• Posts: 87
Joined: Dec 14, 2017
December 14th, 2017 at 3:38:04 PM permalink
A casino near me has recently added an interesting sidebet which I think can be beaten with a counting system. I can't find any evidence anywhere of this particular sidebet being discussed, apologies if I've missed it.

The Blackjack game is fairly standard UK rules: Dealt from a shu, 4 decks, dealer stands soft 17, double any 2 cards, double after split allowed, no surrender, dealer doesn't peek, unlimited resplits, only 1 card to split aces. Typical penetration of 75%.

The sidebet allows bets of between £1-£5. If the player gets Blackjack the payouts on this sidebet are:

Blackjack (different colour): 10 to 1
Blackjack (same colour, different suit): 15 to 1
Blackjack (suited): 40 to 1

My questions are:
1) Can anybody calculate the house edge of this sidebet? (Or point me to a resource so I can calculate it myself).
2) Can anybody think of a counting system or method of developing one which could beat this sidebet? My initial thoughts are that keeping a count of the aces in relation to the number of cards left in the pack one would know once the point was reached that playing became EV+. I'm just not sure how to calculate the point at which the density of aces makes it worth playing.
miplet
• Posts: 2116
Joined: Dec 1, 2009
December 14th, 2017 at 4:02:02 PM permalink

A casino near me has recently added an interesting sidebet which I think can be beaten with a counting system. I can't find any evidence anywhere of this particular sidebet being discussed, apologies if I've missed it.

The Blackjack game is fairly standard UK rules: Dealt from a shu, 4 decks, dealer stands soft 17, double any 2 cards, double after split allowed, no surrender, dealer doesn't peek, unlimited resplits, only 1 card to split aces. Typical penetration of 75%.

The sidebet allows bets of between £1-£5. If the player gets Blackjack the payouts on this sidebet are:

Blackjack (different colour): 10 to 1
Blackjack (same colour, different suit): 15 to 1
Blackjack (suited): 40 to 1

My questions are:
1) Can anybody calculate the house edge of this sidebet? (Or point me to a resource so I can calculate it myself).
2) Can anybody think of a counting system or method of developing one which could beat this sidebet? My initial thoughts are that keeping a count of the aces in relation to the number of cards left in the pack one would know once the point was reached that playing became EV+. I'm just not sure how to calculate the point at which the density of aces makes it worth playing.

I have a spreadsheet at http://miplet.net/blackjack/ . Just download the bj bounty one. You can edit the pays and deck composition. Here is your pay table with 4 decks:

EventPaysCommbinationsProbabilityReturn
Suited402560.011891490150.4756596061
Colored152560.011891490150.1783723523
Mixed105120.02378298030.237829803
Loser-1205040.9524340394-0.9524340394
Total215281-0.06057227796
“Man Babes” #AxelFabulous
tyler498
• Posts: 188
Joined: Jun 24, 2017
December 15th, 2017 at 7:10:23 AM permalink
It is definitely countable. would be so great if the max bet was higher than 5£ though.
The 6% HE is very small for a side bet and can easily be overcome if the probability of BJ is increased by about 13%. I don't have simulation software to give you exact values, but based on miplet's reply and this https://www.blackjackincolor.com/truecount6.htm
my educated guess would be that it becomes +EV at TC+2, I would play it at TC>+3.
Romes