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Last Updated: September 12, 2016

Buster Blackjack

Introduction



I saw Buster Blackjack in Lake Tahoe on July 9, 2016, but I think it has been around for years. The bet wins if the dealer busts. The more cards it takes, the more the player wins. The bet is marketed by AGS.

Rules



The rules to the side bet are quite simple. If the dealer busts, then the player wins according to how many cards were needed to bust. If the dealer does not bust, then the side bet loses. I know of two pay tables, which are shown below. All wins are on a "to one" basis.

Version 1 Pay Table

Cards Pays
8 or more 250
7 50
6 15
5 4
3 or 4 2

Version 2 assumes that if the player gets a blackjack, then the dealer will still play out his hand.

Version 2 Pay Table

Cards Pays
8+ cards & player BJ 2000
7 cards & player BJ 800
8+ cards & no player BJ 250
7 cards & no player BJ 50
6 cards 18
5 cards 4
3 or 4 cards 2

Pay Table 1 Analysis



The following table shows the probability and return of all possible outcomes, assuming six decks and the dealer hits a soft 17. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 6.21%.

Pay Table 1 — Six Decks — Dealer Hits Soft 17

Event Pays Probability Return
Bust with 8 cards 250 0.000012 0.002986
Bust with 7 cards 50 0.000214 0.010722
Bust with 6 cards 12 0.002638 0.031651
Bust with 5 cards 4 0.020473 0.08189
Bust with 4 cards 2 0.089392 0.178784
Bust with 3 cards 2 0.173032 0.346064
Dealer doesn't bust -1 0.714241 -0.714241
Total 1.000000 -0.062143

The next table shows the house edge for other number of decks and whether the dealer hits or stands on soft 17.

House Edge Summary

Decks Stand on
Soft 17
Hit on
Soft 17
1 8.77% 6.89%
2 8.48% 6.51%
4 8.31% 6.29%
5 8.27% 6.25%
6 8.25% 6.21%
8 8.22% 6.17%

Pay Table 2 Analysis



The following table shows the probability and return of all possible outcomes, assuming six decks and the dealer stands on a soft 17. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 6.20%.

Pay Table 2 — Six Decks — Dealer Hits Soft 17

Event Pays Probability Return
8+ cards & player BJ 2000 0.00000037 0.000746886
7 cards & player BJ 800 0.00000786 0.006284453
8+ cards 250 0.00000808 0.002020582
7 cards 50 0.00016478 0.008239127
6 cards 18 0.00231512 0.041672197
5 cards 4 0.01911939 0.076477552
3 or 4 cards 2 0.26030574 0.520611475
No bust -1 0.71807866 -0.718078658
Total 1.00000000 -0.062026386

Mega Blackjack



Mega Blackjack is a blackjack variant that has special pay tables for the Buster Blackjack bet, as shown below. Note that for pay table 3 the dealer must bust with four or more cards for the side bet to win.

Buster Blackjack Version 3

Event Pays Probability Return
Bust with 8+ cards 250 0.000012 0.002986
Bust with 7 cards 50 0.000214 0.010722
Bust with 6 cards 15 0.002638 0.039564
Bust with 5 cards 10 0.020473 0.204726
Bust with 4 cards 6 0.089392 0.536351
All other -1 0.887272 -0.887272
Total 1.000000 -0.092923

Version 2 of Buster Blackjack has a pay table that pays for any busted dealer hand of three or more cards. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 13.79%.

Buster Blackjack Version 4

Event Pays Probability Return
Bust with 8+ cards 250 0.000012 0.002986
Bust with 7 cards 50 0.000214 0.010722
Bust with 6 cards 15 0.002638 0.039564
Bust with 5 cards 4 0.020473 0.081890
Bust with 4 cards 3 0.089392 0.268175
Bust with 3 cards 1 0.173032 0.173032
All other -1 0.714240 -0.714240
Total 1.000000 -0.137870

General Dealer Analysis



As long as I took the trouble to analyze this bet, I created a table showing the probability of various dealer events for a six-deck game and whether the dealer hits or stands on a soft 17.

Dealer Probabilities

Event Stand Soft 17 Hit Soft 17
Dealer blackjack 0.0474894880039574 0.0474894880039574
Total of 17 0.1452452688762730 0.1334589459656700
Total of 18 0.1392577712671790 0.1412046774882130
Total of 19 0.1336847392868550 0.1356816733415020
Total of 20 0.1795273038236620 0.1815306022489940
Total of 21 0.0728740870713831 0.0748744175668735
Bust with 3 cards 0.1730318431697950 0.1730318431697950
Bust with 4 cards 0.0872738945778543 0.0893918097334332
Bust with 5 cards 0.0191193879779139 0.0204725508735587
Bust with 6 cards 0.0023151220619265 0.0026376021859953
Bust with 7 cards 0.0001726381111420 0.0002144441681795
Bust with 8 cards 0.0000082097440626 0.0000115279883244
Bust with 9 cards 0.0000002420252193 0.0000004080497202
Bust with 10 cards 0.0000000039733294 0.0000000090950948
Bust with 11 cards 0.0000000000293970 0.0000000001198596
Bust with 12 cards 0.0000000000000475 0.0000000000008244
Bust with 13 cards 0.0000000000000000 0.0000000000000022
Total 1.0000000000000000 1.0000000000000000






Written by: Michael Shackleford

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