What happens if the dealer busts in blackjack?

Profile Picture: Simon Young

March 11th, 2021

There are two reactions at a blackjack table when the dealer busts. Those still in the hand are delighted, while those who have busted already are indifferent.

As you probably know, the idea of blackjack is to make a total as close to 21 as you can without busting (going over 21). If you bust, you lose your bet, and your part in the hand is over. If you stand or stick on a total, you must hope it is higher than the dealer’s total to win.

And if the dealer goes on to bust? If you are still in the hand, you win, no matter what your total is.

Now, there are those who say blackjack is purely a game of luck because it all rides on the turn of a card. Well, that is partly so. However, the whole truth is that there is a blackjack strategy you can employ that will greatly improve your chances of making a profit.

It all depends on the chances of the dealer going on to bust. If they are high, you can stand on almost anything and win. If they are low, you might want to take another card and edge closer to 21 yourself.

But what are the odds of the dealer busting? We’re glad you asked!

Blackjack Dealer Bust Odds

When you sit down in a casino to play blackjack, hopefully nursing a refreshing drink of some sort, or when you play online at a cool site like TwinSpires Casino, you should take notice of one thing more than any other.

What is the dealer’s upcard?

With that information, you can make a better-informed decision about how to play your hand. It all comes down to the probability that the next card you or the dealer gets will be valued 10 since 10s, jacks, queens, and kings are all that value.

Given that the dealer’s downcard is more likely to be a 10, you can better understand the likelihood he will go on to bust.

Say his upcard is a six. Now, assume his downcard is a 10, giving him 16. He is forced to take another card, which will likely send him over 21. In this case, you can afford to stand on any hand over 11 (you always take another card at 11 or below because you cannot bust).

But let’s say his upcard is a 10 or an ace – now you must assume his second card is a 10 or nine, giving him a high total without busting. In this scenario, you need to try and get a high score.

Blackjack dealer bust percentages

Need it in black and white? Here are the odds of the dealer going on to bust when he is showing the following upcards:

  • 2 – 35.30%
  • 3 – 37.56%
  • 4 – 40.28%
  • 5 – 42.89%
  • 6 – 42.08%
  • 7 – 25.99%
  • 8 – 23.86%
  • 9 – 23.34%
  • 10,J,Q,K – 21.43%
  • A – 11.65%

As you can see, the worst upcard for the dealer is five, carrying a 42.89% chance of him going bust, swiftly followed by six and four. But the dealer’s chances increase slightly below four and all the way up to the ace, where he has only an 11.65% chance of busting.

Using this information, you can make informed decisions about playing on in a hand and taking more cards, standing on just about anything, or splitting and doubling down to get more money on the table if the percentages are in your favor, and you have a strong hand yourself.

Try Out What Happens if the Dealer Busts in Blackjack

Having taken the trouble to explain so clearly what happens if the dealer busts in blackjack, the least you can do is take the information away and put it to good use.

As luck would have it, you can sign up with TwinSpires Casino today, claim a generous welcome bonus and test your new blackjack knowledge. Remember, apply a solid but basic blackjack strategy, and you will be up against the lowest house edge in the casino – only around 0.5%. Good luck at the tables!