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Single Deck vs. Multiple Deck Blackjack Games

When we look around in a casino, we'll usually see blackjack played either as single deck game or multiple deck game. One question that usually pops up every once in a while is which type of game is better for blackjack players, is it the single deck game or the multiple deck game?

The straight and simple answer is that a single deck game is better for blackjack players than multiple deck games. The big major reason behind this is that you'll get more blackjack hands in a single deck game than with multiple deck game. Let's get on with the specific reasons why this is so in blackjack.

If we randomly picked a card from a single deck after it is shuffled what are the chances that that card will be an Ace? There are 52 cards in a single deck, and four of those cards are Aces. That's going to be a ratio of four out of 52. But, there is more to it when we calculate the probabilities in a single deck game of blackjack.

Once you have drawn that Ace you are left with 51 cards on that single deck. The next question we would like to know is what are the chances for us to get a ten-value card given the 51 cards left in our deck? In a deck of 52 cards there are 16 ten-value cards. This includes Tens, Jacks, Queens, and Kings in our deck standard deck.

If we multiply these ratios we get the probability of getting an Ace then followed by a ten-value card in a game of blackjack. The result will boil down to 2.41%. This computation hasn't taken into account the probability of getting a ten-value card before getting the Ace. This doubles our chances; therefore, our actual chance of getting a combination of Ace plus a ten-value card is 4.82% in a game of blackjack. That is your probability of getting a blackjack in a single deck game.

This probability goes down dramatically when you move to a multiple deck game of blackjack. The chance of getting an Ace in a six-deck game for instance is 24 out of 312. You can get a blackjack in a single deck game one for every 20.72 hands dealt. A double deck will give you a blackjack for every one in every 20.93 hands. A four-deck game gives one for every 21.02 hands. And the numbers go up as you increase the number of decks.

Since it is easier to get a blackjack in a single deck game than a multiple deck game, it is indeed better for a blackjack player to stay away from multiple deck games and stick to single deck games as much as possible.

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