Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Can basic strategy give players an edge?

Q. The blackjack rules I play under yield about a .38% house advantage.

Does that (somehow) include the variables of doubling down, splitting and 3 to 2 blackjack payoff?

I thought that I could overcome that house edge using those variables but it looks like I might be wrong and therefore doomed to eventual failure in coming out ahead. (I play online so can’t count cards.)

Actual rules are 4 decks, stand on soft 17, double after split, no surrender, dealer peeks for blackjack

A. When the house edge is listed at .38%, that assumes basic strategy for hitting, standing, splitting and doubling, and takes into account the 3-2 payoff on blackjacks.

If you used dealer strategy, hitting all 16s and below, and standing on all 17s and higher, the house edge would be about 5.7 percent. It’s through making the proper hit, stand, split, double decisions that you get it down to half a percent or so.

Without counting cards, you can narrow the house edge, but not eliminate it.

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