We now take our blackjack guide and turn it towards the honest likelihood of winning this card game called blackjack when playing it online, in both its live formatted version and as a virtual machine. This is a look at the blackjack odds and probabilities after statistical calculations, to put it a long way.
Welcome to the mathematical world of Blackjack gaming
Blackjack is a card game, that is, by all accounts, a very simple game to play. All you need is someone to be the dealer, you (the player) and a pack or two of cards. Inside the casino online, which is referred to as the ‘house’, the cards are playable in two formats, live and virtual, players are also able to compete in tournaments. The card-play always for an element of strategy to be part of its entertainment and way of winning. So, with this all said and done, what are the odds? What return can you expect from your hand? And is the house edge going to be an issue when looking to win these games?
Blackjack and the house edge
So, you have been dealt numerous hands and you’ve won some and lost some. What’s happening within the complexities of the odds and will you be able to pick up a winning streak from the deck that you can confidently bet on a winning return?
When looking at the basic probability of what happens on the table, whether you’re playing online or in Las Vegas, is to start with the house edge. This is the casino's advantage over the game. as with all gambling features, there is always a degree of advantage which the casino will have over those playing, be it roulette, craps, baccarat and so on.
So, what does the house edge tell us about being able to get the best odds from the cards dealt?
The reason this advantage exists in the first place is nothing to do with the number of card decks or through any cheating, it comes down to the rules of the player (you) having to make the first move of the game.
As an example, to the power of the edge the casino has, for every time you go bust or hit, it happens roughly 28% of the time and should you lose, it will be revealed that the dealer went bust as well. This all said and done, the tools are in situ to beat win the game and have influence over these percentages. Now, this could be card counting, if counting cards is a skill you have acquired. But it also comes down to the moves that are possible to do during a round. This includes the chance to split the cards and to double down.
Adding to this, if you read our strategy guide on blackjack, you will be able to lower the 8% average on the house down 0.2-0.5%.
Looking at the player’s blackjack advantages
So, what ace up the sleeve exists on the side of those playing to win the money from their bets? There is a total of 5 advancements that can help the player have the upper hand over the dealer with the cards that have.
- Each winning Blackjack pays 3/2 which is 2.5 times that total of the wager.
- The player has the option to control how they use their hand, the moves are stand, hit, double down, split and even surrender. The dealer at the table is limited because they can only ever hit on their card to try and make you lose.
- The double down option allows us to increase the initial betting amount and gaining a maximized return over the casino.
- The benefit of the pair split allows us to make a weaker hand more powerful and bettering the player’s position against the dealer.
- Surrendering allows for a player to gain back half of their steak and, thusly, helping to preserve the bankroll for future bets over the game.
The importance of being at odds
For a player to achieve a high level of success over the house, the strategy will get you so far, but behind the push of this, knowing the odds within your hand play just as a vital role to players. So, here we are going to look at the probabilities closer with both a soft and hard hand that has been dealt from the deck.
The odds of going bust with an extra card
Hand Total and the Probability:
- 11 or lower = 0%
- 12 = 31%
- 13 = 39%
- 14 = 56%
- 15 = 58%
- 16 = 62%
- 17 = 69%
- 18 = 77%
- 19 = 85%
- 20 = 92%
- 21 = 100%
Now, this isn’t rocket science, it's clear that the higher the total of your hands, the greater the risk is of going bust in the games. The calculation of making the right bet on the table doesn’t just start and end there. We need to look at the basic probability of the house and them going bust at the table.
The probability on the dealer
Dealer’s Cards and the Probability standing on 17 and Hitting on 17
- Ace =17% =20%
- 2 =35% =36%
- 3 =37% =38%
- 4 =40% =40%
- 5 =42% =42%/
- 6 =42% =44%
- 7 =26% =26%
- 8 =24% =24%
- 9 =23% =23%
- 10 =23% =23%
Seeing the odds like this makes it clear that for the dealer, they hold a 42-44% probability average of going bust when playing a 6. Now, this is high, but mathematically it also means that for, in this situation, be it in the Las Vegas casinos or online, that with a 17 it is best to just stand. Luckily, in this case, the dealer cannot split.
It should be noted that much of the focus from players gambling, is to only think of their hand, the rules of the game are there to help, but it is of value to realize the casino’s predicament also. This is the foundation of card counting and why it is a huge advantage.
Reducing the house odds and increasing your edge
Let’s be clear, you can’t win every game. Knowing the total odds and percentages on whether you should stand or double your money with a hit is a science but not an exact one that will guarantee you wins on all bets all the time. Knowledge of a game is certainly the best pursuit of getting a better ratio of wins and cutting the number of times you lose.
We have to remember this is all taking place online and these cards are not as clear cut as the mathematical averages. Let us look at how the virtual card games are made in the virtual realm of the blackjack game.
Does luck play a part in how the cards are dealt?
Well, with blackjack games that are virtual, there is very little influence a player has in the game. Just like other virtual machines, be it roulette or even slot machines, the ‘dealer’ is always going to have the upper hand over the player in the casino and more so with the virtual game.
If you can avoid blackjack that is made with RTP algorithms, you will save yourself a lot of money. The RTP means Return to Player. This comes with a percentage usually between 90-98%. These are not the likely odds of players winning on the machine, but rather the amount of money the machine needs to accrue first before it begins paying out, no matter the hand you play.
So, what is the strategy in winning these games?
Well, hands are inconsequential, the deck can’t be influenced and the probability of winning on a basic machine is based on the money that goes into it. So, in order to gain an advantage on the casinos is to play the most popular machines that other players are putting their bets into.
Proposed questions surrounding blackjack
- Should you surrender in blackjack? If the table offers the feature and many do, then you can and should if you feel the bet is lost.
- Should you split your hand? The move can only be played with the two cards dealt from the decks have a combined total of 10. It is always a good move if the dealer’s face card seems high. It also allows you the chance to win two bets against their one hand.
- Should you double down? This is a great move and one of the best within the rules. If your table allows you to perform this, then it’s advised to take advantage of it.
- Should you hit? Think of the dealer’s hand and weigh up the odds of a likely outcome. Gambling is all about risk, but it also means limiting the number of silly mistakes and bad decisions that can occur.