Single Deck Blackjack: How to Play Online with the Best Odds
In a game of single-deck Blackjack
- You get the best (i.e. lowest) house edge
- You can actually count cards…
- …and develop a proper in-game strategy to try to win more
Single-deck Blackjack is the only Blackjack variant you should play.
Find out why (and how to start with a grrrreat bonus) in this article.
Or you can skip everything and play. Right here.
Wait - What Is Single Deck Blackjack?
Single deck Blackjack is a popular variation of the game which, as you can guess, uses one deck of cards.
Like it should be.
In its beginnings, all Blackjack games were played with a single deck of cards. But then came the 1960s, and 'card counting' changed it all. And killed most single-deck games.
Some players learned to keep track of the action and used this new skill to optimize their play to win more. As a reaction, Casinos did what they had to: they added more cards to make things more difficult.
That's why in today's world single-deck Blackjack games are the 'truffles of gambling.' So precious and yet so rare that it takes some serious skills to find them.
Most Casinos let you play double-deck, 4-deck, 6-deck, and even 8-deck Blackjack games. The most common variant in 2019 is the 6-deck one, at least that's what I see on these online Casino sites.
Know this: with each deck added to the table, the house edge goes up as well.
Looking for value? Go single-deck!
Here's where you get the best Return-to-Player (RTP). If you want to play Blackjack, always go single deck!
How to Play Single Deck Blackjack
When it comes to the rules of single-deck Blackjack, everything is as in the standard variant of the game. Unsurprisingly.
- You play against the dealer
- If you make more than 21 points, you lose
- If you make more points than the dealer (but not more than 21), you win
For the sake of making this the most complete guide on the internet, let's cover the gameplay.
If you know how to play Blackjack already, you can skip this part and go to play the game.
Register first (it's free)
You can play single-deck Blackjack for free if you don't like to spend real money - that's totally cool.
- Register a free gaming account on this page
- Confirm your e-mail address
- Play single-deck Blackjack online
The game starts with the dealer serving one card face up to the player, one card face down to themselves, and one more card face up to both.
Here's when the player (you) decides which move to make, whereas the dealer follows a simple set of predetermined rules.
The dealer draws another card if the sum of their hand is 16 or lower and stands if the sum of their hards is 17 or higher.
The player can either Hit, Stand, Split, or Double Down.
Getting confused? Continue reading.
Playing Options in Single Deck Blackjack
Now you know the player and the dealer do not have the same playing options. So - what does that mean for you?
As a player, you can develop and follow a playing strategy while de dealer can't. The dealer’s playing strategy is pre-determined and follows precise rules.
Let’s take a closer look at the four main playing options you have.
Hitting means that you want the dealer to give you another card. You can draw as many cards as they wish as long as their total value is lower than 21.
Standing means that you are happy with the hand you have and you do not want to draw any more cards.
This is usually the case when you have a hand of 21 or close to it.
Splitting is a move that you can choose when you draw two cards of the same value at the beginning of a hand (for example, 8-8).
You can then split the hand into two separate hands and play the round with two bets.
Doubling Down is exactly what it sounds like; this is a move for when you are super-confident in your skills...and luck.
You choose to double their initial bet and then draw one card to improve your hand.
Single Deck Blackjack Card Values
The cards in a game of single deck Blackjack work like in any other type of Blackjack.
All cards from 2 to 10 have their face value. Picture cards (J, Q, K), give you 10 points, regardless of their suit.
The only tricky part is the Ace. We can count the Ace either 1 or 11, depending on the situation.
See it in action:
A hand made of an Ace and an 8 will have a value of 19 since the ace counts as 11 in this case.
If you draw another card and this is higher than 2, the Ace becomes a 1-point card to prevent you from going over 21.
The Payouts in Single Deck Blackjack
Single deck Blackjack is the best game you can play when it comes to the RTP.
Here's one mind-blowing fact: that does not include only other Blackjack variants, but all the other Casino games, too!
The RTP of this single deck variation is estimated at 99.59%. However, that’s only if you play a game that pays 3:2 on Blackjacks.
That means that if you bet 2 chips and win with a 21, you will get 3 chips back. There are some games that pay 6:5 on Blackjacks. Avoid them.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Single Deck Blackjack
The first and main advantage of Blackjack is that it pays the most for every pound that you wager.
Moreover, if you wish to try counting cards (which is only possible in land-based casinos since the deck is reshuffled after every round when you play online), single deck Blackjack is the way to go.
The main disadvantage of playing single deck Blackjack is that casinos sometimes change the rules slightly so as to increase the house edge.
For example, they offer 6:5 payouts or require the dealers to always hit the soft 17.
But, if you can find a game with favorable rules, there is no better game you can play in an online or land-based casino.
Disclaimer: Gambling is a game of chance and there's no sure-fire formula that guarantee winnings. You can improve your winning chances by using the right in-game strategies but there is no way to predict when a machine or a Casino game is going to pay. Also, this page contains affiliate links. If you click through and play, we might earn a commission. That’s what allow us to keep CasinoSmash free and bring you the best online Casino bonuses!