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Initial Combinations in Blackjack at Live Casino


How many card combination can you get when playing blackjack? How often do they form? What probability of winning or losing does each one of them have? In this article, we will give you answers to several interesting questions concerning initial hands at blackjack. Note that the statistical data mentioned in the article is correct for blackjack with six decks only.

Frequency of initial combination being dealt

Two cards the dealer deals to you at the beginning of every round can form 34 different combinations: Hard hands from five to nineteen, Soft hands from Ace/Two to Ace/Ten, and pairs of Aces to Tens (“ten” means any card that is worth 10 points).

Initial Combinations in Blackjack at Live Casino

These combinations are formed with different frequency. As the deck has more 10-point cards, a pair of tens comes up more frequently, in 9.2% of all cases – which is pretty good for players.

The second place goes to twelve and thirteen (8.1%) followed by Hard fourteen, fifteen (7%) and sixteen (6%) points. In general, the first two cards bring from twelve to sixteen points most often. As these combinations require making tough decisions, you should learn the basic strategy. Blackjack comes up in about 4.7% of all cases. Pairs of equal cards (1%) and “soft” hands come up the least often.

Theoretical advantage of different combinations

Now let’s see what chances of winning or losing certain hands have. Blackjack with almost 150% occupies the top position in this rating. It’s paid 3:2.Blackjack is followed by twenty points formed from Ace and Nine and pair of Tens (around 60%). The third place goes to “hard” eleven and nineteen points (around 23%).
Soft hands and pairs from Twos to Eights are unbeneficial combinations for the player. “Hard” hands with twelve to sixteen points are the worst for the player: the house edge is that case is around 30-40%.

Profitability of combinations

Taking into account frequency of combinations and probability of winning/losing, we can calculate profitability of every combination, i.e. determine which initial combinations bring you the largest winnings or losses.

The following hands are the most beneficial for the player (in the order of decreasing profitability): blackjack, pair of Tens, Eleven, Nineteen, Ten, Ace/Nine, Ace/Eight, pair of Aces, pair of Fives, and pair of Nines.

The largest losses are caused by the following hands: “hard” Twelve through Sixteen, Five, Six and Seven; “soft” Thirteen through Seventeen; pairs of Twos, Threes, Fours, Sixes, Sevens and Eights; “hard” Seventeen or Eighteen are not welcome either.

We hope that this information on different start combinations will help you understand and play blackjack better.