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The Early Surrender
Early surrender is another option that helps the player out significantly. The player gets the option to surrender when the dealer is showing an ace or card with a value of 10 before the dealer “peeks” for live dealer blackjack. The surrender only costs them half their wager. This ups the player’s expected return over time by about a quarter of a percentage point. Late surrender, which allows the player to surrender after the dealer has verified they don’t have live dealer blackjack, also helps but to a much lesser degree.
Unlimited doubling ups the player’s odds by just shy of a quarter of a percent, and being allowed to split aces gives them a 0.19% improvement in their odds. Re-splitting aces adds an additional 0.08%.
The last significant player-friendly rule is an automatic win if six cards are drawn without busting. This rule helps the player out with a 0.16% improvement in their expected return.
What to Look For When Playing Live Dealer Blackjack?
Those are a lot of percentage point variations to keep in mind. You could keep a cheat sheet handy, but finding a favorable table is actually much simpler.
You can be certain no casino (online or offline) is going to offer a game where the player gets a 100% or better theoretical return. The best games they offer range from 98% to 99% somewhere.
The following qualities are absolutely necessary to be sure you’re playing one of the most favorable games:
- Blackjack pays 3:2 or 2:1
- Single deck
- The dealer does not win pushes or push with 22
- The dealer must stand on soft 17
- The player can double on any card value
If these rules are in place, it is almost certain the house edge is somewhere under 1%, and potentially as low as 0.2%. This is best you will do for odds at any casino, though of course, these numbers rely on playing each hand with perfect strategy. Playing with poor strategy can give the casino as much as a 10% advantage over you.