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Chances of busting

As strange as it may seem, one of the least known pieces of blackjack strategy involves knowing your odds of busting with different hands. For instance, if you have a score total of 15 and you hit, you have a 58% chance of busting. Knowing little facts like this is very useful when you’re using an outside-of-the-box blackjack strategy that deviates from a strategy chart. This being said, here are the chances of busting when you hit each score total:

  • Hit on 21 = 100% chance of busting
  • Hit on 20 = 92% chance of busting
  • Hit on 19 = 85% chance of busting
  • Hit on 18 = 77% chance of busting
  • Hit on 17 = 69% chance of busting
  • Hit on 16 = 62% chance of busting
  • Hit on 15 = 58% chance of busting
  • Hit on 14 = 56% chance of busting
  • Hit on 13 = 39% chance of busting
  • Hit on 12 = 31% chance of busting
  • Hit on 11 or less = 0% chance of busting.

As you can see, you’re going to bust better than 50% of the time when you hit a score of 14 and up. The obvious conclusion that you can draw from this is that you want to avoid hitting once you get past a score of 13, especially when you get above 16.

Unfortunately, the dealer’s upcard will also dictate when you hit or stand, which sometimes requires hitting on 15 or 16. However, no dealer upcard is bad enough to force you to hit on 17 or above, seeing as how there’s a 69% chance or better of busting in this situation.

In regards to hitting on the number 21, outside of Austin Powers, few have been bold enough to try this move since it promises to bust your hand 100% of the time.

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