Probability Of Winning Blackjack


Probability of getting 17 points from the first two cards is P = 16/221 = 7.23981% in the case of a 1-deck game and P = 96/1339 = 7.16952% in the case of a 2-deck game. A good initial hand (which you can stay with) could be a blackjack or a hand of 20, 19 or 18 points. Blackjack Double Down Probabilities. This chart shows exact percentages for how often each double-down hand in blackjack will win, push, or lose. The figures quoted are for a 6 deck game where the dealer stands on all 17s. The dealer is assumed to have already peeked under tens and aces and does not have blackjack. Altered payout for a winning blackjack In many casinos, a blackjack pays only 6:5 or even 1:1 instead of the usual 3:2. This is most common at tables with lower table minimums. Although this payoff was originally limited to single-deck games, it has spread to double-deck and shoe games.

We first present the probabilities attached to card dealing and initial predictions. In making this calculus, circumstantial information such as fraudulent dealing is not taken into account (as in all situations corresponding to card games). All probabilities are calculated for cases using one or two decks of cards. Let us look at the probabilities for a favorable initial hand (the first two cards dealt) to be achieved. The total number of possible combinations for each of the two cards is C(52, 2) = 1326, for the 1-deck game and C(104, 2)=5356for the 2-deck game.

Probability of obtaining a natural blackjack isP= 8/663 = 1.20663% in the case of a 1-deck game andP = 16/1339 = 1.19492%in the case of a 2-deck game.

Most casinos expect each blackjack table to have a hold of about 20%—that is, they expect to be able to keep about 20% of the wagers made. Correspondingly, the average player can expect to lose about 20% of his stake over the course of every session. The “core odds” reduce the house’s advantage to 10.99%.

Probability of obtaining a blackjack from the first two cards isP= 32/663 = 4.82654%in the case of a 1-deck game andP = 64/1339= 4.77968%in the case of a 2-deck game.

Similarly, we can calculate the following probabilities:

Probability of obtaining 20 points from the first two cards isP = 68/663 = 10.25641% in the case of a 1-deck game andP= 140/1339 = 10.45556%in the case of a 2-deck game.

Probability of obtaining 19 points from the first two cards isP = 40/663 = 6.03318%in the case of a 1-deck game andP = 80/1339 = 5.97460%in the case of a 2-deck game.

Probability of obtaining 18 points from the first two cards isP= 43/663 = 6.48567%in the case of a 1-deck game andP= 87/1339 = 6.4973% in the case of a 2-deck game.

Probability of getting 17 points from the first two cards isP= 16/221 = 7.23981%in the case of a 1-deck game andP= 96/1339 = 7.16952%in the case of a 2-deck game.

A good initial hand (which you can stay with) could be a blackjack or a hand of 20, 19 or 18 points. The probability of obtaining such a hand is calculated by totaling the corresponding probabilities calculated above: P = 32/663 + 68/663 + 40/663 + 43/663 = 183/663, in the case of a 1-deck game and P = 64/1339 + 140/1339 + 80/1339 + 87/1339 = 371/1339, in the case of a 2-deck game.

Probability of obtaining a good initial hand isP= 183/663 = 27.60180%in the case of a 1-deck game andP= 371/1339 = 27.70724%in the case of a 2-deck game.

The probabilities of events predicted during the game are calculated on the basis of the played cards (the cards showing) from a certain moment. This requires counting certain favorable cards showing for the dealer and for the other players, as well as in your own hand. Any blackjack strategy is based on counting the cards played. Unlike a baccarat game, where a maximum of three cards are played for each player, at blackjack many cards could be played at a certain moment, especially when many players are at the table. Thus, both following and memorizing certain cards require some ability and prior training on the player’s part. Card counting techniques cannot however be applied in online blackjack.

The formula of probability for obtaining a certain favorable value is similar to that for baccarat and depends on the number of decks of cards used. If we denote by x a favorable value, by nx the number of cards showing with the value x (from your hand, the hands of the other players and the face up card in the dealer’s hand) and by nv the total number of cards showing, then the probability of the next card from the deck (the one you receive if you ask for an additional card) having the value x is:

This formula holds for the case of a 1-deck game. In the case of a 2-deck game, the probability is:

Generally speaking, if playing with m decks, the probability of obtaining a card with the value x is:

Example of application of the formula: Assume play with one deck, you are the only player at table, you hold Q, 2, 4, A (total value 17) and the face up card of the dealer is a 4. Let us calculate the probability of achieving 21 points (receiving a 4).

We havenx = 2, nv = 5, so:


For the probability of achieving 20 points (receiving a 3), we havenx = 0, nv = 5, so:


For the probability of achieving 19 points (receiving a 2), we havenx = 1, nv = 5, so:


If we want to calculate the probability of achieving 19, 20 or 21 points, all we must do is total the three probabilities just calculated. We obtainP = 9/47 = 19.14893%.

Unlike in baccarat, where fewer cards are played, the number of players is constant (two), and the number of gaming situations is very limited, in blackjack, the number of possible playing configurations is in the thousands and, as a practical matter, cannot be entirely covered by tables of values.


A big part of the gaming situations that require a decision, where the total value held is 15, 16, 17, 18, 19 or 20 points, is comprised in tables in the section titled Blackjack of the book PROBABILITY GUIDE TO GAMBLING: The Mathematics of Dice, Slots, Roulette, Baccarat, Blackjack, Poker, Lottery and Sport Bets.You will also find there other issues of probability-based blackjack strategy . See the Books section for details.

Blackjack, unlike other gambling games is not considered a game of chance, it is one that you can win if you start applying some knowledge. Unlike many other games where the result depends on player luck only, this game provides probabilities depending on the player decisions. Therefore, in order to win you have to know what your probabilities are now and how and when to increase them.

Before we take a look at player and dealer blackjack odds, we should consider all the parameters that affect the odds in the game.

House Edge Calculator
The easiest way for you to calculate the odds in blackjack is by using our free House Edge Calculator. This tool will help you to count player odds and the probabilities of dealer going bust on various dealer's up cards.

Blackjack Rules Variations

Inferno slots net lobby. Blackjack variations were created to entertain players and provide them with a chance to win more money on side bets. Each rule variation affects the house edge, some rules making a big, others making a minor difference. Most common rule variations can be found at our House Edge Calculator in the «Rules» window. Now, let's take a closer look at the rules and see how they affect the odds in the game.

NOTE: The rules chosen in the table below are most favorable for the player.

Number of decks

The first thing a player should consider when choosing a table is the number of decks used in the game. The more decks there are - the less odds the player has. (See the table - Probabilities – Number of decks)

Probability Of Winning Blackjack

Dealer hits or stands on soft 17

The main rules of the game are usually written on the table felt and it may say either dealer hits or stands on soft 17. If according to the rules dealer hits soft 17, the game gives the house a 0.2% extra edge.

Rules for doubling

This rule is sometimes called the 'Reno' rule, which restricts doubling only to certain hand totals. Double 9 - 11 affects the house edge increasing it by 0.09% (8 decks game) and 0.15% (1 deck game). Double 10-11 increases the house edge by 0.17% (8 decks game) and 0.26% (1 deck game).

Doubling after Split

If the casino allows a player to double after he splits a pair, the player will get a further edge of around 0.12%.


Most casinos allow players to split again after he/she splits a pair and is dealt another card of the same rank. However, if the casino does not, this means the odds favor the house. As the best hands for splitting are a pair of Aces and 8s, there may be a special rule for Splitting Aces. If the casino allows the player to re-split Aces, the player gets a 0.03% extra edge. Moreover, in most cases if the player splits Aces, the casino will deal only one card per hand and that's it. Allowing players to hit on a hand of Split Aces gives the player an edge of 0.13%. We do not consider this rule in our calculator due to the fact it is almost never used, especially online.

Good for player
  • 1 deck of cards (house edge 0.17%)
  • Doubling allowed on any cards
  • Doubling allowed after Split and after Hit (player edge 0.12%)
  • Early surrender is preferable
  • Dealer stands on soft 17 (player edge 0.2%)
  • Resplitting any cards allowed (player edge 0.03%)

Extra Rules Affecting Blackjack Odds

European No-Hole-Card Rule

Some blackjack variations are played with a hole card that is dealt to the dealer only after all the players have played their hands. This rule affects player strategy when playing against dealer up 10 or an Ace. In a typical hole-card game the player would know whether the dealer has a Blackjack or not before he makes any decisions. In this game, however, the player is risking a lot more if he decides to double or split. This rule adds 0.11% to the house advantage. However, there may be some casinos that allow the player to push on all the additional bets (doubling down and splitting pairs) if the dealer happens to have Blackjack.

Another Payouts on Blackjack

The classic payout on player Blackjack is 3 to 2. However, some casinos change the payout to increase the house edge. The payout on blackjack thus may vary from 1:1 to 6:5. As a Blackjack hand frequency is approximately 4.8% (see the table Two Card Hand Frequency), the payout of 1:1 will increase house edge by 2.3% and the payout of 6:5 - by 1.4%. The first rule (1:1) is only rarely found , while the second (6:5) can be found at some tables with a single deck blackjack game. The payout on Blackjack is generally written on a table felt.

Best tip
for odds seekers

The easiest way to choose the game with the highest odds is to play blackjack with no extra special rules. Do not forget where your basic odds are hidden - chance to Split, Double Down and get a 3 to 2 payout on Natural.

Dealer wins Ties

Another disadvantage for the player is when the rules of the game say that dealer wins all ties. This rule is almost never used in the classic games, though it can be found in some blackjack variations.


The Insurance bet is a casino trick that gives the house a huge edge. The main factor why many players take this bet lies in the fact it costs only half of the original one. However, when the player takes Insurance every time he plays the game, the house edge may raise up to 7%. Added to all the other rules the casino sets on the game and you will see why probabilities are worth learning if you want to quit winners.

Side Bets

All blackjack games that offer side bets seem to be the biggest attraction for blackjack lovers. However, if you consider blackjack odds on these bets, you will notice that no matter how big the jackpot is (as in progressive blackjack rules) or how great the payout is for the pair (as in perfect pairs rules), the odds still favor the house and you are not likely to win.

Blackjack Probabilities charts

Number of decksHouse Advantage %

The quantity of decks increases the house advantage with each extra deck added to the game. Look for games with the smallest number of decks. However, some games offering a chance to play with 1 deck may only still provide low player odds due to low payouts on Blackjack and other rules. Be sure to check them before you play.

Hand value% frequency
No Bust26.5

The table on the left describes how often the following hands can appear. The hands are the first two-cards dealt to the player. The frequency stands for the average number of times dealt per deck of cards. As you can see, the most frequent hands dealt are the 'Decision hands' that demand knowledge of blackjack strategy.

Hand value% of busting
11 or less0

In this table you can see the probability of going bust on any hand if the player decides to Hit. This means that with 0% you can never go bust when hitting a hand of 11 or less. As you can see, the table is for hard hand totals as you will 100% bust if you Hit on a hand of hard 21.

CardHouse edge %
(when cards removed)

You probably already know that in blackjack small cards in the deck favor the dealer while big ones favor the player. In this table you can see that removing 2s from the deck adds a 0.40% of advantage to the player, while if 10's are taken out - the odds are 0.51% for the house.

Dealer Face Up CardDealer Bust %Player Odds %
(Using Basic Strategy)

Blackjack probabilities are calculated due to different parameters, including the dealer up card. The table on the left depicts how likely it is that dealer will go bust with certain up cards and what the player odds are in this very situation. For example, the highest player odds are when the dealer shows a 6, as he is most likely to go bust with this hand. The lowest player odds are when the dealer's up card is a 10 or an Ace.

Blackjack Probability Math

House Edge Calculator
You can count the players and casino odds any time you play with the help of our House Edge Calculator. The tool helps to find the probabilities for any game rules and the results can be calculated for all parameters.

What Is The Probability Of Winning Blackjack

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