Online Blackjack is all about odds and probabilities. The experts often use elaborate mathematical calculations to explain Blackjack outcomes, and while that's a bit of a stretch for casual gamers, getting a surface understanding of Blackjack odds will help you make better decisions. By improving your gameplay, you get to maximize your winning chances.
The first step in figuring out your winning chances, however, is to be aware of the house edge.
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Understanding the House Advantage
Blackjack has a standard house edge of 0.5% when using basic strategy. Some variants go higher, and others like Atlantic City Blackjack go as low as 0.36%. No matter how little, there will always be a house edge on Blackjack.
One reason for the house advantage is that players have to act first during Blackjack gameplay. Another disadvantage is that your cards are laid bare on the table, whereas the dealer has one hidden card that you're unaware of. So you're making decisions based on mere assumptions of what the secret card could be.
Note that Double Exposure Blackjack requires both of the dealer's cards to be revealed from the onset. However, this variant has other rule changes that favour the casino, so the house edge comes in at 0.67%.
The only way to one-up the casino is to play perfectly while, maybe, counting cards. But that's a challenging feat, even for pros.
The Players' Advantage
It's a fact that Blackjack odds are the best out of all casino table games. This is one reason why it's such a popular option.
Although you can't get away from the casino edge, there are several game rules that work to players' advantage. For instance, you can make different actions (hit, stand, split, double down etc.) whereas the dealer is obligated to only hit on 16 or less and stand on 17 or more. You also get your stake back on a push (tie). In addition, applying strategies can skyrocket your Blackjack odds and push back the house edge substantially.
Payback on Blackjack Bets
Compared to other skill-based games like Poker, where your chances are significantly hampered by the number of players in the game, Blackjack odds are more favourable. No matter how many players are seated on the table, there are only two hands in play at any time – yours and the dealers. Other players are battling it out with the dealer, respectively, and they do not affect how much you win.
According to the Blackjack payout chart, the payback on any wager is set at 1: 1 for a regular win and 3: 2 for a Perfect Blackjack win. For the latter, some tables will offer 6: 5 as payouts. However, this adds almost 1.5% to the house edge and isn't advisable for the long run.
Blackjack Payout Chart
There isn't a standard Blackjack payout chart as is the case for most other casino table games. This is because Blackjack doesn't have loads of bets. You simply get a payout for a regular win or a Perfect Blackjack win.
With this card game, winning is one thing, and losing happens either when you have a worse hand than the dealer or when you go bust. So you'll need to consider the possibility of the second scenario.
Here's the list of hand values and the probability of going bust on an extra card:
- 11 or lower – 0%
- 12 – 31%
- 13 – 39%
- 14 – 56%
- 15 – 58%
- 16 – 62%
- 17 – 69%
- 18 – 77%
- 19 – 85%
- 20 – 92%
- 21 – 100%
It's really not that hard to grasp. The probability of going bust on an additional card increases the higher your card value. Taking the extremes:
An 11 value hand has a 0% possibility of going bust since an additional ten-value card would amount to a Perfect Blackjack, and an Ace would be counted as 1.
A 21 value hand is a Perfect Blackjack, so any additional card will 100% be a bust.
Blackjack Odds vs. Payouts
Weighing the payouts against the odds of a regular win, Blackjack is pretty balanced. Since you're playing against the dealer, the chances of winning or losing are pretty even, save for the house edge. A regular win reflects the true odds since it pays 1: 1, which is even money.
The same can’t be said for Perfect Blackjack, as this specific hand combination is just one out of many possibilities. The chances of winning this way are very slim, so the 3: 2 payout doesn't reflect the true odds. This is why taking the insurance bet (a bet on the dealer's hand being a Perfect Blackjack) is not recommended, since it only pays 2: 1.
However, the great thing about Blackjack is that you're not betting on the outcome of your hand. Whether you win with a Perfect Blackjack or not, you are paid accordingly.
Steps to Improving Your Blackjack Odds
- Different variants have different house edges. You'll have better chances when playing with lower house edges.
- It's essential to always use basic strategy. Note that basic strategy has been factored into the 0.5% house edge. Without it, the casino's advantage over every bet would be as high as 2%.
- Adding some other advanced tactics will further benefit your chances.
- Play at any of our recommended online casinos to get the best blackjack gaming experience.
Yes, the house advantage in Blackjack is generally the lowest among casino games. It goes as low as 0.5% with basic strategy and can be reduced even further with more advanced methods.
Blackjack odds are pretty favourable and offer chances to earn huge sums, especially when you place big bets.
All Blackjack strategies are designed to help you win more and lose less. However, there is never a perfect guarantee of improving the outcome of your gameplay. You must also remain extremely disciplined - something that's hard to do for long periods.