1. Is there a standard form of Blackjack?
No. There is no standard form of blackjack that can be found in all casinos. You might even find several versions of blackjack played within the same casino.
2. How do I choose the best strategy for Blackjack?
Choosing the “best” strategy depends on two key factors: a) the number of decks used, and b) the “house rules” in effect during play. Find this information out first, and then look for the appropriate strategy. There are loads of strategies out there. But if you’re looking for a solid foundation, check out our strategy section where you can find the basics, and then some.
3. Does card counting really help?
The typical card counter enjoys an edge of 1-1.5%, (average for single deck 1%; average for multi-deck less than 1% – common estimates derived from scientific models), but this depends on factors such as the counting system used, skill level, and house rules. Conditions that allow for more than a 2% edge against the house are rare, even against single deck games, which are considered more lenient towards the player.
4. Is card counting legal?
Yes, it actually is legal, however it is dangerous for the player, as casinos can run players off the game if caught. Blackjack players are legally permitted to use any information made available to them, provided there is no collusion between a player and casino personnel, according to the Nevada courts. The law opens other doors too: if a dealer accidentally reveals the face of a card to a player, for example, the player is legally permitted to use that information to his/her own benefit.
5. How do casinos react to card counters?
Casinos are like people; each one reacts differently to any given situation. Casinos in Atlantic City are not allowed to ban skillful players, but in Nevada, casinos are free to refuse service to whomever they please. Often players are “barred”, which involves being asked to leave, or, in some cases, being “invited” to play any game other than blackjack. Players who have been barred but persist in trying to play can be arrested for trespassing.
6. What advantages do single deck games have over multi-deck games?
The first advantage is really a matter of taste. Some people prefer single deck games because the cards are handheld, as opposed to multi-deck games, which are dealt from a shoe. The technical advantages are a bit more complicated, but they benefit everyone from card counters and basic strategists to novices. Let’s look at these advantages in the converse, that is: why multiple decks are potentially detrimental to the player’s game. Card counters are disadvantaged by less volatility with multiple decks and hence less frequent opportunities for large favorable bets. Volatility in this case refers to the amount of times the tables can change. With more of the same card, the odds increase, even if each card is quadrupled. Numerically, for example, 4:4 offers more volatility than 50:50, even though these numbers offer the same ratio per card. Additionally, multiple decks reduce the amount of Blackjacks. This means any player loses opportunities to win payouts of 3 to 2.