Other Blackjack Bets

Excerpt from the book: "Professional Blackjack", Stanford Wong

This chapter discusses blackjack bets that did not fit into one of the other chapters:

  • Super Fun 21
  • Blackjack Switch
  • Spanish 21
  • Double Attack Blackjack
  • Extreme Blackjack
  • field
  • red/black
  • Lucky Ladies
  • multiple-action

and royal match. For blackjack bets not covered in this book, the best source of analysis and strategy generally is Michael Shackleford’s wizardofodds.com. Another good source of rules and strategy for playing new blackjack rules and games is blackjackinfo.com.

Super Fun 21

Super Fun 21 is the invention of former blackjack pro Howard Grossman.

Most naturals win even money, but the player has lots of playing options, including unusual ones such as hitting or doubling down after splitting aces. The casino’s edge over basic strategy is in excess of 1%. For basic strategy and analysis, see wizardofodds.com.

Blackjack Switch

In Blackjack Switch, you must make two equalsized bets. Then you are dealt two hands.

If you want, you may switch the two second cards. For example, suppose your first cards are 9 to your first hand and 4 to your second hand. Suppose your second cards are 3 and K. It’s your choice whether you play 9-3 and 4-K or 9-K and 4-3.

Basic strategy for Blackjack Switch is complicated. The casino edge over basic strategy varies with the number of decks used and the details of the rules. Typical rules give the house an edge of 0.6%. For basic strategy and analysis, see wizardofodds.com.

Spanish 21

Spanish 21 is played with a short pack — 10s are removed from each regular deck, leaving aces though 9s and face cards. The resulting 48-card pack has become known as a “Spanish deck.” Removing four 10s is equivalent to starting a shoe with a count per deck of -4, and costs you 2.3% compared to the use of full decks. Spanish 21 has liberal rules, but they make up only part of the cost of removing all the 10s.

The casino edge when the dealer hits soft seventeen is 0.76% for six decks or 0.78% for eight decks. When the dealer stands on soft seventeen, the casino edge is 0.40% for six decks or 0.42% for eight decks.

Among the more interesting options allowed on Spanish 21 are:

your 21 beats the dealer’s 21, doubling on two or more cards, hitting or doubling after splitting aces, and surrender after doubling down (called doubledown rescue). Redoubling, when allowed, is worth 0.34 %.

These are the numbers reported by The Wizard of Odds, Mike Shackleford (wizardofodds.com). A great book on beating Spanish 21 is Katarina Walker’s The Pro’s Guide to Spanish 21 and Australian Pontoon. Double Attack Blackjack Double Attack Blackjack uses the 48-card Spanish deck.

Naturals pay even money. The first card dealt is the dealer’s upcard; and you may double your bet after seeing it, before receiving your own cards. The Wizard of Odds has calculated basic strategy for Double Attack Blackjack, and says the house edge over basic strategy is 0.62%. For the details of the rules and basic strategy, see wizardofodds.com.

Extreme Blackjack

Extreme Blackjack is distinguished by the dealer hitting until beating the player or busting out, instead of hitting until attaining seventeen or more. The Wizard of Odds has calculated basic strategy for Extreme Blackjack, and says the house edge over basic strategy is 0.63%. For the details of the rules and basic strategy, see wizardofodds.com.

Field Bets

Several casinos have blackjack layouts that offer field bets, which are side bets that your first two cards will total twelve through sixteen. Ace-ace and 8-8 pay double. The casino edge on field bets is 8.9%.

Red/Black

This bet started at Four Queens in Las Vegas in 1992. You bet on the color of the dealer’s first card. If the dealer’s first card is a 2 of the color you bet, you have a push; that gives the casino its edge: 3.8%. You have an edge if there is a surplus of one color of two or more cards per deck. Cowboys and Cowgirls is a variation of red/black.

If the dealer’s first card is a 2 of the color you bet, you lose. If you bet black, a black king pays 3:2; and if you bet red, a red queen pays 3:2. The casino’s edge is 5.8%. You have an edge if there is a surplus of one color of three or more cards per deck.

Lucky Ladies

Lucky Ladies is a side bet that pays something back if you end up with twenty. The biggest payouts come if you get a pair of queens. The house edge is huge right after a shuffle, but counting queens can yield an edge. See wizardofodds.com for more details. Multiple Action In multiple-action blackjack, also called triple-action blackjack, you may make up to three bets, each of which has action against a different dealer hand. Your hand is the same for all three of your bets. The dealer’s first card is the same for all three of your bets. The dealer’s hand is finished out once, and then the first bet for each player is settled.

Then all dealer cards are discarded except the first one, and the dealer’s hand is played out again. The result of this hand is used to settle each player’s second bet. Then once again all dealer cards except the first one are discarded, the hand is played out again, and each player’s third bet is settled.

There are no changes in suggested playing strategy. A play that is correct against the dealer finishing a hand one time is also correct against a dealer finishing a hand three times. Four Queens introduced this new variation of blackjack in December of 1991.

Playing Strategy

You should use the same playing strategy at multiple action as at regular blackjack. The fact that the dealer will be playing out a hand three times does not affect basic strategy. Even if you know you should hit your hand, sometimes you will be tempted to stand. The excitement of remaining alive to play against the dealer is sufficiently strong an incentive to induce some players to intentionally go against basic strategy. That is a mistake.

Betting Strategy

From a risk standpoint, multiple action is slightly more risky than regular blackjack. Of course one bet of multiple action has the same risk as one hand of regular blackjack. However, making two bets on one hand at multiple action is slightly more risky than playing two simultaneous hands of regular blackjack. Likewise, playing three hands of multiple action is slightly more risky than playing three simultaneous hands of regular blackjack. Your optimal bet size as a proportion of your bankroll depends on the number of simultaneous bets you are making.

For one bet, it is your edge divided by the variance of possible outcomes. For each of two simultaneous bets (or two simultaneous hands), it is your edge divided by the sum of the variance and the covariance. For each of three simultaneous bets or hands, it is your edge divided by the sum of the variance plus twice the covariance.

Typically the variance is around 1.3 and the covariance is around 0.5. Simulation shows that the covariance between multiple-action bets is about 10% higher than the covariance between simultaneous hands in a regular blackjack game.

Your optimal bet size if you are making two bets at multiple action is 97% of your optimal bet size if you were playing two simultaneous hands at regular blackjack. Your optimal bet size if you are making three bets at multiple action is 96% of your optimal bet size if you were playing three simultaneous hands at regular blackjack. An easy-to-remember rule is 14/16. For two hands, bet a total of 140% of what you would bet on one hand (70% per hand). For three hands, bet a total of 160% of what you would bet on one hand (53% per hand).

Royal Match

Royal Match is a side bet at blackjack — you are wagering that your first two cards will be of the same suit. If your first two cards are K-Q of the same suit, you win extra. This bet was first introduced in 1992.

If your first two cards are K-Q of the same suit, you win ten to one on your “royal” bet. At single deck, you will be dealt K-Q of the same suit one hand out of 331.5. If your first two cards are of the same suit but not K-Q, you win three to one on your royal bet. The casino edge is 3.8%. In January of 1993 Santa Fe in Las Vegas offered the Royal Match side bet with these 3:1 and 10:1 payoffs at six decks. Whereas at single deck the casino has an edge, at six decks you have an edge of 1.1%.

Latest Casino Bonuses profile image Latest Casino Bonuses LCB Reviewer - last updated 2022-02-22
Back to articles

lcb activities in the last 24 hours

Join today and start earning rewards

You will immediately get full access to our online casino forum/chat plus receive our newsletter with news & exclusive bonuses every month.

Enter your name

Enter your email address

Join instantly with your social account

Search

Search Results

Forum

Casinos

Games

News

No Results

Select language

English English

Don't show this again

Share on Facebook

Share on Twitter

Share