11 Jan

Blackjack Bust Out Rates for Dealer and Player

How often does a blackjack dealer bust?

Not often enough – ha! Sorry, that’s just a little sore-gamblers humor. If you’re reading this because you wanted a serious answer to that question, you’ve come to the right place. Today’s write-up has everything to do with blackjack bust out rates; not just for the dealer, but for players as well.

Basic strategy charts tell players how to react—when to hit, stand, double or split—in every possible situation. But it’s not uncommon for players to question that advice. For example, under common rules, a proper chart will instruct us to hit 16 against a dealer’s 7 or higher.

Calling for another card on 16 when the dealer shows 7 can be a gut-wrenching decision. A lot of players will even get scared and back down. Doing the same against a 10 is a lot easier, though. For most, it takes little more than a calming breath. However, if you break down the math, you stand to gain 8 cents more on the dollar hitting 16 against a 7 (as opposed to standing), but only 2 cents more against a 10. So, theoretically, players should feel more comfortable in the first scenario.

The purpose of showing you realistic blackjack bust out rates is to hopefully ease your mind when it comes to decisions like this. Of course, counting cards and estimating the number of high and low cards left in the shoe will alter these percentages. For practicality, the following info is based on the assumption of a full shoe to deal from.

Blackjack Dealer Bust Rate

The likelihood of the dealer busting with any given up-card has a lot to do with whether the player is better off hitting or standing on a specific total. The higher the dealer’s odds of busting, the lower the chances you’ll be asked to hit your hand in a scary situation (like 16). The opposite is true when the dealer’s odds of busting are on the low end.

 Blackjack Bust Rate – Dealer Up Card Odds of Bust 2 35.30% 3 37.56% 4 40.28 5 42.89% 6 42.08% 7 25.99% 8 23.86% 9 23.34% Any 10 21.43% Ace 11.65%

For the record, the dealer’s overall odds of busting on any hand is 28.36%. The card the dealer is most likely to bust while showing is 5; the least likely (except for Ace, of course) is any 10.

Blackjack Player Bust Out Rate

What gives the casino its resounding edge in blackjack is the simple fact that, before the dealer can bust, the player must complete his hand. If the player busts first, the house automatically wins, no matter what happens to the dealer’s hand thereafter.

As we all know, hitting a total of 12 or more can be a precarious thing. When I was a youngster, first learning to play 21 from my grandfather, nothing struck fear into my heart more than being dealt a 12 or 13. It was so close to a good, safely hittable hand, yet the lowest that can still bust in pursuit of something better.

Over time of course, learning the true odds of busting from a player-hand perspective, combined with the blackjack dealer bust out rate, made me feel a lot more comfortable about my situation.

 Blackjack Bust Rate – Player Total Odds of Bust 12 30.77% 13 38.46% 14 46.15% 15 53.85% 16 61.54% 17 69.23% 18 76.92% 19 84.62% 20 92.31%