What Busting in Blackjack Really Means

Busting is awful. It’s such a letdown when playing blackjack, especially if you’ve been on a decent run. Things are going well, the cards are flowing, and then it happens, you get dealt a stiff hand against a higher dealer up card and bust. The high of winning is over. Bummer.

Busting is just a part of the game of blackjack though. It’s part of the risk of this game. You might not win. And not winning in this game could mean that you hit for more than 21. It doesn’t matter if you prefer online blackjack over blackjack in a brick and mortar casino, busting happens. It even happens if you’re playing a variation of blackjack. You can still bust there too.

To the majority of blackjack players busting only means losing. But busting isn’t just about losing a round and some money. It has a hand in your blackjack odds.

No, really, it does. Busting actually feeds into the house edge. So it can be said that busting increases the house’s edge and decreases your own blackjack odds.

Busting can increase the dealer’s odd and decrease yours because you are the player. And the player plays out his hand first. And if the player busts at the end of his turn he is done and his money is collected. Even if the dealer busts later, it won’t matter to the player because the player’s bust is already over with.

It is this—the busting before the dealer’s turn and losing no matter if he busts himself—that increases the dealer’s odds.

Odds is about making money. When you have better chances of making money or flat out win, your blackjack odds increase and the dealer’s decrease. But if you lose and the dealer gets your money, then the house edge goes up.

And because the dealer gets your money when you bust regardless of him busting or not, it increases his own odds. So busting isn’t just about losing a round, it’s about the trade-off of blackjack odds.