We’re rarely surprised by any given hand given the number of hands of blackjack we play. Well, one of those very rare hands showed its face recently.
In early June, Mandi Minx tweeted a picture of a unique hand.
Never forget. Soft 18 the hard way. 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/gKZzYGrQr0
— Mandi Minx (@pkrprncss) June 5, 2022
The cards dealt made for a long road to a soft 18. The dealer dealt themselves eight consecutive Aces for a soft 18. Four of the eight cards from the multi-deck shoe were an Ace of hearts.
Let’s assume this photo hasn’t been altered. The hand is possible as long as four or more decks are in play.
If the hand is real this was likely a six or eight-deck shoe. The majority of blackjack games dealt from a shoe use six or eight decks of cards.
It’s also likely that a machine shuffled the cards. It seems as though gaming manufacturers are producing new blackjack shuffle and shoe equipment fairly often.
The Ebbs And Flows Of Blackjack
Thankfully, I haven’t seen a strange hand like this for the dealer in quite some time. Come to think about it, most blackjack games that I’ve played after the Covid-19 pandemic have been rather pedestrian.
The blackjack sessions I’ve had over the past two years have been light and breezy – the way blackjack should be. I’ve won or lost a little and there haven’t been any rare hands or wild splitting scenarios when there are just too many chips in play.
As a recreational gambler, time at a table or machine is what matters most. Sure, I want to win but playing the game is what most entertains me.
The low house edge in blackjack when using perfect basic strategy usually keeps a bankroll relatively steady. Extreme winning and losing streaks are rare. This allows a bankroll to stay around longer than other casino games.
Sure, I’ve lost 8-12 consecutive hands of $25 blackjack but that’s only happened a few times in my life. Typically a bankroll of this size can last for more than a few drinks and fun times with good friends.
Blackjack Basic Strategy
The easiest way to keep the house edge for the casino as low as possible is by playing the perfect blackjack basic strategy. Even if the hands are only played close to perfection, the optimal strategy will keep the house edge as low as possible.
Keeping the house edge low in blackjack should allow players to enjoy the game for a longer period of time. I’ve used several blackjack training apps to stay sharp when I’m not playing blackjack in a casino.
The Strategy page here offers insight into making the correct plays. Here are some items players should keep an eye on when looking for a blackjack game with a low house edge:
- The number of decks: The more decks in play, the harder it is to make a blackjack, increasing the house edge.
- Player Options: This includes splitting, (re)splitting aces, doubling down, and surrendering. Having these options taken away increases the house edge.
- Dealer Hits Soft 17: Hitting a soft 17 (versus standing) increases the house edge.
- Blackjack Payout: A 6:5 or 1:1 blackjack payout increases the house edge, compared to the standard 3:2.
- Basic Strategy: Having an understanding of basic strategy can lower the house edge to as little as .05%.
The strategy page itself offers even more information to help players enjoy the game longer by keeping the house edge down.