Most casinos nowadays have at least one “blackjack” or “poker” table, and they all have a standard number of fixed-odds “reels” used to deal with the random numbers generated by the machines. The question most people have is, how many decks are used in a typical casino? And what happens if a player is dealt three decks (instead of two) or five decks (instead of three)? In this article we’ll answer both of these questions and more – it’s interesting stuff, and there’s no better place to learn it.
The first question you should ask when trying to answer the question, “How many decks do casinos use in blackjack?” is, precisely how many individual decks are used for each game? Today, there are basically two “main” types of playing card tables in most casinos: poker and blackjack. Typically, each has its own specialized number of card decks: blackjack has ten decks, while poker has six. However, some casinos may use additional types of card tables, including keno (a Japanese game where players deal out seven cards face down), Caribbean betting (where players bet real money on pairs of cards from a pool of cards), and other proprietary options.
So, how many decks are there used in a game of poker? The usual number – eight – is the minimum number of “deck” required by any game of poker. When there are a number of card tables, each one is assigned a specific number of “cards” to deal with. In a game with eight decks, for instance, there would be 24 possible deals (eighteen pairs of cards and four clubs). When the dealer comes to deal, the “reel” (a specially designed handle for handling the cards) is used to transfer the cards one at a time to the appropriate “shuffling” device.
How many decks are there dealt at one time? Usually, about two or three. No matter how many hands are dealt, though, there’s only one “deal” per round of blackjack. The casino holds all of the cards – they just deal them out. During a round of blackjack, there’s usually an allotted amount of time for each hand to be dealt. This time can be anywhere from a minute to half an hour, and the dealer will stop dealing new hands when the current ones are finished.
When the dealer is done dealing with a hand, the “flop” occurs – that’s the time when another card is dealt to the table and all of the previous cards are revealed. Players can use the remaining cards (called “queues”) to try to create the best winning hand. Sometimes, a single card – called the “turn” card – is left on the table for players to use. The purpose of this is to keep the playing time limited to only a few seconds – hence the term “flop” or “turn.”
The actual number of decks in a casino – and thus the number of possible hands – is actually more than the number of decks. In fact, it’s a little more than the number of cards – which is the number that players have to face while playing. When you get to the blackjack table, you’ll see the dealer has about twenty-four available, which means there are approximately thirteen decks in the entire room. If you think you’re up for it, you can count the number of cards in each deck.
Of course, you can count the number of tables, but it’s much easier to just look at the total number of decks available. The blackjack table, including all the chairs, will hold a minimum of N cards – N being the total number of people playing. And the maximum number of card tables is exactly N! So if N is the total number of people in the room, then – as it is in real life – you can easily figure out how many decks a casino uses in blackjack! The casinos themselves keep very detailed records about their card table numbers.
That’s why you should never feel bad if you bet a lot on a casino with a high card table number! After all, you got your money back (or the casino did!) !