Online Blackjack Odds

Legal Blackjack ScreenshotSome people get flustered when the subjects of odds and probability come out in the discussion of online blackjack, or online gambling in general. But actually, since this casino game is one of the few where every possibility or outcome is limited to a known number of events, the odds have been studied extensively, and it is just as important to understand the odds as it is to understand the rules of blackjack. Did you know that the best black jack players online and off do not concern themselves with any one particular hand? They simply want to make the best possible move based on probability, and that is where knowing your odds comes in. The information on this page applies universally to both downloadable and flash instant play blackjack.

You should never forget that online 21 games provide some of the best odds of any casino game for the player, when played properly. But a good player understands what is going on behind the scenes in the typical hand. For instance, if you understand the dealer's probability to bust in a particular situation, you will know exactly how to play your hand every time. The novice player thinks that the goal of bj is to score as close to 21 points without going over. But that is incorrect. The goal is actually to beat the dealer.

And since the dealer's play is regulated, and you get to see his "up" card, this gives the smart player an opportunity to calculate a smart move if he knows the odds. First off, we have 52 cards, so the odds of a 6 showing up would be 4/52. But in blackjack the most recurring possibility is that a 10 value card will be played at any given time. That is because four cards in each of the four suits have that value. That means a 16/52 chance of the 10 card coming up, and reduced this means the odds are 4 in 13. This is where the assume a ten in the hole concept comes from in basic strategy. So the next logical question a smart player will ask in legal online blackjack is, "What are the odds of the dealer busting if his face-up card is a __?"

Since basic strategy assumes a ten in the hole for the dealer, occurring just over 30% of the time, we can simply do some math. There is a 4 in 52 chance that any particular card will come up, so let us assume his up card is a 6. This means any card over a 5 will bust him. Since 8 cards in each suit are higher than a 5, this is expressed as an 8 in 13 chance, or a whopping 61.5% chance the dealer busts with a 6 facing up, if the down card is a 10. Obviously, we do not know if a 10 is is down card, but we assume this because this is statistically the most likely occurrence.

When you run the permutations for every possible hand the dealer could have, you end up with the dealer busting nearly 31% of the time under any circumstance. This is why you must minimize your poor play. There is no need to give the dealer a win by misplaying your hand, since your hand is completed before his. Accordingly, a player with a score of 11 or higher should almost never take a hit when the dealer has a 6 face up. Basic blackjack strategy charts are readily available online, and the beauty of flexible online black jack allows you to consult these charts before you make a play, improving your winning chances drastically when you know your odds. Understanding the odds is also a critical element when determining which blackjack bets you want to place. The odds involved in playing 21 are the same whether you're playing in a casino in Vegas or at a live dealer blackjack casino online.

Here are the odds of Dealer Busts based on the dealer's up card:
Dealers Up Card Bust Percentage
2 35%
3 37%
4 40%
5 42%
6 42%
7 26%
8 24%
9 23%
10 23%
Ace 17%

As you can see, based on the odds, the dealer is in the most trouble when his up card is a 5 or a 6, and in has a stronger hand when his up card is a 7 – Ace. These odds can help determine when we hit vs stand and when we double down, among other decisions. It is imperative that players understand that both their own hand and the dealer's hand play a large role in determining the odds for success.

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