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What is House Edge in Blackjack and Why is it Important

House edge in blackjack is the term used to describe the advantage the casino has over the player at the blackjack table. For instance, a blackjack game with a house edge of say 3% would theoretically retain 3% of the players bet every time a wager is placed.

The house edge percentage is calculated by using a special math formula which gives an average based on the separate variables of each blackjack game. For example the number of decks, splitting of aces, whether the dealer stands on soft 17, etc.

For blackjack players, then, the lower the house edge is, the more likely they are to win more money. In this article, we will be looking in more detail at what house edge is, how it can be used to the player's advantage, and what casinos out there currently offer the best house edge for blackjack players.

How is House Edge Calculated?

To calculate the house edge, several factors must be taken into consideration. Blackjack has many variables and these different rules will all affect the overall house advantage. Below is the basic formula used:

(Chance of Win x Average Payout) - Chance of Loss

But the math isn't that easy. Now you have to factor in the table rules and number of decks. By collating the information together, either by yourself (if you're good at maths) or by using a house edge calculator (if you're not so good), you can determine the estimated house edge percentage for every table.

Factors that Lead to a Good House Edge

Identifying whether or not a blackjack table has a good house edge is done by assessing the following variables:

  • Number of decks: This is the number of decks that are used at each blackjack table.
  • Dealer hits on soft 17: This is when the dealer must hit on a soft 17 a hand containing an ace and one or more other cards totaling six.
  • Double down: To double the original bid in blackjack in exchange for only one more card.
  • Splitting rules: The moment in the game when you can split your hand into two hands.
  • Can you surrender: Surrender is when you fold your hand early and lose half your bet rather than play the hand and lose the whole bet.
  • What is the payout: This is the amount you are paid for every winning hand. i.e. in 3:2 blackjack you will receive $3 back for every $2 you bet.

Does House Edge Work the Same in Land-Based and Online Casinos?

House edge in blackjack works the same in both land-based casinos and online casinos. The only difference between the two is that online casinos tend to offer a much wider variety of blackjack variants than most land-based casinos and will, therefore, have a much wider variety of house edge percentages.

Las Vegas Casinos with the Best House Edge

By using the OUSC Las Vegas BlackjackSurvey, we were able to identify the top casinos with the best blackjack house edge in each of the Las Vegas locations. Below are the results:

The Las Vegas Casinos with the Best House Edge

  • North: Stratosphere casino is based in the north of the city and currently offers the lowest house edge at 0.13%.
  • Central: Though there are around 6 casinos in central Las Vegas in joint place for lowest blackjack hold (0.29%), we placed Caesars Palace at the top of our list as it has the highest number of tables standing at 14.
  • South: Aria currently leads the way for lowest blackjack hold for five tables with 0.25%.
  • Downtown: El Cortez in downtown Las Vegas is the best casino to visit for low a household with 6 of its tables currently standing at 0.30%.
  • Off-Strip: Arizona Charlie's currently offers the lowest blackjack house hold at 0.16%.

Online Live Dealer Blackjack House Edge

At present, there are around 10 separate live dealer blackjack software providers operating in the industry. However, the main trusted ones used by the best online casinos in the country are Visionary iGaming, Playtech, and Microgaming.

The house edge on online live dealer blackjack games ranges from 0.4% to 0.7%. This will depend greatly on the software provider, since they are the ones that set rules and variables.


Now that you have all the information you need to start using house edge to your advantage in blackjack, you are free to go and try it out for real in the casino of your choosing. If you plan on taking a trip to Las Vegas soon, be sure to review the once mentioned in the Vegas survey. If you can't make it to Nevada, don't worry! There are plenty of online casinos with low house edge live blackjack tables where you try out your new skills.


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