Everyone who reads the articles on this site knows that we love games in the casino with a small house edge. One of these games is blackjack provided that you follow basic strategy and do not make any mistakes.
However, we were recently contacted by a player who had tracked all of their hands over the trip and found that they lost a fair amount more hands than they had won. Of course they were frustrated with us because they felt they were getting bad advice, but hold on.
One, the house edge needs thousands of hands in order to approach the approximate odds, so playing even 100 hands isn’t going to get you close to the right numbers. If you sit for a single session, or possibly even a weekend the statistical variance of a small sample set can skew your numbers either for or against you.
Two, you lose 53% of the hands you play in blackjack, excluding ties. However, the casino allows the player to double down, split, surrender, and buy insurance which allows you to get more money on the table when the conditions are right. Add in the 3 to 2 payback you get when you hit the blackjack and it’s easy to see why the real house edge is less than 0.5% for those of you playing basic strategy.
Now, that doesn’t mean that if you follow a strategy chart and don’t make a single mistake that you will make money over a long career playing this game. The edge does go to the casino, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun, rack up comps, and win every now and again. Don’t just expect to get rich playing the game.