Here's Your Chance To Compare Your Blackjack Moves With 900,000 Players

Likelihood of Player Win

Of all the games found in a casino, blackjack is among the most popular, owing to its simple nature, low barrier to entry, and reputation as one of the few games with a low house edge. Blackjack, a card game against the dealer, revolves around the number 21: the dealer and players alike attempt to reach a hand value of 21 – or close to it – without going over, known as busting.

When a player is able to hit 21 using any combination of cards, they have hit a blackjack, and automatically win. Unfortunately for blackjack enthusiasts out there, winning the game by scoring 21 outright is fairly rare - for players, we only see a blackjack about 10.4% of the time.

Interesting enough, the most common final score for players is actually 20, just shy of the magic number. In fact, a player can expect to end with a score of 20 about 16.3% of the time. Although just short of a guaranteed win, 20 points will still win 70% of games and tie in another 18.5%, so being dealt two face cards isn't anything to complain about.

Here's how often players end at every value:

Blackjack, although a game of luck, involves very critical decisions: to say "hit me" or to "stand". The decision can be easy: if you have a very low card total, you'll almost always want to accept another; conversely, if you have a high total, another card is most likely to ruin your game. The tough decision making comes when players are sitting somewhere in the middle.

Think you have what it takes to beat the dealer? Try playing our blackjack simulator, and see just how often other players agree with your decisions:

As you might have noticed in our blackjack simulator, the strategy of most players is remarkably consistent: players universally say "hit me!" when they're sitting at a value of 11 or less – since there is no card in the deck that could cause them to bust at that point. Meanwhile, not a single player with a hand value of 18 or higher ever accepted a card. Even if there was a chance a player with a hand of 18 could draw a 3 and win the game, they never wanted to risk it.

The middleground we discussed earlier, where players really have to make a tough call on whether to stay or take another card, is therefore a hand value of 12 to 16: most players actually stay even when in this area, but there's a sizable group who are willing to risk it. So if you often found yourself clicking "Hit Me" with a hand value of 15 or 16, you might just consider yourself a risk taker! Of course, perhaps you'd think twice if your money was on the line...


The data used in this article comes from Kaggle and was generated by code meant to replicate actual players. Each row represents a unique player in a game; every six rows represent a unique game, in which all artificial players shared a deck and dealer, which helps the card distribution represent that of an actual casino experience. Code used to analyze the data can be found on GitHub.