What are blackjack odds?
A simple calculation can get you the true blackjack odds – divide all winning scenarios by all possible outcomes.
In a single-deck blackjack game with 52 cards, getting any card has a 1.92% probability. You can calculate this number by subtracting 1 (any card) from 52 (the total number of cards). Remember that probabilities and odds are not the same, even though they are often used interchangeably.
In the standard form of online blackjack, which is played with 6 decks of cards, the odds of getting a King are 6:48, and in reverse, 48:6. If the game carried no edge, the payouts would be according to the odds of getting a hand combination.
Even though that’s not the case, prominent statisticians and mathematicians have created strategy charts and help sheets highlighting which moves can help you increase the blackjack odds of a winning hand.
Blackjack Expected Value (EV)
The blackjack EV stands for expected value. This term is used by professional players across several niches, including slots, roulette, and sports betting. Knowing the blackjack EV allows you to act according to your best interest.
Let’s put the concept of expected value in a simple example. Assuming you placed a $500 blackjack bet and got 2x10s, a total of 20, and the dealer has a 6 face-up card. Typically, you would stand due to your superior winning chances. So what’s the blackjack EV in this scenario? It is certainly not $500 due to the dealer’s hand yet to be played out. The potential outcomes for this scenario are:
- The dealer gets blackjack and wins.
- The dealer gets a 4 and a 10, or similar combinations, and pushes your 20.
- The dealer gets a combination lower than 20, such as 19, or goes bust, and you win.
Taking the scenario where the dealer has a 6 and the probability of reaching a 21, 20, or 19 – it is 9.7%, 10.2%, and 80.1% for each scenario. These numbers are based on the blackjack odds calculator discussed above. As such, the blackjack EV for getting a 20 against a dealer’s six is +70.4% – or based on your bet $352. That would be your long-term profit based on the blackjack odds if you only played this hand several times.
With blackjack strategy charts and calculators providing the EV for pretty much all blackjack hands, you could base your decisions on EV. That can help you decide whether to stand, draw another card, or at least inform you of your blackjack winning odds.
Blackjack House Edge and EV
Most players have heard the term house edge in relation to blackjack or other casino games. This value is linked to the expected value discussed above, but it provides the long-term picture instead of your winning chances based on any given hand.
House edge is a percentage indicating the profit the casino will make in the long run for every casino game. Roulette and poker have an average house edge of 2.5%, online slots of 4%, and blackjack the lowest at 0.5% to 2%. The blackjack variant, payouts, and your moves can widen or bridge the gap. And here is where EV comes into play, helping players reach the lowest house edge by indicating the right blackjack decisions based on each hand.
One thing to also remember is that the blackjack house edge, as across all casino games, might be negative – but it is theoretical. This means that the house edge can be irrelevant when you play a few hands or sessions of blackjack, but it will eventually average out. This makes the blackjack EV a more important concept and a great way to increase your blackjack winning odds.
Ways that Blackjack Rules Can Affect the Expected Value
Every online casino has over 20 blackjack games, each with different rules. The payouts can be 3:2 or 6:5 for a natural, the dealer might draw or stand on different card combinations, etc. The blackjack odds are affected by the house rules, as the house edge.
It is crucial that you play the games in demo and also use the information box provided at each game to make an early assessment. With so many top blackjack casinos, there is no reason to settle for less than the best blackjack EV. Below you can see the things you should watch out for and how they can affect blackjack odds.
- Surrender adds +0.08% to the blackjack house edge; this is the ability to pass on a hand and save your money from a potential loss.
- 6:5 payouts add 1.3% to the blackjack house edge compared to 3:2; the latter payout is 1.5x for a natural.
- 8-deck blackjack adds 0.61% to the house edge of single-deck blackjack games.
- 0.21% higher edge when the dealer has the freedom to hit on a soft 17; typically, the house rule is to stand on such a hand.
- Double after splitting your hand is a hit or miss in blackjack; the house edge is 0.14% higher when forbidden.
- The house edge for doubling only on 10 and 11 increases by 0.18%.
- A house rule against hitting on split aces increases the blackjack edge by 0.18%.
- If resplitting of aces is not permitted, the edge is 0.07% higher.
Deck Composition & House Edge
Aside from the house rules’ effect on the blackjack odds, the edge also fluctuates when a card plays out. The table summarizes some examples of this for single-deck blackjack.
Getting the Best Blackjack Winning Odds Every Time
Taking specific steps and using the EV to your advantage makes it possible to lower the blackjack house edge and increase your winning chances.
The basic blackjack strategy is the most straightforward way to get there. For instance, you can install a blackjack card generator app and use it whenever you play online or visit the casino. It will tell you the odds instantly based on the combinations you input.
Playing blackjack games that allow doubling down is also helpful, as it can lower the house edge by 0.2%. Finding games with 3:2 payouts is also paramount, as they offer a 1.3% better house edge than 6:5 blackjack.
Surrendering late is another strategic action that increases the house edge by 0.8%. When allowed, you can cut your losses by 50% during the round.
Card counting is more of an advanced blackjack strategy, where you assign values to each card and add or remove them based on the cards appearing during the round. It is challenging, but it can help you make the right decisions and even bring the edge to your side.
Lastly, blackjack bonuses can help double or even triple your initial balance. The long-term blackjack odds might be unfavorable, but you can gain a leg up the casino this way.
What are the odds of winning in online blackjack?
The game of blackjack has the best odds for players across any table game, including poker and baccarat. The chances to win at any given blackjack round are 42.22%. The tie stands at 8.48%, and the loss has a 49.10% probability. These values are based on the long-term house edge, with EV and blackjack strategies increasing your chances significantly.
What is the house edge in blackjack?
The house edge is the expected win of the casino over players in the long run. The house edge is always theoretical, which means that each specific round is unpredictable. The blackjack house edge is less than 0.5% when selecting the classic variant, and the house rules favor the player. Your decisions will also affect this value.
Do you hit on 12 in blackjack?
The basic blackjack strategy suggests that hitting is the right decision for 8 or lower card combinations and standing on anything over 12. The choice will also depend on the dealer’s hand.
What is EV in blackjack?
EV stands for expected value in online blackjack, which is a metric you can use to decide whether to hit or stand during any blackjack round.
Is blackjack skill or luck?
Blackjack, like any other casino game, is primarily luck based. Thanks to dealers shuffling of cards and random number generators, the outcome of each round is always luck-based. Still, learning basic and advanced blackjack strategies can help you make the right choices in different scenarios. This is where skill comes into play since the game plays out in a sequence and not automatically.