Blackjack Push : Complete Guide | LeoVegas

Blackjack Push Guide

Every person who has stepped foot in a casino is likely to be familiar with the game of blackjack. Furthermore, everyone who has acquainted themselves with blackjack knows that the primary goal in the game is to beat the dealer's hand without exceeding the total of 21.

That said, have you ever wondered what happens when you have the same hand (a tie) as the dealer? That's precisely what a blackjack push is.

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This in-depth guide will cover everything, including what constitutes a blackjack push, the odds, and advanced push scenarios.


Definition of Blackjack Push

Blackjack game is a casino staple with at least one variant in almost every online or physical gambling venue. It is considered to be one of the easiest casino games to master once you grasp the basic rules and learn what each card is worth. Regardless of the variant, these basic rules remain similar, one of which makes up a blackjack push.

So, how exactly does a push work? A push in blackjack is a tie. That would mean the dealer and player have hands worth the same value. Neither party wins when there's a tie, and the player who caused the push gets back everything they staked, including the initial bet, splitting pairs, and double-down bets.

Nonetheless, this part where all bets are returned may not apply to some blackjack variants. With that in mind, always check the rules of the specific table or casino to be sure what applies when there's a push.

Exploring the Odds

The odds of a push can vary slightly depending on the specific rules and number of decks used in the game. Further, the chance of getting a push depends on the player's hand value and the dealer's upcard. Below are the odds of a push in some common situations:

  • If the player has a total of 20 and the dealer's upcard is a 10-value card or an Ace, the probability of a push is around 8.5% (the dealer has a chance of having a total of 20 with their hole card)
  • The player has a total of 19, and the dealer's up-card is a 7, 8, or 9; the probability of a push is around 6.8%
  • The player's hand is a Blackjack (total of 21), and the dealer's up-card is an Ace; the probability of a push is around 7.7% (the dealer has a chance of also having Blackjack)

It's safe to say that the probability of a push in blackjack is around 8-9%, which means that out of every 100 hands played, you can expect to push (tie) in about 8 or 9 of those hands.

Impact of Pushes on Player Decisions

While pushes in Blackjack may seem like simple tie situations, they can significantly influence how players approach the game in terms of betting strategies and risk management.

For example, some players like to use betting systems or progressions where they adjust their bet sizes based on previous outcomes. Such strategies will be disrupted once there's a push. Some players may even view a push as a loss, even though it is more of a null bet situation. These players may adjust their bets as they would if they lost. Likewise, those who see pushes for what they are may just proceed with their strategies as if the previous round never occurred.

Card counters may also have difficulty proceeding with their advantage play strategy since the deck's composition doesn't change with a push. This does not affect the running count or true count directly but means one more hand where the count remains unchanged, potentially disrupting the rhythm of their betting strategy.

Regarding risk management, a push can be seen as a missed opportunity or a relief. It all depends on how the game progressed up until the point of the tie.

For instance, a player who is ahead and encounters a push could play more aggressively in an attempt to maximize their next possible winning opportunity. Conversely, if a player is down and experiences a push, they may perceive it as a relief from incurring additional losses. This could prompt them to become more conservative in their play or even consider walking away before they incur more losses.

Moreover, the frequency of pushes can impact a player's overall risk exposure. A game with more frequent pushes than expected only means a slower build-up of winnings or a slower depletion of losses, which will alter a player's risk profile over time.

Advanced Push Scenarios

Pushes in standard blackjack hands are relatively straightforward, but certain decisions can introduce unique push scenarios. Let's consider splitting pairs, doubling down, and surrendering.

Splitting Pairs

A player can split their initial two cards of the same rank into two hands. In this scenario, if either of the resulting hands ties with the dealer's hand, that particular hand results in a push. For example, if a player splits a pair of 8s and one resulting hand totals 16, and the dealer also has a hand totalling 16, a push occurs for that specific hand. The player receives their original bet for the pushed hand, while any additional bets made on the split hands will be resolved as wins or losses.

Doubling Down

After receiving their first two cards, a player can double their initial bet. If the player doubles down and the resulting hand ties with the dealer's hand, that's a push. While the doubled bet is returned to the player in the event of a push, they'd also have automatically risked twice their original bet amount on that hand.


Some blackjack variants offer a "surrender" option where players can forfeit their hand for half of their original bet. This option is typically available only on the player's initial two-card hand. If a player decides to surrender, they avoid the risk of a push or a loss on that hand. However, there is the potential lost opportunity of not playing out a hand that could have resulted in a win.

Blackjack Push FAQs

Below are some commonly asked questions related to push in blackjack:

What does it mean to push in blackjack?

A push in Blackjack occurs when the player and the dealer have hands of equal value, resulting in a tie. Neither the player nor the dealer wins the hand.

Do you get your money back on a push in Blackjack?

Yes, in the event of a push, the player's original bet is returned to them, and no money is won or lost.

Can you push on 21 in Blackjack?

Yes, pushing on 21 (a Blackjack hand) is possible if the dealer also has a Blackjack, resulting in a tie situation.

What are the odds of a push in Blackjack?

The overall probability of a push in Blackjack is around 8-9%, meaning that out of every 100 hands played, you can expect to tie in about 8 or 9 of those hands.

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