Blackjack Games are All the Same, Right? Wrong!

More online blackjack rules than you can shake a stick at!

More Online Blackjack Rules than you can Shake a Stick at!

If there’s one thing land-based casinos have taught us, it’s that all blackjack games are not created equal. To the untrained eye, all they may appear to be the same. But any veteran gambler knows there are many differences to be observed. Every rule variation, no matter how slight, will impact the expected return to player (RTP).

Most casinos know that delivering blackjack tables with an affable set of rules is crucial for attracting wise players to the casino floor. But they usually have a little extra room for those less valuable games, making them look more attractive with lower limits or special side bets – something less educated gamblers are often drawn to.

Online casinos, on the other hand, have taken this concept to the brink of RTP destruction! They aren’t bound by spacial limitations. They can proffer as many variants of blackjack as they wish, never running out of room or seats. And if you’ve visited any of the bigger online and mobile casinos, you know exactly just how many variations that can be!

More Online Blackjack Rules Than You Can Shake a Stick At!

As a quick example of what I’m talking about, let’s take a glance at the game variety provided by LeoVegas Mobile Casino. This particular operator is among the industry’s most popular, in part because it employs so many software brands; nearly 50 of them, plus its own proprietary software as the cherry on top.

Many of those big-name brands offer one, if not a few, blackjack variants. And when you put them all together as LeoVegas has, it creates a plethora of blackjack titles to choose from; all with slight (if not monumental) rule alterations. All told, this popular mobile casino currently supports 27 RNG-based blackjack titles, and no less than 9 live dealer blackjack offerings.

That’s at least three dozen ways to play blackjack. And if you don’t know what to look for – if you can’t recognize the differences in the rules and pay tables – you may be getting terrible value for your bankroll budget.

Best Blackjack Rules for Minimal House Edge

Some rules have a minuscule effect on a blackjack game’s RTP, while others can be significant. At the same time, some rules benefit the player, while others benefit the house. The following list contains all common rule variations and their effect on the casino’s edge. Note that a positive integer is good for the player. A negative integer benefits the house.

Number of Decks

The number of decks used can have a large impact on the house edge in blackjack. A shoe can contain anywhere from 1 to 8 decks. The golden rule here is to play with the least number of decks possible.

Number of Decks      House Edge Effect
1 Deck0.48%
2 Decks0.19%
4 Decks0.06%
6 Decks0.02%
8 Decks0.00%

Payout for Natural Blackjack

The payout for a natural blackjack can be one of the most significant differences in a game. A 2-to-1 payout is best, but extremely rare. You should generally look for the standard 3-to-2 payout. Anything less will decimate the house edge.

Natural Blackjack Pays     House Edge Effect
2 to 12.27%
3 to 2 0.00%
7 to 5 -0.45%
6 to 5 -1.39%
1 to 1 -2.27%
Blackjack Tie PaysHouse Edge Effect
3 to 20.32%
1 to 20.11%

Other Blackjack Rule Variations

Next up is a list of all common rule variations that don’t fall into the above categories. That doesn’t make them any less important, though. Pay close attention to all rules that deliver an added advantage to the player.

Common Rule Variations       House Edge Effect
5 Card Charlie 1.46%
Early Surrender against Dealer’s Ace 0.39%
Early Surrender against dealer’s 100.24%
Double on Any Number of Cards0.23%
Draw to Split Aces0.19%
6-Card Charlie0.16%
Double Down Rescue0.10%
Late Surrender0.08%
Resplit Aces Allowed0.08%
Late Surrender Against Dealer’s 100.07%
Split up to 3 Hands-0.01%
Double Only on Total of 9-11
-0.09%
Split up to 2 Hands-0.10%
European Blackjack (No Hole Card)-0.11%
No Double after Split-0.14%
Double Only on Total of 10-11-0.18%
Dealer Hits on Soft 17-0.22%
Dealer 22 is a Push-6.91%

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