Single Deck Blackjack Strategy Guide

Herbert Hanson By Herbert Hanson

5 min read

You will learn the basic and advanced rules, how to win, card counting in single deck games, and more.

When it comes to blackjack games, the number of decks utilized is one of the most critical factors determining the house’s advantage.

This is because there is only one deck of cards to work with.

If there is just one deck of 52 cards used (as in single deck blackjack), it is much simpler to determine how many high-value cards are still in the deck and, as a result, assess the chances of busting or hitting a blackjack.

Single Deck Blackjack Strategy

Due to the fact that blackjack is not a game of pure chance, it is essential to grasp the fundamental strategy. Consider that the regulations for single deck blackjack may change depending on the location. The information in this guide will be helpful if you want a profitable career as a professional gambler or simply a lovely evening in a casino.

Icon For The Heading - Basics Of Single Deck Blackjack Basics of Single Deck Blackjack

Single-deck blackjack is played with a single deck, and the dealer hits on soft 17 in this game. The player’s opening two cards in a game of blackjack with a single deck are dealt face down. When a player “hits” or asks for extra cards, they are dealt face up.

In some variations of blackjack, the dealer hits on a soft 17 value. In other situations, the dealer stands on soft or hard 17. On the blackjack table layout, the rule will either read “Dealer Hits Soft 17” or “Dealer Must Stand on All 17.” Using the rule that the dealer must hit on soft 17 will increase the house advantage somewhat.

Icon For The Heading - Single Deck Blackjack Rules Single Deck Blackjack Rules

  • It’s common knowledge that if two blackjack games have identical rules, the one with fewer decks is the better option. In general, the more decks there are, the greater the house’s advantage, all other things equal.

  • Single deck blackjack commences with the dealer shuffling the deck and dealing two face-up cards to each player. Additionally, the dealer receives two cards, one face down and the other facing up.

  • After the cards have been dealt, each player has the option to hit (draw another card) or stand. Players may continue to hit until their total equals or surpasses 21.

  • The house advantage when eight decks are dealt from a shoe varies by approximately 0.6% from the house edge in the same game played with a single deck with identical rules. If you get two identical cards, you can split your hand into two different hands.

  • In a game where the house advantage should ideally be kept below 1%, a difference of 0.6% is substantial. The house advantage in an eight-deck game is even 0.3% higher than in a two-deck game.

Single Deck vs. Double Deck

Numerous card decks were introduced to casinos in the 1960s to prevent card counting since it was more challenging to maintain a running count with multiple decks in play. Prior to competitive casino gamers targeting the blackjack table card game, single-deck blackjack was the standard. Now, while playing blackjack for real money at a standard table, the shoe has six decks of cards.

Nonetheless, you use just one deck when you engage in single deck blackjack games, whether online or in a physical casino. If all the single deck blackjack charts and conventional blackjack regulations were similar, the single deck table game would have a reduced house advantage.

The double-deck blackjack strategy, which has a two-deck shoe and is often significantly more prevalent than single-deck games, has some minor house advantage over the six-deck norm.

Single Deck vs. Multiple Deck Blackjack

Single deck blackjack was the norm in the good old days. It was played extensively across the globe, with many players benefitting from the 0.15 percent house advantage. Card counters quickly jumped in with their own single-deck blackjack approach to get a piece of the action.

Using a single deck simplifies card counting, but both land-based and online casinos eventually got wind of it. They started producing blackjack games with two or more decks to increase their advantage and make card counting more difficult.

So, what are the distinctions between these blackjack variations? In addition to the number of decks, the payment varies as well. For instance, some gambling houses have payouts of 6:5 for single deck blackjack games , with their multi-deck games often paying around 3:2.

Icon For The Heading - Counting Cards In Single Deck Counting Cards in Single Deck

Card counting is effective because it involves keeping track of the percentage of aces and 10s in the deck relative to the smaller cards. In a single-deck game, for instance, if four aces are dealt, the likelihood of landing a blackjack is suddenly reduced to zero.

However, in an eight-deck game, the odds of obtaining a blackjack decrease when four aces are dealt, but they are still far from 0. In an eight-deck game, you begin with 32 aces in the deck, and thus after seeing those four aces dealt, there are still 28 aces remaining.

This is why proficient card counters typically turn their running count into a true count. This is accomplished by calculating the number of decks remaining in the shoe and dividing the current count by that estimate.

Icon For The Heading - Why Single Deck Is Easier To Master Why Single Deck is Easier to Master

Since there are fewer cards, there are thus fewer opportunities. Whether or not you count cards when playing online blackjack, a single deck makes it exceedingly simple to use the optimal approach. The majority of the fundamental blackjack strategies available online work well with single-deck games.

When playing blackjack with a single deck, the optimal moment to hit, stand, double down, or split is seldom a source of contention. You can obtain any number of single deck blackjack charts with a short search, and the vast majority of single-deck cheats are similar. If you’re playing blackjack online, you don’t need to remember the information; just pop up a second window next to your gaming screen or print the charts and store them on your computer.

If you want to include a card counting technique into your blackjack strategy, it is considerably simpler to do so with a single deck, even if you cannot see the cards of other players until the conclusion of the round. This is due to the fact that you can compute the remaining cards in the deck much more quickly and obtain a more precise notion of what will occur if you are dealt a difficult hand.

Icon For The Heading - How To Win At Single Deck Blackjack How to Win at Single Deck Blackjack

The odds of victory are boosted by studying a “cheat sheet” on how to gamble. However, it is not exactly a cheat sheet since you are permitted to possess one of these while playing.

If you want to learn how to wager single deck blackjack odds, you must understand that when the dealer wields a face-up card with a low value, such as a three, four, five, or six, you may be more sure about your next move. Because it is more probable that the dealer would bust, you may expand your range for doubling down to as low as a first-hand value of 8.

Likewise, if you have a poor opening hand, such as 13 to 16, you may stand confidently. Also, if you are dealt two identical cards, you may often split them, thus doubling your bet and prospective profits.

  • Hand

    Single Deck Basic Blackjack Strategy

    • Use your knowledge of the played cards to deduce which cards may be dealt next. Remember that this information is simpler to acquire while playing with a single deck.
    • Never accept insurance or money since the house advantage on insurance in single deck blackjack games is 5.9%.
    • Utilize a prudent betting approach while placing bets proportional to your bankroll and enabling you to bet longer.


The most valuable single deck blackjack strategy is keeping an eye on the quantity of tens and image cards that are currently in play, and you should also be more daring with your doubling down and splitting tactics.

In the long run, you’ll have the opportunity to get an enormous return on a hand in which you have a greater probability of winning, which will ultimately result in a rise in your profit margin.

Icon For The Heading - Single-Deck Blackjack Faqs Single-deck Blackjack FAQs

What is the house advantage when using the single deck blackjack strategy?

If you master and use the ideal single-deck blackjack strategy, the house advantage may be reduced to as little as 0.17 percent. Note that each error in your approach will raise the house’s advantage, and there is no method (other than card counting) to reduce the house’s edge.

Where can I play blackjack with one deck?

Major land-based casinos no longer provide single-deck blackjack games because card counters may easily win against them. The game is available online and at certain smaller casinos. However, in the online version, the deck is frequently shuffled, making card counting impractical.

When should I double in blackjack with a single deck?

Always double if you are handed 11. If you hold ten and the dealer is presenting a card smaller than ten, you should double. Additionally, you should double in the other situations outlined in the single deck blackjack strategy.

Herbert Hanson


Herb has spent years working in the gambling industry, helping to provide gambling entertainment. He started from the land-based casino and then moved to the iGaming industry and joined our team as an author with great knowledge of the Las Vegas casino industry. His unique approach is the key to our content creation strategy. Do you need the latest bonuses and promotions; Herbert Hanson is your man with great knowledge.

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