One of the most popular games at a casino is blackjack, mainly due to its simplicity and easy-to-understand rules. Once you understand the basics of how to play blackjack, there are other important aspects that a player should know, such as calculating your odds of winning. If you know the odds of winning each hand of blackjack, you will be one step ahead of the game.
How to Figure the Odds of Winning at Blackjack
- Know how many decks are used: The most important step in calculating your odds is knowing how many decks are used at your table. Casinos will vary the amount of decks used making the number of cards different at every table.
- Know the Table Rules: The next thing you need to do is know all the rules for your specific table. House rules will also vary by casino and even each table in the casino. Some may let you double down on any 2 cards, others will only allow it only on your initial hand. Other factors, such as when to split, surrender, and how a blackjack pays out, will ultimately determine the odds.
- Blackjack Card Counting: Once you have all the rules and other factors down, you need to do some simple math. Blackjack card counting is a system of basic math which allows you to predict the remaining cards in the deck. You will need to mentally keep track of a running total of values assigned to each hand dealt. You can write the numbers down if you’re playing blackjack online, but in a casino this will most likely not be allowed. Unless you’re the “Rain Man,” it’s best to use a blackjack calculator. This will be the easiest way to count cards in blackjack, but you can’t use any mechanical devices in a brick-and-mortar casino.
Use a Blackjack Chart
Even though it will be very difficult to calculate your odds of winning blackjack in your head, there are some easy statistics that you can use to your advantage. Once you begin to study and learn the basic probabilities tables and blackjack charts, you will dramatically increase your odds of winning blackjack.
With careful study and practice, you will begin to instantly recognize when you have the advantage over the dealer. In those cases, it’s time to increase your bet. When the odds are stacked against you, this is the time to surrender (if surrender is allowed in the table rules) or bet the minimum.
It’s easy to see that when the dealer has between a 4 and 6 his chances of busting are the greatest. This is why a basic strategy will dictate that you should almost always stand when the dealer’s up card is one of these. Knowing how to play blackjack to win is more about knowing when and how to bet.
Knowing the odds of winning blackjack will help you make well-informed decisions while playing blackjack online or in a land-based casino. If you have an awareness of basic blackjack probability, you can adjust your play to an optimal state. Using the calculator and the stats provided – your next blackjack venture is sure to be profitable!