Rate of Play in Blackjack

There is one aspect of the house edge that players have direct control over. I know you are thinking, what could that possibly be? After all the house has a built in advantage from playing last, which the player cannot control. And even though a player can control how they play out their hand—something the majority of casino games lack—players in blackjack cannot control what cards they are dealt. So what is left that is in the player’s hands in blackjack that they can control?

Their rate of play. Quite simply put, the rate at which plays through rounds of blackjack. If you play at a fast rate, making quick decisions and hurrying through the execution of your plays, you are playing more hands compared to someone who slows down their play, playing at a relaxing pace without all the haste.

At first you might think, ‘So what? What is the big deal? So what if I play faster than someone else?’ but think about this: the more hands you play in an hour the more money you stand to lose. Check it out.

Let’s say you are playing in a game of blackjack with a flat 2% house edge. Based on the meaning of house edge, you will lose \$2 out of every \$10 you play. Let’s now say you play sixty hands in an hour; you have an expected loss of \$120 in an hour. You may lose it, you may not. But based on house edge, that is your expected loss.

Now let’s say you only play forty hands of blackjack in an hour. Your expected loss based on the house edge in blackjack is only \$80. That is a \$40 difference for slowing down each hand from one minute to one and a half minutes. A thirty second increase per hand and you will have cut your expected loss by 33%.

Slowing down you rate of play lessens your expected losses in blackjack, which does not leave as many opportunities for the house to win and take your money. Blackjack strategy tidbit for today is to slow your rate of play down.