What Are the Odds of Winning in Blackjack?

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Blackjack is a well-paced card game, one that players find appealing due to the combination of chance and skill involved. It is also one of the most favorable table games that you can play in terms of the odds of winning. At least, that’s the case if you know how to apply basic strategy to make the best move.

The odds of winning depend on the blackjack variation you are playing, and the rules used by the casino. This article will take you through those and other useful odds.

Odds of winning in blackjack

The odds of winning a hand in blackjack depend not only on the rules, but also on how well you play the game. In blackjack, it’s possible to use what is known as basic strategy in order to improve your strategy and reduce the house edge.

Learning basic blackjack strategy is not too difficult, although it will require quite a bit of effort on your part if you want to master the game. It involves knowing when to hit, stand, split, and double depending on your card and the dealer’s face-up card.

Assuming you are playing the correct basic strategy, you can reduce the house edge from a typical 2% to as little as around 0.5% in European blackjack or online blackjack. This means that overall, the casino stands to gain an average of $0.50 for every $100 that you wager, which is a slim margin compared to other table games.

Odds of winning hands

When it comes to how many hands you can expect to win on average, this can be brought up as high as 42.2% when using the basic blackjack strategy.

This might sound very low, but there is also a third outcome in blackjack. There is an 8.48% chance of a push, which is the term for a tie. In this case, when the dealer and player have the same value hand, your bet is returned.

That leaves a 49% chance that the dealer will win, and you will lose the hand.

Probability of getting dealt blackjack

Blackjack is the best hand you can get dealt. It consists of two cards that total a value of 21 and is an instant win for the player. Payouts vary according to the casino or online casino’s specific rules, but in the best games blackjack pays 3:2.

The odds of being dealt blackjack is 4.8% in a single deck game or online blackjack site. This drops very slightly in multi-deck games. For example, in a four-deck game the chances of hitting blackjack are 4.75%.

In any case, this means you will dealt blackjack an average of a little less than once every 20 hands.

When it comes to other strong hands, there is around a 30% chance of making a hand with a value of between 17-20 when playing basic blackjack strategy. Meanwhile, there is a 26.5% chance you will bust when hitting according to the charts.

Odds of Winning in Blackjack

Odds of busting when hitting

It’s helpful to learn all of the hands that you should hit on about what the dealer is showing with their face-up card, but a good starting point is to know how often you will bust when hitting with certain hands. Here are the hand values and odds of busting if you hit:

11 or below – 0%
12 – 32%
13 – 39%
14 – 56%
15 – 58%
16 – 62%
17 – 69%
18 – 77%
19 – 89%
20 – 92%
21 – 100%

It’s useful to see these odds as some jumps are more dramatic than others. For example, the odds of busting with a 14, 15, and 16 are very similar, whereas the jumps after 16 are much steeper, implying a much higher chance of busting.

You should also consider the dealer’s odds of busting to compare to your own to understand when to hit and stand.

How do blackjack odds differ from other casino games?

Going back to the chances of winning in blackjack. As mentioned, the house edge for an average player is around 2%, whereas the correct basic strategy can reduce this to around 0.5%. Even a 2% house edge is more than most casino games and any further reduction only improves this.

European roulette, which has only a single zero, has a house edge of 2.7%, whereas with a double zero, this jumps up to 5.26%.

Other table games, while more generous than roulette, also don’t match up with blackjack. Craps has a house edge of 1.36% if the right bets are made, while baccarat has a minimum edge of 1.06% if you stick with dealer bets.

Blackjack is also better than many slots, which can have a house edge of anything from 15 – 5%, although online slots have much better odds. Still, they tend to have an RTP of 95-98%, which is still not as good as the odds with a perfect blackjack strategy.

The only other game to challenge blackjack in terms of odds is video poker, in which the house edge can be reduced to an incredibly low amount of less than 0.1%. Again, this is only the case if the player executes the correct strategy.

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