Blackjack Cards are Picked with Random Number Generation

Playing blackjack online carries the same amount of odds as playing blackjack in a real casino. If you disagree with this fact, there is something you should know about: Random Number Generation.

While researching the odds of blackjack online I came across something a that gave me much need insight into the world of online gambling.

Random Number Generation or RNG is used for many things other than gambling games. It also comes in handy when developing statistical sampling, randomized design, cryptography, and computer simulation. There are also a couple different forms that RNG can take.

The first is the computational method, which is used in online casino games. This method uses complex formulas and algorithms. It is much more complicated than the physical method, which is seen in the form of a simple coin flip, dice roll, or wheel spin, to name a few.

The last and least common method is the human method. This is the least favorite because research has shown that no matter how random humans think they are, there is always a subconscious pattern that goes with your alleged randomization.

All Online Casinos use this method. Every single one is equipped with this software.  So when you hear someone say that computers “cheat” at gambling games you can chuckle to yourself, and then explain to them what RNG is.

Playing blackjack online is always a good tool to perfect your game, especially with the “funny” money that almost all reputable casinos give you. You can see for yourself that the cards drawn are random, try it out on a one or two deck blackjack table if you really want to test the theory.

Special Blackjack Payouts and Their Impact on a Player’s Edge

I am in a positive mood today. Last time I wrote I discussed the differences in the two types of surrenders that can be found in a game of blackjack. Both can do good things to a player’s edge in blackjack. Remember edge pertains to potential gain or loss of money for the player. As a player you want to keep your eyes open for the little extra house rules that will do positive things for your edge in blackjack. But first you need to know what some of the extra house rules are. So today I am going to share with you some of the special wins.

The best house rule that favors players for natural blackjack wins is when natural blackjacks pay out 2-1 instead of 3-2. Rather than making a $1.50 per $1 wager, players receive $2 to every $1 wagered. A $0.50 difference may not sound like a lot, but a $10 wager wins $20 with this house rule. As for the boost to your player’s edge, it is a nice 2.27% boost, which is one of the highest boosts a player can find.

Now if your natural blackjack is made up of two cards from the same suite some games of blackjack will payout 2-1. Logically you will not find this rule being applied in the same game as the one that offers a 2-1 payout for any natural blackjack. But if you cannot find the 2-1 payout on any natural, then 2-1 on a suited natural is still nice. This rule gives players a 0.57% boost to their edge.

What about push rules? It is not often that we find rules that make pushes in blackjack anything other than what they are. And when your natural blackjack comes up against a dealer blackjack it is such a letdown. Here you are thinking you are about to win a nice payout and then the dealer reveals he has a natural too. However there is one rule that can be found in some blackjack games that will remove that feeling of letdown: a tied blackjack still receives its 3-2 payout. Now there is a boost here of 0.32% in the player’s favor. This is because normally the player would only get to keep their wager rather than lose it but they also lose the 3-2 that they should have gotten, but the rule not only lets them keep their wager—it also still pays them 3-2.

These rules in blackjack cannot always be found. These are rules for blackjack payouts that players are meant to learn, tuck back into their minds and keep on the lookout for. Once spotted players remember and then join the game recognizing a good blackjack opportunity when they find one.

Understanding the Surrenders in Blackjack

So, my dear blackjack players, I have been giving some more thought to the rules of Double Attack Blackjack and it has me thinking about late surrender and surrender in blackjack in general. Late surrender is one of two ways for a blackjack player to exit a round without losing all of their wager. But there are two different types of surrender and it pays to know the difference between the two.

First we are going to look at late surrender. A lot of novice players assume that because of the word ‘late’ in the title it means that late surrender is the preferred of the two. And while either form of surrender is better than no surrender, late takes a backseat to early surrender. Here’s why:

In order for a player to make a late surrender, he has to wait for the dealer to check to see if he has a natural blackjack. Only after checking can a player choose to give up half of their wager and surrender. If the dealer has a natural blackjack, then the player cannot make a late surrender. But despite that one drawback, late surrender can help a player’s edge by giving them a boost of 0.08%. This is because on the occasions that they can still surrender, they only lose half of their wager and not all of it, like they would if the dealer has a natural.

Early surrender, as compared to late surrender, allows the player to exit a blackjack round before the dealer checks to see if he has a natural blackjack. This significantly boosts the player’s blackjack edge, with a boost of 0.24%. The biggest difference is that once a player surrenders and gives up half of his wager, he can still keep the other half even the dealer has a natural blackjack. That is where the difference in the boost to the player’s edge is.

Between the two, early surrender is the preferred way to go, but it is less common than late surrender. That being said, if the only option is to play in a game of blackjack with late surrender or in a game with no surrender, go with the one that offers at least one form of surrender—that is if the other house rules are not too steep.

Hand By Hand Basis

Do you give much thought to what your odds of winning in blackjack are on a hand by hand basis? I am going to guess probably not. Nothing wrong with that. Most blackjack players are looking at the overall odds, which is smart. But there are some blackjack players have some misconceptions about the odds of winning.

Just to rehash in case you are joining me here for the first time, the odds of winning a hand of blackjack, a single hand mind you, is 44%. The dealer has a 48% chance of beating you, and the remaining 8% is made up of pushes better known as ties.

Some of the less informed blackjack players think that their odds would change from hand to hand. This is not really so. The odds of winning are based on the rules of the game. And the rules do not change from hand to hand. And the rules of blackjack are set so that the house has the edge.

Now I know you might feel like arguing card counting, and while card counting can give players an indication of if the remaining cards are running rich in high or low cards, it still does not change the rules of the game. Regardless of whether the cards are running high or low the same rules for doubling and splitting or when you bust are still the same. This is how the odds of winning a hand are the same regardless of whether you are playing blackjack online or in a casino.

So keep that in mind when playing blackjack. But do not let it ruin the game for you. Blackjack strategy will help you make the most of your hand. Stick with your strategy. While it will not impact odds, it can hit the house’s edge and cause you to lose less money.

6-5 Payouts are to Blackjack What a Smack is to the Face

It does not come any truer than that. Blackjack started out as a single deck game. That is what it was built on. Back in the day blackjack was played on a single deck with a 3-2 payout for a natural. Nowadays you can almost never find that. Nowadays if you see a single deck game it means a 6-5 payout.

And that 6-5 payout is like a smack in the face for blackjack players. Here the casinos are touting that this a revival of the good ol’ classic blackjack with a single deck, and at the same time they are trying to take players for their money with an increased house edge from that 6-5 payout.

Some players, more novice and still green in the casino, virtual or not, do not see what the big deal is. It is a single deck game after all, does that not even out the house edge hike from the payout? No way does it.

Here are the hits and ups to the house edge: A single deck will increase the player’s edge by 0.48%, but a 6-5 payout will decrease a player’s edge by 1.39%. That is a negative hit to the player’s edge of 0.91%. So players still are on the losing end of a single deck game if it is offering a 6-5 payout.

If you have a choice to play in a single deck game with a 6-5 payout or a multi-deck game with a 3-2 payout, take the multi-deck game. In terms of money, you will get a blackjack about once in twenty hands. If you were wagering $10 per hand, a 3-2 payout is $15 and a 6-5 payout is $12. That is a 25% loss to the house for playing in a single deck game.

Is that loss worth it? Giving up money to the house and essentially paying for the privilege of playing single deck blackjack? No. Stick to multi-deck blackjack games both online and in a brick and mortar casino.

Dealer with an Ace, How Likely is it They Will Have a 10 Too?

One of the worst bets in blackjack is insurance. The exception to the aforementioned statement is side bets. Those surpass even insurance. But insurance in blackjack is based on scaring a player into protecting their wager.

It works like this: You are in a casino and playing some blackjack. The dealer’s up card is an Ace. There is a collective intake of breath from the other players at the table. If the hole card is a 10 it means the dealer has a natural blackjack and everyone loses. Except for those with a natural blackjack themselves, in which case they push and only get to keep their wager as opposed to receiving a 3-2 payout. It is a crappy situation all around. Once the dealer sees he has an Ace he will offer all the players insurance.

Insurance in blackjack is a separate wager that is equal to half the amount of your original wager. So if you wagered $50 your insurance wager is $25. If the dealer does indeed have a natural blackjack you would lose your original wager, but collect 1-1 on the insurance wager so that you would wind up with the amount of your original wager; but you will have still lost $50 and only received $25 from the house so that you are still out a negative net of $25. If the dealer does not have a natural blackjack the dealer will then collect your insurance wager. It all hinges on whether the dealer has a 10 for a hole card.

But what are the odds? Do the odds favor taking insurance or not?

There are only four cards with a value of 10 in blackjack. Four cards out of thirteen. That means there is only a 31% chance that the hole card will be a 10. The remaining 69% of the time the hole card will be worth something else. So based on that taking insurance is not worth the wager because the odds in blackjack are against the dealer having a 10 for the hole card.

Frequency of Stiff Hands in Blackjack

Stiff hands are the worst hands to get in blackjack. They are not automatic losses; players still have a chance to win the round, but the odds are not with the player, they are with the dealer. But how often do blackjack players really have to contend with stiff hands?

Stiff hands, for the record, are hard 12s through hard 17s. I include hard 17 in this because even though players always stand on it for being too high to hit, it does not have the odds that blackjack players believe. As for how often players should expect to be dealt a stiff hand, it is about 43% of the time.

I know, that is a lot. But stop and remember that blackjack players will lose to the house 52% of the time; most of those losses are wrapped up in that 52% of total losses. Around 83% of your money that goes to the house happens with those stiff hands. And all you can really do is make you play and hope for the best because the odds are not on your side with those hands.

So what do you do when you are dealt one of those stiff hands, knowing that you are looking at odds stacked against you?

The best option blackjack players have in the instance of stiff hands is to play the best statistical play; and we all know that those plays are found on a basic strategy chart. That chart will tell you if it is better for you to hit, stand or even surrender (if the casino gives blackjack players that option).

Blackjack Players vs. Side Bets

Side bets are one of the evils of blackjack—both blackjack online and blackjack in a brick and mortar casino. It does not matter where you play blackjack, if you are playing with side bets you are going to lose more money. Check it out:

Perfect Pairs. For all intents and purposes this is played exactly like regular blackjack except for one minor detail: players make a separate, side bet on that they will be dealt a pair in their first two cards. If you are dealt a pair of twos then congrats, you win the wager; and if you are not dealt a pair in your first two cards you lose the wager. That is it, end of story.

The problem with this is that side bets are against the nature of blackjack. Blackjack is a game of skill in which players can use strategy—strategy they can practice and improve upon for better results—to improve their edge against the house. But with side bets there is no strategy possible that can improve the odds of being dealt a pair in your first two cards.

Side bets are simply a bad bet.

Let’s look at this side bet example a bit closer. The house edge on blackjack prior to strategy is 4-5%. In a game of Perfect Pairs that house edge increases by 1.76% up to 6.76%. Now you can apply something as simple as basic strategy to the game portion of blackjack and drop the house edge to 0.5% if you stick to basic strategy and do not deviate. But if you are in playing Perfect Pairs, the lowest you can bring the house edge down to is 2.26%.

And that is only one blackjack variation with a side bet. But use this example as guidance when thinking about playing in a blackjack game with a side bet, and take this away with you: do not play with side bets.

Truth About Single Deck Blackjack

While blackjack may have started out a single deck card game years and years ago, it has evolved since those days into a mere shadow of its former self. The odds have changed and so have so has its payout.

Which is why I shook my head and laughed when I read an article written by someone who obviously knew nothing about blackjack. According to them the best thing about single deck blackjack and their best reason for choosing a single deck game was because you got to hold the cards and could literally slap down a blackjack on the table.

Really? That is your reason for opting for single deck blackjack?

Well, buddy, you can enjoy that slapping and card holding but there are some things about single deck blackjack that will make a seasoned blackjack player who knows the truth about modern single deck games are more likely to seek out a multi deck game. And here is why:

Single deck blackjack games will, nine times out of ten, will offer a 6-5 payout as opposed to the good ol’ 3-2 payout for a natural blackjack. And that 6-5 payout is a pretty hefty hit to a player’s blackjack odds. Just playing in a game of blackjack with a 6-5 payout on a natural drives the house’s edge up by 1.39%.

Remember, yesterday I talked about what the house edge really is and how it is a reflection on a player’s expected loss on a wager. So let’s say that the game you are playing in is a single deck game with a house edge of 5%, meaning you can expect to lose 5% of your wager. Playing in a blackjack game with a 6-5 payout will increase the house edge to 6.39%. And that is the truth about single deck blackjack.

Just sitting down and allowing yourself to be tempted into playing in a single deck game will increase the amount of your wager that you can expect to lose on average. Why would you do that to yourself?

Who Wins More Hands in Online Blackjack

There is some speculation on who wins what percentage of hands in online blackjack. Some think that there is a difference in online blackjack to the point that it impacts the percentage of who wins hands in the game.

While there are some differences in online blackjack and blackjack played in a brick and mortar casino—such as card counting, which cannot be used in online blackjack—there are some things that do not change. The house edge is one such thing that does not change.

While players can still use basic strategy in online blackjack, there are not enough differences to impact winning. The house is still going to win roughly 48% of the hands that are dealt while the player is still only going to win 44% of the time.

The reason for this is still found in the basic structure of blackjack. For one thing the player still plays first. For another the dealer does not put up any wager to play a round.

On the other hand the dealer is not allowed to double down or split pairs. Those plays do give players an advantage but they need to take advantage of them when the opportunities come along. To help guide players there is basic strategy.

Basic strategy tells players when the most opportune moments are to double down and split pairs. This allows players to make the most of these hands which contributes to increasing their odds on winning those 44% of hands. If you are only going to win 44% of the time you want to make the most money off of them and that is where knowing when to double down and split pairs since players can win more money off of those hands than on a standard hand.