Blackjack Odds and House Edge Explained

Blackjack Odds and House Edge Explained

It might not be easy to get the math of your blackjack strategy down, but even a little knowledge about the system can make a huge difference. Let’s delve deeper into blackjack probability and house edge and teach you to make smarter decisions in this game. You will also learn that reducing these factors could increase your earnings at the tables.

Player’s Odds Table

The house edge of a casino in online blackjack can be reduced by following basic strategy and more advanced methods such as card counting, thus increasing a player’s RTP. Casinos often limit the player’s odds of winning by including extra decks in the shoe, lowering payouts, and adding restrictions (blackjack rules ) like being unable to double after a split.

It isn’t always easy to track what happens in a blackjack game. There is simply a lot to remember in this game, so it may be a surprise that there are many ways to use probability to your advantage. Calculating the odds for different hands and situations can help you spot the best tactics for winning with fewer losses.

The example below shows how to estimate the probability of success when the dealer gives you your first two cards

Dealer’s Odds Table

A dealer will always have an advantage over any player thanks to their position when playing card games. They are also in charge of distributing the cards, which grants them much control and power over the shuffled deck. They will use these advantages to make decisions that will result in them winning and players likely losing.

However, these rules are subject to change depending on the casino. E.g., if the house rule requires the dealer to hit on 17, it would be much more difficult for them to win than if they were required to stand on 17.

The table below lists the chances of a dealer busting and how those changes can change based on the house rules.

Dealer’s Bust Probability

Odds of Winning Blackjack

Players have a 42.22% chance of winning at blackjack, but the house does not have a 57.78% chance of winning. 8.48% of games will end in a tie, which allows the player to draw and try again. As such, there is a 49.10% probability of players losing. 

The odds of winning in a  blackjack game depend on the rules, who is playing, and how they play. E.g., if the gambler is playing without any strategy, their odds will be significantly lower than if they were playing with one.

Be sure to have a blackjack strategy in place to give you better odds and determine when to hit and when to stand. To help you further, we have a guide with some tips on playing blackjack in this link titled blackjack tips. This can become a learned game that is easy enough for anyone with some practice.

Use Blackjack Odds to Win Tricky Hands

There are a few combinations in blackjack that are particularly hard to win. Having the dealer shows an upcard can generate either positive or negative outcomes for a player. The best hand a player can pull off with the dealer having an upcard is a 21-point total. Otherwise, they must hit on 16 points, but even then, they are at a considerable disadvantage.

Here, we will break down the most challenging hands players are likely to get in combination with the upcard from the dealer. We will use blackjack odds to show you how knowing your odds can help you make better decisions and increase your chances of winning:

Hard 16

Players have divided opinions regarding the position one must take when hit with a hard 16.  Basic strategy tells you to stand regardless, but many argue that you should not. If the dealer shows 7 or 8, one would be more inclined to hit.  

However, if the dealer offers 9 or 10, you should consider surrendering because the chance of busting is high; nevertheless, the possibility of the dealer ending with 17 or more is even higher.

Twelve vs. Dealer 4

There are times in blackjack when the odds are not in your favor, which is a perfect example of that moment. With a four as the dealer’s upcard, there’s a 40% chance they will bust, which means you will win 60% of the time if you stay and hit.

If you are unsure of what you want to do, there’s a 58% chance you will lose your bet. Choosing to shoot will only slightly increase your odds. If the dealer busts after that, it will be considered the same as if you lost on your original hand and nothing changes.

15 vs. Dealer 10

This type of hand is a blackjack enthusiast’s worst nightmare. The dealer has the upper hand, and there is nothing you can do about it.  

If you decide to hit, your chances of claiming a victory are 22%. But if you choose to stand, you lower the house’s edge and now have a 23% chance of winning. We suggest in such cases to hit. 

Low Pairs

We will begin with the easiest and work our way to the most difficult. 

Let us assume that you have drawn two 4s; whenever this happens, you always need to split whenever this happens. Two 5s should never be separated; on the contrary, you should always split two Aces.

Things could become more complicated if you were to draw pairs of 2s, 3s, or 6s. If your dealer at the same time shows any card between 2 and 6, simply split. If the dealer shows a seven and you have a pair of 2s or 3s you must split. Under other circumstances, you should stand.  

If you decide not to split your pairs of 2s, 3s, and 4s, then the best option is to hit, regardless of what the dealer is holding. 

The same rule applies to a pair of 5s; however, this is where you should double your bet since the odds are in your favor for drawing a 20 when the dealer is holding 2-9. You should hit if you have a pair of 6s and the dealer has more than 7 in their hand. However, you should immediately leave if the dealer shows six or fewer.

12 vs. Dealer 3

If the dealer is showing a three and you are on 12, you should hit. However, you should only do so once. The basic strategy is to stand here if the dealer adds more cards to your hand. The possibility of a tie is 5%. Your chances of winning if you hit are less than 1%.

Remember, aces in a blackjack game should always be split, even if you have made 12 with two of them. 

Blackjack Payout

Landing Blackjack with the first two cards is a gambler’s dream come true, but the reward for this desired eventuality depends on the casino.

Not all online casinos will provide a 3:2 payout for a blackjack. Some may offer 6:5 or even money. This method can impact the house edge tremendously. 

The table below shows the different probabilities associated with each outcome and what you can win with each one of them.

Blackjack Probability Explained

The possibilities in blackjack are primarily unpredictable. They depend on your cards, the dealer you are playing against, the bets you make, and what cards are in the deck. It is essential to equip yourself with all the tools and information you can get to prepare for an outcome that might not be in your favor.

We suggest practicing blackjack for free at our website. By clicking on this link for free online blackjack games, you can immediately access them. We base our strategies on the probability of playing millions of games to provide you with the best results possible.

Card counting is not limited to online blackjack; players count cards when playing land-based blackjack. The odds, in this case, are determined by the cards in the shoe.  

Because the odds of winning in blackjack are incalculable, players should be flexible when placing bets. The odds may fluctuate depending on the deck and even the hands themselves. If a player can acclimatize to the present situation in the game, they are sure to ensure a higher probability of winning blackjack.

What is the Probability of Getting Blackjack?

In a single-deck blackjack game, the odds of being dealt blackjack stand at 32/663 or 4.83%. That is approximately 1 in every 20 hands.

These figures can, however, change if they do not reshuffle the deck after dealing with each hand. Let’s say, for example, the dealer distributes three hands, but no Ace or face cards appear; this means that the probability will increase depending on the number of cards absent from the deck. 

Real money online blackjack utilizes the random number generator (RNG), which always deals from a 52-card deck; the probability will remain at 4.83%.

However, the probability decreases when playing multi-deck blackjack. 

There is a 4.78% chance of winning blackjack in a two-deck game, whereas in a six-decks match (the most appropriate one for a large shoe at casinos), the odds are 4.75%.

Do take a look at the table below, which outlines the probability of different numbers of decks. The number of decks does not make a difference; the round-up to 1 in 20 hands average is the same. 

However, this will decrease your chances of landing blackjack.

Blackjack House Edge

Many casino lovers favor blackjack because of its shallow house edge. By implementing precise tactics combined with a few clever techniques, players can quickly gain the upper hand while, at the same time, can reduce the odds in their favor.

Let us talk about the odds of blackjack and give you many tips to increase your chances of winning.

What is the House Edge in Blackjack?

A casino is a business entity, and the goal of any business entity is to provide a service at a cost and, at the same time, make a hefty profit. Casinos can maintain their profit margins from the game blackjack by putting measures in place to ensure that players are more likely to lose rather than win. These measures are considered statistical advantages on the part of the casino. All this to say that this is called the “House Edge.” 

The house edge in Blackjack is relatively low,1.41%. The is the last person to act when playing a hand and will react according to the risks the player takes when trying to win more hands.

Blackjack is one of the most player-friendly card games, especially considering the low house edge. But different variants may affect how much you win or lose, so check which variant you will play before getting involved in the game.

If you are intent on playing blackjack, then Understanding Blackjack Odds is crucial to a successful gaming experience. Learn the basic game types and variants to find the one that suits you best.

In this article, we will highlight the most common variants available, the rules that players must follow, and how they can affect the house edge.

What is the Blackjack House Edge Percentage?

Every casino in the industry that offers blackjack to its customers has a house edge. The house edge is generally 0.5% when utilizing a primary strategy. A player can reduce the odds if they use very advanced techniques. However, this percentage stays at zero because of that one factor called chance. If the player uses no methods, the house edge is 2% and can go up much further than that. 

How to Reduce the Blackjack House Edge

As we alluded to before, players have the best chance at reducing the house edge by simply implementing and advancing strategies. The type of strategy a player implements will also be determined by the situation they are in at the time. With this in mind, players do have the potential to win big in the game of blackjack.   

Now a basic strategy, for example, is knowing when to hit and when to stand. Players should control their emotions; they should maintain their self-composure, stay focused, keep a clear mind and maintain a level head.

Advanced blackjack strategies are those that involve card counting. This strategy has the potential to bring the house edge as close as possible to zero.

However, if you use this skill in a brick-and-mortar casino, do it subtly without getting noticed, as you can be frowned upon. If the machines generate unexpected results, do not try this method because online casinos use a  ‘fresh deck’ on every hand.

How Do Rule Variations Influence the House Edge?

There are a lot of rules that affect the house edge within standard and variant games of blackjack. We’ve listed them below for reference:

Hit or Stand on Soft 17: The casino’s house edge is always higher when a dealer has to hit on soft 17 instead of stand. The average difference is calculated at 0.2 %.

Resplitting Rules: Casinos can increase their house edge by implementing rules that deter players from splitting too often. A player will be able to gain the upper hand over the house if they are allowed to hit several hands of split Aces, which will reduce the house edge by 0.13%, and if they are allowed to repeat this process, then the house edge will be further lowered to 0.03%. Casinos do not like when this happens. 

Natural Blackjack Payouts: The standard payout for winning with blackjack is 3:2. Some blackjack tables pay 6:5 on winning naturals, and sometimes just an even-money payout. A 6:5 payout increases the house advantage by 1.4%, and the even-money payout increases it by 2.3%.

The Number of Decks: Most casinos in the industry have a standard eight-deck blackjack. Whenever a casino has fewer decks, players have the advantage, and for this reason, these casinos implement rules to lower the chances of players winning. Casinos that offer single-deck games, in particular, will implement disadvantageous blackjack rules. If a casino offers blackjack with a lower house edge, players might enjoy a more profitable and less disadvantageous experience.

No Hole Card: Some casinos deal blackjack with the dealer cards face down. In such cases, the player will need to change their strategy as they cannot calculate the possibility of the dealer winning. Computer simulations show that the effect is no changes in the house edge if one loses the original bet at first to a dealer’s blackjack but an increase of 0.11% in the house edge if all bets are lost. Blackjack variants have colored Ace cards that are lower in value, known as the Atlantic City variant, and it allows the dealer to check for blackjack if they have an Ace or 10.

Which Card Charlie?: Blackjack variants often have specific rules that are more favorable to players than others. One example is when a player can win if they draw a certain number of cards without busting. While this is favorable to the player, other potentially unfavorable options exist. Some variants offer a payout for blackjack called ‘5-card Charlies’ at 3 to 2 odds.

Blackjack Switch: When playing an atypical game of blackjack, any changes in the rules can result in changes in the game’s outcome. E.g., in Blackjack Switch, players have bestowed two cards; they may choose to keep one and switch the other. However, the casino may counter this with peculiar rules such as the dealer ties on 22.

A player’s strategy is key in lowering a casino’s house edge. Players can maximize the use of strategies by studying them and retaining that knowledge or even creating strategy cards and having them ready at hand reach during an extensive game of blackjack. It is much easier to consult strategy cards when playing online blackjack, and if your goal is to practice a few strategies before diving into the real money-making games, then we have a few links you can check out. 

We have also compiled a simple glossary for those who want to learn or brush up on their blackjack terminology. 

Blackjack Return-to-Player Percentage

In contrast to the house edge, which is in favor of the casino, RTP or Return-to-Player percentage is meant to benefit the customer. In theory, the RTP is the amount of money the customer is expected to regain after playing an infinite number of hands e.g., an RTP of 98% would mean that for every $100 the customer wagers, their return should be $98. However, in the same way, the house edge is not guaranteed; the RTP will not assure the same outcome because the results from any given $100 worth of bets may vary.

When you are playing online blackjack utilizing basic strategy, your return to player percentage is 99.5%, while the house edge is 0.5%.In some cases, using an RNG can modify the RTP, and because the machine replaces the deck after every hand. It is impossible to keep track of these games by card counting.

The deck is not replaced after every hand when playing in a brick-and-mortar casino.

Real live dealers host the live dealer blackjack games at online casinos via live video streaming from a studio.The RTP may be higher for these games if players execute strategies successfully. 

It is always advisable to choose the RNG with the highest RTP, be it a game of online scratch cards,  online slots, or online roulette; any player would want to know that they have the potential to win at some point. Many players love blackjack because of this advantage.

Author: Jason Long