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Progressive Black Jack Side Bets

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  • Progressive Black Jack Side Bets

    Hello everybody and greetings from Switzerland

    I am new to this Forum but would like to share something with you folks. I do that because I wonder if anybody of you know similar progressive games that can become profitable at a certain Level, and if so....always appreciated to hear from you where These games are...and what the rules are.

    let me give you our version of progressives, that , in my opinion, could be very interesting to know about...and in fact...are very interesting.

    At a major casino of Switzerland there is a progressive side bet for black jack which costs the Player an additional 5 dollar bet, along with the initial bet that is mandatory. It's not mandatory to Play any side bets, but if you want to Play for jackpot, you also must bet your main b-j wager.

    It Needs to be explained that in Europe, a lot of Casinos allow more than one Player betting on one single hand of black jack in order to create more action and reduce staff. Up to 3 Players can Play on 1 hand of black jack, but only 1 spot for jackpot is there so actually the main box holder is intitled to Play the progressive side bet, but if that Player doesn't want to Play jackpot, Players betting "from behind" are allowed to Play that jackpot, if they want.

    So, the qualifying hand to win that progressive jackpot is a suited Ace-Jack and then the dealer also Needs to have an Ace and a Jack. If the Dealer also is suited, then you would win the Major Progressive. If you are suited and the dealer is unsuited (Ace-Jack unsuited), then you would win the minor.

    In the Event of a Jackpot hit and there are more Players betting the progressive side bet, each one of These Players wins an envy bonus. If a Player bets more spots and the jackpot is hit, that Player would win multiple envy bonusses.

    It also Needs to be said that there is no tax being taken off from a jackpot in our country. So whatever is shown on the meter, if you win's all yours. No taxes. You can leave a dealer tip if you want. If not, then nobody would make a big deal out of it.

    The basic rules are all written now and I would like to hear from you what you think about. Speaking about the Odds, it's about 1 in 37,000 hands to win the minor and about 1 in 113,000 to hit the major. To hit the UTH progressive in Switzerland is about 1 in 36,000 as our casinos Play by "the easy way" rule.

    These sides bets are being very popular and the higher the jackpot, of course, more Players are betting it. The sad Thing is that the back-up jackpot is programmed in a way that no matter how big the main jackpot, the back-up jackpot usually is much smaller and once it's hit then the action is out as the back-up jackpot is usually not very high. It would be better if once the main jackpot has reached a certain Level that jackpot then would not go up so fast anymore and more increments would go into the secondary jackpot (back-up), but this is a matter of programming and management decision.

    What do you think of this one? Have you heard of similar side bet progressives? I think in Laughlin at the Riverside, many years back, they had something equivalent but down there the sidebet token was only one 1 dollar. In Switzerland, it costs 5 dollars per side bet, and this can become very expensive.

    I am curious to know if there are casinos in Las Vegas that have such progressives, and if somebody has detailed informations, I would love to hear about.

    Best regards


  • #2
    Re: Progressive Black Jack Side Bets

    So this sounds very similar to a popular side bet we have in the US on our digital blackjack tables. It is called the "Royal Match" bet but instead of Ace-Jack, you need to have a King-Queen and it only costs $1.

    However, there are some differences to the bet you described. There is not a smaller progressive for only having one suited, it simply pays $60 if both you and the dealer have King-Queen of any suit. It also pays $10 for what they call a "straight flush" which I don't know what that actually means but I would think that it is any 2 cards that are both suited and sequential such as 5-6. There is also a $500 envy bonus for any players making the bet is someone else at the table wins it.

    I am not sure if you are familiar with the wizard of odds or not, but he has done a rather extensive write up on it and how to calculate the expected return on that bet based on the progressive amount. The info on that bet can be found here: and you would want version 5 at the very bottom.

    If you can give me the full set of rules for the side bet as well as the number of decks the blackjack game is played with I may be able to ask him to work out the payback on that bet and find the break even points since we do videos with him fairly often. Also, do you know what the two progressive amounts reset to once it is hit?


    • #3
      Re: Progressive Black Jack Side Bets

      Hello Matt

      Thank you for responding. I saw Royal Match in Las Vegas but never a real big Black Jack progressive such as the one described by myself above. In the casino I mentioned there is also UTH progresive with a top Award for Royal Flush and all the other hands being paid, all the down till Full House pay a flat amount. So there is no 10 per cent Award for Straight Flush, such as it's seen in Las Vegas. In addition to that, the casino decided to offer the "easy rule", so you don't Need to make your hand by the flop but rather till the hand is complete with 5 board Cards. This makes it easier than the tough version that's common in Las Vegas.

      Back to Black Jack. I believe that the back-up jackpot is 1/5 of the main jackpot and this is about what's being added into the feeder jackpots. However, I believe that both jackpots cannot be lower than 1000 or 2000 as at that point nobody would Play if the progressive would be as low as 150 or so if you have to bet 5 for that progressive.

      As you know now, there is no specific "break even point" for this jackpot as if you think about, this progressive is split in 2 jackpots that are progressive and a bunch of flat payouts (any bj pays 25, any ace-jack (non suited, not colored) pays 100, colored A-J pays 250 , suited pays 350). So depending on whatever the minor PLUS the major jackpots are , the game is either EV+ or EV-. It can be that the Major is as high as 100,000 but the Minor is as Little as 4000, so the Overall return is under 100 per cent. On the other hand, if the Major is "only" at 55,000 and the Minor is at 35,000, that game all over sudden is highly positive.

      I have the detailed informations that are calculated by a pro but I prefer not to publish it here for certain reason. Either way, even a highly positive game can become extremely expensive because it's so hard to hit Ace-Jack suited versus Ace-Jack suited and the progressive is linked to more than one table, so it is a question whether it's a good bet or not unless you have a super fat bankroll.



      • #4
        Re: Progressive Black Jack Side Bets

        Thanks for the info. And I agree about the big bankroll, I have seen a few digital blackjack machines where the royal match jackpot is VERY far into the positive EV but I have not wanted to try it because of the swings I am sure will happen.