Do Casinos Use Multiple Decks for Blackjack?
The game of blackjack is one of the most popular casino games played around the world. It’s a game of luck, skill, and strategy, with players hoping to beat the house by amassing a hand of cards worth 21 points or less.
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To give themselves an edge, casinos employ various strategies and techniques, one of which is the use of multiple decks. But do casinos really use multiple decks when playing blackjack, and if so, why?
What Is Blackjack And How Is It Played?
Blackjack, also known as “21,” is a card game in which players compete against the house, or dealer, to achieve a hand total of 21 points or less without going over. The deck consists of 52 cards, with each card having a point value: an Ace is worth either one or 11 points, face cards are worth 10 points, and numbered cards are worth their face value.
Players are dealt two cards and can choose to “hit” and take additional cards, or “stand” and keep the hand they have. The goal is to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. If the player has a higher hand total than the dealer without going over 21, they win.
How Many Decks Are Used in Blackjack?
The number of decks used in a game of blackjack depends on the casino and the type of game being played. Most casinos use either one, two, or six decks. In single-deck games, the cards are shuffled after every hand, while in multi-deck games, they are usually reshuffled after every four or five hands.
Why Do Casinos Use Multiple Decks?
The use of multiple decks gives the casino a slight advantage, as it increases the house edge. This is because the more decks that are used, the lower the chances of a player getting a natural blackjack (21 points with two cards).
Card counting is another reason why casinos use multiple decks. Card counting is a technique used by players to keep track of the cards that have been played and determine when their odds of winning are favorable. By using multiple decks, the chances of card counting being successful are reduced, as it is more difficult to keep track of all the cards in play.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Multiple Decks
Using multiple decks in a game of blackjack has advantages and disadvantages for both players and the casino.
Advantages for the Player
- A larger variety of cards are in play, which increases the player’s chances of getting a good hand.
- The player has more opportunities to hit and stand, meaning they can make more strategic decisions.
- More decks means more cards, which increases the chances of getting a natural blackjack.
Advantages for the Casino
- It reduces the chances of a player getting a natural blackjack, thus increasing the house edge.
- It makes card counting less effective, giving the casino a better chance of winning.
- It increases the chances of the dealer getting a good hand, as there are more cards in play.
Is Card Counting Illegal?
Card counting is not illegal in and of itself, as it is a strategy that players can use to increase their chances of winning. However, it is frowned upon by casinos and can result in the player being banned if they are caught.
Can Playing Multiple Decks Help You Win?
Playing multiple decks does not guarantee a win for the player, as the house edge remains the same regardless of the number of decks being used. In fact, the use of multiple decks can give the casino an even greater advantage, as it reduces the chances of players getting a natural blackjack and makes card counting more difficult.
Do Online Casinos Use Multiple Decks?
Most online casinos use multiple decks for blackjack, with the number of decks depending on the game being played. Some casinos offer single-deck games, while others use up to eight decks.
To sum up, casinos do use multiple decks when playing blackjack. The use of multiple decks gives the casino an edge by reducing the chances of a player getting a natural blackjack and making card counting less effective. However, it does not guarantee a win for the house, as the house edge remains the same regardless of the number of decks being used.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is the house edge in a game of blackjack?
A: The house edge in a game of blackjack depends on the type of game being played and the number of decks being used. Generally, the house edge is between 0.4 and 0.6 percent.
Q: Is card counting illegal?
A: Card counting is not illegal, but it is frowned upon by casinos and can result in the player being banned if they are caught.