Blackjack Odds

Pretend you joined a table where six decks have just been shuffled by the dealer. You sit on third base with a bet on every two spots. You know that there are 96 10s within the 6-deck shoe, but don't know where they are. The initial round then gets dealt to you and four more players.

Example Number One

Imagine everyone gets dealt small cards while the dealer holds a face-up 2. Imagine that every player prior to you takes a hit to get a third small card. Your turn is up. Hand one is 8-4 and hand two is 8-3. 17 cards are already out. No 10s have come up yet. How should your hands be played, then?

Are you going to follow the basic strategy by hitting the 12 and doubling down the 11 or will you save any potential upcoming 10 for the 11 and stand on the 12?

You know that is highly likely a 10 will appear, but there is one vital question. Is the following card going to be the 10 or the second one? This is the time where players misunderstand probability laws and play wrong. Here is the right answer.

After the cards were shuffled, 30% of those cards were 10s. Because no one knew the order, every other card had 30% chances of being 10s. After 17 non-10s got dealt, 32% could be 10s from the cards left. However, with an unknown order, every other card had 32% chances of being 10s. As difficult as it might be to actually accept this, there is no likelihood that one card will be more of a 10 than the other!

Example Number Two

Now, if you were playing draw poker right now, what would you think your chances are of getting a flush for your first hand? 504:1. However, i f you realize that you have four spades cards, what would your chances be of getting a flush, then? 4:1! This is because you already have four parts to make it. Getting an instant flush and getting one after having four flushes are completely different! So, on the same note, dealing 18 non-10s in blackjack would be a big long shot, though it would be likely!

So keep in mind that after seeing a slew of low or high cards appear during blackjack, you shouldn't play wrong and assume that one card has a higher likelihood of being something than the other. Provided there are still 2 cards remaining, this will never be true!

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