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Card Counting the 20 Pays Blackjack Side Bet

This post considers the blackjack side bet called "20 Pays" (20P). As the name implies, this wager wins whenever the player's first two cards total 20. In that sense, it is similar to both Royal 20s and Lucky Ladies. What makes this side bet unique is that it also pays if the player's first card is a Jack, Queen or King, when the second card is not ten-valued.

Here is the most common pay table for 20P:

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
April 25, 2015

Card Counting the Bust It Blackjack Side Bet

In the past few years there has been a proliferation of blackjack side bets based on the theme of the dealer busting.  Among these side bets are “Bet the Bust,” “Bust Bonus,” “Bust It,” “Buster Blackjack,” and “Dealer Bust 21.” The market probably has room for one of these to be moderately successful: the winner of that battle is still to be determined. Among these, the wager “Bust It” (BI) has been around the longest. It is offered both as an ordinary blackjack side bet and as a side bet for Spanish 21. This article considers the countability of BI for ordinary blackjack.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
March 11, 2013

Card Counting the King's Bounty Blackjack Side Bet, 6 Decks

King’s Bounty (KB) is Shuffle Master's answer to Galaxy Gaming's Lucky Ladies (LL) blackjack side bet.  Both wagers pay based on the player’s two cards totaling 20. Both side bets have a special payout for a matched pair. In LL, this pair consists of two Queen of Hearts. In KB, this pair consists of two King of Spades. Both games have a top prize of 1000-to-1 that is paid when the premium pair occurs simultaneously with a dealer blackjack. I have always assumed that KB and LL have about the same vulnerability to card counting, with the Ten Count working for both.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
June 8, 2013

Raise It Up Stud Hole-Card Play

In this blog post, Stephen How described the new Shuffle Master game Raise it Up Stud (RIUS). Stephen was the mathematician for the game and stated that he recently saw it at Pala casino. As far as I know, Pala is the only casino currently hosting RIUS. It will also be shown at G2Ethis year. RIUS is yet another poker hybrid, with the familiar ante/raise/blind structure.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
September 5, 2012

Card Counting the 19 Bet Blackjack Side Bet

Last week I attended and presented at the Cutting Edge Table Games Conference at Paris Casino in Las Vegas. The turnout this year was strong and the number of vendors who showed off their games spiked up significantly. Along with SHFL and Galaxy Gaming, there were more than 20 other independent table game inventors showing their games. As part of the conference, there was a contest for “Best New Table Game.” In the past, this award has been won by outstanding games such as High Card Flush, War Blackjack, EZ Baccarat and others.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
November 24, 2014

Racing Card Derby: The Known Card

The table game Racing Card Derby (RCD) is meant to be dealt from a single deck of cards. I explored the “what if” of card counting RCD if dealt from an eight-deck shoe in this post. Card counting works on most games whose probabilities change as cards are dealt from a shoe. Whereas card counting is an after-effect of the rules and procedures of a game, hole-carding opportunities usually arise from sloppy dealing. This post explores advantage play against RCD when a card is known.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
June 28, 2013

Card Counting Blackjack Insurance

One of the original blackjack side bets is the Insurance wager. This side bet pays 2-to-1 whenever the dealer’s hole card is a ten-valued card, otherwise it loses. This side bet is clearly countable by keeping track of the number of ten-valued cards relative to non-ten-valued cards. The only reason it has not been crushed by APs is because of two limitations on this wager. First, it can only be made when the dealer shows an Ace up, so that the player only has the opportunity to make this side bet once per 13 hands on average.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
October 20, 2012

Card Counting the In Between Blackjack Side Bet

I recently became aware of a blackjack side bet that is popular on the Gulf Coast and has a significant number of placements elsewhere:  the “In Between” bet (IB). It is very sexy to analyze games that have substantial advantage play issues. Exposing big threats elicits page views. I enjoy busting games. But this coverage can cloud the fact that there are some very robust and popular blackjack side bets on the market.

By
Eliot Jacobson Ph.D.
June 5, 2013