How Does The House Edge Work In Blackjack Work?


Most casino games have a fixed house edge and it always works in the casino’s favor. Now, what exactly is a house edge? This is simply the advantage a casino has over you whenever you are gambling. This ranges from one game to another. Some games can have an edge as low as 1.3% and others might give the house advantage as high as 25%. However, in Blackjack, this swings back and forth between the player and the dealer.

In Blackjack, playing perfectly can help you reduce the edge to as low as 0.5%. The house often gets this advantage more often than the player and this is how most casinos make their money. Counting cards ensure that betting more when the advantage favors the player – and less when it is not – is accomplished. We can all agree that it is not an easy task to keep track of the ratio of cards as they show up. The mathematical calculations you make in your head as each card appears can be difficult.

The playing decisions vary with the card that appears. For instance, when a player counts cards, sometimes they stand with a 12 as against the dealer’s 10 upcards, and sometimes they hit 16.  Besides the fact that casino operators bar card counters, to determine how card counters may disguise and change their play to mask their presence further reduces the small advantage they have. Card counting has become a big issue and now casinos employ the use of computers to determine if card counting is taking place during gambling sessions.

It must be noted that the house edge is taken over a large number of wager. Besides land-based casino gamblers, punters who prefer playing casino games online are also guided by this advantage. For instance, a 1.5% house edge implies that irrespective of the small loss, fair wins, huge payouts a player experiences, an average very close to $1.5 must return to the casino for every $100 staked over so many bets. However, you can do something legal which can minimize this edge. By doing research and learning the basic information about Blackjack strategies (of course, which does not involve counting cards), you can reduce this edge to as low as 0.5%.

How can you reduce a house edge?

The early surrender represents the most favorable variant for a gambler when played appropriately. It reduces the house advantage by 0.6%. It used to be commonly provided by casinos, but many do not offer it anymore. This variant allows a player to surrender half of their wager and throw the hand away before the dealer can check their hole cards.

When you double down on more than two cards, this house edge is further reduced by approximately 0.2%. Modern casinos support doubling down on more than 3 cards. The advantage can be further reduced if doubling down can be done on any total. Furthermore, splitting aces will reduce the house advantage by almost 0.14%. Several casinos support the formation of two hands if the first cards are aces. However, a player can only get one card on each. Further splitting aces will reduce the edge again by 0.06%.


Before choosing a casino game to play, you must first consider your odds of winning. This can only be done by estimating the house edge that is associated with the game. Blackjack games have some of the lowest house edges in the industry. For this reason, choosing the right game and strategy will not only make a significant difference, but also ensure that you enjoy your game while winning.

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