How to Reduce the House Edge in Online Blackjack Games
All casino games have an inbuilt advantage on favor of the house. Fortunately, blackjack has the lowest house edge of all. This makes it a great game for short-term wins, it is also a game where your knowledge of the correct strategy makes a meaningful difference.
When looking for the best payout blackjack casinos, the ideal combination is the best games (as measured with the lowest house edge) and the biggest benefits in terms of bonuses or comps. This article shows you what to look out for on both fronts. By combining both sides, you’ll be able to get the most bang for your bucks at the online blackjack tables.
Ensuring that you have the Lowest House Edge
Online Blackjack games come in many variations. Often, insignificant rules changes – for example whether you can double after splitting – make a material difference to the house edge. In general the lowest edge you will find is around 0.46%, with the average game being around 1% and some going as high as 1.7%.
First of all, these figures assume that you are paying perfect strategy. If you make a mistake (even a small one) then the house edge shoots up very quickly. You need to have a solid basic strategy and understand the how changes to the rules affect your play before you even consider other aspects.
Here are some of the areas which increase the house edge:
- The number of decks. Generally speaking, single deck games have the best payout, 2 decks next and so on. Most games are 6 to 8 decks.
- Payout for Player Blackjack. Most casinos pay 3:2, if you see one at 6:5 then this reduces your payout by about 2%, any game with 1:1 for Blackjack needs to have some other rules to balance this.
- Stands / Hits on Soft 17: If the dealer hits on a soft 17, the house edge is 0.2% higher.
- Doubling Rules: European doubling rules are more restrictive than US ones, which is a small negative for the house edge.
- Double after splitting: If you cannot do this, then the payout is lower. This also applies to resplits.
So, the ideal game in terms of payouts would have a single deck, 3:2 for blackjack, and liberal doubling and splitting rules.
Side Games and Payouts
Side games in blackjack are notoriously bad when it comes to long term expectations. Even the harmless seeming ‘Insurance’ bet in-game has a house edge of 12.5%. Games like Perfect Pairs or the Aces side-bet in Bonus Blackjack have an edge of around 6% – very bad by casino standards.
If you are looking for the best long-term payout, then these games should be avoided. If playing them adds to your enjoyment, and you can afford to do so – then the math may well be secondary.
Bonuses, Comps and Blackjack Payouts
The best way to improve your blackjack payouts is to make sure you maximize your benefits from casinos in terms of bonuses and comps.
You’ll need to look into the terms and conditions when comparing bonus offers, as these vary considerably in the small print. The key factors for any bonus are the play-through requirement (how many times you’ll have to wager the bonus amount) and the weighting given to blackjack games. Since Blackjack is a low house edge game, casinos often count only 10% to 25% of wagers towards your play-through requirement.
On top of your bonus package, comp schemes make a significant difference to your payouts. These can be simple, with 100 points (for example) being worth $1, or they can be tiered, where the more you play the more favorable the exchange terms get. There are often separate schemes for high rollers, some of which are by invitation only.
The best payout casinos also run regular promotions to keep their players topped up. These range from free play on live casino games, though reload bonuses, double points for specific games and many offers which are tied in to holidays or sporting events.
If your current casino is not offering all of the above, then it is time to change!
Recommended Online Blackjack Games
This casino are part of the Bodog family, and offer many of the best promotions and loyalty bonuses of any US friendly casino. You will have a choice of the best Real Time Gaming software, which includes several blackjack variations. The standard US blackjack game includes liberal splitting and doubling rules (though it does have 8 decks). Check out the latest promotions at www.bovada.lv
International Players – Betway
For a huge choice of games, and a trusted international giant of a gambling brand, Betway ticks all the right boxes. You can find single deck blackjack here, among many other variations. Betway also has a live dealer casino which features blackjack games. Low play-through requirements and cross-channel promotions keep the blackjack payouts among the best for any online casino. Check out www.betway.com for yourself.