Single Deck Blackjack

In the early days of casinos and till the 70s, Single Deck Blackjack was one of the most popular games. The smart gambler knew that this was the best game being offered and took advantage of its very low house edge.

While other games in casino had a house advantage as high as 15% or more, single deck blackjack offered the player an unheard of 99.85% payout. The house still has an edge, but it was by far the lowest of any game you could find.

To make it even better, savvy players learned that counting cards made the advantage tilt towards the players. There is no game in a casino where you can make this happen so easily as in Single Deck.

However, the casinos caught on to this and quickly adjusted Blackjack rules to increase the house edge. This is why these days, most blackjack games are played with 4 decks or more. In most cases, 6 to 8. Simply adding a few decks brought the house edge up to 0.50% or more, depending on the various rule changes. And it also made it much harder for card counters.

Even though single deck Blackjack has become scarce, some land based casinos are starting to bring the game back to life. But beware, the game isn’t what it used to be. It may look the same at first glance; but when you take a deeper look, you will see just how different single deck Blackjack has become over the years.

However not all news are bad. Online blackjack players can still enjoy few Single Deck Blackjack games with favorable rules and 99.83% payout. There few variations available online and you can try them out for free. There are even two Single Deck Blackjack games for USA players,  one developed by Bovada casino, the best payout casino online,  and the second by BetSoft.

Free Single Deck Blackjack

Online Single Deck Blackjack Rules

The payouts rules of all Single deck games are quite similar, however the rules vary a lot from one version to another. Here you can find the basic set of rules, and below we will compare the differences between the games.


  • Dealer hits soft 17.
  • Dealer doesn’t check for blackjack (similar to European Blackjack).
  • When the dealers face card is Ace, you are offered insurance.


  • Double on 9, 10, 11.
  • One card after doubling.
  • You can split similar value cards.
  • No Re-splitting.
  • You can hit or double down after splitting, but split Aces receive only one card.


  • Natural pays 3:2.
  • Insurance pays 2:1.
  • Hands of equal value are a push.
  • If you have a blackjack and the dealer face-up card you are offered even money.

Game Comparison

Here you can find the unique rules each game has. For your convenience we’ve also added some valuable points, such as the stake limits, the number of hands you can play and US friendliness.

USA (Bovada, Ignition):

  • Dealer checks for blackjack on 10 value cards.
  • Double on any two cards and after splitting.
  • 1 split.
  • High minimum bet of $25.
  • USA Friendly.
  • Single hand.
  • Odds: 99.92%
  • Where to play: Ignition Casino


  • Dealer stands on soft 17.
  • No doubling down on split hands.
  • Multi-hand: up to 3 hands per round.
  • Wide betting limits: $1 – $500
  • No USA players
  • Odds: 99.76%
  • Where to play: Guts Casino


  • Doubling down only on 10, 11 value hands.
  • A and 10 after splitting counts as 21 and not natural.
  • USA Friendly ( ($1 -$100 bets)
  • Multi-hand: up to 3 hands per round.
  • Odds: 99.54%
  • Where to play: Bovada Casino

Gold (Microgaming):

  • Dealer peaks for Blackjack on 10 value cards.
  • No double down after splitting.
  • Ace and 10 after splitting count as 21 and not natural.
  • No USA players
  • Odds: 99.67%
  • Where to play: JackpotCity Casino

Low Limit (NetEnt):

  • Dealer checks for Blackjack on 10 value cards.
  • Double down only on 10, 11 value hands.
  • One card after doubling.
  • No double down on split hands.
  • Ace and 10 after splitting count as 21.
  • Lowest minimum stakes of 10 cents/pennies.
  • No USA players
  • Odds: 99.53%
  • Where to play: Guts Casino

WGS Vegas Single Deck:

  • Dealer checks for Blackjack on 10 value cards.
  • One card after doubling.
  • Ace and 10 after splitting count as 21.
  • USA Friendly ($1 -$100 bets)
  • Odds: 99.80%
  • Where to play: Red Stag Casino

Play’n Go:

  • Blackjack pays 6/5 – Highly not recommended.
  • Dealer stands on all 17s.
  • Double on any two cards.
  • Late surrender available.
  • Ace and 10 after splitting count as 21.
  • No USA players
  • Odds: 98.76%

How Single Deck is Played in Land Basic Casinos

The first major change was allowing the dealer to hit on a soft 17. This is a total 17 containing an Ace. This alone brought the house advantage up an extra 0.20%

The other change was how Blackjacks are paid out. This is where the game took a wrong turn for the worse. At least for the players.

In most Blackjack games, a Blackjack pays out 3:2. However most land based casinos changed the blackjack payout at their single deck tables to 6:5. This may not look like a big deal, but it actually raises the house edge by 1.5%. That’s a lot!

What once was a game with the best odds, has now become the worse form of Blackjack to play. It’s considered a sucker bet, or a ploy to attract unsuspecting players into its trap. If you can find a brick and mortar casino that offers single deck game that pays the traditional 3:2 on Blackjacks, you should play it. Otherwise steer clear or just play blackjack online, where you can still enjoy favorable rules and odds.