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Blackjack variants still offer better chances of winning

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Some rules will improve your expected value, while others work in favor of the casino. Below, we list some of the most common rules that boost the statistical advantage of the house and reduce the long-term profitability of basic strategy players. The percentages denote the corresponding increase in house edges.

  • +0.09% if doubling down is restricted only to hard totals of 9, 10, and 11.
  • +0.18% if doubling down is possible only on hard totals of 10 and 11.
  • +0.11 if no hole cards are in play for the dealer. This is often the case in variations that abide by the European set of rules.
  • +0.10% when hole cards are in play but the dealer never peeks to check for potential blackjacks when showing a ten. This rule is detrimental because players can potentially lose all their wagers, including those from double downs and splits if the dealer ends up having a blackjack.
  • +0.10% when resplitting is disallowed.
  • +0.14% when doubling down on split hands is prohibited.
  • +0.18% if splitting aces is prohibited.
  • +1.39% if blackjacks pay at reduced odds of 6 to 5.
  • +2.27% if blackjacks pay even money (1 to 1).
  • +0.22% when the dealer must draw on soft totals of 17.
  • +6.91% when the dealer pushes with the player on totals of 22 instead of busting.

Now that you know which rule variations are generally detrimental, let’s examine four of the worst blackjack variants that we found at online casinos. All of them produce house edges in excess of half a percent and offer poor rules that decrease players’ long-term theoretical returns. These are going to cost you far more money than blackjack games with friendlier rules.

Despite their poorer odds, these blackjack variants still offer better chances of winning compared to other casino games like roulette, online slots, and live game shows.

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