You can use the **bins **argument to modify the number of bins used in a pandas histogram:

df.plot.hist(columns=['my_column'], bins=10)

The default number of bins used in a pandas histogram is 10.

The following example shows how to use the **bins **argument in practice.

**Example: How to Change Number of Bins in Pandas Histogram**

Suppose we have the following pandas DataFrame that contains information about points scored by basketball players on various teams:

import pandas as pd import numpy as np #make this example reproducible np.random.seed(1) #create DataFrame df = pd.DataFrame({'team': np.repeat(['A', 'B', 'C'], 100), 'points': np.random.normal(loc=20, scale=2, size=300)}) #view head of DataFrame print(df.head()) team points 0 A 23.248691 1 A 18.776487 2 A 18.943656 3 A 17.854063 4 A 21.730815

If we create a histogram to visualize the distribution of values for the **points** variable, pandas will use 10 bins in the histogram by default:

#create histogram to visualize distribution of points df.plot.hist(column=['points'], edgecolor='black')

Notice how there are 10 bars in the histogram.

However, suppose we use the **bins** argument to change the total number of bins to 20:

#create histogram with 20 bins df.plot.hist(column=['points'], edgecolor='black', bins=20)

Notice how there are now 20 bars in the histogram.

We could also decrease the number of bins to 5:

#create histogram with 5 bins df.plot.hist(column=['points'], edgecolor='black', bins=5)

There are now 5 total bars in the histogram.

Feel free to adjust the value for the **bins** argument to create the exact histogram you’d like.

However, keep the following in mind when choosing the number of bins:

- If you choose too few bins, the true underlying pattern in the data may be hidden.
- If you choose too many bins, you may just be visualizing the noise in the data.

One helpful way to determine the optimal number of bins to use in a histogram is to use Sturges’ Rule.

**Additional Resources**

The following tutorials explain how to perform other common tasks in pandas:

How to Create a Histogram from Pandas DataFrame

How to Create a Histogram from a Pandas Series

How to Plot Histograms by Group in Pandas