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Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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December 1st, 2012 at 1:45:28 PM permalink
Shufflemaster’s new House Money BJ side bet went live at Fiesta Henderson.

Interesting stuff: Basically, and as many of you know, it’s a side bet where you can use your side bet winnings to press your main Blackjack bet if you want, or you can just pocket the winnings, as the side bet is processed BEFORE the hit-and-stand stage of the Blackjack game. You win the side bet if your initial two BJ cards are connectors/a two-card straight, or a pair. This provides a real lot of gambling excitement to the play of the game, it’s a very eye-catching innovation.

Payouts are listed Here.

The House edge is only about 2.6% when you properly cap your main Blackjack bets, which is generally pretty obvious to do: Any House Money that is initially won on hands such as 65, or 55 pairs/ten pairs, or a value of 19+, then always cap the main Blackjack bet, as you’re in the cat-bird seat with a very strong Blackjack hand. If the EV of main hand is negative, then always pocket the side win, and do not cap the main bet. The house edge rises to 23% or so if you NEVER raise on your main Blackjack bet, but that is NOT what this bet is about!

Then hit and stand as you normally would. The strategy for the game really very straightforward Blackjack common sense, and is listed in the same link above.
The game went live at Fiesta a day or so ago on our main 24/7 Blackjack game in the front of our main pit, right next to our main Roulette wheel. It replaced Joe Centrone’s Bust it!, which is also a strong BJ side bet that consistently got a ton of action. So this install is a strong vote of confidence for House Money.

Players’ reactions were mixed so far, probably because the bet is very novel. Some ‘got it’ very quickly, and saw the juice in it. In this regard, being able to press your bet when in a very strong early position is very exciting, kind of like being able to bet four times on your Play Bet in Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em with strong hole cards - just a real Power Raise situation that gamblers love. With a weak hand, you just pocket the side bet winnings. Quite a deal.

Other players, (of the “what’s this new-fangled thing here?!” Attitude), kind of sniffed at it, like a cat sniffing at some new cat food in a dish, and ignored it. Exactly like that, but in human form. You almost wanted to say, “Sweetheart, it’s fresh Tuna, you gotta try it and see!” - witnessing this. What are you going to do, but let time take its time…

Some players - a surprising number - misplayed the winnings. You’d see a player with a 3-2 two-card straight press the main bet against a dealer’s 9, thinking, “it’s House money, right?? Always press….” Other players with a 10-9 two-card straight would pocket the winnings against a dealer’s 5, thinking “I gotta protect it, as I’m already risking my main bet…” WTF, really!

I have to say that the best play house edge of less than 3% is an absolute bargain on a side bet, but that player errors will cause a de facto increase in house edge, exactly like the “UTH effect,” but less severe.

I’m impressed with the bet, I really am. As a game design guy, I will call a great game idea simply this, - and a weak one simply that, - and WHY it may act in such a fashion – always being clear as to the possible reasons, the benefits, and demerits.

IMO, this side bet offers:
- great gambling excitement or ”juice,”
- it doesn’t change the main basic strategy at all, a huge plus;
- it follows Blackjack common-sense as to when to raise the main bet or to pocket the winnings,
- is very tough to profitably count, though,
- and it has a very fair and low house edge.

Looks like a winner.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
Paradigm
Paradigm
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December 1st, 2012 at 3:24:27 PM permalink
I too like House Money particularly due to the fact that it isn't an instant resolution bet after the intial cards are dealt. Yes you win or lose on your first two cards, but then have the option to continue the "journey" of the bet until the end of the hand. With a 23% hit rate, the players will see enough winners to stay engaged.

I think this "journey" concept is going to be what separates new succcessful side bets in the future. The market place is full of initial deal resolution types of bets in every hit rate/pay table variety. And I think players are bored with them and participation drops.

I believe one of the reasons that the "bust" side bets are so popular right now is that they offer a journey to resolution at the end of the hand. Player suspense and anticipation are entertaining and so player participation follows.

Dan, what is the minimum limit on this side bet? I would imagine it is run like 21+3 in that it is a $5 min bet on a $5 min BJ table.
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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December 1st, 2012 at 3:35:56 PM permalink
Quote: Paradigm

...I think this "journey" concept is going to be what separates new succcessful side bets in the future. The market place is full of initial deal resolution types of bets in every hit rate/pay table variety. And I think players are bored with them and participation drops.


Part of the game's very many strong points, and part of Roger's diabolical genius on this one, very "UTH-like" so to speak.

Quote: Paradigm

I believe one of the reasons that the "bust" side bets are so popular right now is that they offer a journey to resolution at the end of the hand. Player suspense and anticipation are entertaining and so player participation follows.


Very true; However, "early-finish" BJ side bets like Lucky ladies and 21+3 also allow this two-stage resolution, but where the main hand BJ bet is simply the last to resolve. Even the early-resolve side bets make BJ a two-stage game.

So what sets House Money apart is when the upfront House Money bet resolves, you can then "accelerate" it, by merging it into the Main bet, and thereby "supercharging" the action juice on the main bet: Let's say you bet $10 on House money, and $20 on the main BJ bet. you hit a J-10 suited "straight flush" for $40, - so you add $50 to the $20 main bet's 20 hand value - a strong hand! - and you now have almost a "black-action" main bet that is a 20! Forget about getting a suited AK blackjack!!!! Jumping from a dime to black action in a moment's time on the very same hand - is a heart-pounding exciting jump bet that is just from "house money!" A very exciting bet. An integrated Blackjack parlay on the same deal! Never done before!

Quote: paradigm

Dan, what is the minimum limit on this side bet? I would imagine it is run like 21+3 in that it is a $5 min bet on a $5 min BJ table.


White action, $1 min, up to a quarter, I believe. I was on Pai Gow last night, and swing shift is awaiting the formal intro; only the dealers on that game got the lesson directly from floor supervision. Dealers seen totally fine with the bet.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
Paradigm
Paradigm
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December 1st, 2012 at 4:49:07 PM permalink
Quote: Paigowdan

Very true; However, "early-finish" BJ side bets like Lucky ladies and 21+3 also allow this two-stage resolution, but where the main hand BJ bet is simply the last to resolve. Even the early-resolve side bets make BJ a two-stage game


Agree Dan, but having both main and side bet money in play until the end of the hand is better IMHO. And as you pointed out, with HM, there is an acceleration to the side bet action as well.

I may have to leave you at the dice/EZPGP table and venture over to the HM BJ table the next time I am at Fiesta :-).

HM Baccarat wasn't nearly as intriguing to me at G2E as HM BJ. Only having a 3-1 payout I believe and never a chance to get more than an even money accelerator on the main game. With that AK or any suited BJ, getting the even money action on the first resolution and then 3:2 action when capped on the main bet makes HM BJ significantly better than HM Bacc (that and the 9:1 high payout).
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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December 1st, 2012 at 5:28:06 PM permalink
Quote: Paradigm

Agree Dan, but having both main and side bet money in play until the end of the hand is better IMHO. And as you pointed out, with HM, there is an acceleration to the side bet action as well.


Yes - having more money in action until the end of the round is more "juice" - and is where HM can excel. But also of consideration is the interest in the bet's mechanism itself. Some like the pairs/connectors aspect. And If you like three card poker, then you may like 21+3 more. But HM's parlay is the real thing.

Quote: paradigm

I may have to leave you at the dice/EZPGP table and venture over to the HM BJ table the next time I am at Fiesta :-).


Sure, that's good too. My last day dealing before retiring from it all is Monday.

Quote: Paradigm

HM Baccarat wasn't nearly as intriguing to me at G2E as HM BJ. Only having a 3-1 payout I believe and never a chance to get more than an even money accelerator on the main game. With that AK or any suited BJ, getting the even money action on the first resolution and then 3:2 action when capped on the main bet makes HM BJ significantly better than HM Bacc (that and the 9:1 high payout).


HM really seems to work really well with Blackjack.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
AcesAndEights
AcesAndEights
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December 1st, 2012 at 6:37:53 PM permalink
Do they let the dealers physically stack the side bet winnings on top of the main bet? I played at one of the early installs here in WA state, and due to WA state gaming regulations, the main bet CANNOT BE CAPPED, even by the dealer/house. So there are different physical semantics...if you pocket the money, they push it out of the circle, if you want to bet it, they just leave it there and pay it off in another stack along with the main bet. So I'm curious how it works in NV.
"So drink gamble eat f***, because one day you will be dust." -ontariodealer
98Clubs
98Clubs
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December 2nd, 2012 at 12:48:52 AM permalink
I have a question here for the math people. After seeing the WoO write-up on this side bet, what is the average winning payout of this side-bet (ignore losses for now)?
Some people need to reimagine their thinking.
Wizard
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Wizard
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December 2nd, 2012 at 2:21:36 PM permalink
I have an unconfirmed report it is at the Monte Carlo as well.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
winmonkeyspit3
winmonkeyspit3
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December 2nd, 2012 at 2:49:16 PM permalink
Scenario Question:

Let's say I'm playing a dime on the BJ hand and a dime on the side bet. I hit the AK suited for the 90 dollar pay day on the side bet. I now add the winnings to my hand, which is a blackjack. Is this 90 dollar side bet winning then paid at 3:2 for a total win of 135 whenever I get the AK suited blackjack?
AcesAndEights
AcesAndEights
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December 2nd, 2012 at 3:17:38 PM permalink
Quote: winmonkeyspit3

Scenario Question:

Let's say I'm playing a dime on the BJ hand and a dime on the side bet. I hit the AK suited for the 90 dollar pay day on the side bet. I now add the winnings to my hand, which is a blackjack. Is this 90 dollar side bet winning then paid at 3:2 for a total win of 135 whenever I get the AK suited blackjack?


Yes, that's the most enticing payout. In DJTeddyBear's initial post about House Money he described this exact scenario.
"So drink gamble eat f***, because one day you will be dust." -ontariodealer

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