Blackjack Odds Explained – House Edge and Payout

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Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games at both online and brick-and-mortar casinos. Understanding blackjack odds, how they work, and how to use them to your advantage will make the game even more exciting and lucrative.

This guide introduces you to blackjack odds, probability, the house edge, and how to maximize your bets. So, let’s begin.

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Blackjack Rules

The rules of blackjack are relatively straightforward. Gaining an understanding of them before we go any further will make it much easier to get a grasp on how blackjack odds and probability work. So, we put together some key points to help set the foundation for you.

  • In a game of blackjack, each card carries a unique value:
  • Cards 2-10 hold their face value
  • Face cards (Jack, Queen, and King) each carry a value of 10.
  • Aces are more flexible and can count as 1 or 11 depending on which value works better for your hand.
  • The aim of blackjack is to get your hand to a higher score than the dealer without going over 21.
  • If your hand exceeds 21, it is considered a “bust,” and you lose your bet and your part in the hand.
  • Getting a hand value of precisely 21 is blackjack and an automatic win.

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What Are Blackjack Odds?

Before we begin looking at blackjack odds, let’s first discuss the odds. Odds highlight two things for a blackjack player: their chances of winning a particular bet and how much they stand to earn if they win their bet.

In blackjack, there are two sets of odds: the player’s odds (that’s you) and the dealer’s odds (if you are playing online, this would be the computer.) Let’s take a look at each in more detail.

Player’s Blackjack Odds Table

There are several ways you can boost your blackjack probability using top techniques like card counting (although this is impossible when playing online).

However, there are also ways for a casino to lower your odds. The casino does this by lowering payouts, adding additional decks to the shoe, or imposing rules like no doubling after splitting.

Because of this, having a firm understanding of your blackjack probability is the best way to identify any advantage you may hold.

In the table below, you’ll find a blackjack odds chart highlighting the probability of choosing to hit after the dealer has dealt your first two cards.

The Player – Bust Probability

Hand Value Probability
11 or below 0%
12 31%
13 39%
14 56%
15 58%
16 62%
17 69%
18 77%
19 89%
20 92%
21 100%

The Dealer’s Blackjack Odds Table

All blackjack casinos apply a house edge, and because of this, the dealer will always hold the advantage and have greater odds of winning blackjack than you. The fact that the dealer takes their turn after you and can make decisions based on your outcomes doesn’t hurt either.

But keep in mind that the house rules for the game will affect the dealer’s blackjack odds. For instance, a dealer who must hit on soft 17 has a greater chance of winning than the one who must stand on soft 17.

Below, you can explore the chances of a dealer hitting a bust and how changing house rules can affect this.

Blackjack Probability of the Dealer Going Bust

Dealer’s Card Probability – Stand on 17 Probability – Hit 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%

What Are the Odds of Winning Blackjack?

Your blackjack win percentage or chances of winning can shoot up to 42.22%. But this doesn’t mean the other 57.78% goes to the house.

Instead, there is a third possibility that sees the round end in a push (a tie between the player and the dealer). On average, a blackjack game has an 8.48% chance of ending in a push.

In other words, the blackjack probability of a loss sits around 49.10%.

Handy Hint

In blackjack, a “push” refers to when both the player and the dealer tie or have the same hand value. In a push, you will typically receive your original wager back.

Blackjack Lightning game

Your odds of winning blackjack can fluctuate and largely depend on the game variant you choose, the player and dealer rules applied, and the way you play the game.

For instance, if you place random bets on the game instead of following a steadfast strategy, your chances of winning diminish substantially. To improve your odds of winning, we recommend you learn how to play blackjack in detail and implement a strategy or two to keep things running smoothly.

How do the Odds Between Different Blackjack Games Compare?

Since the odds of winning blackjack center largely on the variation you’ve chosen to play, reviewing the different game types and their individual odds becomes essential. Take a look below.

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American / Classic Blackjack

Classic or American Blackjack is the game you’ll find in most casinos. You play this variation using a deck of 52 cards. Here, the blackjack win percentage or probability sits at 42.22%, while the chance of getting 21 is 4.75%.

Since the house edge for classic blackjack is typically 0.61%, that means that if you wager $100 on a game, the casino will receive $0.61. Because the odds here are set at 3/2, you’ll receive 1.5x your original stake if you win your bet.

So, if you bet $100 and won, your profit would be $150, and your payout would be $250 (original stake + profit).

The probability of getting a specific hand in classic blackjack are as follows:

Hand Value Probability 
21 4.8%
17-20 30%
1-16 38.7%
No Bust 26.5%

American blackjack game.

European Blackjack

European blackjack differs slightly from the classic variant. Here, you play with two 52-card decks. Additionally, in this variation, the dealer doesn’t hit more after a soft 17, but because they don’t look at their cards, you could be betting for nothing if they have the winning hand.

Since these factors all balance each other out, the blackjack odds for the European game style are very close to those for classic blackjack, at around 42%.

While the European odds are also set at 3/2, the game is more profitable as it has a lower house edge of 0.39%, meaning your profits off a win will be greater.

Handy Hint

In blackjack, a “hit” refers to when you choose to add another card to your hand to try and get closer to 21. But, if you think that by taking another card you may bust, then you choose not to take another card or “stand.”

Blackjack Switch

Another variation on blackjack is blackjack switch. Here, you play with two hands while following the rules of American or classic blackjack. However, you can ‘switch’ between hands while you play.

For instance, if you have one hand with 3 and 11 and another with 9 and 10, you can switch or swap the 3 and the 10 to end up with 21 (blackjack) in one hand and 12 in the other.

Blackjack switch has the same probability as the other versions, set at 42%, as the game has unique rules, like all bets resulting in a push when the dealer hits 22.

Additionally, the blackjack house edge for switch is less than that for classic blackjack, at 0.58% – one of the lowest offered. However, the odds are set at 1/1, meaning it pays less than American blackjack. Here, for every $100 wagered, you win back $100 in profits.

Face Up 21

In this popular version of the game, all the cards are face up, so you can see the dealer’s cards. Here, the probability of winning is around 42%. But remember that in Face Up, a tie doesn’t end in a push but a loss.

Here, the blackjack house edge is the highest of all the variations, at 0.85%, and the odds of winning blackjack are just 1/1. As a result, players looking to turn a profit typically don’t choose this variation.

However, it is great for new players looking to practice their strategy or those who want to merely play for fun.

Free Bet Blackjack

In this unique variation, you can make specific additions to your game for free.

For example, you can split or use one card for one hand and another for your other hand when they are the same. Alternatively, you could double or increase your bet mid-hand, provided you have a hard 9, hard 10, or hard 11.

Free bet blackjack has the highest house edge so far, coming in at 1%; however, the odds of 3/2 even this out slightly.

Online Blackjack – You vs The Computer

When you play blackjack against the computer at an online casino, we generally refer to this as video blackjack. Here, the casino uses random number generation (RNG) software to create the outcomes, ensuring fair play. In this version, you typically play with only a single deck.

The house edge here can range from anywhere between 0.5% and 2% depending on the casino you sign up with. Again, the odds here vary between 1/1 and 3/2.

Online Blackjack – Live Dealer Games

If you’re looking for a more authentic game of blackjack while playing online, then live dealer gaming is the way to go. Here, you can experience a live casino game from the comfort of home.

Generally, live dealer blackjack follows the rules and format of classic blackjack. The blackjack house edge here varies between 0.49% and 0.72%, depending on your chosen casino. Additionally, the odds here are great and typically set at 3/2.

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Comparing the Odds: Blackjack Variations

While you can always use a blackjack odds calculator to work out the odds for each of the variations discussed above, we decided to make it easier for you and compile a comparison table:

Blackjack Variation Odds  House Edge
American/Classic Blackjack 3:2 0.61%
European Blackjack 3:2 0.39%
Switch Blackjack 1:1 0.58%
Face Up 21 1:1 0.85%
Free Bet 3:2 1%
Online – Video Blackjack 1:1 or 3:2 0.5% and 2%
Online – Live Dealer Blackjack 3:2 0.49% and 0.72%

Blackjack Hands and Their Odds

In addition to standard blackjack, you also have access to several other options or side bets you can play. These change the blackjack odds and the payout you receive, making it essential to know what they are, how they work, and the effect they have on your odds.

Insurance

One of the most popular side bets used in blackjack is insurance. This bet, present in all variations of the game, allows you to protect half of your stake. In other words, if the dealer has an Ace face-up and gets blackjack, you still earn a payout and can break even.

Surrender

If you have a suspicion that the true odds of winning blackjack aren’t set high enough, the casino may allow you to surrender. There are two ways to go about this:

  • Early surrender allows you to surrender half of your bet before the dealer looks to see if they have blackjack. However, casinos rarely offer this option.
  • Late surrender lets you surrender half of your wager after the dealer has checked their cards. Generally, this option is standard at casinos.

The Number of Decks Used

The number of decks a casino offers in a blackjack game ranges between one and eight. While the blackjack odds here remain the same, the probability is where things change slightly.

While the probability of winning blackjack remains unaffected, the probability of getting blackjack (21) differs. Additionally, the number of decks used will also affect the house edge, with the value shifting by 0.56% from a single-deck game to an 8-deck game.

21+3

This side bet allows you to wager on the value of the dealer’s face-up card and your first two cards. Here, there are five values to put your money on and we look at each of them and their relevant odds below:

Wager Type Bet Description Odds
Flush Three cards of the same type or suit (eg all diamonds or all clubs). 5:1
Straight Three cards that come one after the other (eg 3,4,5). 10:1
Three of a Kind Three cards of the same face value or overall value (eg a ing of diamonds, a king of spades, and a king of hearts). 30:1
Straight Flush Three cards of the same suit that come one after the other (eg three of clubs, four of clubs, and five of clubs). 40:1
Suited Three of a Kind In a multi-deck game, all three cards must have the same face value and the same suit (eg three kings of hearts). 100:1

Although the odds offered for 21+3 are exceptional, the chances of actually landing one of these bets are slim. Additionally, keep in mind here that the blackjack house advantage is high, ranging between 6.29% and 8.78%, depending on the number of decks used. However, things work slightly backward here, as the more decks involved, the lower the house edge.

Perfect Pairs

This bet works similarly to 21+3, but here, the focus rests only on your cards and their combinations. There are three perfect pairs wagers you can make:

Wager Type Bet Description Odds Probability
Perfect pair Two identical cards (eg 2 x two of clubs). 25:1 1.69%
Colored pair Two cards of the same value and color (eg queen of hearts and queen of diamonds – both red). 12:1 1.93%
Mixed pair Two cards of the same value (eg a two of spades and a two of hearts). 5:1 3.86%

While the paying odds are impressive here, the probability is extremely low. Additionally, the house edge rests between 2% – 11%, which is high compared to other blackjack bets.

Doubling

This option allows you to double your stake in the middle of a hand. While the paying odds remain the same here (3:2), you can double your earnings as you have essentially bet on the outcome twice.

Splitting

Some casinos offer the option of splitting, where you can “split” your first two cards into two separate hands. However, the casino also requires you to wager a second stake on your newly created second hand.

Splitting can work to your advantage if the dealer has a poor hand. Here, the blackjack odds remain at 3:2 when you split.

6 to 5 Odds

While blackjack odds of 3:2 are common in casinos, 6:5 odds are gaining popularity as the Vegas blackjack odds standard. However, it is essential to note the difference here:

  • 3:2 odds payout at 1.5x your initial stake
  • 6:5 odds payout at 1.2x your original bet

In other words, 6:5 odds offer a lesser payout and can cause you to lose money. As a result, if the casino offers you both 3:2 odds and 6:5 odds, always pick the 3:2 option.

Understanding  A Blackjack Payout

Your blackjack payout depends on the casino you are playing at. Typically a casino will offer blackjack payout odds of 3:2 with a house edge of around 0.5%. However, other casinos may offer payout odds of 6:5 or 1:1 (even money). The payout odds the casino provides directly influence the house edge.

Blackjack Payout Chart

Since blackjack payouts are relatively straightforward and usually set at 3:2, 6:5, or 1:1, they are easy to work out. However, the impact they have on the blackjack house advantage is a little more tricky. So, to make it easy for you, we created the blackjack payout chart below:

Blackjack Payout Blackjack House Edge
3:2 0.5%
6:5 1.9%
1:1 (even money) 2.8%

Blackjack Probability

While the terms odds and probability are frequently used interchangeably, they don’t mean the same thing and have several key differences. We explain the differences below:

Probability

We use probability to tell us how likely it is we will win our blackjack bet. Calculating probability is simple, and we do it by dividing the approximate chance of winning by all possible chances available.

For instance, if we have five cards and have to pick one, our probability equation is as follows:

1 (predicted chance of winning) / 5 (all chances) = 0.2 or 20%.

Odds

Blackjack odds offer a representation of chance and the amount we will receive in payouts on a specific bet. For instance, where we have five cards and can only pick one, our odds are 4:1. Here, we have four chances of losing and a single chance of winning.

But, in most cases, the second value doesn’t actually represent the odds of winning blackjack but, instead, the payout offered for the particular bet.

The Probability of Winning Blackjack

Playing blackjack using a single deck with 52 cards places the odds of being dealt blackjack (21) at 32/663 or 4.83%. In other words, your chances rest at 1 in every 20 hands.

However, if you are visiting the best online gambling sites that use RNG software, the blackjack probability remains fixed at 4.83%, provided you are playing single-deck blackjack.

However, if you switch to multi-deck blackjack, the probability decreases, but only by a minimal value. For instance, six decks typically carry a probability of 4.75%.

Since we don’t want you to have to spend time trying to work out the probability for the different deck numbers using a blackjack odds calculator, we created the following chart:

Number of Decks Probability 
1 4.827%
2 4.78%
3 4.764%
4 4.757%
5 4.752%
100 4.735%

Blackjack House Advantage

Blackjack stands out as one of the casino games with the lowest house edge or advantage. But by applying the best blackjack strategies, you can reduce the blackjack house odds even further. Below, we take an in-depth look at the blackjack house advantage and how it works.

What is the House Edge in Blackjack?

The house edge refers to the casino’s odds advantage over its players. Since the casino offers you the option to enjoy the game, it takes a commission, using the house edge to calculate the percentage of your first wager they can count as profit.

Brick-and-mortar and offshore online casinos use the game’s rules to calculate the blackjack house edge they apply. Imposing a house edge is one way a casino minimizes losses when you make a substantial win. Additionally, the blackjack house advantage makes you less likely to win your game, helping the casino maintain its profits and advantage.

Blackjack is popular among players for having one of the most favorable house edges. But there are a few things to remember here, like while a traditional blackjack game may have minimal blackjack house odds, variations on the game may carry a slightly higher house edge.

How to Minimize the Blackjack House Edge

The best way to reduce the blackjack house advantage and boost your chances of winning is knowing which choice to make and when, such as when to stand and hit.

Keeping a cool, controlled attitude toward the game will also go a long way. While it is easy to get caught up in the excitement, this is when you can easily make mistakes. So, follow the strategy you have chosen and remain laser-focused on the game.

Handy Hint

Brick-and-mortar casinos typically apply a slightly higher house edge than online casinos as they have more extensive overheads to meet. So, if you want the lowest blackjack house odds, try using an online casino.

Blackjack Odds vs Other Table Games

Blackjack offers some of the best odds. However, you may be interested to see how they compare when set against the odds offered for other popular casino games. Below, we have created a table highlighting the top casino games and their odds.

Casino Game House Edge
Blackjack 0.43% – 2%
Bingo 2.5% – 11%
Baccarat 1.06% – 1.24%
Roulette (Single Zero) 2.7%
Roulette (Double Zero) 5.3%
Craps 1.36% – 1.41%
Ultimate Texas Hold’em 2.20%
Pai Gow Poker 2.84%
Video Poker 0.05% – 2%
Video Keno 8% – 15%
Slots 5% – 15%

Blackjack Return to Player (RTP)

The RTP or return to player is the opposite of the house edge. This value highlights the expected return you will make by playing an extensive number of hands of blackjack. In other words, while the house edge declares the casinos advantage, the RTP highlights that of the player.

For example, if the game you are playing has an RTP of 97%, that means that for every $100 you wager, you would get a return of $97 on average, over a long period of time. However, there is no guarantee of this actually happening.

Blackjack offers a relatively high RTP value of 99.5%, although this can vary according to the online version you are playing, with popular titles usually offering a higher RTP. However, you can always check the RTP off an online game by looking under the game’s info tab. Keep in mind that it is always best to opt for the games with the highest RTPs.

Blackjack Odds FAQs

What are the best odds at the blackjack table?

Does blackjack have the best odds in a casino?

Is blackjack a 50/50 chance?

Are blackjack odds against you?

What are the odds of busting on 12 in blackjack?

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Resources

Aneeca Younas
Social and Sweeps Casino Expert
Aneeca Younas
Social and Sweeps Casino Expert

Aneeca is an expert at observing the online industry from the perspective of a player. She has loved games ever since she was a kid. It started by playing social games like poker on Facebook and gathering with friends to enjoy card games like blackjack. Aneeca later became interested in online gambling sites and started writing reviews about them. Today, she has over eight years of experience in that department, writing for platforms like Basketball Insiders and Gambling Penn. In her free time, she enjoys playing board games with her children.