Blackjack Odds

Like every casino oriented game, Blackjack is a game of odds, dependent on the player’s choices, and the house edge advantage. By understand the house edge, you’ll see why casinos are so happy to accept your blackjack wages, no matter the size. If you fully grasp the odds of each situation in blackjack, you can take advantage of probable outcomes and effectively lower the house edge.

The Casino’s Advantage

The casino always has the upper hand in blackjack, as it does in every game it presents. First of all, the dealer is required to play in hand in a specific manner, hitting any hand of 16 or below, and standing on any hand of 17 or above. The dealer must follow these rules because the casino has already done the math, and knows very well that it has a better chance of winning in most situations by following this pattern.

Another advantage the casino has over the player is that the dealer always acts last. The player is given an opportunity to bust his own hand before the dealer ever makes a move, resulting in plenty of wins for the house without even needing the odds to be on their side.

When you combine both of these aspects, you end up with a total house edge of 7-8% in blackjack. Since there are various ways to play the game – European Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack, Atlantic City Blackjack, etc – we can’t give you an exact number, but 7-8% about covers them all.

The Player’s Advantage

Did you know that using proper blackjack strategies will actually allow you to decrease the casino’s house edge to bare minimum? Memorizing and sticking to a Blackjack Strategy Chart can drop the house edge to about 3%. Toss in a basic card counting strategy and you’re down to around 0.5%. Successfully applying an advanced card counting strategy can actually turns the odds into your favor, eliminating the house edge altogether.

Bust Out Probabilities

Thus far, we’ve covered only the house edge odds. Now it’s time to teach you the odds of busting a hand with any given total. By knowing your odds of busting, you can optimize your game play to the fullest. The following chart will show your odds of busting when hitting a specific total card value.

Hand Total        | % Odds of Busting
11 or below        | 0%
12                      | 31%
13                      | 39%
14                      | 56%
15                      | 585
16                      | 62%
17                      | 69%
18                      | 77%
19                      | 85%
20                      | 92%
21                      | 100%

Starting Hand Odds

Blackjack starts every player out with two cards. In this next section, we’ll show you the probabilities of starting out with different types of hands. Pay special attention to the last two statistics; Standing Hands of 17+ (hands you would automatically Stand on) and Natural Blackjack Hands. These combined make up your best chances of winning a hand without having to make any decisions.

Starting Hands            | % Odds of Dealing
No Bust Hand                | 26.5%
Standing Hand (17+)     | 38.7%
Decision Hand (2-16)    | 30%
Natural Blackjack (21)   | 4.8%
TOTAL                          | 100%

Odds of Dealer Busting

Next, we’re going to look at the percentage odds of the dealer’s hand busting, according to the dealer’s face-up card. These blackjack odds will give you a better idea of how to react when faced with a decision hand. Note that when the dealer’s face-up card is a 5, he has the highest odds of busting out.

Dealer’s Card | Dealer’s Chance of Busting
A                             | 11.65%
10/Face Card         | 21.43%
9                             | 23.34%
8                             | 23.6%
7                             | 25.99%
6                             | 42.08%
5                             | 42.89%
4                             | 40.28%
3                             | 37.56%
2                             | 35.30%

Learning blackjack odds is not something you can expect to get down pat in a single day, but by studying these charts and slowly committing these blackjack odds to memory – and combining them with proven blackjack strategies – you can seriously sway the house edge pendulum into your own favor.

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