Blackjack Odds


Blackjack odds are dependent on the type of rule variation under which you are playing. With standard single deck blackjack the house has a 0.05% advantage. Any rule variations will have an effect on the player’s expected return
A “five card Charlie” is an automatic winner on any five-card hand that has not busted. This rule does not apply after splitting or if the dealer has a blackjack. It is rare to find a casino that offers this. The six and seven card Charlie are similar variations with six-card and seven-card hands respectively.
In European blackjack and in many online casinos the dealer does not check for a blackjack after dealing the cards. This is referred to as the “no-peek” rule, because the dealer doesn’t peek to see if he has a blackjack. In this case, after the players have played their hands, if the dealer does have a blackjack, then the player loses the full amount bet, including the additional bet if the player doubled or split.
Many casinos have prominent signs saying “Single Deck” blackjack. However on a much smaller sign it says, “Blackjack pays 6 to 5.” However the 6-5 on blackjacks costs the player an additional 1.39%, for a total house edge of 1.44%. At some tables a player blackjack always wins, which lowers the house edge by 0.21% to 1.23%. Either way this is a bad blackjack game to get mixed up with.
The table below shows the effect on the player’s return under various rule variations and after taking into consideration proper basic strategy adjustments. These changes are relative to the following rules: 8 decks, dealer stands on soft 17, player may double on any first two cards, player can double after splitting, player may resplit to 4 hands. These are standard Atlantic City rules with a resulting player return of -0.43%.
Rule Variation Effect
Five card Charlie +1.46%
Early surrender against Ace +0.39%
Early surrender against Ten +0.24%
Player may draw to split Aces +0.19%
Six card Charlie +0.16%
Player may resplit Aces +0.08%
Late surrender against Ten +0.07%
Seven card Charlie +0.01%
Late surrender against Ace +0.00%
Resplit to only two hands -0.01%
No-peek rule: Ace showing -0.01%
Player may double only on 9, 10 or 11 -0.09%
No-peek rule: Ten showing -0.10%
Player may not resplit -0.10%
Player may not double after splitting -0.14%
Player may double only on 10 or 11 -0.18%
Dealer hits on soft 17 -0.22%
Blackjack pays 6-5 -1.39%
Player loses 17 ties -1.87%
Player loses 17,18 ties -3.58%
Player loses 17-19 ties -5.30%
Player loses 17-20 ties -8.38%
Player loses 17-21 ties -8.86%
Example: Atlantic City Rules (-0.43%) with “Early surrender against Ace” (+0.39%) and “Player may not double after splitting” (-0.14%.) The resulting expected player return would be, -0.43% + 0.39% – 0.14%, which equals -0.18%. Under these variations the player would have better blackjack odds than under the standard rules.