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Single Deck BlackJack vs. Double Deck and four deck and eight deck.

Mark Pilarski 05:38 Nov 23rd, 2006 Blackjack

Dear Mark: I have a question for you regarding blackjack odds. Can you tell me the house edge in each of the following types of blackjack games – single deck versus two-deck, four-deck, six and eight-deck shoe and continuous shuffle machines? Seth S.

The house edge rises as the number of decks increases, all other rules being equal. So, Compared to a single deck, a two-deck game handicaps your play 0.35%, four decks, 0.48%, six decks, 0.54% and eight decks 0.58%. As you can see, it is always to your advantage to play on a game that offers the fewest decks. Also note, the house edge goes up substantially when you go from one deck to two, but the change is less dramatic as you add more decks.

As for a Continuous Shuffling Machine (CSM), it does lower the house edge a minuscule amount compared to a cut card six-deck game, but that slight decline in the house edge will cost you more money. What? How’s that? It’s because the speed of the game increases by about 20 percent when a casino uses a CSM. If the dealer never stops to shuffle, you are going to be seeing a lot more hands per hour, and with that additional exposure of your hard-earned money, expect to lose more than any cut card game.

Gambling Wisdom of the Week: "Here is the terrible truth. I get more pure happiness winning twenty grand at the casino crap table than when I receive a check for many times that amount as the result of honest hard work on my book." --Mario Puzo

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