Blackjack Odds Complete Guide

Table of Contents

If it is your first time visiting the casino or you go there often, chances are you are familiar with blackjack. It is by far one of the most renowned and played casino games of all time, both online and in the casinos.

At first glance, it may appear to be a simple game with only limited moves and outcomes. However, blackjack has much more depth to it. In addition, it is also among the most addictive casino games of all time.

It is easy to lose track of the proper way to understand and play the game because of how captivating it is. Therefore, it is important to understand everything you need to know about the blackjack odds. In addition, how exactly they work and how you can correctly use them to gain a significant advantage over the dealer and ensure your win.

This guide will cover all important aspects, including the odds of the game, probability, and house edge. Moreover, it will also discuss how to play the game and the important rules to remember before you start hitting the tables.

Rules of Blackjack

Blackjack has but one objective and that is to get a better hand than the dealer without getting “Bust” (scoring points over 21). The player must place their bets before all the cards are dealt. Initially, both the player and dealer start with two cards. The dealer will have one of their cards hidden until you finish your turn.

When you make a move, the dealer then reveals his hand, and based on the score, he makes his move. In the start, you can perform the following moves:

  • Hit - Get another card from the deck.
  • Stand - Stay with the cards you have, and then the dealer makes his move.
  • Surrender - Give up the round and get half your bet back.

Here’s how the point system works. The high scorecards are called face/face cards and are valued at 10 points. All the Kings, Queens, and Jacks of any color are the face cards. Ace cards are worth 1 or 11 (depending on your move). For instance, if you have a 10-point card and an Ace, you have 21 points, and you win. On the other hand, if you choose “Hit”, and receive another card of value less than 10 or equal to 10, the Ace card will become worth 1 point.

You can keep going with “Hit” until you are comfortable that you have a better hand, but be careful not to get over 21 points. Because if you “Bust”, the dealer will win regardless of whatever cards they are holding.

Similarly, if you stand and the dealer has fewer points than you, they must “Hit” until they reach cards of value 17 or higher.

Blackjack Odds

Before diving into what are Blackack odds, it is important to understand what these odds are exactly. Odds depict two main things for a player. The first is their chance of winning their wager, and the second is how much they will earn from the wager they have placed in a particular round.

So, Blackjack odds can be summarized as:

  • The Player’s odds (you),
  • The dealer’s odds

Now, let’s dive into more details of these odds and how they determine the outcome of your game.

The Player’s Odds

You can increase your BJ probability using top-tier strategies like card counting (this is impossible when you play online).

Nevertheless, there are always ways for casinos to decrease your odds. They achieve this by either lowering your payout or adding more decks to the table. In addition, they also impose rules like “No Double-Down” after “Split.”

Due to these unfavorable tricks of the casinos, having a good understanding of your Blackjack probability is possibly one of the best ways to at least learn about any advantage you may have (if you have any).

Here’s a table for “Bust” probability for you as a player.

HandProbability (%)
<110
1231
1339
1456
1558
1662
1769
1877
1989
2092
21100

As you can see, the odds of you losing only increase with the value of the cards you have.

Blackjack Dealer’s Odds

All casinos ensure that the house always wins, that’s the way they make money from their business after all. Therefore, your dealer will always have the house edge over you and even greater odds of winning compared to you.

The sole fact that he takes his turn after you make your move and can make a decision after seeing your cards will make it easier for them.

Nevertheless, these rules apply only to the dealer. For instance, a dealer who has either a soft 16 or 17 has a greater chance of winning with a “Hit” while you would likely lose.

Here’s a table to show you how the odds will work.

Dealer’s HandProbability (Stand on 17)Probability (Hit on 17)
Ace17%20%
235%36%
337%38%
440%40%
542%42%
642%44%
726%26%
824%24%
923%23%
1023%23%

It’s rather clear that the dealer has significantly better odds than you.

Winning Odds in Blackjack

As aforementioned, Blackjack revolves around the dealer’s odds and the player’s odds. However, winning Odds are something that is comparatively more complex. Think of it this way - Your blackjack winning odds can go all the way up to 42.22%. This does not in any way mean the remaining 57.78% winning odds go to the house.

To clarify, there is also a factor such as “Push” that is when the game comes to a draw.” The chances of blackjack coming to a draw are 8.48% and if you do the math here, the loss probability is 49.9%. It is still comparatively high due to the “house advantage,” but it isn’t as high as 57.78% at least.

Therefore, you must have a good understanding of at least the basic strategies to increase your winning chances. It does not necessarily mean you will win 100% of games, but you will be able to avail yourself of that 42.22% winning odds.

Probability in Blackjack

Probability in Blackjack is the same as you know from mathematics back in school. You probably remember the “tossing a coin” or “deck of cards” examples. These give you a fixed number, and you can calculate the chance of whether the coin will land on heads or tails. Similarly, you can calculate probabilities for the cards pulled from the deck.

Here’s a hypothetical scenario - you have ten cards and can pick only one. The probability is now one out of ten. You can divide that 1 by 10, and you’ll have a 10% chance of pulling that card out of a set of 10 cards.

Conclusion

It can be concluded that blackjack revolves around the dealer’s and player’s odds. These are precalculated, and you can memorize them by reading them or preferably practicing by playing with friends. Based on those odds and the winning odds, it is clear that the house always has leverage over you.

Nevertheless, you can always work things in your favor around 42.22% of the time and ensure a big win. Either way, remember not to go all in altogether. Take it easy and slow until you get a hang of things. 

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