Blackjack is a game of chance, which is why casinos often offer players the option of playing on a “no house edge” or a “tray card” machine. The question on everyone’s mind is: how many decks are used in a typical casino blackjack game? As the answer may surprise you, it depends. While the casino will claim that they have the most number of poker decks possible, how do they determine the number of poker decks they have?
First, they don’t. The casino has no way of knowing, for certain. How many decks they have is only an educated guess based on how frequently the game is played. They can’t possibly know the actual number of decks because there isn’t a simple way to answer this question.
When blackjack is played in a real casino, there are several hundred card decks. When a single game is run, a player can expect to play with a deck at least once. This is because blackjack is a game that can be easily won. The random number generator (RNG) that is responsible for the casino’s card generator randomly generates a card each time the game is being played. A casino’s cards are used before, during and after each game that players win.
Therefore, the question of how many decks there are in the actual game is completely irrelevant. The question is how many players are involved in a given game. If the number of players is small, then there won’t be a large enough number of decks to shuffle. (It’s a different equation for a live game.) Hence, there won’t be any cards present. And thus there won’t be any RNG generated.
There are some cases, though, when there are a lot of players in a casino. In these situations, blackjack can be played using more than one deck. That is to say, two decks can be shuffled together and turned into one. However, the card values of the new decks won’t be the same as those of the original deck. In this situation, the second deck is considered to be a new “hand” of cards. (A hand refers to the number of cards dealt – the ace of spades, for example, refers to ten cards, while the king of hearts refers to fourteen.)
Of course, the question of how many decks there are also has an answer for the “How many decks do I need” part. In live games, you will always be dealt a deck. However, you may sometimes receive three or more “cards” in a deck. (A dealer may sometimes deal only five cards, but this is uncommon.) In that case, the number generator needs to be adjusted so that it uses the number of cards dealt in live games.
The next time you play at a casino, you should check the number generator. (This works with online games as well, where the number generators are programmed differently from those used in live casinos.) With a standard card deck, the generator can be adjusted by adding or reducing decks during play. For example, if you have a four-suit combination that you’re playing Texas Holdem poker with, you can change it to a five-suit combination, or even a seven-card combination. You can also increase or decrease the denominations in which you’re playing.
Of course, the number of blackjack tables you play with in a casino can affect how many decks a blackjack generator needs to adjust. The more blackjack tables you play, the more decks the generator will have to deal with. Of course, it’s important to remember that how many decks do casinos use in blackjack refers to how many decks a dealer has to deal with when you enter the room. If the dealer is dealing with an unusually large number of players, the number generators may need to be adjusted accordingly.