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Blackjack Side Bets — Analyzed
Introduction
This appendix shall explain and analyze some blackjack side bets I have seen. In the U.S. a W2G tax form is generated on any table game win that exceeds $600 and pays 300 to 1 or more.
21+3
Information on this side bet has been moved to my page on 21+3.
Blazing 7's
Please see my page on Blazing 7's.
Super Sevens
Information about this bet has been moved to my page on Super Sevens.
Blackjack Match
Please see my page on Blackjack Match for more information on this side bet.
Buster Blackjack
Please see my page on Buster Blackjack for more information on this side bet.
Millionaire Maker
Please see my page on Millionaire Maker for more information on this side bet.
Crazy Sevens
Crazy Sevens is the same thing as Super Sevens but with a different pay table. Both are addressed in my Super Sevens page.
Royal Match
The royal match is a simple bet that pays a bonus if the first two cards are suited (an easy match) and a top bonus for a suited king and queen (a royal match). Below are probability tables for two versions I have seen.
Royal Match — Version 1 — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Royal match  25  144  0.002968  0.074202 
Easy match  2.5  11,868  0.244620  0.611551 
No match  1  36,504  0.752412  0.752412 
Total  48,516  1.000000  0.066658 
Royal Match — Version 2 — One Deck
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Royal match  10  4  0.003017  0.030166 
Easy match  3  308  0.232278  0.696833 
No match  1  1,014  0.764706  0.764706 
Total  1,326  1.000000  0.037707 
The following table displays the house edge for each version given the number of decks used.
Royal Match House Edge
Number of Decks  Version 1  Version 2 

1  0.108597  0.037707 
2  0.083271  0.008215 
4  0.070792  0.006317 
6  0.066658  0.011130 
8  0.064597  0.013531 
The probabilities for the royal match are easy to derive.Lets use n for the number of decks of cards. The number of two card combinations is combin(52×n,2). The number of ways to make a royal match is 4*n^{2}. This is because there are 4 suits and n ways to choose the queen and n ways to choose the king. The number of ways to make an easy match is 4×(combin(13×n,2)n^{2}). The 4 is the number of suits and combin(13×n,2) is the number of ways to arrange 2cards from a given suit. You must also subtract the number of ways to make a royal match.
The probability of an easy match is 4×(combin(13×n,2)n^{2})/combin(52×n,2).
The probability of a royal match is 4×n^{2}/combin(52×n,2).
Royal Match  Version 3
In a third version there is a separate pay for a suited blackjack as follows.
 Royal Match pays 25 to 1
 Suited Blackjack pays 5 to 1
 Easy Match pays 5 to 2
The following table shows the expected value for a 6deck game is 3.70%.
Royal Match Version 3 Six Decks
Hand  Combinations  Probability  Pays  Return 

Royal match  144  0.002968  25  0.074202 
Suited blackjack  576  0.011872  5  0.059362 
All other matches  11292  0.232748  2.5  0.58187 
Loss  36504  0.752412  1  0.752412 
Total  48516  1  0.036977 
The next table shows the house edge for various number of decks for version 3.
Royal Match Version 3 1 to 8 Decks
Decks  House Edge 

1  7.84% 
2  5.34% 
3  4.52% 
4  4.11% 
5  3.86% 
6  3.70% 
7  3.58% 
8  3.49% 
Royal Match  Version 4
The Shufflemaster TMS 300 is an electronic blackjack game, played facing a giant video screen of a dealer. It features a Royal Match side bet, adding a pay for the player and dealer both having a royal match. Following is the return table for six decks.
Royal Match — Version 4 — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Player and Dealer Royal Match  1000  19152  0.000008  0.008242 
Player royal match  25  6877728  0.00296  0.073996 
Suited  2.5  568417860  0.24462  0.611551 
Loser  1  1748359080  0.752412  0.752412 
Total  2323673820  1  0.058622 
The next table shows the house edge by number of decks.
Royal Match — Version 4 — 18 Decks
Number of Decks 
House Edge 

1  10.14% 
2  7.59% 
3  6.73% 
4  6.3% 
5  6.04% 
6  5.86% 
7  5.74% 
8  5.64% 
Royal Match  Version 5
Version 5 of the Royal Match is a progressive jackpot on ShuffleMaster TableMax units. These are the electronic blackjack games with a big screen, usually showing a pretty and very buxom dealer.
In this version, the side bet is always $1. It pays a progressive jackpot for a "Crown Treasure," which is both the dealer and player having a Royal Match. Smaller pays are $60 for a player only royal match, and $10 for a player straight flush, which I assume means the player's first two cards are suited and consecutive, including A2.
There is also a $500 envy bonus, which pays if you make the side bet, and another player gets a Crown Treasure. The other player does not have to make the side bet for other players to qualify for the Envy Bonus.
The following table shows a hypothetical return table, for six decks, a $10,000 jackpot, and no other players.
SixDeck Progressive Royal Match — $10,000 Jackpot and No Other Players
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Crown Treasure  $10,000  19,152.00  0.000008  0.082421 
Royal Match  $60  6,877,728.00  0.002960  0.177591 
Straight Flush  $10  82,762,560.00  0.035617  0.356171 
Loser  $0  2,234,014,380.00  0.961415  0.000000 
Total  2,323,673,820.00  1.000000  0.616183 
The general formula for the return in a sixdeck game is 0.533762 + 0.082421×j + 0.004121× p, where j is the jackpot divided by $10,000, and p is the number of other players (not counting yourself).
The next table shows the breakeven points, in which the expected return is exactly 100%, given the number of other players, in a sixdeck game.
Progressive Royal Match Breakeven Points
Other Players  Breakeven Point 

6  $53,567.70 
5  $54,067.70 
4  $54,567.70 
3  $55,067.70 
2  $55,567.70 
1  $56,067.70 
0  $56,567.70 
Streak
Streak is an optional blackjack side bet I noticed at Caesars in Atlantic City in April of 2000. Since that time I have seen it displayed at the Global Gaming Expo, where I have been given rule updates. Streak is a simple bet on winning a specified number of consecutive bets. If the player splits then it is the net win that counts toward whether the hand as a whole won or lost. For example if the player split and won one hand and pushed the other the hand would count as a net win. In the event of a push or breaking even after a split the hand would not count for purposes of the side bet, neither advancing the number of consecutive wins nor breaking the winning streak. The player may bet on a winning streak from 2 to 5, or as many of these as desired.
My blackjack appendix 4 addresses the probability of a net win or loss. However that table includes surrender, which is usually not offered, and a player may decline to take anyway, if a Streak bet were on the line. So I reran my simulation with the following rules: six decks, dealer stands on soft 17, no surrender, player may split up to four hands, double on any two cards, double after split allowed, resplit aces not allowed, cut card used. Here are the results of the simulation.
Net Win in Blackjack
Net win  Simulation Total 
Probability  Return 

8  1400  0.000001  0.000006 
7  12763  0.000007  0.000048 
6  76258  0.000041  0.000245 
5  284607  0.000152  0.000762 
4  1435913  0.000769  0.003077 
3  4584941  0.002456  0.007368 
2  114511009  0.061343  0.122686 
1.5  84495618  0.045264  0.067896 
1  603601989  0.323348  0.323348 
0  163884660  0.087793  0 
1  805017526  0.431246  0.431246 
2  83647458  0.04481  0.089619 
3  3984819  0.002135  0.006404 
4  963035  0.000516  0.002064 
5  180925  0.000097  0.000485 
6  37217  0.00002  0.00012 
7  5072  0.000003  0.000019 
8  417  0  0.000002 
Total  1866725627  1  0.004521 
The lower right cell shows a house edge of 0.4521%. This may look a bit high for the rules, especially against my blackjack calculator. Most house edge figures, including those of my calculator are based on a continuously shuffled game. The use of a cut card, as was the case in this simulation, adds 0.02% to the house edge with six decks. For more information on the cut card effect please see my blackjack appendix 10.
Adding up the wins and losses we get the following.
Net Win in Blackjack
Event  Probability 

Win  43.34% 
Loss  47.88% 
Tie  8.78% 
Win given no tie  47.51% 
Loss given no tie  52.49% 
The probability of winning n hands in a row is simply 0.4751^{n}. The following return tables show the pay table, probability of winning, and return for all four streak bets, under both the new and old rules.
Streak Bet Return Table New Rules
Streak Bet 
Pays  Probability Win 
Return 

2  3  0.225712  0.097154 
3  8  0.107234  0.034898 
4  18  0.050946  0.032032 
5  38  0.024204  0.05605 
The table above shows that under the new, more liberal, rules the best bet is on a streak of 4, with a house edge of 3.20%.
Streak Bet Return Table Old Rules
Streak Bet 
Pays  Probability Win 
Return 

2  3  0.225712  0.097154 
3  7  0.107234  0.142132 
4  17  0.050946  0.082978 
5  37  0.024204  0.080254 
Fire Bet
After going 13 years without seeing the Streak bet I suddenly saw it, under another name, at the Palms casino in Managua, Nicaragua, on April 29, 2013. There it is called the Fuego bet, which means fire. They use a different pay table, as shown in the following pay table. For splitting, they use the first hand played out for purposes of the Streak bet. Otherwise, the rules are a little different, but still use six decks and the dealer stands on a soft 17. To simplify the analysis, I'm going to assume the same 47.51% of a net win as I do under the Atlantic City rules.
Streak Bet Return Table — Nicaragua Rules
Streak Bet 
Pays  Probability Win 
Return 

3  8  0.107240  0.034844 
4  16  0.050950  0.133858 
5  35  0.024206  0.128580 
Over/Under 13
This pair of side bets pay even money if the player can correctly bet if the sum of the player's first two cards will be over or under 13. Aces count as 1. At the Majestic Casino in Panama City, Panama, the player may also bet on exactly 13, which pays 10 to 1. The following is the house edge according to the number of decks. The house edge for exactly 13 is calculated at 10 to 1.
Over/Under 13
Decks  Over 13  Under 13  Exactly 13 

1  6.79%  10.11%  7.09% 
2  6.65%  10.08%  7.99% 
4  6.58%  10.07%  8.44% 
6  6.55%  10.07%  8.58% 
8  6.54%  10.06%  8.66% 
Bet the Set/Pair Square
"Pair Square," which also goes by the name "Bet the Set," is one of the most successful blackjack side bets, which I've seen lots of places.. It wins if the player's first two cards are a pair, usually more for a suited pair. I have seen or heard of a number of pay tables through the years. Following are return tables for some of them.
Pair Square — 1210 Pay Table — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Suited pair  12  780  0.016077  0.192926 
Nonsuited pair  10  2808  0.057878  0.578778 
No pair  1  44928  0.926045  0.926045 
Total  48516  1.000000  0.154341 
Pair Square — 1212 Pay Table — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Suited pair  12  780  0.016077  0.192926 
Nonsuited pair  12  2808  0.057878  0.694534 
No pair  1  44928  0.926045  0.926045 
Total  48516  1.000000  0.038585 
Pair Square — 1510 Pay Table — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Suited pair  15  780  0.016077  0.241158 
Nonsuited pair  10  2808  0.057878  0.578778 
No pair  1  44928  0.926045  0.926045 
Total  48516  1.000000  0.106109 
Pair Square — 2010 Pay Table — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Suited pair  20  780  0.016077  0.321543 
Nonsuited pair  10  2808  0.057878  0.578778 
No pair  1  44928  0.926045  0.926045 
Total  48516  1.000000  0.025723 
Pair Square — 2510 Pay Table — Two Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Suited pair  25  52  0.009709  0.242718 
Nonsuited pair  10  312  0.058252  0.582524 
No pair  1  4992  0.932039  0.932039 
Total  5356  1.000000  0.106796 
Pair Square — 15 Pay Table — One Deck
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Nonsuited pair  15  78  0.058824  0.882353 
No pair  1  1248  0.941176  0.941176 
Total  1326  1.000000  0.058824 
The next table summarizes the house edge for all known pay tables by number of decks. A negative house edge denotes a player advantage, for a combination of pay table and number of decks you're unlikely to ever see, but let me know if you do.
Pair Square — House Edge Summary
Decks  015 Pay table 
1210 Pay table 
1212 Pay table 
1510 Pay table 
2010 Pay table 
2510 Pay table 

1  5.88%  35.29%  23.53%  35.29%  35.29%  35.29% 
2  5.83%  23.30%  11.65%  20.39%  15.53%  10.68% 
3  5.81%  19.35%  7.74%  15.48%  9.03%  2.58% 
4  5.80%  17.39%  5.80%  13.04%  5.80%  1.45% 
5  5.79%  16.22%  4.63%  11.58%  3.86%  3.86% 
6  5.79%  15.43%  3.86%  10.61%  2.57%  5.47% 
7  5.79%  14.88%  3.31%  9.92%  1.65%  6.61% 
8  5.78%  14.46%  2.89%  9.40%  0.96%  7.47% 
Pair Play
Pair Play is a simple side bet by Pala Interactive that pays 11 to 1 if the player's first two cards form a pair. It is mathematically the same as the two pair bets in baccarat.
The following table shows the possible outcomes in a sixdeck game, the number used in the Side Bet Blackjack game by Pala Interactive. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 11.25%
Pair Play — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Win  11  3,588  0.073955  0.813505 
Lose  1  44,928  0.926045  0.926045 
Total  48,516  1.000000  0.112540 
The next table shows the house edge only for various numbers of decks.
Pair Play — House Edge
Decks  House Edge 

1  29.41% 
2  18.45% 
3  14.84% 
4  13.04% 
5  11.97% 
6  11.25% 
8  10.36% 
Bet the Set — Progressive
I noticed this variation of Bet the Set on April 19, 2013 at the Red Rock casino in Las Vegas. It was dealt from a sixdeck game. The bet wins if the player has a pair for his initial two cards, more if they are suited. Unlike the normal Bet the Set, if the player has a pair he has a chance for big wins if the dealer also has a pair of the same rank.
If the player gets a colored four of a kind not only is he paid 250 to 1, but also wins a progressive jackpot. In addition, there are envy bonuses if another player gets a colored four of a kind. The minimum bet to qualify for the jackpot and envy bonuses is $1.
Rack card. Click on either image for a larger version.
The following table shows the odds for a sixdeck game, before considering the jackpot and envy bonuses. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 27.74%.
Bet the Set — Progressive — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Colored four of a kind  250  77,220  0.000033  0.008308 
Four of a kind  100  751,608  0.000323  0.032346 
Suited pair  20  37,177,920  0.016000  0.319993 
Pair  5  133,840,512  0.057599  0.287993 
Loser  1  2,151,826,560  0.926045  0.926045 
Total  2,323,673,820  1.000000  0.277405 
Jackpot
For a $1 bet, every $1,000 in the jackpot meter increases the expected return by 0.033232. If the player bets more than $1, then divide that increase by the amount bet.
Envy BonusFor a $1 bet, every other player at the table (not counting yourself) increases the expected return by 0.001662. If the player bets more than $1, then divide that increase by the amount bet.
For a $1 bettor, the jackpot breakeven point is $8,347.58, less $50 for every additional player at the table. When I saw this bet on April 20, 2013 the meter was at $7,817.44.
Tie — Version 1 / Push Your Luck
When I first saw this bet years ago at Caesars Palace it was just called the "tie." Years later I saw the thing under the name "Push Your Luck" at the Palace Station.
The bet wins if the player and dealer do tie and pays 10 to 1. The player may bet no more than 50% of their original blackjack wager on the side bet. If the player splits he must also split the side bet. If the player doubles, he does not double the side bet. For the analysis I assumed for the following blackjack rules:
 Winning blackjack pays 3 to 2.
 Six decks.
 Dealer hits soft 17.
 Double after split allowed.
 No surrender.
 No resplitting aces.
The following table shows the proper basic strategy assuming the maximum side bet is played and the rules above.
Assuming the rules and strategy above, I show an overall house edge of 0.24%, which is the expected player win divided by the initial 1.5 units bet. If a winning blackjack paid 65, then the house edge would be 1.15%.
Tie  Version 2
In August 2010 I noticed another version of side betting on a tie in blackjack at Harrah's Las Vegas. Unlike version 1, where all ties pay 10 to 1, at Harrah's you could bet on all six possible ties individually, or on a low or a high tie. As I recall, the rules were:
 Six decks
 Blackjack pays 6 to 5.
 Dealer hits soft 17
 Double after split allowed.
 No surrender.
 No resplitting aces.
 If player doubles, he does not double the tie wagers.
 If player splits, he does not double the tie wagers. Any tie wagers will be resolved based on the first hand played out.
 An ace and 10 after splitting aces is considered 21 points for purposes of both the blackjack and tie wagers.
 If the player resplits, then all tie wagers are lost.
The layout has betting circles for 17, 18, 19, and LS (left side) tie wagers on the left of the betting circle for the blackjack wagers. The other four tie wagers are on the right side. The player may bet up to half his blackjack wager on the sum of the four left side tie wagers, and likewise up to half on on the right side.
If the player does bet a tie, it significantly changes the strategy. The player will do more hitting, and less of everything else. There is a separate strategy for each tie wager. I won't bother to publish them unless the game gets a significant number of placements.
I spent all day trying to analyze this one, but the doubling and splitting rules made it too difficult. So I'm quoting below pay table #4 from the game owner's web site, blackjacktie.com, with permission.
Tie (version 2) House Edge
Tie Wager  Pays  House Edge 

17  50  2.41% 
18  45  5.79% 
19  50  3.67% 
20  25  8.47% 
21  125  10.85% 
BJ  400  7.18% 
LS (17, 18, 19)  15  8.07% 
RS (20, 21, BJ)  20  9.39% 
Sweet Sixteen
Sweet Sixteen is a blackjack side bet I noticed at the Las Vegas Club in April 2001. It is played with a sixdeck shoe and pays based on the player's first two cards. The following table shows each paying hand, the probability, payoff, and contribution to the total return.
Sweet Sixteen
Hand  Probability  Pays  Return 

1621 points  0.31907  1 to 1  0.63814 
One ace  0.142468  1 to 1  0.284937 
Two aces  0.005689  2 to 1  0.017067 
Pair 2's7's  0.034133  Push  0.034133 
Total  0.50136  0.974277 
The lower right cell shows a return of 97.43%, for ahouse edge of 2.57%. Here is the house edge for other numbers of decks.
 1 deck: 3.62%
 2 decks: 2.99%
 4 decks: 2.68%
 8 decks: 2.52%
Dare any Pair
Dare any Pair is a side bet I noticed at the Lady Luck in April 2001. It simply pays 11 to 1 if the player's first two cards are a pair. Six decks are used. The probability of a pair is 0.073954984 for a house edge of 11.25%. Here is the house edge for other numbers of decks.
 1 deck: 29.41%
 2 decks: 18.45%
 4 decks: 13.04%
 8 decks: 10.36%
Lucky Ladies
Please see my page on Lucky Ladies for more information on this side bet.
Bonus Blackjack  Version 1
This is a simple pair of side bets that the player and/or dealer will get a blackjack. Wins pay 15 to 1. The player may bet on a player blackjack and/or dealer blackjack. If the player bets both and the player gets a blackjack composed of an ace and jack of spades, then the player will win a progressive bonus.
As the number of decks increases, the probability of a blackjack decreases, making the player's odds worse. The following table shows pertinent information about this bet as explained below.
First column: Number of decks
Second column: House edge if just one bet is made
Third column: Overall reduction in house edge for each $100 in meter if both bets are made
Fourth column: Point meter must reach for bet to have zero house edge.
Bonus Blackjack — Version 1
Decks  House Edge  Reduction in House for each $100 in Meter 
Breakeven Meter 

1  22.78%  3.77%  $604.00 
2  23.53%  3.73%  $630.00 
4  23.89%  3.72%  $643.00 
6  24.02%  3.71%  $647.33 
8  24.08%  3.71%  $649.50 
Bonus Blackjack  Version 2
This is another side bet called "Bonus Blackjack." I noticed it at the Sycuan casino near San Diego on October 25, 2009. The only bet amounts permitted were 50¢ and $1. The following table shows the pay table, probabilities, and return for a sixdeck game. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 40.78% (ouch!). This assumes the player always tries for a 678 or 777 if possible, even if it violates basic strategy. The cost of such strategy deviations are not indicated.
Bonus Blackjack (Sycuan) — Six Decks
Hand  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

777  500  12144  0.000404  0.201862 
678  50  82944  0.002757  0.137873 
Suited BJ  20  357120  0.011872  0.237447 
Loser  1  29627712  0.984966  0.984966 
Total  30079920  1  0.407784 
The next table shows the house edge for various number of decks.
Bonus Blackjack (version 2) — House Edge
Decks  House Edge 

2  45.16% 
4  41.92% 
5  41.24% 
6  40.78% 
8  40.20% 
Bonus Blackjack  Version 3
I noticed this third version of Bonus Blackjack at the Riviera casino on November 17, 2012. It was played on a singledeck game. Wins are based on the player's first two cards, and for the highest win, on the dealer's cards as well. The following table shows everything you need to know.
Bonus Blackjack — Version 3
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probabity  Return 

Player and dealer blackjack  25  2,880  0.001773  0.044325 
Player suited blackjack  10  18,880  0.011623  0.116231 
Player unsuited blackjack  3  56,640  0.034869  0.104608 
Pair  2  95,550  0.058824  0.117647 
Suited  1  362,600  0.223228  0.223228 
All other  1  1,087,800  0.669683  0.669683 
Total  1,624,350  1.000000  0.063644 
The lower right cell shows a house edge of 6.36%.
Progressive Blackjack
As the name implies, this is a blackjack side bet with a progressive jackpot. For an optional $1, the blackjack player may win $3 to the progressive jackpot, which starts at $25,000. I saw this side bet at the New York New York casino, where they had three tables tied into the same progressive. On July 30, 2001, the jackpot meter was at $35,537.36. At this time, I was told they recently put it in place and nobody had hit the jackpot yet. On August 11 the meter had risen to $37,746.28.
Just like in Caribbean Stud, the player puts the $1 for the Progressive side bet in a slot. Before dealing a new hand, the dealer presses a button, the dollars vanish, and a light designates who made the bet. The following table shows what each winning hand pays, the probability (based on the dealer peeking for blackjack), and the contribution to the return.
The following table shows the return based on a meter of $35,537.36, the amount the last time I observed it.
Progressive Blackjack
Hand  Permutations  Probability  Pays  Return 

4 red/black aces  23760  0.000003  35537.36  0.090844 
4 aces  231264  0.000025  2000  0.049763 
3 suited aces  138240  0.000015  1000  0.014873 
3 nonsuited aces  3359232  0.000361  200  0.072283 
2 Suited aces  10679040  0.001149  50  0.057447 
2 nonsuited aces  38444544  0.004136  15  0.062043 
1 ace  662100480  0.071234  3  0.213703 
No aces  8579718720  0.923077  0  0 
Total  9294695280  1  0  0.560955 
The above table shows an expected return of 56.10% per dollar bet, or a house edge of 43.90%. The general formula for the return is 47.01%, plus 2.56% for each $10,000 in the meter. To have no house edge, the meter would need to reach $207,287.85. Also note there are no basic strategy deviations for this side bet. If the player gets two aces, then he should split anyway, which guarantees two more cards.
It is unclear to me what events cause the meter to go up and down. Sometimes the meter goes up by 28 cents for each $1 bet made. According to the Mikohn's web site, the house edge is 22%. If this is the case, then the meter contribution rate is 24.60%. Mikohn also mentions that part of each dollar goes to a higher reseed of the next jackpot. So 24.60% would be divided between the current meter and the next one. Based on this contribution rate, the average jackpot when won would be $121,225.86.
Here is another version that has been seen at Internet casinos using Cryptologic software. The game uses eight decks of cards.
Progressive Blackjack — Cryptologic Version
Hand  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Four suited aces  Jackpot  6720  0.00000023  ? 
Three suited aces  2500  516096  0.00001748  0.043710 
Four aces unsuited  1500  856320  0.00002901  0.043515 
Three aces unsuited  250  10911744  0.00036966  0.092415 
Two suited aces  100  35524608  0.00120348  0.120348 
Two aces  25  121798656  0.00412620  0.103155 
All other  0  29348718336  0.99425394  0.000000 
Total  29518332480  1.00000000  0.403142 + ? 
Based on a $1 bet, this bet becomes breakeven at $2,621,763.29. The general formula for the return is 0.403142 + jackpot/4,392,609.
Twin Blackjack
Twin blackjack is not a side bet, but a variation of the game of blackjack. I saw the game at the Stardust in August, 2001. Each position has two betting spots. If the player makes a bet in both of them he will play out two hands against the dealer's up card. In the event the player gets two blackjacks (called twin blackjacks) they both shall pay 21. If the player gets two identical blackjacks (called identical twin blackjacks) both shall pay 41.
The following table shows what this is worth to the player.
Twin Blackjack
Event  Probability  Pays Extra  Return 

Twin BJ  0.002142  0.5  0.001071 
Identical twin BJ  0.000025  2.5  0.000062 
Total  0.002167  0  0.001133 
The lower right cell in the table shows the twin blackjack rules add about 0.1133% to the players return. However, as usual with novelty games, you give more than you get back. In this case, the player may NOT double after a split and the number of splits per hand is lowered from 3 to 2. Under the normal Stardust 6deck rules the house edge is 0.4066%. Under these rules, not including the twin blackjack bonuses, the house edge is 0.5527%. Overall the house edge is 0.4394%, 0.0328% higher than the conventional rules.
Perfect Pairs
Perfect Pairs is a blackjack side bet found in casinos in Australia, Macau, and London. It pays if the player's first two cards are a pair. The following table shows the specifics. A "perfect pair" is two identical cards (like two ace of spades). A "colored pair" is two cards of the same rank and color (like the ace of spades and ace of clubs). There are four pay tables that I am aware of, which are referred to as A to D below. The following four tables show how the odds of each pay table.
Pay Table A — 8 decks
Hand  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Perfect pair  25  1456  0.016867  0.421687 
Colored pair  12  1664  0.019277  0.231325 
Red/black pair  6  3328  0.038554  0.231325 
Nonpair  1  79872  0.925301  0.925301 
Total  86320  1  0.040964 
Pay Table B — 8 decks
Hand  Pays  Combintions  Probability  Return 

Perfect pair  30  1456  0.016867  0.506024 
Colored pair  10  1664  0.019277  0.192771 
Red/black pair  5  3328  0.038554  0.192771 
Nonpair  1  79872  0.925301  0.925301 
Total  86320  1  0.033735 
Pay Table C — 8 decks
Hand  Pays  Combintions  Probability  Return 

Perfect pair  25  1456  0.016867  0.421687 
Colored pair  12  1664  0.019277  0.231325 
Red/black pair  5  3328  0.038554  0.192771 
Nonpair  1  79872  0.925301  0.925301 
Total  86320  1  0.079518 
Pay Table D — 8 decks
Hand  Pays  Combintions  Probability  Return 

Perfect pair  25  1456  0.016867  0.421687 
Colored pair  15  1664  0.019277  0.289157 
Red/black pair  5  3328  0.038554  0.192771 
Nonpair  1  79872  0.925301  0.925301 
Total  86320  1  0.021687 
The next table shows the expected return under all four pay tables, according to the number of decks.
Perfect Pairs Expected Returns
Decks  Pay Table A  Pay Table B  Pay Table C  Pay Table D 

2  0.223301  0.252427  0.262136  0.203883 
4  0.101449  0.106280  0.140097  0.082126 
5  0.077220  0.077220  0.115830  0.057915 
6  0.061093  0.057878  0.099678  0.041801 
8  0.040964  0.033735  0.079518  0.021687 
Bonanza Blackjack
Bonanza Blackjack is a side bet found on a fullyelectronic 6deck game at the Boulder Station in Las Vegas. If the player has any 20 (including a soft 20) and the dealer has a 10point card, then the player will win something. This is a $1 side bet, no more and no less.
The lower right cell shows a house edge of 18.19%.
Hi/Low — Version 1
This is a simple pair of side bets I noticed at the Casablanca in Mesquite, Nevada. The player simply bets if his first card will be higher or lower than the dealer's up card. In the event the two cards are the same rank, except aces, the tie shall go to the dealer. Two aces push. The game I saw it on was 6decks but here is the house edge for all numbers of decks.
Hi/Low
Decks  House Edge 

1  5.43% 
2  6.27% 
3  6.55% 
4  6.69% 
5  6.77% 
6  6.83% 
7  6.87% 
8  6.90% 
Hi/Lo — Version 2
This set of high/low bets I saw at the BetVictor casino. The game is made by Realistic Games. The object is to predict whether the player's second card will be higher than the first. Aces are treated separately. Here are all the rules:
 Correct prediction (no aces) = win
 Incorrect prediction or tie (no aces) = loss
 Any blackjack = win
 First card ace and second card 29 = win
 First card 29 and second card ace = loss
 Two aces = push
All wins pay even money.
At BetVictor six decks are used. The following table summarizes the probability of each outcome.
Hi Lo — Version 2
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Win  1  47,232  0.486767  0.486767 
Push  0  552  0.005689  0.000000 
Loss  1  49,248  0.507544  0.507544 
Total  97,032  1.000000  0.020777 
Here is the house edge only according to the number of decks.
Hi Lo — Version 2
Decks  House Edge 

1  0.60% 
2  1.49% 
4  1.93% 
5  2.02% 
6  2.08% 
8  2.15% 
2 Through 6
"2 Through 6" is a side bet I noticed at the Four Queens on April 24, 2004. Except as noted all winnings hands involve a dealer up card of 2 through 6. The following table shows all the winning events, permutations, probability, payoff, and contribution to the return. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 7.48%.
2 Through 6
Event  Permutations  Probability  Pays  Return 

Ace/king of hearts  34560  0.001149  40  0.045958 
Blackjack  518400  0.017234  8  0.137873 
Total of 9 to 11*  1707888  0.056778  5  0.283892 
Total of 17 to 20  2957760  0.09833  2  0.19666 
Blackjack (dealer has 7 to A)  875520  0.029106  2  0.058213 
All other  23985792  0.797402  1  0.797402 
Total  30079920  1  0  0.074807 
*: includes soft 19 and soft 20
The maximum bet allowed is the lesser of $50 and the blackjack bet.
Jack Magic
Jack Magic is a Shufflemaster side bet that has been seen at the Spirit Mountain casino in Grande Ronde, Oregon. It is played on a 5deck blackjack game with a continuous shuffler. Wins are based on the player's initial two cards and the dealer's up card, thus no basic strategy changes are necessary. The following table shows the probability and return for each win. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 20.06%.
Jack Magic
Event  Combinations  Probability  Pays  Return 

Three one eyed jacks  120  0.000041  500  0.020721 
Three jacks  1020  0.000352  100  0.035226 
Two one eyed jacks  10800  0.00373  30  0.111893 
Two jacks  34800  0.012018  10  0.120182 
One one eyed jack  286800  0.099046  2  0.198092 
One jack  286800  0.099046  1  0.099046 
No jacks  2275280  0.785766  1  0.785766 
Total  2895620  1  0  0.200606 
Match the Dealer
Match the Dealer is a side bet found in both blackjack and Spanish 21. The player wins for each of his initial two cards that match the dealer's up card. Matches in rank only pay less than a match in rank and suit. The following tables show the various versions I am aware of.
Match the Dealer  Blackjack  Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Two suited matches  22  10  0.000207  0.004564 
One suited and one nonsuited match  15  90  0.001867  0.028005 
One suited match  11  1440  0.029872  0.328597 
Two nonsuited matches  8  153  0.003174  0.025392 
One nonsuited matches  4  5184  0.107541  0.430163 
No matches  1  41328  0.857338  0.857338 
Total  48205  1  0.040618 
Match the Dealer Blackjack Eight Decks
Event  Combinations  Probability  Pays  Return 

Two suited matches  21  0.000244  28  0.006845 
One hard and one each match  168  0.001956  17  0.033246 
Two nonsuited matches  276  0.003213  6  0.019277 
One suited match  2688  0.03129  14  0.438065 
One nonsuited match  9216  0.107281  3  0.321844 
No matches  73536  0.856015  1  0.856015 
Total  85905  1  0  0.036738 
Match the Dealer Spanish 21 Six Decks
Event  Combinations  Probability  Pays  Return 

Two suited matches  10  0.000244  18  0.004386 
One hard and one each match  90  0.002193  13  0.028508 
Two nonsuited matches  153  0.003728  8  0.029824 
One suited match  1320  0.032163  9  0.289467 
One nonsuited match  4752  0.115787  4  0.463147 
No matches  34716  0.845886  1  0.845886 
Total  41041  1  0  0.030555 
Match the Dealer Spanish 21 Eight Decks
Event  Combinations  Probability  Pays  Return 

Two suited matches  21  0.000287  24  0.00689 
One hard and one each match  168  0.002297  15  0.034448 
Two nonsuited matches  276  0.003773  6  0.022637 
One suited match  2464  0.033683  12  0.404194 
One nonsuited match  8448  0.115484  3  0.346452 
No matches  61776  0.844477  1  0.844477 
Total  73153  1  0  0.029855 
Blackjack Only
Some casinos offer a simple side bet that pays from 15 to 19 to 1 for a player blackjack. It is also possible for the bet to be based on a dealer blackjack, or both bets may be available. The Cal Neva in Reno, where the picture above was taken, pays 17 to 1. There is no particular name for this and I think it is a "common domain" bet, meaning nobody owns the idea so no royalties are required.
The following table shows the house edge for 1 to 8 decks and a payoff of 15 to 19 to 1.
Blackjack Only
Number of Decks  15 to 1  16 to 1  17 to 1  18 to 1  19 to 1 

1 deck  22.78%  17.95%  13.12%  8.30%  3.47% 
2 decks  23.53%  18.75%  13.97%  9.19%  4.41% 
3 decks  23.77%  19.01%  14.24%  9.48%  4.71% 
4 decks  23.89%  19.14%  14.38%  9.62%  4.87% 
5 decks  23.97%  19.22%  14.46%  9.71%  4.96% 
6 decks  24.02%  19.27%  14.52%  9.77%  5.02% 
7 decks  24.05%  19.3%  14.56%  9.81%  5.06% 
8 decks  24.08%  19.33%  14.59%  9.84%  5.10% 
Blackjack Attack
Blackjack Attack is a side bet by Pala Interactive that pays 18 to 1 for a blackjack. It is based on a sixdeck game. As the table above shows, the house edge under these rules is 9.77%.
Silver Jack
This side bet found at the Casino Bad Homburg, near Frankfurt (Main) in Germany, pays 77 to 1 for a suited blackjack. They use six decks for a house edge of 7.40%.
The following table shows the probability of winning and expected return for various number of decks assuming the same 77 to 1 win.
Silver Jack
Decks  Probability  Return 

1  0.012066  0.058824 
2  0.011949  0.067961 
3  0.011911  0.070968 
4  0.011891  0.072464 
5  0.011880  0.073359 
6  0.011872  0.073955 
7  0.011867  0.074380 
8  0.011863  0.074699 
Gold Jack
This side bet found at the Casino Bad Homburg, near Frankfurt (Main) in Germany, pays 300 to 1 for a suited blackjack in hearts. They use six decks for a house edge of 10.66%.
The following table shows the probability of winning and expected return for various number of decks assuming the same 300 to 1 win.
Gold Jack
Decks  Probability  Return 

1  0.003017  0.092006 
2  0.002987  0.100822 
3  0.002978  0.103722 
4  0.002973  0.105165 
5  0.002970  0.106029 
6  0.002968  0.106604 
7  0.002967  0.107014 
8  0.002966  0.107322 
Lucky Lucky
Lucky Lucky is a side bet based on the player's first two cards and the dealer's up card. There are two pay tables that I'm aware of. One is evidently meant for shoe games and the otehr double deck.
Lucky Lucky — Six Decks
Event  Combinations  Probability  Pays  Return 

Suited 777  80  0.000016  200  0.003191 
Suited 678  864  0.000172  100  0.017234 
Unsuited 777  1944  0.000388  50  0.019388 
Unsuited 678  12960  0.002585  30  0.077553 
Suited 21  26568  0.005299  15  0.079492 
Unsuited 21  406296  0.081043  3  0.24313 
Any 20  377568  0.075313  2  0.150626 
Any 19  364320  0.07267  2  0.145341 
All other  3822720  0.762513  1  0.762513 
Total  5013320  1  0.026556 
Lucky Lucky — Two Decks
Event  Combinations  Probability  Pays  Return 

Suited 678  100  32  0.000176  0.017572 
777  50  56  0.000308  0.015376 
Unsuited 678  30  480  0.002636  0.079076 
Suited 21  10  936  0.005140  0.051399 
Unsuited 21  3  14,904  0.081843  0.245530 
Any 20  2  13,792  0.075737  0.151474 
Any 19  2  13,344  0.073277  0.146554 
All other  1  138,560  0.760884  0.760884 
Total  182,104  1.000000  0.053903 
Bonus Spin
Bonus Spin is a side bet in which the player gets to spin a wheel if he gets a blackjack. Also, a hand with at least one ace, but not a blackjack, pays 1 to 1. The prizes on the wheel are 5x, 15x, 25x, 20x, 10x, and 100x, where the x represents the bet amount. All wins are on a to one basis. Assuming all wins were equally likely the average win would be 29.17x, resulting in a player edge of 63.4%. Obviously the stops on the prize wheel were not equally weighted. I asked the table games manager what the average win was and he said it was right around 14. As the table below shows this results in a house edge of 8.63%, based on six decks.
Bonus Spin — Six Decks
Event  Combinations  Probability  Pays  Return 

Blackjack  2304  0.047489  14^{*}  0.664853 
Ace  4884  0.100668  1  0.100668 
Loss  41328  0.851843  1  0.851843 
Total  48516  1  0.086322 
* Based on an estimated average win.
The next table shows the house edge for 1 to 8 decks, again assuming an average win of 14.
Bonus Spin — 1 to 8 Decks
Decks  House Edge 

1  7.39% 
2  8.14% 
3  8.39% 
4  8.51% 
5  8.58% 
6  8.63% 
7  8.67% 
8  8.69% 
Wheel of Madness
Similar to Bonus Spin, this is $1 side bet on a blackjack. If the player wins, then he gets to spin a prize wheel. According to Scott Brynen, the average win is about 15 to 1, based on personal observation. Casinos will often allow bets of larger than $1, with a win equal to the product of the prize wheel and the bet made. The following table shows the probability of winning and house edge according to the number of decks, assuming an average win of 15 to 1.
House Edge in Wheel of Madness
Decks  Prob. Win  House Edge 

1  4.83%  22.78% 
2  4.78%  23.53% 
3  4.76%  23.77% 
4  4.76%  23.89% 
5  4.75%  23.97% 
6  4.75%  24.02% 
7  4.75%  24.05% 
8  4.75%  24.08% 
This bet is vulnerable to card counting. Using indices of +1 for 2 to 9, 0 for 10K, and 9 for aces, the odds swing in the player's favor at a true count (running count divided by decks remaining, rounding down) of 12. The next table shows how often this happens and the average advantage when it does in a 6deck game according to the penetration, again assuming an average win of 15 to 1.
Card Counting in Wheel of Madness
Penetration  Bets Made  Avg. Adv. 

75%  3.58%  10.72% 
80%  4.46%  12.36% 
85%  5.49%  14.69% 
90%  6.43%  16.79% 
High Tie Bonus Blackjack
Version 1 of this is a side bet I noticed at the MGM Grand on November 26, 2005. It was played on a sixdeck game.
High Tie Bonus Blackjack Version 1 Six Decks
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Blackjack tie  50  20136960  0.002167  0.108325 
Suited blackjack  15  105315840  0.011331  0.169961 
Suited pair  10  149432400  0.016077  0.160772 
Blackjack  6  315947520  0.033992  0.203953 
Pair  3  537956640  0.057878  0.173633 
Other  1  8165905920  0.878556  0.878556 
Total  9294695280  1  0.061911 
Version 2 of this is a side bet I noticed at the Eldorado casino in Henderson on March 16, 2007. It was played on a sixdeck game.
High Tie Bonus Blackjack Version 2 Six Decks
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Blackjack tie  25  20136960  0.002167  0.054163 
Suited pair  6  149432400  0.016077  0.096463 
Suited blackjack  4  105315840  0.011331  0.045323 
Blackjack  3  315947520  0.033992  0.101977 
Pair  2  537956640  0.057878  0.115756 
Suited  1  2041476480  0.219639  0.219639 
Other  1  6124429440  0.658917  0.658917 
Total  9294695280  1  0.025597 
Field of Gold
Field of Gold is a side bet I'm told can be found at the Spirit Mountain Casino in Grand Ronde, Oregon. All wins are based on the player's first two cards. For side bet purposes, aces always count as one. The following return table is based on six decks. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 5.66%.
Field of Gold Six Decks
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Ace/jack suited  25  144  0.002968  0.074202 
Two aces  10  276  0.005689  0.056888 
3 or 4 total  3  1428  0.029434  0.088301 
9 or 10 total  2  4884  0.100668  0.201336 
Any other blackjack  1.5  2160  0.044521  0.066782 
11 to 12 total  1  6612  0.136285  0.136285 
All other  1  33012  0.680435  0.680435 
Total  48516  1  0.056641 
The following table shows the house edge for various numbers of decks.
Field of Gold  House Edge
Decks  House Edge 

1 deck  6.64% 
2 decks  6.05% 
4 decks  5.76% 
5 decks  5.7% 
6 decks  5.66% 
8 decks  5.62% 
Automatic Win/Casino Surrender
Automatic Win/Casino Surrender is an optional rule in blackjack in which the player may force the dealer to surrender when the player has a 2card 20 against a dealer 10. This option is known by both names. In other words the player may play out his hand or settle for a win of 50% of his bet. The option may only be invoked after the dealer checks for blacjack. The Stardust in Las Vegas has been seen offering this rule in May 2005.
The following table shows the player's expected return with a 20 agaisnt a dealer 10, after the dealer checks for blackjack, according to the number of decks and composition of the 20.
Expected value of 20 vs 10
Decks  10,10  A,9 

1  58.5315%  55.4551% 
2  56.8553%  55.4572% 
4  56.1473%  55.4561% 
5  56.0074%  55.4558% 
6  55.9145%  55.4555% 
8  55.7987%  55.4551% 
The table shows the player always stands to win 55.46% to 58.53% of his bet by playing out the hand. In a typical 6deck game the player will give up 5.91% of his bet with a 10,10 and 5.46% with an A,9 by invoking the surrender option. The bottom line is taking dealer surrender is a mistake and the player should go for the full win.
Bust It
"Bust It" is a side bet seen at the Taj Majal in Atlanic City in April, 2007. In July 2010 I saw it at the Wynn in Las Vegas. The side bet can not exceed the lesser of the blackjack bet and $25. It wins if the dealer busts on the third card. The side bet is available on ordinary blackjack and Double Attack Blackjack, which uses a Spanish deck. It does not matter whether dealer hits or stands on soft 17, because either way busting with three cards is impossible on a twocard soft 17. Card counters may be interested to know that the dealer is more likely to bust when the count is high. So at some positive count the odds would swing to the player's favor.
The following return table is for ordinary blackjack with eight decks. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 6.814%.
Bust It — Eight Ordinary Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Suited 888  200  672  0.000019  0.003761 
Colored 888  50  2688  0.000075  0.003761 
Bust on 6  15  175616  0.004914  0.073713 
Bust on 7  9  374272  0.010473  0.094258 
Bust on 8  7  582400  0.016297  0.11408 
Bust on 9  5  814080  0.02278  0.113900 
Bust on 10  3  4233216  0.118456  0.355369 
Loss  1  29553536  0.826985  0.826985 
Total  35736480  1.000000  0.068143 
The next table shows the house edge for the pay table above and rules above for one to eight decks.
Bust It — Ordinary Decks
Decks  House Edge 

1  8.127% 
2  7.568% 
3  7.267% 
4  7.096% 
5  6.987% 
6  6.912% 
7  6.856% 
8  6.814% 
The following return table is for eight Spanish decks. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 8.006%.
Bust It — Eight Spanish Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Suited 888  200  672  0.000024  0.004784 
Colored 888  50  2688  0.000096  0.004784 
Bust on 6  15  143872  0.005122  0.076825 
Bust on 7  10  308736  0.010991  0.109907 
Bust on 8  8  484096  0.017233  0.137866 
Bust on 9  6  683008  0.024314  0.145886 
Bust on 10  3  2683392  0.095526  0.286577 
Loss  1  23784288  0.846695  0.846695 
Total  28090752  1.000000  0.080064 
The next table shows the house edge for the pay table above and rules above for one to eight Spanish decks.
Bust It — Spanish Decks
Decks  House Edge 

1  9.844% 
2  9.035% 
3  8.621% 
4  8.388% 
5  8.24% 
6  8.138% 
7  8.063% 
8  8.006% 
Straight 8's
"Straight 8's" is a blackjack side bet seen in Calgary in March 2007. Like the Lucky Lucky, it pays based on the player's first two cards and the dealer's up card.
The following return table is based on six decks. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 2.696%.
Straight 8's  Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Three suited 8's  200  80  0.000016  0.003191 
Three 8's  50  1944  0.000388  0.019388 
5,6,7  25  13824  0.002757  0.068936 
Three of a kind  5  24288  0.004845  0.024223 
Pair of 8's  3  79488  0.015855  0.047566 
8, 18, or 28  2  472032  0.094156  0.188311 
Pair  2  841248  0.167803  0.335605 
Loser  1  3580416  0.714181  0.714181 
Total  5013320  1.000000  0.026959 
The next table shows the house edge for the pay table above and rules above for one to eight decks.
Straight 8's  House Edge
Decks  House Edge 

1  15.529% 
2  7.934% 
3  5.331% 
4  4.018% 
5  3.226% 
6  2.696% 
7  2.317% 
8  2.032% 
2 Run 21
2 Run 21 is a blackjack side bet I noticed at the Silver Dollar casino in Seattle on June 5, 2007. It pays based on the player's first two cards, and the dealer's first two cards.
The following return table is based on six decks. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 10.236%.
2 Run 21 — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Two straight flushes  40  3242668  0.001395  0.055820 
Straight flush and straight  10  19445136  0.008368  0.083683 
Two straights  8  29173140  0.012555  0.100438 
One straight flush  3  147641008  0.063538  0.190613 
One straight  1  442923024  0.190613  0.190613 
Loser  1  1681248844  0.723530  0.723530 
Total  2323673820  1.000000  0.102364 
The next table shows the house edge for the pay table above and rules above for one to eight decks.
2 Run 21 — House Edge
Decks  House Edge 

1 deck  4.82% 
2 decks  8.13% 
3 decks  9.19% 
4 decks  9.72% 
5 decks  10.03% 
6 decks  10.24% 
7 decks  10.38% 
8 decks  10.50% 
In May 2008 I had an unconfirmed report that the above table is no longer the one in use. The writer claims the side bet is now based on only the player's first two cards, and the dealer's up card.
Winners Option
Winners Option is a side bet seen at the Las Vegas Hard Rock in August, 2007. In addition to playing blackjack normally, the player may bet on the dealer's hand. Unfortunately, you can't deliberately lose your own hand, in this case. If you bet on the dealer, as indicated on the table by a "D" arrow, then you must play according to the same rules as the dealer, never doubling or splitting, and hitting to hard 17 or soft 18. In the event both player and dealer bust, the bet will lose half.
I was not told how many decks were used, so I analyzed it by random simulation for all number of decks from one to eight. Here are the results. The right column shows the expected player loss. In a sixdeck game, for example, the house edge would be 4.09%.
Winners Option
Decks  Win  Push  Lose Half  Lose All  Return 

1  0.411247  0.093653  0.082833  0.412267  0.042436 
2  0.411339  0.095404  0.081857  0.411400  0.040989 
3  0.411138  0.096031  0.081745  0.411086  0.040821 
4  0.411057  0.096290  0.081677  0.410976  0.040757 
5  0.4109  0.096461  0.081608  0.411031  0.040935 
6  0.410856  0.096566  0.081632  0.410946  0.040905 
7  0.410842  0.096684  0.081592  0.410882  0.040836 
8  0.410875  0.096734  0.081575  0.410816  0.040729 
21 to the River
Information on this side bet has been moved to my page on 21 to the River.Super Split
Super Split is a blackjack side bet I noticed at the Viejas casino in California on December 1, 2008. It was closed at the time, so I don't know the number of decks used. The following return table is based on a sixdeck game. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 23.40%.
Super Split — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Two aces on original hand, with two face cards after splitting, all suited  2500  9180  0.000004  0.009877 
Two aces on original hand, with two face cards after splitting  200  696276  0.0003  0.059929 
Two aces on original hand, with one face card after splitting  50  4769280  0.002052  0.102624 
Two aces  25  7744284  0.003333  0.083319 
Two identical face cards  15  8621100  0.00371  0.055652 
Ace plus face card  6  82762560  0.035617  0.213703 
Two face cards  3  113798520  0.048974  0.146921 
All other  1  2105272620  0.90601  0.90601 
Total  2323673820  0  0.233987 
The next table shows the return, according to the number of decks.
Super Split — Exected Return
Decks  Return 

2  0.277397 
4  0.244818 
5  0.238317 
6  0.233987 
8  0.228577 
Lucky Pairs
Lucky Pairs is a side bet that wins if the player’s first two cards are a pair. Many baccarat tables also offer this bet. I understand it can be found in blackjack at some casinos in South Africa, where they pay 11 to 1. I do not know the number of decks used there.
The following table shows the house edge for 1 to 8 decks and various wins.
Lucky Pairs
Decks  Pays  Probability  Return 

1  15  0.058824  0.058824 
1  14  0.058824  0.117647 
1  13  0.058824  0.176471 
1  12  0.058824  0.235294 
1  11  0.058824  0.294118 
2  13  0.067961  0.048544 
2  12  0.067961  0.116505 
2  11  0.067961  0.184466 
3  12  0.070968  0.077419 
3  11  0.070968  0.148387 
4  12  0.072464  0.057971 
4  11  0.072464  0.130435 
5  12  0.073359  0.046332 
5  11  0.073359  0.119691 
6  12  0.073955  0.038585 
6  11  0.073955  0.11254 
7  12  0.07438  0.033058 
7  11  0.07438  0.107438 
8  12  0.074699  0.028916 
8  11  0.074699  0.103614 
If d is the number of decks, the probability of a pair is (4*d1)/(52*d1).
Kings Bounty
I have an unconfirmed report that The Red Dragon Casino in Lynnwood, Washington offers the Kings Bounty side bet. I do not know the number of decks used. The following return table is based on six decks. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 23.16%.Kings Bounty — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

2 King of Spades + Dealer BJ  1000  33840  0.000015  0.014563 
2 King of Spades  100  684585  0.000295  0.029461 
2 Suited Kings  30  2155275  0.000928  0.027826 
2 Suited 10, Jack, or Queens  20  8621100  0.00371  0.074202 
Suited 20  9  48278160  0.020777  0.18699 
2 Kings  6  10345320  0.004452  0.026713 
Unsuited 20  4  175870440  0.075686  0.302745 
Loser  1  2077685100  0.894138  0.894138 
Total  2323673820  1  0.231637 
The next table shows the house edge for various numbers of decks, assuming no change in the pay table.
Kings Bounty — House Edge
Decks  Return 

8  0.224693 
6  0.231637 
5  0.2372 
4  0.245555 
2  0.28754 
Perfect Charlie
"Perfect Charlie" is a side bet seen at the Fort McDowell casino in Arizona. Here are the rules:
 Six decks.
 Pays based on the player's first 3 to 5 cards on his initial hand.
 All winning pays must start with the first card.
 The player is only eligible for the highest qualifying win.
 Busting does not void any win.
 All pays are on a "for one" basis, meaning the player does not keep his original bet, even if he wins.
 The bet is only available for 25 or 50 cents.
Perfect Charlie — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

2,3,4,5,7 suited in order  300000  31104  0.0000000109  0.0032595048 
2,3,4,5 suited in order  80000  1565568  0.0000005469  0.0437497978 
2,3,4,5,7 suited any order  40000  3701376  0.0000012929  0.0517174762 
2,3,4,5,7 unsuited in order  20000  7838208  0.000002738  0.0547596807 
2,3,4,5 suited any order  4000  36008064  0.0000125781  0.0503122675 
2,3,4 suited in order  2000  80227584  0.0000280245  0.0560489959 
2,3,4,5 unsuited in order  1000  88335360  0.0000308566  0.0308566455 
2,3,4 suited any order  300  403004160  0.0001407744  0.0422323172 
2,3,4,5,7 unsuited any order  200  937039104  0.0003273195  0.0654638944 
2,3,4 unsuited in order  150  1130163840  0.0003947804  0.0592170535 
2,3,4,5 unsuited any order  100  2111215104  0.0007374738  0.0737473826 
2,3,4 unsuited any order  40  5650819200  0.0019739018  0.0789560713 
Loser  0  2852316197568  0.9963497023  0 
Total  2862766146240  1  0.6103210873 
The lower right cell shows a return of 61.03%, for a house edge of 38.97% (ouch!).
In Between
"In Between" is a side bet asked about at my companion site Wizard of Vegas. A reader wrote me that it was seen at the Sandia Resort & Casino in Albuquerque, New Mexico in April 2011. I would later see it in Lake Tahoe in July 2009.
The side bet plays like Red Dog. Here are the specific rules.
 Unknown number of decks. My analysis below is based on six decks.
 Player may make a side wager that the dealer's up card will fall between the ranks of the player's first two cards.
 For purposes of the side bet, aces are high only.
 If player's first two cards and dealer's up card form a three of a kind, then player wins 30 to 1.
 If the player wins with a spread of 1 (one rank between player's two ranks), then player will win 10 or 12 to 1, depending on the casino.
 If the player wins with a spread of 2, then player will win 6 to 1.
 If the player wins with a spread of 3, then player will win 4 to 1.
 If the player wins with a spread of 4 or more, then player will win 1 to 1.
 Otherwise, the player will lose.
The following table shows a house edge of 3.40%, assuming six decks and a spread of 1 paying 12 to 1.
In Between — Six Decks — Spread of One Pays 12 to 1
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Trips  30  157872  0.005248  0.157453 
Spread 1  12  304128  0.010111  0.121328 
Spread 2  6  552960  0.018383  0.110298 
Spread 3  4  746496  0.024817  0.099268 
Spread 4+  1  6303744  0.209567  0.209567 
Loss  1  22014720  0.731874  0.731874 
Total  30079920  1  0.033961 
The next table shows a house edge of 5.42%, assuming six decks and a spread of 1 paying 10 to 1.
In Between — Six Decks — Spread of One Pays 10 to 1
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Triple match  30  157,872  0.005248  0.157453 
Onecard spread  10  304,128  0.010111  0.101107 
Twocard spread  6  552,960  0.018383  0.110298 
Threecard spread  4  746,496  0.024817  0.099268 
All other spreads  1  6,303,744  0.209567  0.209567 
Loss  1  22,014,720  0.731874  0.731874 
Total  30,079,920  1.000000  0.054182 
The next table shows the house edge according to the number of decks and the win on a spread of 1.
In Between — House Edge
Decks  Spread One Pays 10 to 1 
Spread One Pays 12 to 1 

8  5.10%  3.08% 
6  5.42%  3.40% 
5  5.67%  3.64% 
4  6.04%  4.01% 
2  7.76%  5.70% 
1  10.46%  8.34% 
Another analysis of this bet, based on eight decks, can be found at miplet's blackjack side bet docs.
3 Card Hard Hand
The 3 Card Hard Hand is a side bet I noticed at the Boulder Station in Las Vegas on September 16, 2010. Much like the Lucky Lucky, it pays based on the player's first two cards and the dealer's up card. Aces may count as 1 or 11 points. The following table shows the pay table, probability of each win, and contribution to the total return, based on a sixdeck game. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 4.27%.
3 Card Hard Hand — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Suited 21  25  27,512  0.005488  0.137200 
Unsuited 21  2  421,200  0.084016  0.168032 
1720  1  1,410,056  0.281262  0.281262 
Loser  1  3,154,552  0.629234  0.629234 
Total  5,013,320  1.000000  0.042740 
The next table shows the house edge according to the number of decks.
3 Card Hard Hand — House Edge
Decks  House Edge 

1  3.87% 
2  4.13% 
3  4.21% 
4  4.24% 
5  4.26% 
6  4.27% 
7  4.28% 
8  4.29% 
Block
The Block bet is based on the player's first two cards and the dealer's up card. As of this writing (Nov. 2010) it can be found in South Africa, Egypt, Latvia, Estonia, Ireland, and Morocco. The bet wins if the dealer's up card matches the suit of one of the player's cards, and the player's card is higher. There are higher pays if the player's cards are a pair, suited, or both. Here is how the various winning hands are defined.
 Ultimate Block®: A Block consisting of two cards both of the same rank, both higher than and both of same suit as the dealer's card.
 Pair Block®: A Block consisting of two cards of the same rank, both higher than, and one of them the same suit as, the dealer's card.
 Flush Block®: A Block consisting of two cards of the same suit and one/both cards are higher and in the same suit as the dealer's card.
 Normal Block®: A Block consisting of one card higher and in the same suit as the dealer's card.
 Push: If one of the Player's cards matches the Dealer's card in both rank and suit, then is a push.
Here are return tables for 2, 6, and 8 decks. The pay tables were provided to me by the game maker.
Block — Two Decks
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Ultimate Block®  60  1,248  0.001142  0.068532 
Pair Block®  10  14,976  0.013706  0.137065 
Flush Block®  5  39,104  0.035789  0.178945 
Normal Block®  2  179,712  0.164477  0.328955 
Push  0  18,720  0.017133  0.000000 
Loser  1  838,864  0.767752  0.767752 
Total  1,092,624  1.000000  0.054255 
Block — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Ultimate Block®  35  56,160  0.001867  0.065346 
Pair Block®  10  404,352  0.013443  0.134426 
Flush Block®  5  1,100,736  0.036594  0.182969 
Normal Block®  2  4,852,224  0.161311  0.322622 
Push  0  848,640  0.028213  0.000000 
Loser  1  22,817,808  0.758573  0.758573 
Total  30,079,920  1.000000  0.053210 
Block — Eight Decks
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Ultimate Block®  35  139,776  0.001956  0.068448 
Pair Block®  10  958,464  0.013410  0.134102 
Flush Block®  5  2,622,464  0.036692  0.183458 
Normal Block®  2  11,501,568  0.160922  0.321844 
Push  0  2,114,112  0.029579  0.000000 
Loser  1  54,136,576  0.757441  0.757441 
Total  71,472,960  1.000000  0.049590 
The next table shows the pay tables available for 1 to 8 decks and the house edge.
Block — Eight Decks
Decks  Normal Block  Flush Block  Pair Block  Ultimate Block  House Edge 

1  2 to 1  5 to 1  15 to 1  N/A  5.88% 
2  2 to 1  5 to 1  10 to 1  60 to 1  5.43% 
3  2 to 1  5 to 1  10 to 1  50 to 1  4.52% 
4  2 to 1  5 to 1  10 to 1  40 to 1  5.21% 
5  2 to 1  5 to 1  10 to 1  35 to 1  5.61% 
6  2 to 1  5 to 1  10 to 1  35 to 1  5.32% 
7  2 to 1  5 to 1  10 to 1  35 to 1  5.11% 
8  2 to 1  5 to 1  10 to 1  35 to 1  4.96% 
More information is available about this bet at the casinoholdempoker.com.
Hit and Run
The Hit and Run is a progressive side bet I first noticed at the Suncoast in Las Vegas on November 3, 2011. It is a $1 bet that pays if the dealer gets a blackjack or at least five cards. For purposes of the total dealer cards, all cards count, including a bust card, if there was one.To analyze this bet I first looked at the probability of each possible event, by the number of decks. The following two tables show those probabilities, according to whether the dealer hits or stands on a soft 17.
Hit and Run Probabilities — Dealer Hits on Soft 17
Event  1 deck  2 decks  4 decks  5 decks  6 decks  8 decks 

8+ cards  0.00000553  0.00001250  0.00001759  0.00001875  0.00001956  0.00002060 
7 cards  0.00019242  0.00028462  0.00033818  0.00034948  0.00035712  0.00036680 
6 cards  0.00345798  0.00408065  0.00439796  0.00446180  0.00450443  0.00455777 
5 cards  0.03434820  0.03581484  0.03652738  0.03666828  0.03676193  0.03687865 
BJ  0.04826546  0.04779686  0.04756596  0.04752005  0.04748949  0.04745134 
Loss  0.91373042  0.91201053  0.91115293  0.91098163  0.91086748  0.91072483 
Hit and Run Probabilities — Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Event  1 deck  2 decks  4 decks  5 decks  6 decks  8 decks 

8+ cards  0.00000399  0.00000882  0.00001238  0.00001320  0.00001377  0.00001451 
7 cards  0.00015154  0.00022623  0.00027019  0.00027951  0.00028582  0.00029381 
6 cards  0.00298450  0.00354247  0.00382789  0.00388539  0.00392379  0.00397187 
5 cards  0.03168991  0.03307633  0.03375033  0.03388366  0.03397228  0.03408275 
BJ  0.04826546  0.04779686  0.04756596  0.04752005  0.04748949  0.04745134 
Loss  0.91690461  0.91534928  0.91457324  0.91441819  0.91431485  0.91418571 
The next two tables show the returns for all nonprogressive wins. All wins are on a "for one" basis, meaning the player does not keep his original bet if he wins. The table below shows, for example, that in a twodeck game, where the dealer hits a soft 17, the nonprogressive wins return 57.24%.
Hit and Run Returns — Dealer Hits on Soft 17
Event  Pays  1 deck  2 decks  4 decks  5 decks  6 decks  8 decks 

7 cards  100  0.01924185  0.02846213  0.03381830  0.03494830  0.03571243  0.03667967 
6 cards  25  0.08644947  0.10201621  0.10994908  0.11154508  0.11261064  0.11394429 
5 cards  7  0.24043741  0.25070388  0.25569165  0.25667798  0.25733348  0.25815057 
BJ  4  0.19306184  0.19118745  0.19026384  0.19008019  0.18995795  0.18980538 
Loss  0  0.00000000  0.00000000  0.00000000  0.00000000  0.00000000  0.00000000 
Total  0.53919057  0.57236967  0.58972287  0.59325155  0.59561450  0.59857990 
Hit and Run Returns — Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Event  Pays  1 deck  2 decks  4 decks  5 decks  6 decks  8 decks 

7 cards  100  0.01515360  0.02262332  0.02701911  0.02795094  0.02858187  0.02938144 
6 cards  25  0.07461250  0.08856179  0.09569721  0.09713469  0.09809477  0.09929678 
5 cards  7  0.22182935  0.23153433  0.23625234  0.23718563  0.23780594  0.23857923 
BJ  4  0.19306184  0.19118745  0.19026384  0.19008019  0.18995795  0.18980538 
Loss  0  0.00000000  0.00000000  0.00000000  0.00000000  0.00000000  0.00000000 
Total  0.50465729  0.53390689  0.54923250  0.55235145  0.55444054  0.55706282 
The next two tables show how much the return increases per $10,000 in the meter, as well as the "breakevenpoint," which is how high the meter would need to reach to have a 100% return, for a statistically fair bet.
Hit and Run Value per $10,000 in Meter and Breakeven Point — Dealer Hit on Soft 17
Metric  1 deck  2 decks  4 decks  5 decks  6 decks  8 decks 

Return per $10000 in meter  0.05526440  0.12496464  0.17587273  0.18753475  0.19559878  0.206010727 
Breakeven  $83,382.68  $34,220.11  $23,328.07  $21,689.23  $20,674.23  $19,485.40 
Hit and Run Value per $10,000 in Meter and Breakeven Point — Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Metric  1 deck  2 decks  4 decks  5 decks  6 decks  8 decks 

Return per $10000 in meter  0.03989356  0.08816667  0.12381517  0.13203645  0.13773304  0.145102266 
Breakeven  $124,166.07  $52,865.00  $36,406.48  $33,903.41  $32,349.50  $30,525.86 
When I saw this bet at the Suncoast it was on a twodeck game, where the dealer hits a soft 17. The meter on November 3, 2011 was at $8,888.44. Thus, the return at the time was 0.53919057 + (8888.44/10000)×0.124964643 = 68.34%.
Bet the Bust
Bet the Bust is a side bet I noticed at the Palace Station on December 29, 2011. The bet is offered after the initial two cards are dealt to each player and the dealer, with one dealer up card exposed, as usual. If the dealer's exposed card is a 10 or ace the dealer checks for blackjack before offering the Bet the Bust wager.The Bet the Bust pays if the dealer busts. The probability of the dealer busting depends on his up card, thus so do the odds.
At the Palace Station the table with this side bet used six decks and the dealer hit a soft 17. The following table shows what the Bet the Bust paid, the probability of winning, and the expected return, according to the dealer's up card. The right column shows the lowest house edge is on the 8 at 2.52%.
Bet the Bust — Six Decks — Dealer Hits Soft 17
Up Card  Pays  Probability  Expected Return 

A  3.5  0.201281  0.094236 
2  1.5  0.356661  0.108348 
3  1.5  0.376958  0.057605 
4  1  0.398470  0.203060 
5  1  0.419632  0.160736 
6  1  0.439259  0.121482 
7  2.5  0.261936  0.083224 
8  3  0.243693  0.025228 
9  3  0.229242  0.083032 
10  3  0.230239  0.079044 
The next table shows the probability of the dealer busting according to the number of decks, assuming the dealer hits on a soft 17.
Dealer Bust Probability — Dealer Hits on Soft 17
Up Card  1 Deck  2 Decks  3 Decks  4 Decks  5 Decks  6 Decks  7 Decks  8 Decks 

A  0.204574  0.202556  0.201912  0.201595  0.201406  0.201281  0.201192  0.201125 
2  0.356345  0.356527  0.356593  0.356627  0.356647  0.356661  0.356670  0.356677 
3  0.378075  0.377460  0.377218  0.377090  0.377011  0.376958  0.376920  0.376891 
4  0.405796  0.401328  0.399887  0.399176  0.398751  0.398470  0.398269  0.398119 
5  0.429961  0.423668  0.421634  0.420629  0.420030  0.419632  0.419348  0.419136 
6  0.437756  0.438754  0.439022  0.439144  0.439214  0.439259  0.439291  0.439314 
7  0.259854  0.261143  0.261546  0.261742  0.261859  0.261936  0.261990  0.262031 
8  0.238627  0.241630  0.242656  0.243173  0.243485  0.243693  0.243842  0.243954 
9  0.233442  0.230898  0.230066  0.229653  0.229406  0.229242  0.229125  0.229037 
10  0.232499  0.231144  0.230692  0.230465  0.230329  0.230239  0.230174  0.230125 
The next table shows the expected return according to the number of decks, assuming the dealer hits on a soft 17, and the same pay table as at the Palace Station, indicated above.
Expected Return — Dealer Hits on Soft 17
Up Card  1 Deck  2 Decks  3 Decks  4 Decks  5 Decks  6 Decks  7 Decks  8 Decks 

A  0.079417  0.088498  0.091396  0.092823  0.093673  0.094236  0.094636  0.094938 
2  0.109138  0.108683  0.108518  0.108433  0.108383  0.108348  0.108325  0.108308 
3  0.054813  0.056350  0.056955  0.057275  0.057473  0.057605  0.057700  0.057773 
4  0.188408  0.197344  0.200226  0.201648  0.202498  0.203060  0.203462  0.203762 
5  0.140078  0.152664  0.156732  0.158742  0.159940  0.160736  0.161304  0.161728 
6  0.124488  0.122492  0.121956  0.121712  0.121572  0.121482  0.121418  0.121372 
7  0.090511  0.086000  0.084589  0.083903  0.083494  0.083224  0.083035  0.082891 
8  0.045492  0.033480  0.029376  0.027308  0.026060  0.025228  0.024632  0.024184 
9  0.066232  0.076408  0.079736  0.081388  0.082376  0.083032  0.083500  0.083852 
10  0.070004  0.075424  0.077232  0.078140  0.078684  0.079044  0.079304  0.079500 
It is not difficult to see that this side bet would be very countable. However, for now, you're on your own with that.
Bust Me
I have an unconfirmed report that this side bet was seen at Freddie's Club in Fife, Washington in February, 2012. It is a side bet that the player will bust on the next card. The bet may be made on player totals of 12 to 16. The odds a winning bet pays depends on the player's total as shown in the table below.
The following table shows the pertinent information for Bust Me, based on a two deck game. This table assumes the player makes this bet only on his original two cards.
Bust Me — Two Decks
Player Total  Pays  Probability  Expected Return 

12  2  0.308453  0.074642 
13  1.5  0.385154  0.037115 
14  1  0.461451  0.077099 
15  0.5  0.537582  0.193627 
16  0.5  0.607843  0.088235 
The next table shows the house edge according to the player's total and number of decks.
Bust Me — House Edge for One to Eight Decks
Player Total  1 Deck  2 Decks  4 Decks  5 Decks  6 Decks  8 Decks 

12  7.25%  7.46%  7.58%  7.60%  7.61%  7.63% 
13  3.57%  3.71%  3.78%  3.79%  3.80%  3.81% 
14  7.76%  7.71%  7.70%  7.70%  7.69%  7.69% 
15  19.50%  19.36%  19.30%  19.28%  19.27%  19.26% 
16  10.00%  8.82%  8.25%  8.14%  8.06%  7.97% 
It is not difficult to see that this side bet would be vulnerable to card counters. I'll leave that as an exercise for the readers (I hate it when people say that!).
Cowboys & Cowgirls
I noticed this side bet at Arizona Charlie's on Decatur on February 23, 2012. It is a pair of bets, mostly paying based on the color of the dealer's up card. However, there are exceptions for kings, queens, and threes. The following two return tables show the odds of all possible outcomes. The number of decks does not matter.
Cowboys
Event  Pays  Cards  Probability  Expected Return 

Red Queen or King  1.5  4  0.076923  0.115385 
Any other red, except 3  1  20  0.384615  0.384615 
Black or 3  1  28  0.538462  0.538462 
Total  52  1.000000  0.038462 
Cowgirls
Event  Pays  Cards  Probability  Expected Return 

Black King or Queen  1.5  4  0.076923  0.115385 
Any other black, except 3  1  20  0.384615  0.384615 
Red or 3  1  28  0.538462  0.538462 
Total  52  1.000000  0.038462 
Red Flex
Details on this side bet can be found on my Red Flex page.
Dealer Bust 21
Dealer Bust 21 is a side bet I noticed at the Tropicana on September 13, 2012. I am also told it can be found at the Fiesta Henderson. The wins pay according to the dealer's up card, as follows.
Dealer Bust 21 Pay Table
Up Card  Tropicana  Fiesta Henderson 

Ace  2  10 
10 to King  2  4 
7 to 9  2  2 
2 to 6  2  1 
To begin my analysis, the following two tables show the probability of the dealer busting according to the number of decks, up card, and whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17.
Dealer Bust Probability — Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Up Card  1 Deck  2 Decks  4 Decks  5 Decks  6 Decks  8 Decks 

Ace  0.116540  0.115872  0.115569  0.115511  0.115473  0.115426 
2  0.352973  0.353291  0.353451  0.353483  0.353504  0.353530 
3  0.375588  0.374794  0.374349  0.374256  0.374194  0.374115 
4  0.402803  0.398540  0.396481  0.396075  0.395805  0.395469 
5  0.428905  0.422505  0.419419  0.418810  0.418406  0.417902 
6  0.420823  0.422132  0.422676  0.422776  0.422842  0.422922 
7  0.259854  0.261143  0.261742  0.261859  0.261936  0.262031 
8  0.238627  0.241630  0.243173  0.243485  0.243693  0.243954 
9  0.233442  0.230898  0.229653  0.229406  0.229242  0.229037 
10  0.214264  0.213191  0.212651  0.212543  0.212471  0.212381 
Average  0.283585  0.282582  0.282086  0.281987  0.281921  0.281839 
Dealer Bust Probability — Dealer Hits on Soft 17
Up Card  1 Deck  2 Decks  4 Decks  5 Decks  6 Decks  8 Decks 

Ace  0.140394  0.139626  0.139266  0.139196  0.139149  0.139091 
2  0.356345  0.356527  0.356627  0.356647  0.356661  0.356677 
3  0.378075  0.377460  0.377090  0.377011  0.376958  0.376891 
4  0.405796  0.401328  0.399176  0.398751  0.398470  0.398119 
5  0.429961  0.423668  0.420629  0.420030  0.419632  0.419136 
6  0.437756  0.438754  0.439144  0.439214  0.439259  0.439314 
7  0.259854  0.261143  0.261742  0.261859  0.261936  0.262031 
8  0.238627  0.241630  0.243173  0.243485  0.243693  0.243954 
9  0.233442  0.230898  0.229653  0.229406  0.229242  0.229037 
10  0.214264  0.213191  0.212651  0.212543  0.212471  0.212381 
Average  0.287485  0.286446  0.285931  0.285829  0.285760  0.285675 
The next table shows the house edge according to the number of decks and whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17 under the Tropicana rules where all wins pay 2 to 1.
Dealer Bust 21 House Edge — Tropicana Rules
Decks  Dealer Stands Soft 17 
Dealer Hits Soft 17 

1  14.92%  13.75% 
2  15.23%  14.07% 
4  15.37%  14.22% 
5  15.40%  14.25% 
6  15.42%  14.27% 
8  15.45%  14.30% 
The next table shows the house edge according to the number of decks and whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17 under the Fiesta Henderson rules.
Dealer Bust 21 House Edge — Fiesta Henderson Rules
Decks  Dealer Stands Soft 17 
Dealer Hits Soft 17 

1  9.81%  7.38% 
2  10.14%  7.72% 
4  10.30%  7.89% 
5  10.33%  7.93% 
6  10.36%  7.95% 
8  10.38%  7.98% 
House Money 21
House Money 21 is a side bet by game inventor Roger Snow of Shufflemaster. As of this writing (September 2012), it is reported to be at the Pala Casino near San Diego, the Siena in Reno, and the Drift On Inn in Washington.
The thrust of this one is that the side bet wins if the player's first two cards form a pair, straight, or straight flush. The twist is that the player may choose to take down his original bet and winnings, or add them to his blackjack wager. Normally capping a bet is a serious offense in Vegas, but this game offers a chance to do it safely. Here are the complete rules.
 The game is based on conventional blackjack rules.
 The House Money side bet pays according to the following pay table.
House Money 21 Pay Table
Player Hand Pays Aceking suited 9 to 1 All other straight flush 4 to 1 Pair 3 to 1 Straight 1 to 1  If the player wins the House Money bet he may choose to (1) take down his original wager and winnings, or (2) add both to his blackjack wager.
 The blackjack hand will be played out according to standard blackjack rules.
For my analysis I'm going to assume the following blackjack rules:
 Six decks
 Dealer hits soft 17
 Blackjack pays 3 to 2
 Double after split allowed
 Player may resplit any pair (including aces) up to four times.
Strategy
The following table shows when the player should parlay his win on the blackjack wager.
From there, the strategy is the same as the same basic strategy that applies to blackjack. Keep in mind when making the wager, that this will sometimes call for putting out more of your own money when splitting. If you're not comfortable doing that, don't make the House Money bet in the first place.
House Edge
My analysis shows the player will have a paying twocard hand 22.83% of the time. From there, the player will parlay the win on his blackjack wager 46.92% of the time. Overall, the house edge on the House Money 21 bet is 2.79%. This is defined as ratio of the expected loss from the House Money bet to the initial House Money bet itself.
Outside Links
Discount Gambling also has an analysis of House Money, including a look at the vulnerability to card counters. Stephen puts the house edge at little lower than I do at 2.6%, based on the same rules.
Wild Aces
Wild Aces is a side bet I heard started at the Golden Nugget in October, 2012. Here are the rules.
 The game is based on conventional blackjack rules.
 If the player's first card is an ace then he may make the Wild Aces side bet, for up to his blackjack wager or $100, whichever is less.
 If the player's second card is any 10point card then the Wild Aces bet will pay 2 to 1. Otherwise it loses.
In other words, it is mathematically the same as Insurance. Here is the probability of winning and expected return according to the number of decks.
Wild Aces
Decks  Probability  Return 

1  0.313725  0.058824 
2  0.310680  0.067961 
3  0.309677  0.070968 
4  0.309179  0.072464 
5  0.308880  0.073359 
6  0.308682  0.073955 
8  0.308434  0.074699 
I'm sure some will be wondering what games they have this on. I hear it is mostly on 65 games in the Party Pit and pool, plus one 32 game on the main casino floor. None use a continuous shuffler.
Royal 20's
Royal 20's — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Suited pair of JK  25  180  0.003710  0.092753 
Suited 20  10  1,068  0.022013  0.220134 
Unsuited 20  5  3,888  0.080139  0.400693 
Loser  1  43,380  0.894138  0.894138 
Total  48,516  1.000000  0.180559 
The next table shows just the house edge by number of decks.
Royal 20's House Edge
Decks  House Edge 

8  17.57% 
6  18.06% 
5  18.44% 
4  19.03% 
2  21.96% 
Here is an article about the side bet, in which I am mentioned as the mathematician: NEVADAN AT WORK: BOBBY FLORENCE, Blackjack dealer — With blackjack patent, exUNLV hoops star goes from nets to bets
Suit 'em Up
I noticed Suit 'em Up at the Red Rock casino in Las Vegas on April 19, 2013. It was on a doubledeck table. As long as the player's first two cards are suited he wins, with wins ranging from 21 to 601.
The following return table is for two decks and shows a house edge of 9.41%.
Suit 'em Up — Two Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Suited aces  60  4  0.000747  0.044810 
Suited blackjack  10  64  0.011949  0.119492 
Suited pair  5  48  0.008962  0.044810 
Suited 11  3  64  0.011949  0.035848 
Any other suited  2  1120  0.209111  0.418223 
Loser  1  4056  0.757282  0.757282 
Total  5356  1.000000  0.094100 
The next table is for a hypothetical six deckgame and shows a house edge of 3.41%.
Suit 'em Up — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Suited aces  60  60  0.001237  0.074202 
Suited blackjack  10  576  0.011872  0.118724 
Suited pair  5  720  0.014840  0.074202 
Suited 11  3  576  0.011872  0.035617 
Any other suited  2  10080  0.207767  0.415533 
Loser  1  36504  0.752412  0.752412 
Total  48516  1.000000  0.034133 
The next table shows the expected value by various numbers of decks.
Suit 'em Up Expected Return
Decks  Expected Return 

8  0.026691 
6  0.034133 
5  0.040095 
4  0.049052 
2  0.094100 
20 Bet
This is a simple bet I noticed at the Palms casino in Managua, Nicaragua, on April 29, 2013. The bet was titled Apuesta de 20. It pays 7 to 1 if the total of the dealer's first two cards is 20, including a soft 20. The following table shows the probability of winning and expected return for one to eight decks. The Palms uses six decks, for a house edge of 15.31%.
20 Bet
Decks  Pays  Probability  Return 

1  7  0.102564  0.179487 
2  7  0.104556  0.163555 
3  7  0.105211  0.158313 
4  7  0.105537  0.155704 
5  7  0.105732  0.154143 
6  7  0.105862  0.153104 
7  7  0.105955  0.152363 
8  7  0.106024  0.151807 
Dealer Bust — Nicaragua Version
This is a side bet I noticed at the Palms casino in Managua, Nicaragua, on April 29, 2013. The bet was titled Casa Demasiado, which means "house too much." The bet wins if the dealer busts. The win depends on what the dealer's up card is, as follows:
 Dealer busts with 2 to 6 up: Pays 1 to 1
 Dealer busts with 7 to 9 up: Pays 2 to 1
 Dealer busts with 10 up: Pays 3 to 1
 Dealer busts with ace up: Pays 7 to 1
Unlike the Dealer Bust 21 bet, the wager may be made after seeing the dealer's up card. The following table shows the expected return according to the dealer's up card and the number of decks, assuming the dealer stands on a soft 17. At the Palms they use six decks.
Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Up Card  Pays  1  2  4  5  6  8 

Ace  7  0.067680  0.073024  0.075448  0.075912  0.076216  0.076592 
2  1  0.294054  0.293418  0.293098  0.293034  0.292992  0.292940 
3  1  0.248824  0.250412  0.251302  0.251488  0.251612  0.251770 
4  1  0.194394  0.202920  0.207038  0.207850  0.208390  0.209062 
5  1  0.142190  0.154990  0.161162  0.162380  0.163188  0.164196 
6  1  0.158354  0.155736  0.154648  0.154448  0.154316  0.154156 
7  2  0.220438  0.216571  0.214774  0.214423  0.214192  0.213907 
8  2  0.284119  0.275110  0.270481  0.269545  0.268921  0.268138 
9  2  0.299674  0.307306  0.311041  0.311782  0.312274  0.312889 
10  3  0.142944  0.147236  0.149396  0.149828  0.150116  0.150476 
Here is the same table if the dealer hits a soft 17.
Dealer Hits on Soft 17
Up Card  Pays  1  2  4  5  6  8 

Ace  7  0.123152  0.117008  0.114128  0.113568  0.113192  0.112728 
2  1  0.287310  0.286946  0.286746  0.286706  0.286678  0.286646 
3  1  0.243850  0.245080  0.245820  0.245978  0.246084  0.246218 
4  1  0.188408  0.197344  0.201648  0.202498  0.203060  0.203762 
5  1  0.140078  0.152664  0.158742  0.159940  0.160736  0.161728 
6  1  0.124488  0.122492  0.121712  0.121572  0.121482  0.121372 
7  2  0.220438  0.216571  0.214774  0.214423  0.214192  0.213907 
8  2  0.284119  0.275110  0.270481  0.269545  0.268921  0.268138 
9  2  0.299674  0.307306  0.311041  0.311782  0.312274  0.312889 
10  3  0.142944  0.147236  0.149396  0.149828  0.150116  0.150476 
Roulette
I noticed the roulette bets, or ruleta in Spanish, at the Palms casino in Managua, Nicaragua, on April 29, 2013. They are side bets on the next dealer card. Interestingly, they may be made at any point the dealer is about to draw a card. Bets on an ace to 9 pay 10 to 1, and any 10point card pays 2 to 1.
The house edge is 2/13, or 15.38%, on the ace to 9 bets. On the dealer 10 bet the house edge is 1/13, or 7.69%.
Dealer Total
This is a set of side bets I noticed at the Palms casino in Managua, Nicaragua, on April 29, 2013. The bets had no name so I'm taking the liberty of calling them the "Dealer Total" bets. There are five bets available on the final dealer total, ranging from 17 to 21. The bets may be made after seeing the dealer's up card. However, the player may not bet on the up card plus ten. For example, if the up card is a seven, then the player can't bet on 17. Here is what each total pays.
 Total of 17: Pays 5 to 1
 Total of 18: Pays 6 to 1
 Total of 19: Pays 6 to 1
 Total of 20: Pays 6 to 1
 Total of 21: Pays 7 to 1
The following table shows the expected value of each bet according to the up card, assuming six decks and the dealer stands on soft 17, which are the rules at the Palms in Managua. I'm leaving in the situations the player is not allowed to bet per the "+10 rule," should another casino pick these bets up and be nice enough to not enforce that rule.
Dealer Total Bets — Expected Value
Up Card  17  18  19  20  21 

Ace  0.219898  0.084246  0.085842  0.083630  0.571972 
2  0.162064  0.059277  0.089860  0.131867  0.052696 
3  0.194224  0.086227  0.123418  0.154281  0.080576 
4  0.216664  0.131566  0.151096  0.184913  0.105072 
5  0.268942  0.142941  0.176975  0.217449  0.136440 
6  0.005758  0.256642  0.254983  0.289143  0.221795 
7  1.215248  0.034483  0.451004  0.449229  0.409474 
8  0.226360  1.519685  0.098939  0.515468  0.444239 
9  0.278140  0.178564  1.462978  0.157424  0.512982 
10  0.328516  0.218317  0.216385  1.380098  0.721461 
If you must make this bet, then the next table shows shows the best bet and expected value for any given up cards.
Dealer Total — Strategy
Up Card  Best Bet  Expected Value 

Ace  20  0.083630 
2  21  0.052696 
3  21  0.080576 
4  21  0.105072 
5  21  0.136440 
6  17  0.005758 
7  18  0.098939 
8  19  0.157424 
9  20  0.157424 
10  19  0.216385 
Let's Play
I'm not sure if the correct title of this side bet is "Let's Play," "Let's Play AKQJ," or "100K ... Let's Play." Whatever the name, I first saw it at the Eureka Casino in Mesquite NV on January 3, 2014. It usually pays based on the player's first two cards, with the top pay also involving the dealer's first two cards. The following return table, based on two decks, shows all the specifics. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 11.01%.
Let's Play — Double Deck
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

AKQJ suited (player and dealer)  250  384  0.000014  0.003480 
Aceking suited (player only)  20  82,352  0.002985  0.059700 
Queenjack suited (player only)  15  82,352  0.002985  0.044775 
Straight flush (player only)  4  906,512  0.032858  0.131432 
Flush (player only)  2  5,624,700  0.203877  0.407753 
Loser  1  20,892,456  0.757282  0.757282 
Total  27,588,756  1.000000  0.110142 
The game's web site, turbogamingllc.com, says that other pay tables are available for other numbers of decks. All I know is the Eureka doubledeck pay table, which you see above.
There is discussion about Let's Play, including the vulnerability to card counters, in my forum at Wizard of Vegas.
Lucky Eights
Lucky Eights is a side bet that was reported to be at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore in May, 2014. It pays based on the player's first two cards and the dealer's up card. The following return table for six decks shows a house edge of 7.66%.
Lucky Eights — Six Decks
Event  Pays  Combinations  Probability  Return 

Three suited eights  1,000  16  0.000011  0.010824 
Three unsuited eights  100  544  0.000368  0.036800 
Two suited eights  10  4,608  0.003117  0.031172 
Two unsuited eights  5  18,432  0.012469  0.062344 
Pair  3  283,200  0.191577  0.574731 
All other  1  1,171,456  0.792458  0.792458 
Total  1,478,256  1.000000  0.076588 
The next table shows the house edge for variou numbers of decks.
Lucky Eights — House Edge
Decks  EV 

4  7.66% 
5  6.19% 
6  5.21% 
8  3.96% 
Card counters will be unhappy to learn they use a continuous shuffler at the Marina Bay Sands. I would keep an eye out for any other casinos that don't.
Lucky 7
Lucky 7 is a side bet found in the Lucky 7 Blackjack game at Internet casinos using Amaya software, such as InterCasino. Eights decks are used. It wins if the first player card is a seven, and up from there, depending on how many more sevens the player gets in a row, up to three, and whether they are suited.
If the player has two sevens, and the dealer gets a blackjack, then the player will not have the opportunity to take a third card.
Assuming the player always draws or splits for a third card with two sevens, which he should, the following table would show the probability and return for each possible outcome. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 49.89%. I think that makes this the worst side bet, in terms of player odds, I've ever seen.
Lucky 7 — Eight Decks
Event  Pays  Probability  Return 

Three suited sevens  500  0.000018  0.008949 
Three unsuited sevens  100  0.000378  0.037844 
Two suited sevens  50  0.001204  0.060219 
Two unsuited sevens  25  0.004145  0.103634 
One seven  3  0.071177  0.213531 
Zero sevens  1  0.923077  0.923077 
Total  1.000000  0.498900 
Lucky Stiff
There is a separate page devoted to Lucky Stiff Blackjack.
Triple Sevens
Triple Sevens is a $1 progressive blackjack side bet found at Internet casinos using Microgaming software. I believe it is available only in the download version. The number of decks used is five and the player gets an opportunity to draw a third card because the dealer follows the European "no peek" rule. The three sevens must all be part of the original hand.
The following table assumes the player always hits two sevens for a third card. This will cause some strategy errors where the player should split instead, increasing the house edge of the base game.
Triple Sevens — Five Decks
Event  Pays  Probability  Return 

777 in diamonds  Jackpot  0.000003  ? 
777 suited  1000  0.000010  0.010360 
777 mixed suits  250  0.000380  0.094971 
77 suited  50  0.001105  0.055256 
77 mixed suits  25  0.004144  0.103605 
7  5  0.071280  0.356400 
The return of the game is 62.06% plus 3.453% for every $10,000 in the meter. The breakeven point is $109,862.
More information is available at Casino Listings.
Double Jack
Double Jack is a side bet available at some Internet casinos that use Net Entertainment software. It pays if the first player card is a jack and more if both of them are. Four decks of cards are used. The following return table shows a house edge of 4.93%.
Double Jack — Four Decks
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Two jack of spades  100  12  0.000279  0.027871 
Two jacks  25  228  0.005295  0.132386 
First card jack  10  3,072  0.071349  0.713489 
All other  1  39,744  0.923077  0.923077 
Total  43,056  1.000000  0.049331 
Golden 21
Please see my page on Golden 21 for information on this side bet.
Sevens
This is a side bet found in blackjack games by Gamesys, a company that provides software to Internet casinos. It is based on the number of consecutive sevens the player gets, starting with the first one. Six decks are used. If the player gets two sevens and splits, then he is paid for two sevens only, regardless of the third card.
The following table shows the probability and return for each possible outcome. It does not factor in the cost of deviating from basic strategy with two sevens against a dealer 2 to 7. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 4.09%.
Sevens
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Three sevens  250  12,144  0.000404  0.100931 
Two sevens  40  158,976  0.005285  0.211405 
One seven  8  2,142,720  0.071234  0.569874 
No sevens  1  27,766,080  0.923077  0.923077 
Total  30,079,920  1.000000  0.040867 
Safe Bet
Please see my page on Safe Bet for information on this side bet.
Highest Hand
Please see my page on Highest Hand for information on this side bet.
Bust Bonus
Please see my page on Bust Bonus for information on this side bet.
777 Jackpot
This is a $1 bet by Dragonfish, on use their Jackpot Blackjack table. Despite the title it is not progressive. Four decks are used. The player must get three sevens to win. The third seven must be from hitting. The following table shows a return of 65.54%, which means a house edge of 34.46% (ouch!) and that does not consider the expense of hitting two sevens against a 2 to 7 hoping to catch a third seven, when splitting is otherwise the correct play.
777 Jackpot — Four Decks
Event  Pays  Permutations  Probability  Return 

Three seven of spades  30,000  4  0.000003  0.081177 
Three sevens  1,500  556  0.000376  0.564178 
All other    1,477,696  0.999621  0.000000 
Total  1,478,256  1.000000  0.645355 
Cash Queens
Please see my page on Cash Queens for information on this side bet.
Mega Match
Please see my page on Mega Match for information on this side bet.
Double Twist
Please see my page on Double Twist Blackjack for information on this side bet.
Sign seen at the Silver Dollar casino near the Seattle airport in June 2007. It would read "Sidebets are strictly prohibited", if it were spelled correctly.
If you are interested in the analysis of blackjack side bets, please see my Gaming Math course notes on that topic. Here are some links:
Written by: Michael Shackleford