Blackjack Single Deck

Blackjack Single Deck is a variation of the classic blackjack game, distinguished by the use of only one deck of 52 cards, as opposed to the multiple decks used in other versions. The use of a single deck affects the odds significantly, making it a favourite among seasoned players who apply strategy to improve their winning chances.

History of Blackjack Single Deck

The game of blackjack has roots stretching back to the 17th century, originating from a French game called “Vingt-et-Un” (Twenty-One).

Blackjack evolved over centuries, with various forms taking shape as it spread across Europe and into America. 

The single-deck version gained popularity in Nevada in the early 20th century, especially after the legalisation of gambling in 1931. 

Its simplicity made it appealing, and for a long time, it was the standard way of playing blackjack in casinos.

Single Deck Blackjack Rules

The primary goal in online blackjack, regardless of the number of decks, is to beat the dealer’s hand without going over 21. Players strive to achieve a hand value closer to 21 than the dealer’s hand without exceeding it. The game combines elements of skill, strategy, and luck, making it appealing to a wide range of players.

In single-deck blackjack, cards two through ten are worth their face value, while face cards (kings, queens, and jacks) are valued at ten. Aces can be worth either one or eleven, depending on which value benefits the player’s hand the most. 

The flexible value of the ace makes it one of the most critical cards in the game, offering strategic depth and the potential for “soft” hands, where the ace is valued at eleven.

A round of single-deck blackjack begins with players placing their bets. Each player, including the dealer, then receives two cards, with the dealer typically having one card facing up and one facing down (the “hole” card). 

Players then decide how to proceed based on their hand and the dealer’s visible card—options include “hitting” (taking another card), “standing” (keeping their current hand), “doubling down” (doubling their bet for one additional card), or “splitting” (dividing a pair into two separate hands).

After all players have completed their actions, the dealer reveals their hole card and plays their hand according to predetermined rules, usually standing on all 17s. 

Payouts are made based on the final hand values and the game’s specific rules for winning and losing scenarios.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Playing Single Deck Blackjack

Playing Single Deck Blackjack online comes with its unique set of advantages and disadvantages, which can affect a player’s decision to choose this variant over others.


✅Lower House Edge: With fewer cards in play, it’s easier for players to gauge the likelihood of certain cards being dealt, thereby increasing their chances of making successful decisions.

✅Easier Card Counting: While card counting is a strategy that requires practice and skill, it’s undeniably easier in a single-deck game. This can give experienced players a leg up in predicting the outcome and adjusting their bets accordingly.

✅Simplified Strategy: For beginners, the reduced number of cards simplifies decision-making processes, making it a great starting point for newcomers to the game.

✅Faster Gameplay: With only one deck, rounds tend to be quicker. This can be more entertaining for players who prefer a fast-paced gaming experience.

✅Transparency and Predictability: Players can more easily remember which cards have been played, making the game feel more transparent and predictable.


❌Modified Payouts: Casinos often modify payouts for single-deck games, particularly for a blackjack win, which might be paid at 6:5 instead of the traditional 3:2. This adjustment can significantly affect the game’s profitability for the player.

❌Lesser Availability: Single-deck blackjack tables are less common than their multi-deck counterparts. When available, they might have higher minimum bet requirements, making them less accessible for casual or low-stakes players.

❌Restrictive Rules: Casinos might impose stricter rules on single-deck games, such as limiting the ability to double down or split. These restrictions can reduce the effectiveness of standard blackjack strategies.

❌More Significant Impact of Variance: With fewer cards in play, the variance in single-deck games can be higher. Players might experience more pronounced swings in luck, either good or bad, which can be unsettling for some.

Common Variations of Single Deck Blackjack

Single Deck Blackjack comes in various forms, reflecting regional preferences, house rules, and innovative twists to the classic formula. Here are some common variations you might encounter in casino platforms like BP9:

  • Classic Single Deck Blackjack: This is the traditional form of the game, using one deck of 52 cards, where the objective is to beat the dealer without going over 21. Payouts for blackjack typically are 3:2, and the dealer stands on a soft 17.
  • Single Deck Blackjack Pro: A variation that appeals to both beginners and experienced players alike, offering features such as insurance and even money, with the dealer typically hitting on a soft 17. This variation may offer a more polished interface and options for faster gameplay.
  • European Single Deck Blackjack: Distinguished by the dealer not checking for blackjack until players have completed their actions, increasing the game’s suspense. In this version, doubling down may be restricted to certain totals.
  • Vegas Single Deck Blackjack: Often follows the traditional rules but may include specific Vegas-style betting options, like doubling down after a split. Dealers usually hit on a soft 17, slightly increasing the house edge compared to versions where the dealer stands.
  • Single Deck Blackjack with Side Bets: Incorporates additional betting options such as perfect pairs or 21+3, allowing players to place side bets on various outcomes. These side bets offer higher payouts but also come with a higher house edge.

Tips for Playing Single Deck Blackjack

Here are six strategic tips to enhance your gameplay and potentially increase your wins when playing Blackjack Single Deck:

Tips for Playing Single Deck Blackjack

  • Learn Basic Strategy: Basic strategy charts are available that tell you the optimal move (hit, stand, double down, split) for every possible card combination. This is your foundational strategy for single deck blackjack.
  • Always Stand on Hard 17 or Higher: When your hand is a hard 17 or higher, the risk of busting is too high. It’s best to stand and hope the dealer busts or ends with a lower hand.
  • Double Down on 10 or 11: If your initial hand totals 10 or 11, it’s often a good idea to double down, as there’s a good chance your next card will bring you close to 21.
  • Split Aces and Eights, Not Tens: Always split aces and eights. Two aces give you two opportunities to hit 21, and splitting eights can turn a losing hand into two potentially winning ones. However, never split tens, as you’re already in a strong position to win.
  • Take Advantage of the Soft 17: If the dealer must stand on a soft 17, this slightly reduces the house edge in your favour. Adjust your strategy slightly to take advantage of this rule when it applies.
  • Consider the Dealer’s Up Card: Your decisions should not only be based on your hand but also on the dealer’s up card. For example, if the dealer shows a 4, 5, or 6, they are more likely to bust, so you might choose to stand more often.
  • Avoid Insurance Bets: Insurance may seem like a good idea, but statistically, it’s not a profitable bet. Stick to the main game and focus on your basic strategy.
  • Practice Card Counting: While card counting is complex and requires practice, it’s more feasible in single-deck games due to the lower number of cards. Learning even a simple card counting system can give you an edge over the house.


To win at blackjack, learn and consistently apply the basic strategy which guides you on when to hit, stand, double down, or split. Manage your bankroll wisely and avoid the insurance bet as it increases the house edge. Consider learning card counting techniques if playing in a physical casino, as this can provide an edge over the house.

When playing blackjack at a casino, exchange cash for chips, place your bet within the table’s betting limits before the cards are dealt, and then use basic strategy to play your hand against the dealer’s. Follow the casino’s rules for hitting, standing, and doubling down. Observe casino etiquette, such as not touching the cards if they are dealt face up.

Beginners should start by understanding the objective of blackjack, which is to beat the dealer’s hand without exceeding 21. Learn the value of different cards and the basic options available on your turn: hitting, standing, doubling down, and splitting pairs. Practice with free online blackjack games to familiarise yourself with the gameplay and strategies without risking real money.