Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Bonus bets and new twists add to Blackjack fun
Casino table game managers are always looking for new games to put on the floor to keep players interested and coming back for more. One way of doing this is to provide a variety of Blackjack games to choose from. These might include single deck, double deck, pitch, or any number of “carnival” games like Spanish 21. Another way to customize a Blackjack game is by adding a “bonus” betting option.
Four Winds Casino in New Buffalo, Michigan has added two new blackjack games that players may want to check out the next time they are in the Michiana region looking for some action. The first new bet is called “Lucky Lucky Blackjack Bonus.” This optional side bet is in addition to the normal Blackjack wager. If it hits, patrons can win up to 200 times their main wager. Side bets start at $1 and max out at $25. To win, the first two cards dealt must be included in the pay matrix displayed at the table.
The second Blackjack innovation at Four Winds is the “Blackjack Switch.” At this table, each person plays two hands with an identical bet on each. The player has the option of keeping the two hands as dealt, or they can switch the second card between the two hands to make a better hand on one or both of the sets. You’re even allowed splits and double-downs after the switch, which can make these hands even more valuable. Blackjacks aren’t paid out at 2:1 like multi-deck shoe-dealt games, though. Instead, they pay even money. Another change from the standard game is a “Push 22,” which means the dealer gets a push if he draws to a total of exactly 22. Blackjack Switch also features the optional “Super Match Bonus Bet,” with multiple payouts. To win, get a pair, two pair, three, or four-of-a-kind from any of the four initial cards dealt.
The odds on bonus bets can be pretty long, but not so long that you shouldn’t play at least the minimum amount just to keep in on the action. The lower odds awards hit more often, and while they don’t offer the big 200 time payout, they may provide enough of an incentive to keep the game fun, especially if you are bored of traditional Blackjack. For Blackjack variants like the Blackjack Switch, the payouts are a little lower and the house gets more edge from the 22 Push, but players gain an edge by having the ability to switch cards, so it may amount to a wash as far as house advantage goes compared to traditional Blackjack odds. For seasoned players, these bonus bets and game variations can make the game of Blackjack a lot more fun and interesting, and can help to break an experienced player out of a rut, so don’t overlook them when checking out the action at Michigan or Illinois casinos.