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Ask the Wizard #71
Bryan from Austin, Texas
Good question. "Triple Sevens Blackjack" is played with five decks with a $1 mandatory side bet. Following is the side bet return table, based on a meter of $41,227 (the amount on August 31, 2002).
Microgaming Triple Sevens Side Bet
|1 seven||1238400||0.07128||5 for 1||0.3564|
|2 unsuited 7’s||72000||0.004144||25 for 1||0.103605|
|2 suited 7’s||19200||0.001105||50 for 1||0.055256|
|3 unsuited 7’s||6600||0.00038||250 for 1||0.094971|
|3 suited 7’s||180||0.00001||1000 for 1||0.01036|
|3 diamond 7’s||60||0.000003||41227 for 1||0.142377|
If the player splits two sevens the connectivity is lost and the player begins each hand with one seven for purposes of the side bet. The player should never split sevens in this game at low bet levels ($40 or less). The house edge on the side bet is 37.94%, less 3.45% for every $10,000 in the meter. When I checked at the Golden Tiger casino on August 31, 2002, the meter was at $41,227, for a return of 76.30%, or a house edge of 23.70%. For the side bet to have no house edge the meter would need to reach $109,862. This does not consider the 0.0057% cost of deviating from basic strategy by not splitting two sevens. Assuming the player is betting $2 on the blackjack hand (the minimum) the meter would need to reach $113,196 for the combined game to have no house edge.
David from Sunland, USA
With every new roll the probability the next four rolls will be all double sixes is (1/36)4 = 1 in 1679616.
Steve from Tuscon, U.S.A.
I’m glad you asked. You can get them through Custom Strategy Cards. These are my own blackjack and video poker strategies on nice wallet sized laminated cards.
Nov. 13, 2007 update: The Custom Strategy Cards site is now defunct.
Dan from Brooklyn, USA
In early surrender you can surrender before the dealer checks for blackjack. With late surrender you only have the option after the dealer checks for blackjack. Early surrender is much better because you can still save half your bet when the dealer does have blackjack. As far as I know no casino on the land or Internet currently offers early surrender.
Barry from Brooklyn, New York
Two questions from Brooklyn in a row, what are the odds of that? The best video poker odds are with Microgaming and Real Time Gaming. It depends on your specific game of choice. Of these two I prefer the Real Time Gaming interface better.
Teodoro C. Deocares from Dagupan, Philippines
There are two possible spans: 1 to 5 and 2 to 6. Each of these spans can be ordered in 5!=120 ways. There are 65 = 7776 ways to roll five dice. So the probability is 2*120/7776 = 3.09%. The probability of this seems to be much higher right after I put mark 0 for large straight during a game of Yahtzee.
KYK from Hong Kong
As I have said many times, in the long run all betting systems are equally worthless.
Dave from Northfield, Minneapolis
Don’t be so hard on yourself. Very few Internet casinos implement the buy bet odds correctly. When I say the odds are 39-21 I mean that if you bet $21 (including the commission) you will get back $39 plus the original $21 if you win. So if you win you get back $60. Consider making a $20 buy bet, plus the $1 commission. The $1 is gone forever, but if you win you get back $40 in winnings plus the original $20, for a total of $60. Either way you risk $21 and get back $60 if you win.