March 5, 2021

Single Deck Vs. Multi Deck Blackjack Strategy

Ethan Lim
Written byEthan LimWriter

For new blackjack players, choosing a proper blackjack strategy can take a long time. You may have noticed that this popular card game is played on either a single deck or multiple decks. But does this arrangement really matter? And if so, which one should you use when playing the game? Keep reading to get a more precise and better understanding of those differences.

Single Deck Vs. Multi Deck Blackjack Strategy

What is Single Deck Blackjack?

In a single deck blackjack strategy, gamers need to have a hand value less than 21 or any other number close to 21 before the dealer. Do this without going over or busting. Another winning strategy is to have the dealer bust first. At the start, the player will place a bet, and then the cards are dealt to both the player and the dealer. Players can choose to hit, stand, or stop drawing cards. You can even double down or split cards.

What is Multi Deck Blackjack?

This is undoubtedly the most widely used strategy when playing live casino blackjack. Multiple deck blackjack came to the fore to do away with card counting by introducing 8, 6, 4, or 2 decks of cards. Also, early players took advantage of the low house edge of the single deck blackjack. So, to make things a bit more challenging, multi-deck blackjack was introduced. However, the house edge and the odds vary due to the deck differences. Below is the house edge of multiple deck blackjack:

  • Eight decks – 0.65%
  • Six decks – 0.64%
  • Four decks – 0.60%
  • Two decks – 0.46%

Card Counting with Fewer Decks

Card counting is a popular live blackjack advantage where gamers track the relative number of tens and aces on the deck. You can now make a decision depending on the lower cards. The deck with several high cards is likely to give a natural and three to two payout. In simple words, it means a player can get into a profitable situation by raising their bets in specific conditions.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to get into this situation with multiple decks. See it this way; all aces have been dealt already when playing a single deck game. It’s possible to be dealt a blackjack making it an excellent move to flat-bet the minimum table. But in an 8-deck shoe, you still have 28 aces in the deck. In this case, the odds of being dealt a blackjack are down but not necessarily 0.

Why Doubling Down Doesn’t Work with Multi Deck Blackjack

Take this example: your first two blackjack cards are a 2 and a 9, giving you a total of 11. On the other hand, the dealer is showing a 6. If you’re familiar with basic blackjack strategy, your next move should be to double down. You’ll be hoping to get a 10, giving you that unbeatable total of 21.

If you’re playing a single deck blackjack game, you’ll have accounted for 49 cards so far. But because none are 10s, the probability of landing a 10 in your subsequent card is 16/49. In percentage form, that is 32.65%.

In an 8-deck game, you’ll have 144 10s remaining in a deck total of 513 cards. That makes a 28.07% probability, which is a huge difference. Remember, you have more cards worth 2, 6, and 9 remaining in the deck.

Key Takeaway: Avoid Single Decks

Although most live casinos online lure players with a promise of single-deck games, they don’t keep their word. That’s because their single-deck games payout is 6:5 rather than the old-fashioned 3:2. Now that means you’ll have an increased house edge of 1.45%. So, avoid those single-deck games like the plague until you find a one that gives 3:2.

About the author
Ethan Lim
Ethan Lim

Ethan Lim, a native of the Lion City, is Singapore’s rising star in the domain of online casino guide localization. He masterfully blends his intimate knowledge of local culture with international gaming standards to produce content that resonates deeply with Singaporeans.

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