How Many Decks of Cards Are Used in Blackjack?

Blackjack is the most widely played casino game, in which the objective is to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. With some of the greatest odds of winning among all gambling games, you might be wondering exactly how many decks are used in blackjack. This is actually a great question — knowing how many decks you are dealing with may be your secret weapon to winning.


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How many decks are used in blackjack?

Technically, there is no restriction on the number of decks when playing blackjack. Blackjack was originally played with only a single deck of cards, but with the birth and democratization of card counting, standards quickly changed.


To put it simply, new rules were enforced to make the game fair, such as increasing the number of decks. This is precisely why nowadays you’ll find that blackjack in most casinos uses six to eight decks of the standard 52 cards.


Why did casinos change the number of decks used in blackjack?

The number of decks used in blackjack is a number of factors, mainly the casino’s advantage and the strategy that the player must follow. Generally, however, casinos prefer using six to eight decks of cards when playing blackjack. There are two reasons behind this:


#1. With a single-deck game of blackjack, the dealer must shuffle the deck after every round. This takes up time. On the other hand, if you’re playing with six to eight decks, you can play several hands before the dealer has to shuffle the decks.


#2. The more cards, the greater the game’s complexity. The standard house edge, considered to be about 0.5%, applies only when playing a game that uses a single deck. The house’s edge rises with every deck added. Additionally, more decks prohibit card counting, a strategy that is not technically illegal but is frowned upon by casinos.


So is single-deck blackjack always better for players?

There is no one arrangement that makes a game easier to win. Having more decks could possibly give the house a slightly better edge, but overall, regulations are put into place to ensure that blackjack stays a fair game. Some casinos won’t let you join until the deck is played through or until after the next reshuffling, while others have their dealers reshuffle cards if they feel like you’re catching up too quickly.



So when it comes down to it, the number of cards used in blackjack will vary. But the good news is that each table at the casino will inform you beforehand of the number of decks being used. 


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