There are plenty of great games at the casino, but there’s just something about blackjack. Gamblers around the world have ensured that this simple card game has remained among the most popular casino titles for years, and its popularity has shown no signs of slowing down. While the allure of card counting has certainly improved blackjack’s image over the years, the vast majority of players don’t count on this highly effective strategy. In fact, many gamblers don’t even bother to learn basic strategy, meaning that any statistical advantage that the game may offer over other titles is little more than a red herring to its popularity.
Despite the game’s massive following, there are still plenty of things about blackjack that are relatively unknown. For example, did you know that for every 100 hands played, the dealer is expected to win 48, while the player is only expected to win 44? This mathematical edge has everything to do with the order of play, and seemingly inconsequential details such as this form the very foundation of blackjack’s widespread adoption. If you find this fact interesting, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Without further ado, let’s take a look at five fun facts you can use to impress your fellow players the next time you find yourself at the blackjack table.
5. The Power of Five
In blackjack, each card has a value, but they also have an underlying effect on the game. In counting strategies, players look for decks loaded with high cards, as they are beneficial to gamblers’ odds of success. On the flipside, small cards benefit the house, and no cards have a bigger impact on your chances of a win than the fives. By simply removing the five cards from the deck, the players’ odds of winning the hand goes up by 0.64%, which is a much bigger advantage than it may seem.
4. Lucky Elevens
While a perfect 21 is obviously the best hand and 20 is second best, you may be surprised to learn that, statistically, the third best hand in blackjack is an 11. When you’re dealt an 11, you’ll just need a ten to complete your win, and that’s why this hand is so favorable. At the start of a game following the shuffle, there are exactly four times as many tens in a blackjack deck as any other card. That means your odds of capping off the 11 are just about as good as it gets.
3. Made in France
Blackjack originated in French casinos way back in the 1700s. In those days, the game was called ‘vingt-et-un’, or twenty-and-one. That’s why the proper name for the game is 21, but blackjack caught on as slang in the 1920s.
2. The Worst of the Worst
The worst hand in blackjack is a 16, followed by 15, which is the second worst. These statistics have everything to do with the dreaded five cards. Hit or stand? Statistically, the average dealer hand is a little better than an 18, so a lucky hit is usually the preferred option.
1. Don’t be a Sucker
Blackjack is all about statistics, so keep this one in mind: taking insurance is almost always a sucker’s bet. Stay strong with your bet, and hope for anything other than a dealer blackjack.
Now that you know the fun facts, you’re ready to get back to playing the world’s favorite casino game. Hope for a blackjack, but don’t feel too bad if a 20 or an 11 shows up in your hand. With a little luck, you’ll be a winner in any case!