A game with a single deck and one with several decks have slight differences. Some of the main ones are explained by our helpful guide.
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With players able to choose which one you should go for between single deck and online multi-deck blackjack, and which games offer the best chances of winning? To find out, let’s explore these two famous blackjack games.
How To Play Blackjack
Blackjack was played with only a single deck in the early days of casino games. How many high value cards were left in the deck could easily be picked up by card counters.
Casinos started to include more and more decks over time. Automatic shufflers arbitrarily held the cards and made it more difficult for card counters to find out what was going to come out.
Getting too many shoe decks often made the edge of the house slightly higher. It would be more likely that players would bust (go over 21 with their hand) and lose more in the long run.
In fact, the rules of single-deck and multi-deck blackjack are the same: players are dealt two cards each, with one up and one down for the dealer.
Players must then determine whether to obtain more cards (hit) and aim without going over to get as close to 21. Also, the player should stand (receive no more further cards).
The dealer takes the cards after the player has had their turn. The side that is nearest to 21 wins without going over.
A blackjack (an ace with a picture card worth 10) pays 3/2 in both types of the game, while having single-deck blackjack variants paying only 6/5 is not unusual.
In both variations, beating the dealer’s hand costs 1/1.
Various methods while playing single deck and multi-deck
When gambling on single-deck and multi-deck blackjack, the main differences are in understanding what to play when.
You need to remember, most importantly, when to hit, stand, or double down.
It’s optimal to break 2-2 and 3-3 in both games if the dealer reveals 2-7 face up.
You can also break 6-6 in a single deck if the dealer shows 7 and they have to hit a soft 17. (a 17 containing an ace that counts as 1 or 11).
Doubling down the
The double down is a bet where players double their bet and only receive one additional card.
In single-deck blackjack, there are a number of more double down moves.
As there are fewer cards with a value of 10, busting their hand is harder for the player.
There are simply more 10-value cards to hit in the multi-deck blackjack, where you can have up to 8 decks.
As you can see from the table, if the dealer shows a 5 or 6, you can also double down on 8 in a single-deck. The dealer would find it harder to build a winning total with such a low card.
A more beneficial option is also to double down on 11 in a single card.
It’s advisable to hit only in case the dealer hits his blackjack and the hand is tied in standard multi-deck blackjack.
Single-deck and multi-deck blackjack benefits and drawbacks
The one-deck blackjack bonus is that keeping track of what cards have come out of the deck is simpler.
However, since there are less 10-value cards on the table, the house edge is higher on the insurance bet (5.9 percent).
Multi-deck blackjack is more commonly available online and, given the greater number of 10s and picture cards, it’s slightly easier to double down.
Multi-deck blackjack also boasts a marginally lower house advantage when playing optimal strategy than its single cousin deck.