Luck vs skill – what really matters in blackjack?

Whenever you visit a casino, you’ll find that there’s a great mix of games. Part of this mix involves games that are purely based on luck and those that require skill. There’s no doubting the fact that slots are all about luck. That’s one of the things that makes them so exciting and popular. Then you have the likes of video poker where skill is a must. Read more about luck vs skill in relation to Blackjack. 

You may wonder where blackjack sits between these games. Is it a game that resembles a slot or is more akin to video poker?  We’re going to take a look at just what matters in blackjack and we’re also going to cover ways that can see you boost your winnings.

21+ | Terms & Conditions Apply | NJ Residents Only
Betmgm$25 FREE on Signup
100% up to $1.000 on First Deposit
Hotspot Leaderboard
Visit Casino
Luck Vs Skill

Luck vs skill – Blackjack is about luck and skill

When you look at blackjack, it quickly becomes apparent that it’s unique in terms of casino games. As you play, you have the ability to make numerous decisions. All of these decisions have an impact on the outcome of the game. 

During every hand, you have basic choices such as hitting or standing. Then there are options such as doubling down or surrendering. Whatever choice you make will alter the outcome of the game. That makes blackjack a game of skill.

That being said, blackjack still needs a healthy dose of luck. You have no control over the cards that you’re initially dealt. You also have no control of the cards that the dealer is holding. It’s quite plausible that you could lose a game without even having the opportunity to make a decision. When looking at blackjack like this, it’s clear that luck plays a major part. 

Where skill matters – Luck vs skill

As we’ve said, when you’re playing a hand of blackjack you are faced with numerous decisions that you need to make. It’s rarely about a single choice: there are usually multiple to take. As an example, let’s say:

  • Your hand is 7-7
  • The dealer’s upturned card is a 6
  • You decide to split
  • You’re left with one hand totalling 15 and the other adding up to 17
  • At this stage, you’re faced with at least one new decision with each of your hands

When you take it back to a basic level, you’re going to have to decide if you’re going to hit or stand. The exception here is if you’re holding a natural blackjack.

When you start to get into blackjack strategy, the game begins to become more and more about skill. It goes beyond merely deciding whether you should hit or stand. You then have other choices to face such as doubling down and splitting. You need to be able to identify what the best decisions are.

Luck vs skill – How luck comes into play 

We’re big believers in blackjack strategy, but that doesn’t mean that it brings guaranteed wins. It’s possible that one player may have the most in-depth knowledge of every strategy going, but still lose more than the person sitting next to them who knows absolutely nothing. How does this happen? Well, this is where luck rears its head. 

Lady Luck certainly plays a role when it comes to the cards that you’re dealt. Even when you’ve reviewed your cards and identified the perfect next step, you have no control over the cards that the delver is holding. Of course, you can see the one card, but knowing what the second card is becomes a gamble. 

Here’s a perfect example of when you need Lady Luck on your side:

  • Your initial cards are 5-7
  • You can see that the dealer’s upturned card is a 10
  • You decide to hit and draw a 9 – that leaves you with 21
  • The dealer also decides to hit. they draw an 8 and go bust

No strategy could ensure that outcome. It’s purely and simply down to luck. 

So, which matters more?

What we’ve just looked at makes one thing abundantly clear – luck and skill both matter when it comes to playing blackjack. Knowing which has the biggest bearing on a game isn’t easy to establish, but let’s try.

There is no doubt that blackjack requires a degree of skill. There are strategies to learn and implement that can give you an upper hand and see your winning streaks increase. That being said, we come down on the side of saying that luck is the biggest factor

The reality is that you could be the worst blackjack layer going but you could still enjoy RTP of around 90%. This means a house edge of just 10%. Now, we’re not claiming that 90% is great when it comes to blackjack. You can achieve this with some of the very worst slot machines. However, it still gives you the opportunity, as a bad player, to win more times than you lose.

Should I still focus on strategy?

While we have said that luck plays the biggest role when playing blackjack, that doesn’t mean that you should be ignoring strategy. This is still a game where you have a degree of control, and mastering strategies can still put the odds in your favour.

If you take care in choosing the tables that you play at, and if you’ve got to grips with blackjack strategy, you can bring the house edge to below 1%. Yes, you’ll still need luck on your side, but what other game gives you the opportunity of bringing the house edge down so low? That’s why you should still take the time to learn.


Just like other casino games, luck is the biggest factor when it comes to winning. The truth is that most outcomes are based upon the cards that you’re dealt and you have no control over this aspect.

However, there is still a need to master strategies. By honing your skills you can learn how to make the right decisions, no matter what your hand, and to at least increase your chances of a win. Even if it doesn’t lead to a victory, it certainly improves your odds. 

21+ | Terms & Conditions Apply | NJ Residents Only
Betmgm$25 FREE on Signup
100% up to $1.000 on First Deposit
Hotspot Leaderboard
Visit Casino
Blackjack BetMGM