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Big Bet Blackjack


Big Bet Blackjack is a blackjack variation allowing the player to make a supplemental wager after he sees his cards. It can be played at the Firekeepers casino in Battle Creek, Michigan.


  1. Six decks are used (configurable)
  2. Dealer hits soft 17
  3. Blackjack pays 3-2 (configurable)
  4. Player may NOT double down
  5. Player may split any pair, except aces, up to three times. Aces may be split once only.
  6. If the player's initial two cards total 19 or less, the player may make the "Big Bet" for up to two times the original wager.
  7. The player may make the Big Bet after splitting as long as the total of that hand is 19 or less and is not the result of splitting aces.
  8. For purposes of the 19 points rule, aces count as 11 points.
  9. When the player outscores the dealer, without the dealer busting, wins pay even money.
  10. When the dealer busts, standing player wagers shall pay as follows according to the number of cards in the dealer hand:
    • 3 cards = 1 to 2
    • 4 cards = 1 to 1
    • 5 cards = 3 to 2
    • 6 cards = 3 to 1
    • 7 cards = 10 to 1
    • 8 cards = 100 to 1


The following strategy shows when to make the Big Bet as well as when to split. Otherwise, use conventional blackjack strategy for hitting and standing.


The house edge on Big Bet Blackjack is 0.80%.

The average final wager, after splitting and making the Big Bet, is 1.42 units. This makes the element of risk, defined as the ratio of expected player loss to total amount bet, which I think is useful to evaluate the value of the game, is 0.80%/1.42 = 0.56%.

If a winning blackjack pays 6-5, the house edge increases to 2.12%.


The house edge and strategy for this game was determined by Charles Mousseau. The game owners kindly shared Charles' math report with permission to publish here. I have the highest respect for Charles and have no compunction to publish his numbers.