Blackjack Decks Explained: Complete Guide | LeoVegas

Blackjack Decks Explained


Blackjack typically uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards, but the number of decks varies in different games.Most land-based casinos use six to eight decks in conventional blackjack game.

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How Many Decks Are Used in Blackjack?

Blackjack uses a standard deck of 52 playing cards. However, different blackjack games have different rule variations, and the number of decks used in each game is one such variation. Most land-based casinos prefer using six to eight decks of the conventional 52 playing cards.


At a blackjack table, the dealer sits behind a semi-circular table facing five to nine players and deals the cards out of a shoe. A shoe is a plastic card-dispensing device. While single and double-deck games still exist, many casinos offer blackjack games with more decks. The six and eight decks are the most popular blackjack games in land-based casinos from Las Vegas to Macau.

How Many Decks Are Used in Online Blackjack?

Online blackjack plays similarly to land-based casino black, except for a few rule variations from one website to the other. Like in land-based casinos, online blackjack simulates different predetermined decks and can be anywhere from one, two, four, five, six, or eight decks. Depending on the regulating authority, online casinos may have to publish the number of decks in their games in the rules section.

In online casinos, there are two ways to play blackjack: video machine blackjack and live dealer blackjack. In video machine blackjack, 95 per cent of the time, the cards are shuffled before the end of each round. In some cases, the cards are shuffled every few hands.

At the live dealer tables in live dealer blackjack, the cards are not shuffled at the end of every round. Instead, it follows the same way as real brick-and-mortar casinos but with a low deck penetration, making it nearly impossible to count cards. Deck penetration is the number of cards that must be dealt before the deck reshuffles. Usually, online casinos have a deck penetration of 50% or lower, meaning their cards will be shuffled after three decks in a six-deck game.

Single Deck Blackjack

Single Deck is a blackjack variant that uses only one deck of cards. This differs from traditional blackjack, where multiple decks are used at once. Single Deck Blackjack can pay better odds than typical blackjack variants, as there are fewer chances for a tie between the dealer and player.

For experienced blackjack players, Single Deck Blackjack is a great opportunity to use their basic blackjack strategies and skills like card counting. Card counting is a technique of tracking the cards that have been dealt so far, and using this information to predict which cards are most likely to be dealt next. This can help blackjack players gain an advantage over the house by improving their chances of winning.

Basic blackjack strategy involves making decisions such as when to hit, stand, split or double. Using basic blackjack strategies can improve the odds of winning by reducing the house edge. Overall, Single Deck Blackjack is an exciting blackjack variant that rewards players with higher payouts and great chances of beating the dealer. With proper skills in card counting and basic blackjack strategy, players can have an advantage in this blackjack variant.


Double Deck Blackjack

Double Deck Blackjack is a variant of blackjack where only two decks are used for the game. This means that your odds of winning can be slightly better than other blackjack variants. As fewer cards are in play, properly utilising basic blackjack strategies and card counting techniques can reduce the house edge from an average of about 0.34% to below 0.25%, giving you an advantage over the house.

In Double Deck Blackjack, players can double down on any two-card hand and split any pair. Players also have the option to buy "insurance" after the initial deal if they think that the dealer has blackjack. Insurance pays 2-to-1, so the player can still win back their money if the dealer does have blackjack. Playing at 3:2 Double Deck Blackjack tables gives you better odds compared to 6:5 blackjack.

Double Deck Blackjack is an enjoyable blackjack variation with improved odds for the players. Understanding blackjack strategy and learning to count cards can increase your chances of winning.

Five Deck Blackjack

Five Deck Blackjack is a blackjack variant played using five decks of cards and following basic blackjack rules, with specific changes to enhance the player's odds. The most notable difference is that blackjacks pay out 3:2 instead of 6:5, like in other blackjack variants. The dealer also stands on soft 17s, and blackjacks can only be hit once.

Players can increase their odds by using basic blackjack strategy, which involves making the right hitting, standing, doubling down, or splitting decisions based on your hand's total versus the dealer's upcard.

Although it is much harder to keep track of the cards, players can further improve their odds by counting cards. Keeping track of the decks gives players an understanding of which cards are still left in the deck, allowing them to make better decisions with their hands.

Eight Deck Blackjack

Eight Deck Blackjack is a variation of blackjack that uses eight standard 52-card decks, making it an ideal game for players looking for more action and higher stakes. The odds are slightly in favour of the house, but with proper basic strategy and card counting, blackjack players can reduce the house edge to less than one per cent.

Basic blackjack strategy involves knowing when to hit, stand, split, double down, double down after splits, and early and late surrender. To develop the best way to play each blackjack hand, you will need to understand key details regarding the blackjack table. For example, you'll need to know whether this is a soft 17 or a hard 17 Eight Deck Blackjack table.

Additionally, find out whether you can double after splitting. Card counting involves keeping an eye on the cards that have already been played so you can get an idea of whether blackjack will likely be in your favour. With eight decks, it's much harder to keep track of all the cards, but blackjack experts have developed card counting systems to help blackjack players achieve a slight edge over the house. So, if you're looking for a blackjack game with more action, Eight Deck Blackjack is worth a try.

Blackjack Decks FAQ

How Many Cards Are in One Deck for Blackjack?

A blackjack deck usually consists of 52 cards. To start the game, the dealer shuffles the cards and then deals two cards to each player, including themselves. When playing blackjack, you're trying to get as close as possible to 21 without going over.

How Many Decks Do Online Blackjack Games Use?

Generally, online blackjack games use anywhere from one to eight decks of blackjack cards. This variation in the number of decks used depends on the blackjack variant you are playing and the rules accompanying it. However, six and eight decks are the most common in online casinos.

How Many Decks Are Used in Atlantic City Blackjack?

Atlantic City blackjack is typically played with eight decks of standard 52-card blackjack decks. This means that there are 416 cards in total. While the higher number of decks is inconvenient for card counters, it allows for a larger spread of card possibilities, giving players more chances to win. It also results in a slightly higher house edge.

How Many Decks Are Used in Spanish 21?

The typical blackjack deck used contains 52 cards. However, Spanish 21 uses 48 cards with all four 10's cards removed from the deck. Spanish 21 is played with six or eight decks of cards. All the cards retain the same values as in a typical blackjack game.

How Many Decks Do Most Casinos Use for Blackjack?

The number of decks used varies from one casino to the other. However, most casinos use six to eight decks of cards. There are two main reasons why most casinos prefer to use six to eight decks. First, the house edge is slightly better in games using a higher number of decks. Second, when using a higher number of decks, dealers do not have to shuffle the desk after every round like in a single-deck game. Still, some casinos may use fewer or more decks, depending on the blackjack variant or the specific in-house rules.

How Does the Number of Decks Used in Blackjack Affect Odds and House Edge?

In blackjack, the house edge is affected by how many decks are used. The more decks in play, the higher the house edge, as it increases the chances of a player busting due to having too many cards. Generally, blackjack games that use fewer decks offer better odds for players. For instance, when playing blackjack with a single deck, the house edge is usually around 0.15% compared to blackjack games with eight decks, which can have a house edge as high as 2%.

Ideally, blackjack games using fewer decks are much more attractive for players looking for better returns on their bets. Additionally, blackjack games that use fewer decks provide players with a greater opportunity to count cards, which can increase their chances of winning. So, when considering which blackjack game to play, it's important to take into account the number of decks used in order to get the best odds and house edge.

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