Blackjack: Maximizing your Odds

Casino Strategy

Blackjack: Maximizing your Odds

Blackjack is a game that involves skill, and more of it than most people can bring to the table. Get ahead of the rest of the people that are playing in a casino or online and learn the basic odds of the game. Before you start to think about your hand versus the dealer, you need to understand the odds of busting at any given hand with what you've been dealt. By sticking to some basic rules in your head and understanding when you should and shouldn't be okay with hitting, you can reduce the house edge significantly.

 

In fact, a smart player that understands how to use basic strategy with these odds of busting can beat that house edge down from a troublesome 8% down to half a percentage point. There's a fine line between being a smart player and being a player that overthinks their game. That's why we're going to start with the most basic game that you can play online, where you've got two hands that are in play.

 

A standard six-deck blackjack game features ninety-six cards that have a face value of ten (four 10s, four Jacks, four Queens and four Kings in each deck). So, what does that mean when you have four small cards dealt into your two hands? What are the odds that the next card is going to be a 10? Interestingly, even if you're holding two 3s and two 4s, the odds are still right around 30%, which is very close to what it was before your cards were even dealt to you.

 

To help you understand how close you might be to busting, this chart can help. We'll start with the lowest odds and work up to the most likely.

 

 

Your Hand’s Value

Probability of Busting

If You Hit

11 or Less

0%

12

31%

13

39%

14

56%

15

58%

16

62%

17

69%

18

77%

19

85%

20

92%

 

 

 

As you likely figured out while looking at this chart, starting with low cards means that you’re safe if you opt to Hit, but you should immediately re-evaluate your odds based on the new total. Understanding how to use the odds and making smart decisions is the key to playing good Blackjack. Sit down and play some hands, either with a couple of decks or just by playing online Blackjack free games.