House advantage in blackjack: Why the bank always wins!
House advantage in blackjack: Why the bank always wins!

House advantage in blackjack: Why the bank always wins!

The casino has a special offer for every game, including the blackjack House advantage. The Rules are such that the bank always wins. But blackjack has good Odds.


Calculate Black Jack house edge

The Black Jack house edge is a mathematical concept that describes the casino's long-term chances of winning against the player. It is based on the assumption that players will play according to optimal Strategy play. The house advantage varies depending on the rules of the game and the player's strategy.

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Factors influencing the house advantage

The Black Jack house edge is influenced by several factors:

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  • Rules of the game: Variants such as the number of decks, double down rules and payout ratios influence the house edge.
  • Player strategy: A player who masters the basic strategy perfectly can significantly reduce the house advantage.
  • Card CountingExperienced card counters can further reduce the house edge by adjusting their bets based on the deck.

To calculate the house edge, we need to consider the probabilities for all possible player and dealer card combinations. Here is a simplified Tablewhich shows the average house advantage for different game rules:

RuleHouse advantage
Standard rules0.5% to 1%
Single Deck0.15% to 0.5%
Double Exposure0.7% to 1%
Spanish 210.4% to 0.8%
Blackjack Switch0.6% to 0.9%

Myths about the house advantage

There are many myths and misconceptions about the blackjack house edge. Here are some common misconceptions:

  • Card counting is illegalCard counting is not illegal, but casinos can exclude players from their establishments.
  • Past profit influences future resultsEach game is independent of previous results.
  • Höhere Einsätze führen zu höheren GewinnenThe house advantage remains unchanged, regardless of the size of the bet.

Legal blackjack tips and tricks to reduce the house edge

Although the casino always has a certain advantage, there are some legal tricks to improve your chances of winning:

  • Take advantage of bonuses and promotions: Many online casinos offer generous bonuses and promotions to boost your online gaming experience. Bankroll can increase.
  • Games with optimal strategy: Learn the basic strategy and apply it consistently to minimise the house advantage.
  • Avoid side betsSide bets often have a higher house edge than the main game.
  • Learn to count cardsCard counting is the only strategy that really helps to beat the house advantage in the long term.

Basic strategy

The basis for beating the Black Jack house edge is knowledge of the basic strategy. This strategy is based on maths and takes into account the probabilities for every possible card combination of the player and the dealer. By consistently applying the basic strategy, the house advantage can be reduced to a minimum.

The basic strategy includes decisions such as Hit (take another card), Stand (don't take another card), double down (double the bet and take another card) and split (split the hand into two separate hands). These decisions depend on the player's current hand and the dealer's face-up card.

An example of basic strategy is the hit or stand diagram, which shows which action the player should choose depending on his hand and the dealer's face-up card. By memorising and applying this strategy, the player can significantly reduce the house advantage.


Card Counting

Card counting is an advanced technique with which experienced players can Black Jack house edge can be further reduced. This technique is based on the fact that Maps with a high value (10s and Aces) are in the player's favour, while cards with a low value (2 to 6) are in the dealer's favour.

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The player keeps track of the high and low cards remaining in the deck and adjusts his bet accordingly. If many high cards remain in the deck, the player increases his bets as the probability of a natural blackjack or a strong hand increases. If, on the other hand, many low cards remain in the deck, the player reduces his bets or leaves the game, as the probability of the dealer receiving a strong hand increases.

It is important to note that card counting requires a lot of practice and discipline and is undesirable in many casinos. Players who are caught counting cards can be expelled from the casino.


The Blackjack house edge is more than just a number

What is the house edge in blackjack? Can you tell me off the top of your head? There's more than one answer, right? After all, there are several variations of the game.

The house edge can vary depending on the casino you play at. Depending on the title, you could be faced with a plethora of different percentages. In some cases, it ranges from 0.5 % to 4 %.

It is always good to know the house advantage in this game. But it is not a rule book.

FOR EXAMPLE

If someone says that a game has a house edge of 5 %, it means that you lose an average of 5 % of your stake on every bet. In other words: If you bet $100 per bet, you can expect to lose $5 on each bet.

Sounds simple, doesn't it? From the point of view of gambling mathematics, it is certainly not opaque. But there is more to this sum than meets the eye. For example, if you play a game where you place 60 bets per hour and lose 5 $ per bet, you make a loss of 300 $ per hour.

On the other hand, if you play the same game with a house advantage of 1 %, you only lose 60 $ per hour. Isn't that a big difference?

It is important to emphasise that winning or losing is about much more than just staying in blackjack. Pun intended. Knowledge is power, but it's also about giving yourself the best chance of winning at blackjack. Not only do you need to find the best variants, but you also need to find a top online casino with blackjack games. If you do that, you're halfway there.

The house advantage only applies to a large betting sample

As with any mathematical calculation, you need a sufficient sample size to reach a logical conclusion.

Therefore, the house advantage does not apply to a statistically small group of bets. We need a large enough sample to determine what a house edge is. Blackjack is no different.

Let us examine a simple example to illustrate what I am saying here.

You play a blackjack game with a house edge of 1 % and place a bet of 100 $ on a hand. So you have several possible outcomes to determine how that bet turns out. These are listed below.

  • $100 Profit
  • $100 Loss
  • $150 Profit on a Natural
  • A push
  • Additional profit of $200 for double down or split

It makes no sense for us to use the same mathematical expectation here as we would for anyone betting a dollar a hand on blackjack.

And why? Well, it's impossible to win a dollar with a single $100 bet. You might lose an average of $1 per hand if you bet $100, but that would take an incredible number of bets.

To repeat, you could play one hand and win $100, you could play ten hands and have a net loss of $400, which is an average loss per hand of $40. You could play a hundred hands and have a net loss of $500, which is an average loss per hand of $5.

But once you play more than 1,000 hands, the actual results will resemble the mathematical expectation. With 10,000 hands, you are even more likely to see something statistically similar to the mathematical expectation.

At 100,000 hands, you are almost certain to come close to the expectation. At 1 million hands, the probability of the results deviating from the expectation is almost zero.

By the way, it would take you 16,667 hours to play a million hands. If you played 40 hours a week, you would need 416 weeks to do that, or about eight years of full-time playing. Nobody has time for that.

Blackjack house edge is lower than most games

The house edge in most casino games is much higher than in blackjack.

This raises the question of why casinos still offer blackjack at all. After all, it is less profitable than games like Caribbean Hold'em or Casino War.

Some gambling authors refer to games such as Casino War as "carnival games". Man. How bad does the house edge have to be for it to be labelled a carnival game? As it turns out, the house edge on Casino War is a whopping 2.88 %. That doesn't sound like much. It's certainly not as high as throwing rings at gas cylinders. And I'd prefer 2.88 % to the risk you take eating one of those dodgy hot dogs at the bumper cars.

But let's think about what that means. If the house edge in blackjack is 0.5 %, you have to expect an average loss of 50 cents every time you bet 100 $.

With Casino War, on the other hand, you have to expect an average loss of 2.88 $ if you bet 100 $. That doesn't sound like much of a difference, really. After all, you can't even buy a hotdog for 2.88 $ these days.

The problem is that nobody plays a single round of blackjack or a single round of casino war. Most people play for an hour or two. That means you are more likely to play 60 or even 120 hands.

At 50 cents per hand, you might lose three to six dollars in this scenario. At $2.88 per hand, you're looking at a loss of almost $180 on the low end and maybe even $360 on the high end. And that's only after a few hours of play.

Suddenly your buddy who told you blackjack was for sissies doesn't look so smart, does he?

I would recommend taking him to the carnival and buying him a good old hot dog....

The house advantage in blackjack is 0.5 % with a simple strategy

You must be satisfied with this figure?

Of course, this 0.5 % can go up or down depending on your skill. Most players are bad enough when the basic blackjack strategy is giving up another 1.5 % or so to the house. This can increase the house advantage for the casino by 2 %.

This is one of the answers to the question I asked above: Why does the casino offer blackjack if the house edge is so low? Well, the multi-faceted answer is actually relatively simple. Firstly, blackjack is a winning game that is very popular and widely played. Do you think a casino that doesn't offer blackjack sends a strong signal of confidence? No, of course not.

You would probably expect to fall into one of the many potential online casino scams for this reason alone.

Secondly, most players won't take the time or bother to keep the house advantage that low. You see, basic strategy is just a fancy word for the ability to be at your best in any situation. Blackjack table to make the right mathematical decision.

In poker, you have to know when to fold and when to hold. In blackjack you have to know when to press, stand, split and double down. The right decision always depends on what cards you are holding compared to the dealer's face up card.

In many cases, common sense can determine your game.

It's the borderline situations, such as whether you should hit the hard 15, that make the difference in basic blackjack strategy. Find out more about blackjack strategy and improve your chances of winning!

Basic Blackjack Strategy

No blackjack strategy means a higher house advantage

Remember when I mentioned that the house advantage is closer to 2 % if you have a bad basic strategy?

Well, it could be even worse than that. You could theoretically use every leaf up to the Bust play. The house advantage of a dysfunctional player would then be 100 %. Of course, nobody plays like this, but it is a simple example of how such a difference in house advantage is possible.

Many players make basic strategic decisions by imitating the dealer's strategy. This is one of the worst ideas you can enter a casino with.
Other players always assume that the dealer has a 10 in the hole. This is closer to the correct basic strategy, but it is anything but foolproof. In some situations, this is a recipe for disaster.

The bottom line, however, is simple. You should always use a basic strategy to keep the house advantage as low as possible. Provided you really want to win and are not a masochist who gets a kick out of losing your money.

You can calculate your expected hourly loss

You definitely can. Once you know what the house edge is in blackjack for the game you are playing.

We have already touched on this in an earlier example, but here is a detailed explanation of how to calculate your average loss per hour in blackjack.

You take the net amount you have won or lost and divide it by the number of hours you have played.

For example, if you played for two hours and lost $200, you lost $100 per hour.

This way you calculate your actual loss rate per hour. But you can also calculate your projected hourly loss rate. You will probably only see your figures reflect this after 10,000 hands or so, but it is still worth knowing.

The formula for the expected hourly loss is as follows.

Average bet size X bets per hour X house advantage = expected loss per hour.
Here is an example.

I bet $100 at a table where I get 60 hands per hour. I am a perfect basic strategy player and the game is good, so the house advantage is only 0.5 %.
My expected loss per hour is $100 X 60 X 0.5%, or $6000 X 0.5%, or $30/hour.
Compare that with my friend Steve, who doesn't use a basic strategy. The house advantage is 2 % against him, so his expected loss per hour is 120 $/hour.

By the way, you can do this calculation for every casino game - not only for Blackjack!

Card counting can give you an advantage over the house
Card counting

Learning to count cards (or mastering another advantageous playing technique in blackjack) can give you an edge over the house.

What is this magic, you ask? It has nothing to do with magic. Once you have mastered the basic strategy, you can move on to card counting.

Card counting is a relative count of how many high and how many low cards are left in the deck. If there are many high cards left in the deck, the player increases his bet.

Here is the how and why of the game.

High cards are tens and aces. You need these cards to get a blackjack, which pays out at 3 to 2. If the probability of getting a blackjack is higher, the expected value of your bet increases.

Low cards make it harder to get a blackjack. They also increase the likelihood that you will go broke.

If you bet more when there are many high cards in play and bet less when there are no high cards in play, you can change the odds in your favour instead of in the house's favour.
If you use a simple count like the Hi-Lo system and vary your stakes between 1 and 3 units, you even have an advantage of 1 % over the house.

You can also use this information to determine an average expected hourly win rate. It is the same calculation: you win now instead of losing.
With an average of 100 $ per sheet and an advantage of 1 % over the house, you gain an average of 60 $ per hour.

But even if you count cards and apply a perfect strategy, these results only come to fruition in the long run.

You cannot expect to be at an advantage until you have reached 10,000 hands.
Card counters can even go broke if their bankroll is not large enough to account for the statistical variance.

The house advantage may vary depending on the game

The rules of blackjack vary greatly from casino to casino and from table to table within a casino. For example, you might be playing in a game where only one deck is dealt. The table next to you might use eight decks. The house edge differs depending on the game conditions.

Other game conditions and rule variations include whether or not the dealer hits a soft 17, whether or not you can double down after splitting, and how much you get paid if you hit a "natural" hand (a hand with 2 cards that totals 21). Skill? Luck?

The following Points on the list deal with the impact of some common rules and conditions on the house edge that you may encounter.

So, read on!

More decks mean a higher house advantage

The house advantage in blackjack increases when the casino has more Packs of cards used.

This rule deviation may seem puzzling at first glance. Why should the house advantage increase just because more decks are used? You still have a similar ratio of high to low cards. Before the cards are dealt, the ratio is even exactly the same.

The answer lies in the probability of getting a blackjack.

Suppose you are playing in a blackjack game with only one deck. You receive a Ace as the first card. There are 51 cards left in the deck, 16 of which have a value of 10. The probability of getting a Blackjack (which pays out at 3 to 2) is 16/51, or 31.37 %.

LET'S CONSIDER THE SAME SITUATION WITH EIGHT DECKS IN PLAY.

You are dealt an ace. You now have 415 cards left in the shoe, 128 of which have a value of 10. The probability of getting a blackjack is 128/415, i.e. 30.84 %.
So the probability of getting a blackjack is lower when there are more decks in play. Fewer blackjacks mean a higher house advantage.

The actual difference in house advantage between an eight-deck game and a one-deck game is about 0.25 %. That may not seem significant. But in the long run? In the long run, it certainly is.

A soft 17 of the dealer can affect the blackjack house advantage

That's right - a dealer hitting a soft 17 can also change the house edge.

Everyone knows that in a game of blackjack, the dealer has to hit a total of 16 or less. And it's always a pleasure to see a dealer go bust, especially if you didn't go bust first. But in some casinos, the dealer stops at a soft 17. In others, the dealer hits a soft 17. A "soft" 17 is a hand with an ace that can count as 11 or 1.

You don't have to guess what the rule is either. At all blackjack tables in all casinos, one of the two rules is written down and posted at the table:

The encoder must stop on all 17s.
Dealer meets Soft 17.

You might think that a dealer who hits a soft 17 is more likely to go bust. And you are right.

That is exactly what it means. But it does not mean that the rule is good for the player. In the cases where the dealer does NOT go broke, his hand will improve dramatically.

This happens so often, in fact, that a blackjack table where the dealer hits a soft 17 has a 0.2 % chance of winning.

Improve the house advantage by doubling after a split

If you are looking for the Splitting can double, the house advantage improves.

Most players realise that the option to double down is good for the player. After all, it allows you to bet more money when you think you are in a good situation.

The ability to double down after splitting gives you extra opportunities to put more money in play if you like your chances. This is good for the bottom line.

Not all casinos allow you to double down after splitting. If you are allowed to double after splitting, you can deduct about 0.15 % from the house edge.

Now if you saw a live dealer blackjack casino denying you this, would you think the game was rigged? No, of course not. But those are the rules, depending on where you play. And sometimes they don't make sense to the amateur player.

But of course that does not mean that Online Blackjack is manipulated!

5 reasons why online blackjack is not rigged

Is online blackjack rigged? Before I answer this question, let me start with a simple fact: No one thinks the game is rigged when they win. It is our impressive gaming intelligence that makes us winners, isn't it? Luck is for fools. So.

It is an advantage to be flexible when doubling up

The more flexibility you have in doubling, the lower the house advantage.

In some casinos you can only double with the first two cards if you have a total of 10 or 11. In other casinos you can also double on a 9. And in some casinos you can double on any amount.

The more options you have, the better off you are, of course. - Highlight

In this case, doubling down on any two cards results in a reduction of the house advantage by almost 0.2 %, compared to the option of doubling down only on a 10 or 11.

Keep this in mind. You need to master a basic strategy for this to matter! The house advantage in blackjack does not shift just because you want it to. This applies to the classic, the bonus and the double-attack variants.

You can reduce the house advantage by splitting with more options

The more flexibility you have in splitting, the lower the house advantage!

As always, the more options you have, the better off you are. Splitting pairs is obviously an attractive option for players because you can bet more money again if you like your situation.

For example, if you can split aces, you get two hands that both have almost a 1/3 chance of turning into a blackjack. In many casinos you are only allowed to split once. However, in some casinos you can split again if you get a pair on your newly split hand.

This has a smaller effect on the house edge than most things on this list, simply because it happens less often. If you can split up to 4 hands, you get another 0.05 %.

Great!

Task rules influence the house advantage

You should pay attention to this!

Most players ignore the possibility of giving up. This is a mistake because it costs money in the long run. In some situations, surrender is the right play. Casinos have "Early Surrender" and "Late Surrender". However, some casinos do not offer a surrender option at all.

To do this, you need to know the following.

In a casino that offers early surrender, you can forfeit half your bet if the dealer has an ace and you don't like your hand. This is called "early" surrender because you can make this decision before the dealer looks for a blackjack.
In a casino that offers Late Surrender, you have the same option.
But the dealer first checks whether you have a blackjack.

One is clearly better than the other, don't you think? You should also consider this before playing blackjack for real money in a casino.

A natural can also change the house advantage

The payout for a natural card we call blackjack has a significant impact on the house edge.

The traditional payout for a natural is 3 to 2. That means if you bet $100 and get a blackjack, you win $150. In recent years, however, casinos have started offering games where blackjack pays out at only 6 to 5. And since many Americans are bad with fractions, they don't even realise that this is a worse deal.

Because 6 is better than 3 and 5 is bigger than 2, they think they are getting a better deal. I don't want to attack anyone here, but does anyone remember when McDonald's launched a 1/3 pound burger to improve on the quarter pounder? Does anyone have any guesses as to why the 1/3 pound burger was a flop?

Granted, most people are smart enough to know the difference. It is only a minority of people who are being deceived here.

But that doesn't mean that smart players don't get complacent and check the pay tables. So if you get a blackjack with a bet of 100 $ at a 6 to 5 table, your payout is only 120 $ and not 150 $. If you had checked, you probably would have declined that game.

This effect on the house advantage is so dramatic that it cannot be overstated. It increases the casino's advantage by an enormous 1.5 %. This makes Blackjack a game comparable to Casino War, but it is more difficult because you still need to apply basic strategy.

Just say no to 6/5 Blackjack!

Casinos that charge an ante increase the house edge

Suppose a casino raises an ante and the house edge skyrockets. It's as simple as that.

At some casinos in Oklahoma you can Play blackjackbut have to pay an ante. This part of the stake goes to the house, full stop. The most common Blackjack bet in Oklahoma is 50 cents for a bet of 5 dollars.

You do not get the 50 cents back whether you win or lose. This immediately deducts 10 % of the winnings. This makes blackjack with a stake as bad as any fairground game I have ever seen. Granted, if you have to play blackjack with an ante, the only mathematically correct way to reduce this extra house edge is to bet as much as you can.

A 50 cent ante on a $100 bet only increases the house edge by 0.5 %, which is a very different number from 10 %. However, you would be better off finding one of the best US online casinos and playing blackjack there. You will get a better game.

I'm not gonna lie. I played blackjack in Oklahoma with an ante. But I'm a little embarrassed about that.

I should stick to Texas Hold'em when I'm in Oklahoma. Even most slot machines are better than blackjack with stakes!

Video blackjack has a higher house edge than live dealer games

Did you know that the house advantage in video blackjack is much higher than in a traditional game with a live dealer?

Video poker is by far better than slot machines. The payback percentage on video poker games is usually at least 95 %, which means that the house edge is (at most) 5 %. With slot machines, you will be lucky to find a game with a similarly high payback percentage.

You might think that video blackjack is comparable to video poker and a great game. But that is not the case at all. In all the video blackjack games I have ever seen, there was even money for a natural. That's worse than a 6/5 payout. This change alone increases the house edge by 2.3 %.

However, in most casinos, video blackjack has a random number generator that simulates the same probabilities as a card game.
One advantage of video blackjack is that it also comes in a low-stakes version. You can find video blackjack games where you can play for 25 cents per hand.

But the much higher house edge and speed of play make video blackjack an expensive game. At a traditional blackjack table you might play 60 hands per hour, but with video blackjack you can easily play 200 or 300 hands (or more) per hour.

If you are determined to play video blackjack, you should play at one of the best live dealer casinos. The blackjack games at all the online casinos I've ever played at have offered full Payments for natural gains.

You can still win despite the house advantage

It is important to emphasise here that you can still win at this game. Despite the house advantage that blackjack games bring.

But in the short term. This cannot be emphasised enough. In the short term, every Gambling anything can happen. This is called variance. A more colloquial way of describing this mathematical phenomenon is to use the word "luck".

Think of it like this. If your mathematical expectation is to lose 1 % on every bet, you would have to place at least 100 bets before you see your actual results reflect that expectation.

In 2 or 3 hands it would be impossible to see an average loss of 1 %. So here are the possibilities for three hands to illustrate this point.

You could win all 3 hands. This means a net win of at least 3 units.
You could lose all 3 hands. This means a net loss of at least 3 units.
You could win 2 hands and lose 1 hand. This corresponds to a net gain of 2 units.
You could lose 2 hands and win 1 hand. This corresponds to a net win of 1 unit.
If you look at your average win/loss per hand in these situations, you get:

A win of 3 units on a bet of 3 units is a win of 100 %.
The loss of 3 units on a bet of 3 units is a loss of 100%.
Winning 2 units on 3 hands equals a profit of 66.67 %.
The profit of 1 unit in 3 hands is a profit of 33.33%.
None of these results resemble the 1% that we mathematically expect over time.

Of course, these examples are simplified and do not take into account the possibility of winning 3 to 2 with a natural. But even if you take that into account, it is still impossible to see the mathematical expectation over a short period of time. If you only play for a few hours, you can often get away with a winning session.

The casino is well aware of this. If this were not possible, no one would play a casino game at all. The house has perhaps 10 blackjack tables operating 24 hours a day. If there are an average of 3 players at each table and they play an average of 60 hands per hour, that's 43,200 hands per day.

With so few hands, casinos can even experience losing days, although they have winning days more often. But over the course of a month or a year, the real numbers will approach the mathematical expectation.

You can still lose in the short term!

Even if you are an advantage player and have a head start on the house!

Some people think they can just sit down and win whenever they want because they can count cards and have an expected 1 % advantage over the casino. What I said in the last section applies just as much to advantage players. In the short run, anything can happen.

Only in the long run, over thousands of hands, can you expect your results to reflect expectations.

What can you take away from this knowledge?

Well, if you are an advantage player, you need a big enough bankroll to avoid going broke in the inevitable downswings. The smaller your advantage, the bigger your bankroll needs to be.

You should have between 200 and 1000 betting units. At the lower end, your risk of going broke is higher. If you are playing for $100 per hand and your total bankroll is $20,000, you have a 40 % chance of going broke before your advantage kicks in. On the other hand, if you have a bankroll of $100,000, the chance of going broke is only 1 %.

Some can pass these savings on to online casino players through better rules and a lower house edge. This doesn't necessarily mean you'll win either. But it does mean that you should get more action for your money.

IMPORTANT

Even if the house edge in an online casino is only 0.2 % or 0.1 %, you will go broke if you play long enough. And online casinos always have an advantage over players.

The house odds for the various blackjack games from the different software providers are easy to find online. But it is important that you trust the sites you play on to give you the right facts and figures.

Therefore, when looking for the best blackjack house advantage, you should only use the safest online casinos.

Only video poker beats the blackjack house edge

The only game in the casino that has a lower house edge than blackjack is video poker, and only in certain game variations with certain pay tables.

There are video poker games with a payback ratio of 99.95 % or 99.54 %. This means that the house edge in these games is 0.05 % or 0.46 %. This is better than most blackjack games.

If you like video poker, you should definitely use these games. Some people don't like the interaction of casino table games. If that applies to you, stick to the slots. But always look for the games with the lowest house edge.

One disadvantage of video poker is that it is inevitably played with low stakes. All my friends are low-rollers, so that doesn't bother us much. But if you want to bet 500 dollars at once, you can't do that in video poker.

In video poker, you can even get an edge if you choose the right games and strategically use the free points from the casino's slots club. But the stakes are so low that it's impossible to win much per hour doing this.

If you are considering swapping blackjack for video poker, the following guide will tell you everything you need to know!

How to make the house advantage work for you in blackjack

The house edge in blackjack is there for a reason. It is to ensure that the house always wins.

However, this does not mean that the house advantage in blackjack games on the internet or in your favourite pubs will always rob you of your winnings. In the short term, you can definitely make a profit playing this game. In the long run, your winnings will shrink even faster if you are not attentive.

Basic strategy is the first of many things you need to learn about blackjack. That is already half the battle.
Apart from blackjack strategy, where you play is just as important as how you play. Since the house edge in online blackjack can be favourable compared to land-based casinos, it's always worth looking out for the best titles.

Fortunately, there are some exceptional online casino sites that we trust in this area. You can try them out for yourself below!

Good luck!

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