In order for you to fully understand the game, it is essential to understand and master the odds of the game and learn about the advantage of the house. It is very important to know how the house gets its edge.
The house has a clear advantage in blackjack over the players because players have to draw first. If they bust, the dealer will automatically win regardless of the hand of the dealer. This is the main advantage the house has and if everything else is equal, the house edge in a normal game of blackjack would be equal 8 percent. The player and the dealer have a 28 percent probability of going over 21. Twenty-eight multiplied by twenty-eight means that 8 percent of the time the two hands will go over 21 and, since the player will draw first, the dealer will win when they both bust.
Of course, the odds are not equal among all blackjack games. Some games offer players great advantages and, in order to balance these advantages, the casino increases its advantage or edge. Because of this, it is essential for players to know everything about the game before playing.
For example, the number of decks in play has a tremendous effect. Some games draw cards from a single deck, which can affect the odds greatly, while other games draw the cards from six different decks of cards. If a game uses one deck of cards, the house will change other rules in order to increase its odds and reduce the odds for players. This is because when a player gets an Ace, it means there are 3 Ace cards left which decreases the chances for the dealer to get one of these aces. On the other hand, if the game uses 6 decks, it means that there are 23 aces remaining in the deck.
The odds for a players hand will change every step of the way. For example, if players get two cards and they hit, the hand total will increase and the chance of busting will increase and so on.
Since Blackjack is one of the games with a reputation for counting cards, a lot of researchers and gamblers have studied the game and the odds so they can increase their chances of winning. You might have seen that in the movie 21 where MIT students developed a way to beat the house. In order for them to do that, they had to make up a counting system that would increase their advantage. This is why there are published studies that show the percentage of busting and getting a blackjack depending on the first 2 cards, the hand total of the player and the facing up card of the dealer. You can find more about these strategies and percentages in the Strategy section.