the ability to make correct mathematical decision at a blackjack table and most players won’t have the time, effort or skill to get the house edge to a point where it is as low as it can possibly be.