The Science of Blackjack: Understanding Probabilities and Making Informed Decisions

Blackjack, a card-based game, has traditionally been the favorite of Casino-goers. Blackjack is an exception to traditional gambling games where luck plays a predominant role, and the Casino has the edge over the player. This is because a smart game plan and prolonged practice can ensure a player wins in a game of Blackjack.

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How Exactly Is Blackjack Played And How To Win A Game?

How Exactly Is Blackjack Played

If you are an experienced player, you will know exactly how Blackjack is played. However, if you are new to the world of card-based games, this blog post will guide you on how Blackjack is played and how to maximize the chances of winning.

A game of Blackjack is played against a dealer or the house and not against other fellow players. The dealer deals two cards to each of the players and has two cards for himself. One of the dealer’s cards is kept face-up for all players to see.

The aim is to have a combined value of cards greater than the dealer’s. However, the combined value should not exceed twenty-one. Moreover, a player also has an opportunity to split his cards, so if he gets two cards of the same number or if he gets an ace, he can split (play two hands instead of one).

The chances of getting a combined value of cards higher than that of the dealer without exceeding twenty-one is a game of probability. Many experienced players use techniques like card counting to gauge the probability of getting a score higher than that of the dealer.

The card counting technique considers all the cards that are face up, meaning that those cards have been used. So if three out of four cards of a rank are already in the face-up position, then only one card of that rank is left to be disclosed. If a player needs seven to win and three sevens are already on the table, the probability of winning is low, and he should not continue the game.

The card counting technique is one scientific way to determine a good move in Blackjack; however, many other ways in which an informed choice can improve your chances of winning Blackjack are discussed here.

Double On A Score Of Nine, Ten

Double On A Score Of Nine, Ten

When the value of your hand is nine or ten, there is a high probability of drawing a card whose value is ten (four chances out of thirteen). So if you already have a value of nine or ten and you get a card of ten, the total will be nineteen or twenty, giving you the highest chance of winning.

Also, the value of the dealer’s face-up card must be factored in while deciding on the next move. If the dealer has a card whose value is seven or eight, he can get a score of seventeen or eighteen if he has a ten in his set. So in order to beat the dealer, you must double when you have nine or ten, as that increases the chances that you get nine or twenty even if the dealer has seventeen or eighteen.

Always Split Aces

Blackjack Split aces

An ace is a great advantage in Blackjack because it can be used as one or eleven. Moreover, you can ask for a split if you have two aces. When a player has two cards of identical ranks, be it two fives, two eights, or two aces, he can ask for a split. Once a player asks for a split, the dealer gives him two more cards, one for each set, and he can place bets on both hands separately; this increases his chances of winning. As he now has two hands instead of one.

Now, if a player has two aces and does not split, he can have a combined value of two or twelve. Two is not a good value to beat the dealer’s hand, and with twelve, the chances of exceeding twenty-one are quite high. So it is always advisable to split an ace. If you split the aces and play each ace as eleven, then the chances of getting a high score, not exceeding twenty-one, are pretty high.

Always Split Eights

Always Split Eights in blackjack

You must always split if you get two cards with a value of eight. Now the combined value of two eights is sixteen, and sixteen is considered the worst hand in Blackjack. When you have a total of sixteen, then there are sixteen other cards in the pack that have a value greater than ten ( four from each suit). As such, there is a high probability that the total value of the dealer’s card will be more than yours. And if  you ask for another card, odds are  high that you will have more than twenty-one. So it is always better to split the cards and play them as separate hands.

Never Splits Fives

If you get a pair of two fives, it is best to play a single hand and not split the cards. If you have two fives, a combined hand of ten gives you a high probability of winning, and you must double if you have this hand and the dealer has any card from two through nine.


Thus, winning a game of Blackjack is fairly possible if you have a good strategy that you can follow without being impulsive. However, Casinos have some restrictions like limitations on the number of ace splits that they allow.

Despite these limitations, with a good understanding of probabilities and using strategies like card counting, many professional gamblers have been able to win consistently and make a living out of it. However, it takes a lot of practice to master the strategy and be calm all through the game to win consistently, even when the game is determined more by mathematics and less by luck.