Why Do Blackjack Dealers Use So Many Decks?

Why Do Blackjack Dealers Use So Many Decks?

The number of decks that get used at a Blackjack table reflects the odds that players face when seeking a win. When you add more of them into a game, then the edge for the house increases.

There isn’t a limit in place on the minimum or maximum number of decks that a game of Blackjack must use. You can find some casinos and online tables offering single-deck versions as a way to invite high-stakes players.

Casual players usually have a shoe that fits between 6-8 decks. Then someone cuts the cards so that the entire set of cards doesn’t get used before another shuffle happens.

When more card decks are part of the game, then you have a lower chance of drawing a natural blackjack. The dealer experiences the same outcome, which means fewer pushed bets happen throughout the play.

More Decks Mean Fewer Card Counters

Single-deck Blackjack games make it easier for the average person to start counting the cards that hit the table. When you see a lot of low cards in a row, then a bet might increase because the odds of high cards coming out are higher.

Adding more decks with a cut in the shoe virtually eliminates the option to count cards. Even if you have a series of low cards that come out, there is no guarantee that the next hand will be any better. All of the higher cards could have gotten shuffled to the end of the deck that won’t get dealt to the players.

Although card counting isn’t illegal if you do it in your head, most casinos consider it a form of cheating. Procedures are in place to identify potential counters to remove them from a table, especially if they are winning.

How Single-Deck Blackjack is Different Today

The advantage to the player is significant in single-deck Blackjack, which means many casinos are putting in rules with this variant to protect the house’s interests in this game. It is not unusual to see guidelines that only permit players to double down when they have a 10 or an 11 in their hands. If you play with a more substantial shoe, then you can take this action on any hand.

Most single-deck Blackjack games will not let you split aces because of the potential risk to form two natural 21s. If you do get the option to split, then the payout won’t be 3-2 or 6-5 – it gets treated as a regular 21 instead.

If you like to play with lots of options at your disposal, then go to a table that uses at least four decks to play Blackjack. You’ll experience fewer restrictions while still having decent odds in your favor.


When you are an advanced player who can stick to your strategy consistently, then a single-deck game might still be your best option.

Blackjack is a fun game that anyone can pick up and play in a few minutes. If you’ve never experienced the thrill of a table, then try this one first! 

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