Mathematics of Blackjack


Since time immemorial, gambling has been represented as an entertaining opportunity for people to combine luck and skill in pursuit of lucrative winnings. However, it is also important to note that casinos have the higher probability of winning because of the mathematics behind the game, which ensure that the reasonable expectations of the players are met. The basic principle when playing all casino games is the theory of probability built on mathematics.

We are going to look into the mathematics of Blackjack where reasoning and decision making are some of the strategies used by highly experienced players to decrease the house edge. The objective of Blackjack is to get a hand that is closer to 21 as possible without going over. In this game, the punter plays against a dealer who represents the casino. If your hand is closer to 21 than the dealer’s, then you win; whereas if the dealer’s hand is closer to 21, the dealer wins. Blackjack is regarded as a mind sport just like chess and bridge, as players may use strategies such as the Basic Strategy or Card Counting which requires a lot of memory skill and patience, and it is important to note that card counting is considered as cheating by casinos.

Since cards are drawn from a limited pack, each card drawn influences the probability of the next card, even if the cards have been randomised through shuffling, cutting and washing of the deck. It takes about seven complete shuffles to ensure randomness according to Patterson (1990), however given that blackjack uses 6 decks at a time, randomisation is not complete in the limited time where dealers shuffle the cards. If you are playing Blackjack at an online casino such as Spin and Win, the cards are shuffled automatically by the software thus you may consider these cards to be fairly randomised.

There are several blackjack strategies that have been proven to decrease the house edge and give players a higher chance of winning. Players may know how to act in any given situation by memorising a proper blackjack strategy. Computerised games such as at Spin and Win Casino uses a complex mathematical for congruential iteration that can produce “random” events. The formula uses three very large numbers, called A, B and M, which are used over and over again, and a seed value that changes each time. This makes the formula complex, while uncertainty is brought in by the seed value, thus there are less chances of anyone cheating or having any unfair advantage.

After all gambling is all about winning and losing, thus players who really want to enjoy the thrill of playing a game will most definitely avoid using any strategies to have an upper hand on a casino, but they will instead follow their players instinct to go for a win!

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