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Blackjack Odds

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When it comes to playing blackjack, whichever hand you are dealt, there will always be a probability of winning and losing the hand. This calculation is what’s known as the blackjack odds of winning. In an ideal world, you would make in-game decisions at the online blackjack tables that always put the blackjack odds in your favour. The reality for Kiwis is that’s not possible. However, how we react to the blackjack odds and the likelihood of winning or losing can preserve our betting banks for longer.

Below, we’ll explore some common blackjack handscenarios and their odds of winning, which can help guide your decision-making.

A look at some blackjack odds examples using hands

There are so many permutations when it comes to blackjack hands, each of which carries its own probability of busting (going over 21) by hitting for an additional card from the dealer.

When it comes to hands worth 11 or lower after two cards, there is a 0% chance of busting when hitting for at least one additional card. It’s a different story if you have a hand worth 20, with a 92% likelihood of busting by hitting an extra card. The latter carries such a high probability because you can only improve your hand by being dealt an ace, with only four of these in a standard 52-card deck.

It’s also important to consider the dealer’s blackjack odds and their likelihood of busting too. The house edge naturally means the dealer is more likely to win a game than you. However, based on their probability of busting from their initial upcard, you can decide how to advance with your hand. When dealer’s must stand on soft 17, the maximum probability they have of busting is 42%. This is when their initial upcard is a five or six. The lowest probability of busting is when their upcard is an ace (17%), followed by a ten or nine (23%).

Let’s take a look at a few scenarios that you can use to hone your blackjack strategy and guide your decision-making at the tables:

Being dealt a hard 16 Vs Dealer’s 7 or 8 upcard

Having a hard 16 after your first two cards is difficult enough without playing against a dealer’s upcard worth seven or eight. In basic blackjack strategy, probability dictates you should hit as there’s more chance of landing a low-value card and improving your hand than standing and winning with 16 against a dealer’s seven or eight.

Being dealt a hard 12 Vs Dealer’s 4 upcard

Whenever the dealer’s upcard is a four, there is a 40% chance they will bust. Consequently, you will lose or push 60% of the time if you stand in this scenario. Even if you hit, you’ll only slash your chances of losing by 2%, so it’s often best to sit it out and hope the dealer busts.

Being dealt a hard 15 Vs Dealer’s 10 upcard

Having a hand worth 15 against a ten is one of the most undesirable starting hands in blackjack. Hitting will give you a 22% likelihood of winning, while standing increases your probability to 23%. If you count cards and believe the running count is positive, you may prefer to stand and see if the dealer busts. If it’s negative, it’s an excellent opportunity to take the hit.

Being dealt a hard 12 Vs Dealer’s 3 upcard

In this scenario, there are nine card values in the deck that will improve your hand and only four that can bust it. The probability is very much in your favour to hit here. In this particular situation, there’s also a 5% chance of pushing the hand, which would also preserve your stake.

How Do Blackjack Payouts Affect the Odds?

Most online blackjack games pay out more when you’re dealt a blackjack. The best available payout is 3:2 or 6:5. Some tables will offer even-money for blackjack but these should be avoided wherever possible.

Although the house edge with blackjack games that pay out 3:2 is just 0.5% compared with 1.9% for 6:5 games, the number of decks you play with also influences the odds of landing a blackjack. For single-deck blackjack game, the chances of making a blackjack are 4.827%. However, with every additional deck used, the probability diminishes from 4.78% in a two-deck game right the way down to 4.749% in a six-deck game. Although this might not sound like a lot, it’s these fine margins that can separate winners from losers.

When the probability of making a blackjack is as high as possible in a single-deck blackjack game, it is prudent to adopt a more advanced strategy to try and take advantage of 3:2 blackjack payouts. Card counting techniques can help you to calculate whether there’s an imbalance of high-value cards in the deck. In the scenario where there is more high-value cards than low-value cards in the deck, you may choose to be agile with your staking and bet bigger when the chance of a blackjack is greater.


What are the odds of getting a Blackjack?

When playing Blackjack with a single deck, the odds of being dealt Blackjack stand at 32/663, or 4.83%. That is around 1 in every 20 hands.

What are the odds of the dealer busting?

If the dealer got an ace, they’d only go bust 17% of the time. That probability is 23% for a ten or face card but rises to around 42% for five and six.

How are Blackjack odds calculated?

Blackjack players can use probability to determine the likelihood of winning or losing with certain hands against specific dealer up-cards. Probability is calculated by dividing the number of winning outcomes by the number of all possible ones.

What are the odds of winning in Blackjack?

The odds for a player winning in a game of Blackjack is 42.22%. The chances of a dealer win are slightly higher at 49.1%, with the remaining 8.48% being for the odds of a tie.

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