online vs land based bj odds


Paleo Meister (means really, really old)
Mar 29, 2002
I've seen alot more people playing bj online lately, and thus alot more questions about whether they are getting a fair game or not. I'm not sure myself about some of these casinos, there are only a few that I think are really a random game, and some that I'm sure aren't (like g-fed).

Many times we'll see someone ask the odds of the dealer pulling off some miracle hands x number of times in a row (like multiple bj) and the odds are astronomical making one believe that it must be a rigged game. But is it?

Very few online casinos actually deal into the shoe like is done in land based multi-deck games. Almost all of them reshuffle their 6 or 8 decks before each and every hand. I'm wondering if some of the statisticians (like GrandMaster for instance) can comment on this?

Since each hand is really a completely independent occurrence, like a slot machine or vp game, do the stats really hold up when we talk about the dealer getting 4 or 5 bjs in a row and that being some once in a lifetime event. Remember that each hand has no relation to the one before it or the one following it in this scenario. If it were dealt from the same shoe, I'd say that the odds were much longer, but these are 4 or 5 independent, freshly shuffled, off the top of the shoe hands.

Is the house edge really higher than we think it should be because each hand is from a new shoe? I tend to think it is, but don't know the statistical calculations to apply to show one way or the other. Hopefully someone (GM?) can address this.
There is absolutely no notable difference between reshuffle after one hand or reshuffle after six decks of an eight-deck. The odds are the same for each and every hand assuming you are not actually tracking the cards in a dealt game, and basic strategy is based on that assumption. The house edge is the same on that first hand as it is after six decks of an eight-decker. Of course, the odds change in reality, but to a pure basic strategist - or non-basic strategist for that matter - there is no difference between immediate shuffle or deep deal. In fact, terrestrial casinos using a CSM are perfectly comparable to online immediate shuffle-after-one - and, strictly speaking, the CSM games marginally FAVOUR the basic strategist over the dealt games, in the same way that an online shuffle-after-one marginally favours the basic strategist based on the same (rather complex) principle. In other words, online shuffle-after-one should produce marginally BETTER results than a terrestrial dealt shoe - not the other way around. In all reality, there is absolutely no difference, and the stats, as you specifically ask, are identical to within hundredths of thousandths of a percent.

The answer to the anomalies lies elsewhere.
Thanks Caruso, I've always wondered if maybe this was a different game because of the shuffle after every hand. I thought there was probably some type of marginal edge to this sort of game, but assumed it was on the dealer's side, rather than the player's side as you point out.
I seriously doubt shuffling after every play will change the odd significantly from games that go into say 6 decks of an 8 deck game. We are not talking about changing the percentages in the first two or even three most significant digits. You will at most modify some of the minor digits in the odds so in practice I doubt there is a lot of difference.

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