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Blackjack Odds

Whether you are playing casino blackjack or online blackjack you should be aware of the situations in which the odds are in your favor or the house’s favor.

Right from the beginning, blackjack odds favor the house by about 8% . This is mainly derived from the rule that the player must draw first and if the player busts the house wins, no matter if the house busts or not. The house has this advantage because about 8% of the time both the player and house will bust.

If you are able to effectively use basic strategy and know when and how much to bet you can reduce this house advantage to almost 0.5%. This includes knowing when to hit and when to stand and the house payout of a blackjack at 3 to 2.

However, these blackjack odds still favor the house over the player. Beating blackjack means reducing this 0.5% even further. There are two ways to accomplish this. The big players in casino blackjack, that is, those who play frequently and bet large amounts are courted by the casino and given many “comps” or complimentary items. This can range from everything from free drinks to tickets to shows and free hotel suites. In some cases the value of these comps is more than your winnings at the blackjack table.

The other way to reduce the house edge is counting cards. By finding and playing at a blackjack table advantageous to card counting (i.e. fewer decks, London Deal, less shuffling, etc) you can turn the tables on the casino and go home in style! If you are playing online blackjack, forget counting cards and stick to basic strategy. This is virtually your only recourse in getting favorable blackjack odds.

Blackjack rules may vary from casino to casino and site to site. The following shows how different rules can affect blackjack odds:

Rule Effect on Player Expectation
Two decks -0.32%
Four decks -0.48%
Six decks -0.54%
Eight decks -0.58%
Dealer hits soft 17 -0.20%
Double down only on 11 (no soft, no 10, no 9, no 8) -0.78%
Double down only on 10 or 11 (no soft, no 9, no 8) -0.26%
Double down only on 9, 10, 11 (no soft, no 8) -0.14%
No re-splitting of any pairs -0.03%
Dealer wins ties -9.00%
Natural pays 1 to 1 -2.32%
Natural pays 2 to 1 +2.32%
Double down on any number of cards +0.24%
Double down after splitting pairs +0.14%
Late surrender +0.06%
Early surrender +0.62%
Six-card winner +0.15%
Players 21 pushes dealer's 10-up Blackjack +0.16%
Re-splitting of aces +0.06%
Draw to split aces +0.14%











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