Blackjack is a game of skill that requires it's players to make strategic mathematical decisions to beat the dealer.
To actually be a successful blackjack player and master the game, it is essential to understand it's odds for each scenario throughout the game and how to make strategic decisions based on these odds.
Unlike other casino games, the outcome for each game of blackjack is determined by the last game. As cards are moved from the deck after each game, the probability of winning changes.
In this article, the discussion focuses on the house edge, player advantage, and the player and dealers bust probability based on cards in a hand.
It goes without saying that the odds for blackjack are in favor of the house; however, the house edge for blackjack is lower than other games.
If a player and dealer were to stand on 17 and over but hit on 16 and under, they would both have a bust rate of 29%.
This would seem even; however, a dealer claims the bet for any player who busts even if they bust themselves. This puts the odds back in the hands of the casino.
If a player follows a basic blackjack strategy and a few simple rules the player can reduce the house edge to around 0.5% compared to an average 6%
For a player to improve their odds in blackjack, they should follow a few simple rules.
♦️ Stand on 17 and over
♦️ Split Aces
♦️ Hit on a hand scoring 11 or less
♦️ Hit on a soft 16 or less
♦️ Never split 5s or 10s
♦️ Surrender hand if there is little to no chance of winning (if allowed by the casino)
♦️ Double down when possible (not all casinos allow double down, and some restrict to 10 and 11)
♦️ Remember blackjack pays a player 3:2
♦️ Remember the probability of a game is determined by the last game played, as cards are removed from the deck after each game, changing the odds.
To be a successful blackjack player, it's essential to understand the odds and probability of bust to take one more card.
Below is a breakdown of probability based on your hand values. The higher the value, the higher the probability to bust.
♦️ Hand of 11 or less; probability is 0%
♦️ Hand of 12; probability is 31%
♦️ Hand of 13; probability is 39%
♦️ Hand of 14; probability is 56%
♦️ Hand of 15; probability is 58%
♦️ Hand of 16; probability is 62%
♦️ Hand of 17; probability is 69%
♦️ Hand of 18; probability is 77%
♦️ Hand of 19; probability is 85%
♦️ Hand of 20; probability is 92%
♦️ Hand of 21; probability is 100%
It is just as essential in understanding a dealer's probability to bust as it is to understand a player's chances.
Below is a breakdown of the dealer's probability to bust with a soft 17 based on the dealer's first card shown.
Dealer Ace: Stand 17% - Hit 20%
Dealer 2: Stand 35% - Hit 36%
Dealer 3: Stand 37% - Hit 38%
Dealer 4: Stand 40% - Hit 40%
Dealer 5: Stand 42% - Hit 42%
Dealer 6: Stand 42% - Hit 44%
Dealer 7: Stand 26% - Hit 26%
Dealer 8: Stand 24%- Hit 24%
Dealer 9: Stand 23% - Hit 23%
Dealer 10: Stand 23% - Hit 23%
The dealer has the highest probability to bust on 6.