ryanp
ryanp
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March 31st, 2019 at 7:51:36 AM permalink
Is it a good idea to do side bets (e.g. Perfect Pairs - Blackjack, Pot of Gold - Free Bet Blackjack) ever? Is it a good idea to ever take insurance or even money during the course of play? I'm asking this based on using Perfect Basic Strategy throughout the course of play.
beachbumbabs
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ryanp
March 31st, 2019 at 8:47:34 AM permalink
Quote: ryanp

Is it a good idea to do side bets (e.g. Perfect Pairs - Blackjack, Pot of Gold - Free Bet Blackjack) ever? Is it a good idea to ever take insurance or even money during the course of play? I'm asking this based on using Perfect Basic Strategy throughout the course of play.



Only one that's worked for me IRL is the wheel spin of various structures they have on some BJ tables (e.g. Kustom Kount motorcycle prize, but every spin is at least $50 on a $5 flat bet). The bet depends on getting at least one Ace dealt (even money) and getting a BJ gets you a spin. If you side-count the Aces in the shoe, there is a +EV point sometimes.

I say that as a seldom-BJ player. There are others, and people who know lots more than I do, but that's one example.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
BlackjackGuy123
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March 31st, 2019 at 2:07:45 PM permalink
No, as a basic strategist you should avoid all side bets, including insurance.
Joeman
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ryanp
March 31st, 2019 at 2:30:20 PM permalink
One caveat would be to always take even money if it is offered at a 6-5 table. Note the only place I have seen this is on a cruise ship. But, other than that, all side bets and insurance will carry a higher (sometimes obscenely higher) house edge than the base game.

I have heard the some side bets (and insurance) can favor the player in certain counts, but I'm not a counter.
"Dealer has 'rock'... Pay 'paper!'"
ryanp
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April 2nd, 2019 at 6:30:48 AM permalink
Sounds like good advice to me. Thanks.
ryanp
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April 2nd, 2019 at 6:33:19 AM permalink
Sounds like good advice to me. Thanks.
DJTeddyBear
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April 2nd, 2019 at 9:23:38 AM permalink
The don’t call them “Sucker Bets” for nothing.

Of course, if you’re counting cards, the count may OCCASIONALLY suggest you make those bets...
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ ————————————————————————————————————— Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
ryanp
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April 2nd, 2019 at 1:25:39 PM permalink
That's very true. Whenever I play Blackjack and don't play the side bets, I usually get grief from either the dealer or one or more of the players. The dealer wants you to play the side bets so that the casino can make more money from you. The players want you to play because they think that you will make up for your losses on your regular bets. The house edge on side bets are much, much higher than the regular bets. I think it is 10.6% for Perfect Pairs. In the end, you actually lose way, way more!
Ace2
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Joemanryanp
April 2nd, 2019 at 9:48:48 PM permalink
Quote: Joeman

One caveat would be to always take even money if it is offered at a 6-5 table. Note the only place I have seen this is on a cruise ship. But, other than that, all side bets and insurance will carry a higher (sometimes obscenely higher) house edge than the base game..

By my calculation taking even money would reduce house edge by about 6 basis points, which is a very small dent in the 6-5 edge. Bottom line is you still shouldn’t play that 6-5 game even if they pay even money insurance. My guess is that the cruise ship didn’t mean to give this little break to the players...they just don’t understand the reason and ramifications of even money. I even read of casinos that have had 2-1 and 3-1 promotions, not realizing the ramifications until they saw how quickly they began losing big $$.

Incidentally, taking even money in a 3:2 game increases house edge by about 1 bip. In my opinion, this is one of those cases where it’s alright to go with your gut even though that may not be the highest expected return. I take even money sometimes (on 3/2, I would not be seen at a 6/5 table). It’s sort of like playing the pass line when when don’t pass has a higher expected return or standing on a hard 16 vs dealer 10. Once you get under a 5 basis point difference it’s splitting hairs. It would probably take a few lifetimes of playing for those few bips to make any discernible difference.
Last edited by: Ace2 on Apr 2, 2019
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KevinAA
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April 4th, 2019 at 7:37:08 PM permalink
I always take even money because 1) it's rare 2) it's inexpensive and 3) zero variance

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