Here are some of the bigger rules you will see and their effect on your advantage. Understanding these rule changes will be the first step in turning the game of blackjack into a game of negative expectations, a game of positive expectations.
Number of decks:
1 deck – (+ 0.02%)
2 Decks – (-0.31%)
4 Decks – (-0.48%)
6 decks – (-0.54%)
8 Decks – (-0.57%)
As you can see, the fewer decks you face, the better for the player. Generally speaking qq online, you will find more games of one and two decks in the rooms with higher limits and several games of decks on the regular floor. However, don’t give up on games with multiple decks, there are many rules that will still allow you to be profitable games to play, and that’s actually where I spend most of my time counting.
Before we can determine how much each rule affects our advantage, we need to create a standard game on which to base the rule change. We will use what is considered the standard in Las Vegas.
The dealer is in soft 17.
You are allowed to double in two cards.
You are not allowed to double after splitting.
You are allowed to split any pair.
You can re-split any pair, with the exception of aces.
You receive only one card in each split ace.
Blackjack is paid 3 to 2 (very important.)
The dealer takes a look at blackjack or the player loses only the original bet placed on the dealer’s blackjack or OBO. If you are playing in America, you will hardly see anything else, but you should be aware. Now, the changes to the rules and their effects (let’s assume a game of 6 or 8 decks):
Final Surrender S17 – (+ 0.08%)
Final Surrender H17 – (+ 0.09%)
Gentle strokes 17 – (-0.21%)
Sharing aces – (+ 0.07%)
Double after Split – (+ 0.14%)
Double at 9.10, 11 only – (-0.09%)
Double in just 10, 11 – (-0.18%)
Blackjack pays 6 to 5 – (-1.71%)
AVOID Blackjack pays 2 to 1 – (+ 2.26%)
There are other rules out there, but these will be the most common ones you will find. If any other set of rules is found, Peter Griffin’s Theory of Blackjack contains all the formulas needed to discover the house’s edge.