Is There an Advantage to be Had?
Intertops and Juicy Stakes are ringing in weekends with a promotion that is sure to generate some interest in the online gambling community. This promotion takes the form of a Happy Hour format at Intertops and will begin on August 25th, 2017 hopefully to last every Friday for the foreseeable future.
The way that the Blackjack Bonus works is that players will be credited an extra 5% on all Blackjack wins from 19:00-22:00 EST in the form of adding to a player’s bonus balance. At least, Intertops seems to specify that it is 19:00-22:00, however, Juicy Stakes does not have any timeframe listed in the terms of this promotion, so I would recommend contacting Live Chat if interested in playing it at Juicy Stakes.
The bonus will be credited to bonus funds while normal Blackjack winnings will be added to your player account as cash. The bonus funds will then be subject to 15x playthrough requirements with any remainder to then be added to your cash balance.
Intertops is primarily known for being an Internet poker site and online sportsbook, but also jumps into the fray of casino table and slot games. It is also important to understand that Intertops is offering the promotion through the Intertops Poker site, so any other Intertops site might not apply.
The casino product on Intertops Poker is powered by Betsoft. The Intertops family of gambling sites is Wizard of Odds APPROVED, which means that if you sign up through one of our affiliate links and experience any issues with the casino, the Wizard will personally mediate between yourself and the casino to ensure that a resolution is reached. The only thing that we ask is that you attempt to resolve the issue yourself prior to invoking the Wizard of Odds advertising guarantee.
The best Betsoft Blackjack game is the single-deck Blackjack with a Return-to-Player (RTP) of 99.62% (House Edge 0.38%) with optimal strategy. The limit that can be won in bonus money on this promotion is $250, so we can take a look at this thing with relative ease.
The first thing that we will notice is that it would take $5,000 in total Blackjack wins to achieve the full bonus of $250 due to the fact that it is a 5% bonus. Given that the Blackjack game has a House Edge of 0.38%, it is therefore expected that a player will have to make $5,000 * 1.0038 = $5,019 in total bets to have achieved $5,000 in total wins. The $19, of course, the player expects to lose. Actually, the player expects to lose $19.07.
The next step is to look at the Bonus funds and how they could be played. Once again, the Max bonus is $250 and it has a 15x playthrough requirement, which means that it would require $3,750 in total bets for the playthrough to be completed. The expected loss on $37.50 in total bets is $14.25, so we’re looking pretty good on that.
Thus, the player expects to have $235.75 in total winnings in cash form having completed the playthrough requirement. If we subtract from that the $19.07 that we expect to win a total of $216.68 in profits. If you look at it from a profit standpoint, then expected profits of about $216.68, and we’ll call it $200 just to be safe, against $5,000 coin-in represents about a 4% overall advantage. It’s actually a little more than that, but we’re just playing our assumptions safe.
This is clearly an excellent promotion from Intertops Poker that anyone would do well to attempt to take advantage of. I will say that the $5,019 in total bets that one is expected to make would result in the need to bet about $1,673/hour, and I don’t know how many hands per hour that you can get in personally and still be playing Optimal Strategy for the rules set. However, if you could only play sixty hands per hour, then you would need to be betting about $28/hand, and quite possibly a little more, because you want to make sure you get the maximum $250 in value in time.
As far as expected loss on the game + playthrough v. profit is concerned, the percentages are basically going to be the same even if you don’t max out the bonus.
The only real question mark I have is whether or not one gets an extra 5% on pushes, which has not yet been answered. I’ll update the answer in the comments. Let us then do the math assuming that the player does not get it on Pushes:
From this page.
We see that the summarized net win in Blackjack is 42.42% Net Win, 8.48% Push and 49.09% loss. In many cases with the game of Blackjack, however, a player will have a net win of more than one unit. While it is true that the player may also have a net loss of more than one unit, the player will much more often than not bet more than the base bet when he/she is at an advantage to begin with. Furthermore, a natural results in a win of 1.5 units, so that also gets factored in there.
For those reasons, I’m going to say that it likely doesn’t really change much in terms of this promotion or the total amount in bets expected to be needed to max out the amount of the bonus. Maybe a few bucks either way, but when we are talking about a $200+ expected profit on three hours of Blackjack play, (also, you have to do the playthrough which may take another couple hours, and you have three days to do it) that’s not really going to tip the scales one way or another. It’s all upside.
In short, this promotion is so good that we don’t even really need to be too exact on things to know that we have the best of it by a fair measure.
Finally, some of you may be concerned that this only applies to naturals, but the language on the site is very clear:
Get ready to add another element to your end-of-week ritual by playing our Blackjack games. This Friday 25th August we’ve got another Happy Hour special for you! Place any bet, if you win we increase your winnings by 5%!
That’s, “If you win,” not, “If you win with a natural.”
Juicy Stakes is NOT a Wizard of Odds Approved casino and has been known, albeit in the past, to have issues with customer service and slow payouts.
The Blackjack is also powered by Betsoft, so you’re going to be looking at the same house edge as the Intertops Casino game.
My conclusion for this promotion is that it has a terrific positive expected value when playing Blackjack at Intertops Casino from 19:00-22:00 on Friday for as long as the promotion is running. For a player who seeks to max out this promotion, the expected value is easily over $200 in profits.
Even with a little bit of unsurety in terms of whether or not pushes count as wins, this is a positive promotion by a country mile.
Once again, I recommend signing up (if you’re not already) and playing through Intertops Poker because it is a Wizard of Odds APPROVED casino with generally favorable player reviews/comments across our family of websites. I’m not saying I would always stay away from Juicy Stakes, but given the choice when the math is going to work out the same, a WoO APPROVED casino is a no-brainer.