Vegas Blackjack Side Bets

As mentioned All Bets Blackjack offers six exciting side bets, each of which can result in some huge rewards. A Top 3 side bet is a bet on the dealer’s first face-up card and the player’s first two cards forming a Suited Three of a Kind, a Straight Flush of a Three of a King combination. Taking insurance against the dealer is not always the right thing to do – it’s an optional side bet and on that favours the house immensely. With insurance, players bet half their original bet when the dealer shows an ace – if they then turn a 10 straight after to get 21 (blackjack), the payout is 2:1. The house edge for side bets is generally far higher than for the blackjack game itself. Nonetheless side bets can be susceptible to card counting. A side count, designed specifically for a particular side bet, can improve the player edge. Only a few side bets, like 'Lucky Ladies', offer a sufficient win rate to justify the effort of advantage.

  • Are blackjack side bets worth playing? Blackjack side bets are based on chance, offer a chance of a very big payout, and the house edge is greater than it is for the main game of blackjack. First and foremost, blackjack side bets are fun and they can break up long boring blackjack sessions as well as offer a chance of a big payout.
  • The odds vary depending on the game rules and the number of decks, but the odds of a dealer busting in blackjack are about 30%. What is the house edge in blackjack? The house edge in blackjack is the percent of the player’s initial bet that the casino should expect to win in the long-term.
  • Appendices
  • Miscellaneous
  • External Links

On This Page

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

Las Vegas Blackjack Side Bets

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

Version 2 Pay Table

CardsPays
8+ cards & player BJ2000
7 cards & player BJ800
8+ cards & no player BJ250
7 cards & no player BJ50
6 cards18
5 cards4
3 or 4 cards2

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

EventPaysProbabilityReturn
Bust with 8 cards2500.0000120.002986
Bust with 7 cards500.0002140.010722
Bust with 6 cards120.0026380.031651
Bust with 5 cards40.0204730.08189
Bust with 4 cards20.0893920.178784
Bust with 3 cards20.1730320.346064
Dealer doesn't bust-10.714241-0.714241
Total1.000000-0.062143

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

Las

House Edge Summary

DecksStand on
Soft 17
Hit on
Soft 17
18.77%6.89%
28.48%6.51%
48.31%6.29%
58.27%6.25%
68.25%6.21%
88.22%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 Stands on Soft 17

EventPaysProbabilityReturn
8+ cards & player BJ20000.000000370.000746886
7 cards & player BJ8000.000007860.006284453
8+ cards2500.000008080.002020582
7 cards500.000164780.008239127
6 cards180.002315120.041672197
5 cards40.019119390.076477552
3 or 4 cards20.260305740.520611475
No bust-10.71807866-0.718078658
Total1.00000000-0.062026386

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

EventPaysProbabilityReturn
Bust with 8+ cards2500.0000120.002986
Bust with 7 cards500.0002140.010722
Bust with 6 cards150.0026380.039564
Bust with 5 cards100.0204730.204726
Bust with 4 cards60.0893920.536351
All other-10.887272-0.887272
Total1.000000-0.092923

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

EventPaysProbabilityReturn
Bust with 8+ cards2500.0000120.002986
Bust with 7 cards500.0002140.010722
Bust with 6 cards150.0026380.039564
Bust with 5 cards40.0204730.081890
Bust with 4 cards30.0893920.268175
Bust with 3 cards10.1730320.173032
All other-10.714240-0.714240
Total1.000000-0.137870

Evolution Gaming

The live dealer studio by Evolution Gaming offers a game called Infinite Blackjack with the following pay table. The other rules are eight decks, dealer stands on soft 17, and the dealer always plays out his hand, even if the player gets blackjack. The lower right cell shows a house edge of 6.18%.

Evolution Gaming Pay Table and Rules

EventPaysProbabilityReturn
Bust with 8+ cards2500.0000090.002216
Bust with 7 cards1000.0001770.017679
Bust with 6 cards500.0023370.116829
Bust with 5 cards90.0191390.172254
Bust with 4 cards20.0871630.174325
Bust with 3 cards10.1730150.173015
Dealer doesn't bust-10.718160-0.718160
Total1.000000-0.061842

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 and eight-deck games and whether the dealer hits or stands on a soft 17.

Dealer Probabilities — Six Decks

EventStand Soft 17Hit Soft 17
Dealer blackjack0.04748948800395740.0474894880039574
Total of 170.14524526887627300.1334589459656700
Total of 180.13925777126717900.1412046774882130
Total of 190.13368473928685500.1356816733415020
Total of 200.17952730382366200.1815306022489940
Total of 210.07287408707138310.0748744175668735
Bust with 3 cards0.17303184316979500.1730318431697950
Bust with 4 cards0.08727389457785430.0893918097334332
Bust with 5 cards0.01911938797791390.0204725508735587
Bust with 6 cards0.00231512206192650.0026376021859953
Bust with 7 cards0.00017263811114200.0002144441681795
Bust with 8 cards0.00000820974406260.0000115279883244
Bust with 9 cards0.00000024202521930.0000004080497202
Bust with 10 cards0.00000000397332940.0000000090950948
Bust with 11 cards0.00000000002939700.0000000001198596
Bust with 12 cards0.00000000000004750.0000000000008244
Bust with 13 cards0.00000000000000000.0000000000000022
Total1.00000000000000001.0000000000000000

Dealer Probabilities — Eight Decks

EventStand Soft 17Hit Soft 17
Total of 170.1452150.133409
Total of 180.1393180.141280
Total of 190.1336290.135630
Total of 200.1797090.181714
Total of 210.0728380.074841
Blackjack0.0474510.047451
Bust with 3 cards0.1730150.173015
Bust with 4 cards0.0871630.089276
Bust with 5 cards0.0191390.020491
Bust with 6 cards0.0023370.002661
Bust with 7 cards0.0001770.000219
Bust with 8 cards8.60E-061.21E-05
Bust with 9 cards2.63E-074.44E-07
Bust with 10 cards4.58E-091.06E-08
Bust with 11 cards3.76E-111.55E-10
Bust with 12 cards8.35E-141.29E-12
Bust with 13 cards0.00E+004.56E-15

External Links

  • Discussion of Buster Blackjack in my forum at Wizard of Vegas.
  • Discussion of Buster Blackjack in my forum at Card Counting the Buster Blackjack Side Bet at A.P. Heat.

Written by:Michael Shackleford

Side bets are an extremely popular way to diversify the gameplay and add some additional edge to it. As all things, it has it pros and cons. We will try to be short here and give all the basic details of various blackjack side bets options so you could decide for yourself. For more details – you can check the dedicated pages of each version and try these games for free before playing for real money.

Side Bets – Pros and Cons

It’s going to be short:

The good: side bets add additional rush to the standard black jack game play. Plus, they offer much higher payouts. Some, such as Progressive blackjacks for instance, can sometimes offer life changing multi-millions jackpots.

The bad: basic blackjack game is the best payout game can be found in casinos. Some game offer house edge lower than 0.3%!!! That’s not the case with side bets, where the house edge usually goes from 3% and up to even 10-15%.

Word of advice:

If we were asked for advice as whether to use side bets, we would say:

  • If you enjoy them – go ahead.
  • But! be aware that you are likely to loose more money faster.
  • We would recommend to use them from time to time and not on every hand you play.
  • Check the specific game rules before playing, as the payouts vary between one game to another, even within the same game variation (21+3 Blackjack by Felt Gaming will give you 3% more than similar game by Realistic Games and so on).

Free Side Bet Blackjack Games Online

Bonus Spin Blackjack

Hi Lo 13 Blackjack

Blackjack Side Bets Worth It

High Streak

Lucky Lucky Blackjack

Progressive Blackjack

Super Fun 21

Black Jack Side Bets Odds & Payouts

BetRulesCommon House EdgeMaximum PayoutWhere to Play
21+3 BlackjackCombination of blackjack and three card poker (on players first 2 cards and dealers up card).3-5%x100Guts Casino
Bonus Spin BlackjackIf you are handed a blackjack, you will get to spin the money reel for opportunity to win massive prizes. $25,000 or Progressive JackpotN/A
Buster BlackjackBet on whether the dealer goes bust.6-7%x2000Vegas Casino Online
Hi Lo 13Whether the total of your first two cards will be higher than 13, lower than 13 or exactly 13.0.09x9Ignition Casino
High Streak Blackjack Bet on your winning streak.x10Royal Panda
Lucky Ladies blackjackYou win if your first two cards are queens or you reach 20.12-25%x1000Ignition Casino
Lucky Lucky BlackjackYou get extra payout for reaching 19,20,21 with specific cards.2-3%x200Guts Casino
Match the Dealer BlackjackBet if on of your initial cards matches the dealer’s one.3-4%x22Black Diamond Casino
Perfect PairsMost popular side bet. You win if your initial cards match. 3-7%x30Extreme Casino
Progressive BlackjackEndless variations of the game, each one has its own trigger for progressive jackpot.Progressive JackpotMiami Club Casino
Suit ‘Em Up Blackjack You win if your first two cards are suited.3-5%x60Roaring 21
Super Fun 21You win extra on Diamond blackjack and 5-6 charlie.0.09x2Vegas Casino Online

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