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Streak Side Bet in Blackjack
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
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
|Win given no tie||47.51%|
|Loss given no tie||52.49%|
The probability of winning n hands in a row is simply 0.4751n. 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
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
There is essentially the same bet at the Palms casino in Managua, Nicaragua, called the Fire Bet.
Written by: Michael Shackleford