When blackjack was first introduced in casinos, it was played with a single deck of 52 cards. Additional decks were added to the stack to prevent players from counting the cards and taking advantage of the game mechanics. Single Deck Blackjack continues to be available today at online casinos and in brick and mortar establishments. The notable difference between the modern version and the original one is that the deck is now shuffled before every hand so that advantage play cannot be used. Even so, players who follow basic strategy can benefit from the lowest house edge in all games of twenty-one.
The original card game we now know as blackjack was already popular in Spain and France in the 1600s. It was called veintiuna, which means twenty-one in Spanish, and it was played with a Spanish deck that does not include nines and eights. Over the years, the popularity of the game increased despite its somewhat complicated rules. It gave experienced players an opportunity to use skill to win more.
Twenty-one made its way to the USA, and the American gambling houses added special payouts to stimulate clients into trying it out. One of these bonus features was a hefty payout of 10:1 for getting the rare blackjack hand formed with a Jack of a black suit (spades or clubs) and the black Ace of spades. The bonus payout gave players an edge over the house, so it was removed. However, players continued to refer to the card game as blackjack, and the name caught on an international level.
Blackjack is now available in several popular forms in casinos and on the internet. Special features and rules can make each variant unique. However, it is safe to say that Single-Deck Blackjack is the best version for the player. The fact that it only uses one deck means that the house edge can be as low as 0.15% even if a continuous shuffler is used. This makes it one of the best paying games in a casino. You do however have to use basic strategy and not just play by intuition.
In other words,Single deck blackjack is a recommended variant since the house edge is still lower than in other versions that use six or eight decks.
With that covered, you should always make sure that the rules and payouts are the same. Some casinos can promise Single-Deck Blackjack but offer modified rules that can increase the house advantage significantly. The standard version pays 3:2 for 21 on the first two cards. If the payout rate is lowered to 6:5, the house edge increases to over 1.5%. You can quickly check this detail since it is generally written on the table.
In other words, Single-Deck Blackjack is a great fit for you if you enjoy playing blackjack. It is also a great place to start if you like card games in general and want to learn the massively popular game.
The rules to playing blackjack are a bit more complex than they are in other casino games. While you only have to bet and wait for the results to be determined in most games, like craps, baccarat, and roulette, you will have additional options in blackjack. The choice you select has an impact on the results, so it is vital that you know the rules before betting real cash.
We start at the beginning. As the name suggests, Single-Deck Blackjack is played with one regular deck of 52 cards. Jokers are not used. Each card has a point value, so all numbered cards have their respective values. For example, a 4 is worth four points. For the bigger cards (King, Queen, and Jack), the value is always of 10 points, each. The Ace is a bit trickier since it can add 1 point to the total, or 11.
Now that you know how the cards are scored, it is time to move to the way they are dealt. The freshly shuffled deck is held on the side of the dealer and cards are dealt from the top. The player gets one card, then the dealer gets one and then the process is repeated. Both cards belonging to the player are visible while one card held by the dealer is showing and the other is facing down.
After the cards are dealt, you will have two or more options for continuing the hand. You can opt to Hit, and you will get another card from the deck. The other standard option is to Stand, in which case you are satisfied with the current hand and don’t want to change it. Other options that are situational are; to Split and divide two identical cards by adding another bet and playing both hands separately. Double Down, and double the wager for one additional card on a hand that is of 10 or 11 points. Buy Insurance, and pay extra when the dealer is showing an Ace to get 2:1 if the casino side gets 21.
The goal in blackjack is to get a hand that has more points than the dealer's hand without exceeding a total of 21. If you hit and get 22 or higher, the hand is a bust, and you automatically lose. If you get 21 from the first two cards, it is known as blackjack, and it pays 3:2 in most versions. If you get a better hand than the dealer, you win 1:1.
Once you get a grip on the rules, you are ready to place your bets. You only have to find a table with an empty seat and take it. You can take part in a hand by putting the casino chips in the corresponding betting location on the table. The stake must be between table limits, which are typically between €1 and €100.
As we mentioned previously, it is very important to know the rules before playing blackjack. We recommend that you practice online in demo mode since you don’t have to invest any money this way. Also, check the payout rate for blackjack. It should be of 3 to 2, but it can sometimes be lower to give players a greater disadvantage when betting. The insurance payout rate is usually of 2:1, but it doesn’t matter since this option is not profitable and should not be used. Once you are set, always have a bankroll that you can afford to lose and bet responsibly.
Given the fact that you will be facing multiple options, the right decisions can result in more winnings. With optimal play in Single-Deck Blackjack, you can lower the house edge to just 0.15%. To achieve this, you need to make the right calls based on probability.
The central concept of the basic strategy is to maximize the odds of winning. You need to consider your starting cards and the one that the dealer is showing. Always hit if you have 11 or lower. If you can double on 10 and 11, this is the best course of action. For a total of 12, it is best to hit, unless the dealer has 4, 5 or 6 because there is a higher chance of him busting. For 13-16, the strategy recommends that you stand if the dealer has a 6 or something lower and hit otherwise. You should also hold if you have 17-20.
There is also one little detail that gets ignored very often. It is better to stand on two cards of 10 points than to split them up, no matter what the dealer has.
Looking back, it is clear that the list of pros is longer than the one for cons. Single Deck Blackjack presents some excellent advantages and gives players the best conditions for winning. Even if the casino still has an advantage, it is very low. You can apply basic strategy and reduce it to just 0.15%. In this case, the game RTP is among the highest ones you can find in a casino.
One downside is that it is harder to learn all the rules when playing blackjack. The difficulty level is undoubtedly higher than it is in other casino games and there is more skill required to make the right decisions every time. You will, however, have a good time once you are familiar with the mechanics and see the winnings add up in the balance. A significant disadvantage is that some casinos only pay 6 to 5 for getting blackjack while promising customers that only one single deck is used. The change in house edge is significant, and you should always play in versions that offer 3:2 for 21.