Relationship of House Edge with Number of Decks in Online Card Games

06 March 2012
Today, card games have become one of the integral parts of online casinos. One type of card games is the poker games, which the players could play with the help of single deck. On the other side, baccarat and blackjack is the card games played in multiple decks. Novices of online casino games are not well-aware about the fact that both average payout ratio as well as house edge in any casino has significant effect on the number of decks being used in the card games. As a result of this, most of the players even make wrong selection of card games in the casino. Hence, players should essentially understand the relationship among the house edges and number of decks in any particular type of card game. Therefore, this article is an attempt to highlight some of the points, from which novices of online casinos may understand the relationship of house edges with number of decks in card games.

Firstly, we should have a look at the gaming variants offered in the online casinos, so that we can easily obtain the essence of the issue associated with card games. We know that Microgaming software provider of online casino games has given us wide variations in online casino games, so we can take the gaming variants of Microgaming as example. Microgaming has given us highest numbers of blackjack variants in the form of ACB (Atlantic City Blackjack), Classic Blackjack and VDB (Vegas Downtown Blackjack) and so on. All of these blackjack variants have incorporated number of decks between 1 and 8. Moreover, variation in number of decks could be observed inside the variants of blackjack game. For instance, the blackjack variant of Classic Blackjack has is available to us with 1 deck in case of single hand version, while 5 decks in case of multi hand version. In addition, VDB is available in both 1 and 2 decks in the online casinos. Microgaming powered online baccarat game is available to us in only two variants. This is because; in normal variants, online casinos allow the players to play with only one deck, while in case of High Limit Baccarat; players have to play with 8 decks.

In any game of blackjack, the house edge gets increase according to the number of decks utilized in blackjack, while other gaming rules remain unchanged. House edge may be considered as the percentage of betted amount, which casino used to retain in future. Therefore, experts have suggested the players to play the card games with less number of decks as possible. In VDB gaming variant, the house edge involved with only 1 deck is very less that is 0.01%, however house edge gets increased to 0.40% for 2 decks and finally reached to highest 0.64% for 8 decks blackjack game. We may have more interesting house edge in case of VSB (Vegas Strip Blackjack). This is because; house edge with 8 decks VSB would be equal to 0.43%, with 2 decks VSB would be 0.18% and lastly, for 1 deck VSB is -0.18%. The game of blackjack having larger number of decks is mainly formatted as multi hand games.

On the other hand, baccarat game has incorporated three different types of bets and so, we have to consider the house edge of each of these bets in separate manner. In case of Tie Bet, the house edge is 14.3% for 8 decks but increased to 15.8% for 1 deck baccarat game. The house edge for Player Bets and Banker Bets are 1.24% and 1.1% for 8 decks respectively.


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