Single Deck vs. Multiple Decks Blackjack

By Betmaker Team

For those of you who are unfamiliar with blackjack, you might have observed that some games only require one deck of cards, while others require two, four, six, or even eight decks. What distinguishes single deck games from multiple deck games, and what are the benefits and drawbacks of each?


Blackjack with a single deck is frequently regarded as the game's holy grail since it gives players the highest probability of winning. In fact, when players limit themselves to single-deck blackjack games, the house edge is as low as 0.15 percent. Blackjack with a single deck was the norm and the only game available a long time ago. However, in an effort to make it more difficult for players to count cards—a tactic that was popular for a while, casinos have shifted to multiple deck games. Using numerous decks not only makes it harder for players to count cards, but it also marginally boosts the house edge.

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You shouldn't be led astray into believing that playing blackjack with just one deck will improve your chances, even though many casinos have brought back the single-deck option. You'll actually observe that many casinos only pay out 6:5 for blackjack played with a single deck, but 3:2 for games played with multiple decks.


In a multi-card game with a 3:2 payout, you would win $15 if you wagered $10 and won blackjack; in a single-deck game with a 6:5 payout, you would only get $12. The house's reduced blackjack payout for a single-deck game is not worth the tiny rise in the house edge. It is therefore wise to stick to multiple deck games unless you can discover a casino that pays out at a 3:2 ratio for single-deck blackjack.


In order to give the house an advantage in single-deck and double-deck games, casinos also frequently enforce unfavorable rule modifications. These modifications can include, among other things, prohibiting players from doubling down following a split, requiring the dealer to hit on soft 17, and a host of other things.


Despite the fact that employing more than one deck necessitates more calculations and increases the likelihood of making a mistake in the count, card counters have attempted to use their method nonetheless. Casinos have created a variety of strategies to thwart counters who attempt to count more than one deck. Utilizing continuous shuffle machines, which shuffle the cards back into the shoe with each hand, is a popular choice.


As we previously mentioned, the clear benefit of playing blackjack with a single deck is that you have the lowest possible house edge. With a 0.15 percent house edge, you are essentially playing on an even playing field with the casino, and your chances of making money are as slim as a coin toss. Naturally, you must first grasp the basic blackjack technique in order to benefit from the minimal casino edge; if not, it makes little difference how many decks you are playing with.


Given the benefits listed above, one might assume that single deck blackjack has few drawbacks. However, the issue is that, despite marketing single deck games, casinos frequently provide disadvantageous regulations in order to raise the house edge. The unfortunate thing about this is that, in certain cases, the house edge may even come out to be bigger than in blackjack with six or eight decks.


In the worst situation, rather than paying out 3:2, casinos will only pay out 6:5. The house edge will increase from 0.15 percent to 1.45 percent with just this one change. Sometimes it's not even worth the effort to look for single deck blackjack games because you can still preserve the house edge at roughly 0.5 percent with both six and eight deck games. Be aware that certain casinos may also include other unfriendly regulations in their single deck games.


The cards in single and double deck games are typically dealt face down. Casinos also employ this strategy to thwart counters. Prior to your turn, players who stand will lay their cards face down on the table. Counters do not include those cards in the count because nobody knows what they are holding.


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