JUNE 2024

Blackjack Odds & Mathematical Probability Probability in Games

Blackjack odds and casino math explained in an easy to understand way.

Blackjack Game Math - The Definition of Odds

Blackjack odds and casino math explained in an easy to understand way.

Written by: Kim Birch | The review was last updated: 12 August 2022 | Fact-check by: Jasmin Williams

Kim Birch has won and lost against the best poker pros worldwide. In addition to being an expert in poker and blackjack, Kim has also published 3 books. About Kim Birch

The Blackjack game is a popular card game among gamblers. The reason behind this is the favourable blackjack odds it offers its players and the low house edge limit in the game compared to other famous casino games. Blackjack is a very diverse game. It requires skill, strategy, and a certain amount of game knowledge to come out on top at the blackjack tables. This makes natural blackjack a very advantageous game for players who know their way around a gambling game. Using the right skills and employing the correct strategies is what it takes to defeat your opponents in this game.

While single deck and multi deck Blackjack is an enjoyable game, it also offers huge potential profits to its players. You can become a pro at this game and win consistently by dedicating yourself to the gameplay and learning all there is to learn rules and strategies. You can analyse the gameplay and calculate your chances of winning by employing your strategies. This involves great skill and practice. You must make a lot of observations and preparations to pull off this kind of game.

Like any other card game, you can only do so much to ensure victory. There is always a tremendous amount of luck involved in any win. The cards you get dealt in a particular hand affect how it gets played out, and they are random. However, you can still increase your odds of winning by observing the cards as they are dealt and calculating the odds of getting a particular card. Practising this skill will improve your game a lot. To become a long-term winner at this game, you should aim to win small and consistent profits instead of large ones.

Blackjack odds in a six deck game a very fair.

Blackjack odds in a six deck game a very fair.

Probability is a field of mathematics that studies and analyses the odds of a specific event or outcome happening. Gamblers use the knowledge of probability in many casino games to analyse and calculate the odds of winning and losing. You can see how this is a valuable skill in such card games as it gives the player the upper hand after they learn to use it properly. A simple formula is used to calculate the probability – The total number of ways divided by the total number of possible events. A pack of cards has one type of card and 52 cards in total. If you were to calculate the probability of receiving the ace of diamonds, for instance, then you will divide one by 52, and the probability will be 1/52.

These probability values can also be represented in percentage form. This value is an integer ranging from 0 to 100. Knowing the percentage of occurrence for any event, you can calculate the probability of that happen not happening too. For instance, if the probability of any event happening is 30%, then the probability of that event not happening is easily calculated, i.e. 70%. Another way of expressing probabilities is as odds. In the above example, we shall now calculate the odds of receiving an ace of diamonds from a full pack. Since there are 52 total cards and only one ace of diamonds, the odds of you receiving an ace of diamonds are 51 to 1.


Eight Deck Shoe Blackjack Odds Made Easy to understand

Now we shall take a look at blackjack terminologies and words used to describe the odds of winning and losing in the game. Positive and negative win rates are used to describe the blackjack odds at any specific time during the game. The biggest factor on your blackjack odds are the different house rules and casino rules used in blackjack games. Another term used frequently in the game is true odds. This term is used when the payout from a particular wager is at the same rate as suggested by the probability percentage. Professional blackjack players mostly use these terms.

The main goal/objective of playing blackjack is to form a total higher than that of the dealers while staying below the limit, which is 21 in this case. Passing this limit will result in you losing instantly. You are given two options during any session of the game, called hitting and standing. The choice you make can result in your win or loss. The basic strategy chart holds some suggestions regarding which move you should make. You can refer to this chart to make the right decision. Moreover, the main blackjack guide we have provided for free has all the cheat sheets that can help you improve your game strategies and play blackjack like a pro.

One important thing to know during the game is your blackjack odds of busting. This gives you some sense of where you are ranking in the game. From this knowledge, you can decide your next move and prepare accordingly. For example, having a total of 11 or less in your hand means your odds of busting are 0%, and no calculation is required. Having totals of 12, 13, or 14 in your hand represents odds of busting 31%, 39%, and 56%, respectively. You may have noticed that the odds of busting increase as the total in your hand increases. The choices you make are affected by this knowledge. For instance, if you hold totals of 19 and 20, the odds of busting are 85% and 92%, respectively, and hence you should not go for hitting under these circumstances.

Now coming to the next odds percentage, which is also an important one. This one decides the blackjack probability of you getting the highest paying combination, the blackjack. The probability of receiving an ace and a 10-valued card from the first dealing in a single deck game has been calculated to be 4.83%. The same probability drops to 4.77% when the game is being with two decks. Here at BETO, we have reviewed and suggested some online casinos for you. The same probability drops to 4.77% when the game is being with two decks. Here at BETO, we have reviewed and suggested some player focused casinos for you. All the knowledge and skills related to blackjack that you have can be employed in these online versions of blackjack. Just select the blackjack variant and choose the best odds for yourself. In the world of blackjack gambling, knowledge is power!


Online Blackjack Help - Return to Player Statistics

Return to Player is another term used frequently in blackjack. It is also related to the odds of winning. Return to Player or RTP is used to calculate how much payout you can get theoretically, and it is measured in terms of percentage. This percentage value shows how much money you will receive in return after wagering a certain amount.

This value relates to the house edge and is directly proportional to it. The RTP of any blackjack version can be calculated knowing the house edge. Different variations of blackjack can have different RTP values.

One example of this variation is the Atlantic City Blackjack developed by Microgaming, which is played with eight decks and standard rules. The house edge of this version is 0.46% giving an RTP value of 99.64%. This means that theoretically, for a $100 bet, the maximum amount you can win back is $99.64. This is consideren a fair game variant. But in actuality, the RTP percentage applies to all the players, resulting in a different outcome. Games with a lower house edge tend to be more advantageous for optimal strategy players as the bankroll lasts longer in such cases and therefore your expected value is also better.

In the illustration below, you can see the difference in blackjack odds in different game versions. These apply to both live games as well as online blackjack.

Blackjack probabilities and your odds. Use perfect basic strategy.

Blackjack probabilities and your odds. Use perfect basic strategy.


What is the Casino House Edge in Blackjack games?


The 'house edge' means the advantage the casino has over you.

Now we shall explain the concept of the house edge. This is an essential concept for understanding the blackjack odds. The house edge represents the percentage of the players’ wager that the casino can keep for themselves. This factor is built into the game by the casinos to ensure that they receive profits from the game no matter what. This slight advantage is what keeps the casino in control.

Consider this example for better understanding. A version of blackjack has a house edge of 1%. This means that 1% of all bets placed in the game goes to the casino. $100 bets mean that you are expected to lose $1 on every bet. If you make 60 bets every hour, you will lose $60 per hour.

Double Zero Roulette is an online game with a house edge close to 5% (5.26% to be precise). Due to the higher house edge percentage, you will lose $300 per hour if you make 60 bets of $100 each in an hour. Remember that the house edge is only applicable over long periods comprising of many wagers. This is because it is a statistical percentage and cannot be used for individual bets as they can result in either loss, win, or tie each time.


How to Reduce the Casino Edge as a Blackjack Player

Blackjack is popular among casino players due to the low house edge that it offers. The chances you have of winning a game are greatly dependent on the house edge value. Some blackjack card game variations have a higher house edge value than others and are considered disadvantageous for the players. Most of the blackjack versions can offer a house edge value lower than 1% if you use some strategy to your advantage. Moreover, this value can be decreased even further by employing proper strategies and skills.

Making a basic strategy and using it according to plan is very important in a game like a blackjack. The house edge in these games is calculated after considering these strategies, making them a necessary part of every game. Applying the strategy properly can benefit the player as it can reduce the house edge to as low as 0.5%. On the other hand, failing to use a basic strategy can increase the house edge up to 2%.

There are some rules of blackjack that are used while calculating the house edge. But this factor can be controlled by reading up on all the possible hands and moves in the game. A game has many possible circumstances, and by preparing yourself beforehand, you can change the house edge to your advantage. But to do so, the use of basic strategies is not enough. The skill of implementing the plan in a time of need is essential if you want to reduce the house edge. This is where most players get stuck. To win at this game regularly, one needs discipline and self-control. The moves suggested by the base strategy need to be remembered and implemented when needed. Most players lack this patience and have difficulty following the plan.

Even if you lose a few hands, it is essential not to lose your nerves and keep following the plan so you can get the most out of your blackjack bets. Trying to reimburse temporary losses by straying away from the strategy is a mistake and results in ever more significant losses in the long run.


Increase Your Winning Chances as a Blackjack Player

Your blackjack odds of winning in can be greatly improved

Your blackjack odds of winning in can be greatly improved

There are other ways of increasing your chances of winning in blackjack. These valuable tips help players shift the odds in their favour. You can learn card counting systems to improve your performance in games. This method is very advanced and challenging to master. Professional players use it to keep track of every card on the table during a game. Beginners are advised to learn and practice the basic strategy before moving on to more advanced methods like card counting. When used in combination with the basic strategy, card counting becomes even more advantageous.

Some card counting methods are not that hard to master, and novice players can use them too. This method also enables you to calculate the ratio of high-valued cards to low-valued ones. Moreover, the theoretical average win rate per hour can also be determined using this data. But you can only control the outcome so much. Being a regulated casino game, the house edge will take its payment in the end. Instead of focusing on little profits, you have to watch the bigger picture and make strategies to obtain your long-term goals.

One more feature that can further reduce the house edge in blackjack is the casino comps. While playing a game of blackjack, you should try to obtain high-value comps. These will help you get the upper hand. The casino comps is an abbreviation of the term complimentary that you all know. These are perks that you get when you place a bet during a game of blackjack. These complimentary perks are given by the game to the player and can differ from player to player. The kind of perks you receive depends on the amount of time you spend in-game and the total number of bets you place. This presents you with a unique opportunity to use these perks to your advantage, whose value can be even more significant than the house edge.

A Player Card must be handed to the dealer at the beginning of the game. This card is required if you want to receive the casino comps at the end of the session. You can also use some other tips to get the most out of any particular session of blackjack. For example, joining a table that is already full helps your chances as your play is much slower. The lesser hands you play in a game, the smaller your losses become. Using this strategy, you will receive smaller losses, but the casino comps will still be awarded. Lastly, reducing the house edge to its minimum value also grants you casino comps worth greater values.


Blackjack Rule Variation and how they Influence Casino Players

As explained before, a change in the game's rules affects the house edge directly, which in turn affects your profit payout. Different versions of blackjack have different rules and hence offer different house edge values. Moreover, while some versions have a fixed set of rules in the game, others don’t. The casinos can change their rules as per their needs. This is a vital piece of information while selecting which version you should play.

One of how different game variants can vary is the number of decks being featured in that version. While making your version choice, consider this general trend: the fewer the decks being used, the smaller the house edge value is. If more decks of cards are added to the game, the house edge value goes up directly. This is because the probability of getting a blackjack naturally increases if there are fewer decks involved. For instance, if decks go from a single deck to eight decks, the house edge increases by 0.61%.

There is another factor involved in the variation of the house edge. This one is called the soft 17 rule, and it is related to the dealer’s play. Depending on which casino you go with, this rule varies whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17. Casinos that force the dealer to stand on soft 17 prove beneficial for the players, and you should go with such variants. On the other hand, the house edge increases by 0.21% if the rules state that the dealer must hit on soft 17.

The house edge is also affected by the decision of whether you can double down or split. This is taken into account while determining the final house edge percentage. Usually, the house edge is decreased when more options are added for these two moves. If the rules state that you cannot double down after a split, the house edge goes up by 0.14%. When you can’t hit split aces or re-slit aces, the house edge again goes up 0.18% and 0.07%, respectively. In the case of blackjack, you should also consider the payout. A variation from the usual 3 to 2, or at other times 6 to 5, means an increase in the house edge by 1.30%.

This illustration of blackjack demonstrates how winning odds can be changed by using some card game variations.

Blackjack rules variations and the influence they have on your blackjack hand.

Blackjack rules variations and the influence they have on your blackjack hand.

The bonuses offered by the variation of your chosen online blackjack offer the most significant change in winning odds.

We at BETO advise all online blackjack players to make good use of the bonuses offered by their variants to increase the winnings significantly. All you have to do is gain sufficient knowledge about the game bonuses, and you can win big without even changing your blackjack playing style.


Frequently asked Blackjack questions about odds

Frequently asked questions related to Blackjack odds and probability. 

How to choose the most suitable blackjack variation? Arrow Arrow

You can select the most suitable blackjack version by looking at features such as house edge, rules of the variation, and RTP. Most of the time, the best games would offer you more liberal rules with fewer decks of cards.

Can using the surrender choice effect the odds of winning in Blackjack? Arrow Arrow

Yes! Surrender is an important choice that affects the house edge. Not having this option increases the house edge by 0.08%. Though it may not seem like an essential option, the overall percentage comprises all small percentages.

What are the odds of winning blackjack using basic strategy? Arrow Arrow

By using the blackjack basic strategy you can lower the initial house edge of 8% to as low as 0.2% - 0.5%. But this greatly depends on the rules of the table.

Which version of blackjack holds the best odds? Arrow Arrow

The single single-deck version of Blackjack has the best odds as compared to any other casino game. Using only a single deck rather than six or eight decks is significant as it brings down the house edge from 17% to 0.13%.

What are the odds that I lose 10 consecutive hands in blackjack? Arrow Arrow

Having good knowledge about blackjack strategy gives you a 50% chance to win. However, there are still chances of getting stuck in a losing streak. The chances of this happening are 0.2%, which means the odds for this are 1 in 510.

Are there any odds of striking a win with 20 in blackjack? Arrow Arrow

20 has the most odds for winning, and it proves to be beneficial in every deal. 70.2% of players end up winning with 20, 12.2% end up losing while 17.6 ends in a tie.