Blackjack Game Selection

To understand game selection you first need the formula to calculate your expected blackjack loss per hour.  These calculations assume you are playing using blackjack basic strategy.

The formula for expected blackjack loss per hour is:

$ unit played per hand * hands played per hour * blackjack game house advantage (expected value)

Blackjack Game SelectionYou walk into a Las Vegas casino to play blackjack for $25/hand and you are given the choice of the following games:

  • 2 decks, dealer hits on soft 17, and double after split allowed. You would be the 4th player at this table.
  • 6 decks and dealer stands on soft 17. You would be the 5th player at this table.
  • 2 decks and dealer hits on soft 17. You would be the 6th player at this table.

Which game would you choose that has the best odds?

Game $/Hand Hands/Hour Action Game EV Expected Loss/Hour
2D H17 DAS $25 84 $2,100 -0.46% $9.66
6D S17 $25 70 $1,750 -0.57% $9.98
2D H17 $25 60 $1,500 -0.60% $9.00
Expected Loss = $/Hand * Hands/Hour * Game EV

As you see, the answer to the above question is complicated. Even though the 2D H17 DAS is in theory the “better” game with a house advantage of 0.46%, you would be better off playing the “worst” game offered as there are more players at the table and you will expect to lose less per hour.

The correct answer is to play the 2D H17 game.

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