What is Blackjack RTP and Why It’s Important
Behind every gambling game lies a whole set of complex math. Ultimately, it all falls down to a bunch of numbers. Casino games are carefully crafted to guarantee the house a statistical advantage. This advantage is realised in the ratio of accepted bets to paid-out wagers. In short, a successful casino will pay out less than it receives in bets over the long term.
The theoretical payout percentage is called RTP – return to player. It indicates the share of bets paid out as winnings from the complete turnover. Experienced players will know that a casino game’s RTP is always less than 100%, and this is by design. A casino that pays out more than it receives in wagers will not last long.
The statistical advantage in the blackjack odds is called the house edge among players. It represents the casino’s long-term profit margin on a particular gambling product. The house edge is calculated by subtracting the RTP value from the total turnover. For example, a blackjack game with 99.00% RTP will have: 100% – 99% = 1% house edge. Naturally, the higher the house edge, the lower your odds.
The effect of blackjack RTP is felt throughout every aspect of the game. There are many variations of the game on the Internet with varying rules. The developers behind each version have carefully considered their options when creating the game. Therefore, the rules of blackjack games are deliberately there.
Best RTP Blackjack Games
So what are the top games available at the best blackjack casino sites? There are several high RTP blackjack titles that you can enjoy. Each of these features different rules and promotes a particular play style. Here are some of our recommended picks:
We advise you to take a look at each of these titles to see if you like them. Our thorough reviews will provide you with enough information to make an informed decision. We also provide demo versions of the games, giving you the opportunity to try them out for free.
Rules and RTP of Blackjack
Now that we have the definitions out of the way, we can get into the real-world effect of blackjack RTP. As mentioned previously, the rules of the game impact the house edge and RTP values. Some rules are beneficial for players, whereas others favour the casino.
Introducing and removing rules is a balancing act meant to keep the RTP of blackjack below 100%. Therefore, software providers will pick and choose rules to influence the odds of the game. Here are the most common rules to have an effect on the average blackjack payouts:
Blackjack Hand Payout Ratio
Number of Decks
Double After Split
Hit on Split Aces
Below, we will explore just how much these rules impact blackjack payout levels. You will find that some are more important than others, but all will contribute to the overall RTP levels.
Blackjack Hand Payout
The blackjack payouts have the most influence on the RTP of any variation. The traditional 3:2 reward for a blackjack hand has been the standard for decades. It was almost a given that scoring an Ace and a 10-value card would grant you a nice chunk of change.
However, some game manufacturers decided to mess with the established formula. Introducing certain beneficial rules to a blackjack variation made the house edge go in favour of the player. As a result, the developers had to compensate in other areas to bring the RTP under 100%. Therefore, reducing the blackjack payout to 6:5 was their go-to response.
While still larger than the standard even-money reward, a 6:5 blackjack payout reduces the RTP by a whopping 1.3%. It is the largest single change to the rules to push down the return levels. Naturally, experts reacted harshly to this ‘innovative’ move. Many have straight-up recommended avoiding blackjack games with a 6:5 payout.
There are even blackjack titles that go even further. Double Exposure Blackjack Pro Series by NetEnt reduces the payout to even money. While still boasting a relatively high RTP percentage, such sacrifices might not pay off for everyone.
Number of Decks
Back in the old days, blackjack was played with a single deck. But the casinos quickly saw that players were counting cards, bringing the odds in their favour. To make up for the loss of revenue, the casinos started using multiple decks in the shoe.
Number of Decks
While the impact on the RTP of blackjack is not that significant, that is not the main goal here. Instead, the house wishes to prevent card counting, which grants a wider odds shift. To further achieve this aim, the shoe is now reshuffled whenever half of the cards are dealt.
Online blackjack does away with card counting entirely. The virtual games always use the full shoe, reshuffling it after every hand. As far as the number of decks in play, this metric varies between variations. You can find games with one, two, six, or eight-deck shoes. Of course, titles such as Vegas Single Deck Blackjack by Microgaming are always worth your attention.
Late surrender is a possible move with certain variations of the game. Its effect on the RTP is not that significant. In fact, there is only a 0.07% difference in the odds. However, this option will definitely leave its mark on your balance in the short term. It allows you to recoup half of your bet in unfavourable circumstances, and that should not be ignored. Blackjack Surrender by Playtech has always been a fan-favourite for this exact reason.
Split, Resplit & More
Splitting a pair of equal-value cards is an essential component in blackjack. Not only does it provide extra options, but it also places an additional bet. Naturally, the way you are allowed to split hands will also dictate the RTP of blackjack. Here is a brief rundown of how the odds differ with the varying split moves:
🥇 Split Option
2️⃣ Up to 2 Resplits
3️⃣ Up to 3 Resplits
4️⃣ Up to 4 Resplits
✴ Double After Split
♠ Hit on Split Aces
As you can see, the more you can resplit and do after a split, the better your odds will be. Granted, not all players will make full use of the split feature. It does require an extra wager on your part. However, those using a blackjack strategy will no doubt want to play at optimal odds.
RTP of Blackjack Side Bets
Many of the most popular blackjack games come with interesting side bets. These are separate from the main wager and allow you to stake money on secondary factors of a hand. You will find a multitude of blackjack side bets out there, some with payouts of up to 1000:1 or more.
But what about the RTP of blackjack side bets? Unfortunately, blackjack side bets feature much lower odds than the core blackjack game. Where the standard blackjack bet has an average RTP of 99.00%, side bets sometimes fall down to 90% or lower.
While blackjack payouts for side bets might look attractive, the odds are anything but. These are only a couple of side wagers, but the table clearly shows how bad the RTP values can get. Advantage players generally stay away from these odds to increase their chances of leaving with a profit.
Of course, if you are not after optimal play, there is nothing wrong with placing a blackjack side bet. Even if the RTP values are not the best, these side wagers can provide some additional excitement to your gameplay. Ultimately, it falls to you to decide if it is worth it.
If you have any questions on the subject, please have a look at the FAQ directly below. We have gathered the most important questions from players. Moreover, you will also find quick and convenient answers.
1️⃣ Where can I play high RTP blackjack games?
The best blackjack casino sites will provide you with everything you need for an enjoyable blackjack experience. These are trusted and reliable online gambling operators, known to every experienced player. We have no doubt that you will find them more than acceptable.
2️⃣ What are the best RTP blackjack games online?
The RTP blackjack games include a wide range of titles from a variety of different software providers. Each features a specific take on the traditional formula, offering something novel and interesting to your gaming experience. We suggest trying them out in free play mode to see what you like.
3️⃣ How do the rules affect the RTP of blackjack?
The various rules of blackjack have a significant effect on the RTP values. The addition or exclusion of certain rules will increase or reduce the average payout levels. Software providers have to maintain a balancing act by carefully selecting which rules to include in a blackjack game.
4️⃣ Why is blackjack RTP important?
The RTP of blackjack games indicates how fair the game is. The higher the RTP, the better odds you will play at. Blackjack titles have high RTP values in general. Therefore, you will have no issues with most of the available variations online.
5️⃣ Can I affect blackjack payouts?
Unfortunately, not online. Even land-based casinos have made it hard to count cards by increasing the number of decks and using shuffling machines. In short, it is incredibly difficult to beat the house at the set odds. For this reason, we suggest using basic strategy to play optimally.
6️⃣ What is RTP blackjack?
RTP represents what percentage of the total turnover is paid out as winnings to players. Generally, the higher it is, the better off your will be. The base game of blackjack usually offers extremely high RTP values. However, the RTP of blackjack side bet options is typically much worse in comparison.