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The Blackjack 'edge'

Discussion in 'Online Casinos' started by Slotster!, Oct 23, 2004.

    Oct 23, 2004
  1. Slotster!

    Slotster! I predict a riot. CAG

    Occupation:
    al Hazard
    Location:
    Location, Location!
    Hello there!

    Reasonably new chap to the online casino world, who's been sucked in by the lure of the slots :D

    I've been giving blackjack a go recently though, and have a couple of questions that I'm sure are pretty fundamental to anyone but a newbie!

    1) How does a casino gain an 'edge' in blackjack? Not just online ones, but casino's in general? Surely the nature of the game if played fairly is entirely down to chance, and there should be an almost 50/50 chance of winning/losing? How is an edge calculated in a casino's favour?

    2) Again, probably a bit naive, but I always assumed online casino blackjack would play the same as real cards. If the 'edge' does somehow exist anyway (which I'm struggling to understand), why would some online casinos need to cheat? And do they? Does software play a part?? Same with slots. They're stacked in the casino's favour in real life, so there's no need to monitor if it's paid out a lot etc. and then start sucking it back? They win ultimately anyway!

    Like I say, probably fairly fundamental questions for anyone that understands it but I'd appreciate your thoughts!

    Thankyou!
     
  2. Oct 23, 2004
  3. snuf419

    snuf419 Dormant account

    1, visit You must register/login in order to see the link. to find out how the casino gains house edge. You will notice BJ is the fairest game meaning it has the lowest house edge amongst all.

    2, let me ask you, if you were a casino operator making 1% of all incoming bets, wouldn't you be tempted to tweak your software a little so it generates you a 2% profit instead? Of course you will! Because no player will notice the difference when in fact you are doubling your profits. Doesn't it seem rational?
     
  4. Oct 23, 2004
  5. Slotster!

    Slotster! I predict a riot. CAG

    Occupation:
    al Hazard
    Location:
    Location, Location!
    Thanks for the reply snuf!

    I had a good look round the Wizard of Odds (Great site!), but couldn't really find anything that specifically explains WHY the casino has the edge. Just that it does, and how much under what circumstances.

    I see where you're coming from on the 'tweaking' software thing too. Bit naughty! Like I say, I just assumed they'd be fair. I suppose you're right though, and it's impossible to determine whether or not you've been stitched by software, or just hit a bad streak JUST as you decide to bet big!!!

    In the short time I've been playing, I've been astonished by the number of BJ's/21's that have dropped in whilst I'm thinking I'm sat pretty on a good hand. Maybe I should stick to real casinos!!

    Thanks again!
     
  6. Oct 23, 2004
  7. DeMango

    DeMango Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Postal Clerk, Residential Contractor
    Location:
    Englewood, FL USA
    Greetings!
    The short answer to your question is that you have to play your hand first not knowing the value of the dealer hole card. You bust, dealer busts you lose! Therefore there is a gap of about 5% in the dealers advantage. The only way you close the gap is with splits, double downs and BJ's which close the expected value gap to about .5%. Cheers!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2004
  8. Oct 23, 2004
  9. snuf419

    snuf419 Dormant account

    In the site, just click on any game you wish and it will give you the statistics and probabilities related to that game. It's all mathematical.

    Like this: You must register/login in order to see the link.
     
  10. Oct 23, 2004
  11. Slotster!

    Slotster! I predict a riot. CAG

    Occupation:
    al Hazard
    Location:
    Location, Location!

    Ahhhh! That's exactly it! Thankyou!! I knew I was missing something.

    It all falls into place :D

    Thanks for that link too snuf! That's an amazing site!
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2004
  12. Oct 23, 2004
  13. DeMango

    DeMango Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Postal Clerk, Residential Contractor
    Location:
    Englewood, FL USA
    Greetings!
    Just one more thing. There are two strategies which tie in to my post above. There is "mimic dealer" and "no bust" No Bust simply means never hit above a hard 11. I just witnessed this lunacy at the 4 Queens this week. The ploppie sat down at 3rd base, and after standing on 14 vs 8 told me that he wasn't going to beat (bust out) himself the dealer would have to! He was not long for the table! The House advantage is a whopping 16.7%!! The mimic strategy is simply doing as a dealer. Hitting up to 17. Not as bad as above but still a 5.5% disadvantage! There is another called WAG or wild ass guess. This usually comes about at 15 or 16 vs dealer 7 - 10 up. The WAG insists upon the newly found gift of ESP of the individual. We are all guilty of it but anytime you go against the math you are simply losing more in the long run!
    As a side note the 4 Queens had one $2 table, 8 decks, DAS, open 24/7, a nice bargain in Vegas without going to a seedy joint!
     
  14. Oct 23, 2004
  15. m249a

    m249a Dormant account

    Occupation:
    self employed
    Location:
    Pa
    I tend to lean toward the WAG system myself. I have learned thru the years the the higher my BIS (booze in system) the more profound my esp becomes. I am able to "see" or "feel" the dealers hole card by a wopping negative 29.831%. Thus the more I drink the more my comps increase and the less my bankroll increases. :thumbsup:
     
  16. Oct 23, 2004
  17. gfkostas

    gfkostas Ex-Bonus Whore

    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    UK
    Guys do we hit a 16 which consists of more than 2 cards vs dealers 7-Ace?
     
  18. Oct 24, 2004
  19. Macgyver

    Macgyver Dormant account PABnononaccred

    Occupation:
    Student
    Location:
    North Carolina
    That's a damn good question that I'd appreciate hearing the answer to as well. (pardon my language)

    Too many times I end up with a 4 or 5-card hand totalling 16 and the dealer's showing an 8 (for example). Seems like almost every time I hit that 16 (which is my understanding of how to play BJ strategy), I get a face card flipped on me and bust out.

    Any comments from more knowledgeable folks out there would be greatly appreciated. :thumbsup:
     
  20. Oct 24, 2004
  21. caruso

    caruso Banned User - repetitive violations of <a href="ht

    Occupation:
    Casino apologist
    Location:
    England
    That the dealer wins because he "plays second" is a standard, simplistic and incorrect explanation. If it were, it would hold good for all forms of blackjack, which it doesn't. In single deck soft 17 the dealer still plays second, but he loses to accurate player strategy. He WINS to inaccurate player strategy. Cut it down to half a deck, and the player edge goes shooting up to about 2% (I think). Again, innacurate play would still see the dealer winning. Evidently, "dealer plays second" has nothing to do with either house or player winning.

    The BJ house edge / player edge is the sum total of all the probabilities of all the possible outcomes.
     
  22. Oct 24, 2004
  23. gfkostas

    gfkostas Ex-Bonus Whore

    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    UK

    I myself usually hit on 15 or 16 no matter how many cards i have drawn but i have reservations on whether this is the correct play or not.I would appreciate if someone can help us on that by giving us a chart.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2004
  24. Oct 24, 2004
  25. chucho

    chucho Bonus Pimp

    PHP:
    You will notice BJ is the fairest game meaning it has the lowest house edge amongst all.
    Not true. At some land based casinos you can play craps and have better odds if you play the passline and/or come bets with max odds. For example, at Casino Royale on the strip in Vegas, they have $1 table min with 100x odds. So you place $1 on the pass line and a $100 odds bet. Sure the casino advantage on the pass line is 1.41%, but the odds bet is a 50/50 shake. And who really cares if their is 1.4% advantage on the buck. I can't add so maybe that situation is actualy worse than BJ but I think it is probably a little better.
     
  26. Oct 24, 2004
  27. KasinoKing

    KasinoKing WebMeister & Slotaholic.. CAG MM PABnonaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    House-Husband and Casino Advisor
    Location:
    Bexhill on sea, England
    :lolup: You are not alone pal! :lolup:

    I always hit less than 17 against dealers 8 - A, but then, I am a blackjack dummy! :p
     
  28. Oct 24, 2004
  29. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
    Location:
    UK
    Hitting 12-16 vs 7-A is correct basic strategy, You must register/login in order to see the link. shows the expected returns. You can see that you expect to lose money whatever you do, but you expect to lose less if you hit, so hitting is preferable to standing.

    16 vs 10 is a bit of an exception. The expected returns are very close. The index number for this situation in the Hi-Lo count is 0, which means that if the count is positive, i.e., the deck is rich in 10s and aces, then you stand, deviating from basic strategy. In a typical online casino, where the deck is shuffled before every hand, one can calculate the optimal strategy depending on the exact composition of the player's hand, with a 2 card 16 it is always better to hit than to stand against a dealer's 10 (surrender or splitting 8s is even better), with 3 or more cards it is sometimes better to stand, sometimes better to hit, but on average, it is better to stand. 16 sv 10 is a good candidate for the WAG strategy, because it won't make much of a difference. Hitting is clearly the better than standing in all the other cases of 12-16 vs 7-A.

    Other opportunities for WAG are 12 vs 4, 13 vs 2, and whether to double or hit on A,4 vs 4 and A,2 vs 5.
     
  30. Oct 24, 2004
  31. gfkostas

    gfkostas Ex-Bonus Whore

    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    UK
    what 'WAG' stands for?

    I guess that a +1 count would make a counter stand on 12 against 2.The same when against 3.Ain't that right?

    If the count is -1 the better play is to hit on 12 against 6?
    Anyone knows if there is a strategy showing the correct play for all hands while taking into account the count? ex. for -1 hit on 12 for +1 stand etc. etc.
     
  32. Oct 24, 2004
  33. GrandMaster

    GrandMaster Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Mathematician by day, online gambler by night.
    Location:
    UK
    See DeMango's post earlier in the thread. :)
     

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