We’ll start our articles with few interesting facts.
- As you probably know, there are dozens and even hundreds of blackjack variants available in online casinos.
- The most played blackjack variant in all casinos we’ve contacted is the one simply called “Blackjack”.
So far everything makes sense, but check this out:
- We checked a dozen most popular and reputable blackjack sites, only in three of them, the simple “blackjack” game carried the same rules. Overall, despite the same title, in those 10 casinos, we encountered 7 different blackjack games. In some dealer stands on soft 17, in some hits; some played according to Vegas rules, while others offer Atlantic City surrender option. One of them even is actually European blackjack.
Now, drums please....
- None of those “standard” blackjacks carried the best odds in that particular casino. None! On every single site, there were other, far superior blackjack tables with much more favourable rules. And yet, over 90% of players chose to play the standard game. Why?
I guess the is that we are naturally attracted to things that look familiar. It doesn’t matter that each game that we checked carried different rules, the fact that it’s simply called blackjack did the job. Same as we will buy Nike shoes of drink at Starbucks even if we have much better and yet unfamiliar options.
And of course, the casinos know that, so it really shouldn’t surprise you that the games called blackjack carried on average pretty high house edge.
Does it really matter?
The answer is “Yes, but it depends.” If you gamble once a year for few hours on your family vacation, then obviously, you shouldn’t spend hours looking for the most favourable table. The money you will save probably doesn’t worth it.
However, if you play more often – once a month, once a week and so on, and especially if you play online – picking the tables with the lowest house edge will save you a lot of money.
For example, let’s say you play online twice a week for few hours, betting $5 per hand. As you know the game speed in video blackjack is very high so you can easily play 100-200 rounds per hour.
$5 per hand * 100 hands/hour * 3 hours * twice a week = $3000 in bets per week. In this example picking a favourable table with 99.75% return vs. 99.25% one will save you $15 each week. That doesn’t sound much but that’s $780 a year. And usually, all of us gamblers underestimate how much we really play. When we say twice a week it’s actually 4 times and 3 hours is in reality 5.
However, it doesn’t really matter how often you play. Why on earth you would pay more for the same thing? $1000, $500 or $1. It simply doesn’t make sense.
So how to find the best blackjack games?
If you play in land based casino that you will just need to calculate it. You can use an online odds calculator for that. It 1 minute, you just need to make sure that you insert the correct rules.
If you are an online blackjack player your life is much easier. First you can google it, or you can go to sites like Online Blackjack Explorer, which lists the best blackjack games by casino, software, specific blackjack variation and so on.
Also, some software developers list the expected RTP on their games’ help page, but in some cases we found those not to be precise.