Why Does the Dealer Have an Advantage in Blackjack

In Blackjack, the dealer holds a slight upper hand because they get to play after everyone else. It means they know what the players have before deciding how to act. If a player goes "bust" (their cards total over 21), the dealer wins right then and there, regardless of their own hand. Those built-in advantages, plus the specific rules of the casino, give the dealer their "house edge."
Why Does the Dealer Have an Advantage in Blackjack

Dealer’s Advantage in Blackjack Explained

Blackjack or 21 isn’t exactly stacked in the player’s favor. The casino has a built-in edge, kind of like a head start in a race. So, this advantage, nicknamed the “house edge,” comes from two things: how the game itself plays out and the specific rules the online casino uses. Understand these aspects to learn why the dealer has an advantage in blackjack.

  • House Rules
  • Dealer Acts Last
  • Player-Busts-First Principle
  • Continuous Shuffling Machines (CSMs)

House Rules

Online casinos don’t rely on pure luck to make money. They design the rules of their games with careful precision. One subtle way they do this is by setting the rules for when the dealer has to take another card (“hit”) or hold their hand (“stand”). These seemingly minor details might not seem important to the player, but they have a significant impact on the casino’s long-term advantage.

Dealer Acts Last

Why Does the Dealer Have an Advantage in Blackjack

Unlike the players, the dealer has the benefit of going last. It means they get to see everyone else’s cards and watch how each player responds to their hand. With this knowledge, the dealer makes wise decisions about whether to take another card or stay with what they have.

Let’s say you are dealt a fantastic hand, a total of 19. Feeling good, you decide to stay put, figuring you have a high chance of winning. But here is the thing: the dealer sees this. They know you are unlikely to take another card, reducing the risk of going bust (over 21) themselves. With this knowledge in their back pocket, the dealer can confidently draw another card, hoping to get closer to 21 without exceeding it.

Player-Busts-First Principle

Imagine you and the dealer both go over 21, both of you “busting” in blackjack terms. You might think, “Well, at least it is a tie because we both messed up, right?” But unfortunately, that is not how it works. Even if you both go bust, the casino has a built-in rule that makes you the loser in that scenario. So, this might feel a bit unfair, but it is one more subtle way the casino keeps those odds tilted slightly in their favor.

Continuous Shuffling Machines (CSMs)

Think of Continuous Shuffling Machines (CSMs) as the casino’s secret weapon against card-counting strategies. Card counting relies on players keeping track of what cards have been played to predict what might be coming next.

But CSMs mess this all up. It is like trying to organize a pile of papers while someone keeps throwing more in, and you never know what you will get. These machines constantly shuffle the cards, making it nearly impossible for players to get a good read on the deck.

How the Dealer’s Actions Affect the Game

Why Does the Dealer Have an Advantage in Blackjack

Blackjack dealers hold a unique power because they act after everyone else at the table. Therefore, this gives them several advantages:

Adaptability: They see how players react to their hands, adjusting their own strategy accordingly. If players are consistently standing on low totals, the dealer might take more risks in an attempt to edge closer to 21.

Rule Protection: Dealers must play by fixed rules (e.g., hitting on 16, standing on 17), which prevents them from making impulsive errors that could benefit players.

Bust Immunity: In most blackjack variations, the player still loses if the dealer busts after a player does. Remember, this adds a layer of security for the house, minimizing their losses.

Strategies to Overcome the Dealer’s Advantage

Why Does the Dealer Have an Advantage in Blackjack

Do you think you can outsmart the dealer at blackjack? It is possible, but you will need a plan. First, knowing the best way to play in every single-hand situation (basic strategy) is your foundation. Next, be picky about the tables you choose, as some game rules are way worse for the player than others.

Staying calm and in control is key, as bad decisions often come from getting emotional. Getting into card counting can seriously flip the odds, but it is super challenging and even banned in some casinos.

Therefore, manage your money wisely, plan how much you are willing to lose, and don’t chase bad luck. Some people swear by betting systems but remember, they can’t overcome the casino’s long-term edge; they just change how you experience wins and losses.

Final Words About Dealers Having Advantage in Blackjack

While the dealer holds a natural advantage in Blackjack, that does not mean all hope is lost. By mastering basic strategy, selecting advantageous game rules, practicing card counting (where legal), and employing sound betting strategies, you can narrow the house edge. Remember, blackjack is a game of skill as well as chance. So, stay disciplined, and the odds might shift in your favor.


Written By

Qazi Raza

My name is Qazi Raza. I work as an editor at Casinoswithoutswedishlicense.com. We focus on telling Swedish casino players about the best-unlicensed gaming websites. I know a lot about how online casinos work. I can tell you which websites are safe and which ones will pay out your winnings. I also share tips to help you make the best betting decisions. My goal is to guide Swedish players to great casinos outside the licensed system. I want our users to have fun gaming experiences.