Discount Gambling

Perfect Charlie @ Fort McDowell, AZ

Posted in blackjack sidebets by stephenhow on April 4, 2009

There’s a blackjack bonus sidebet at Fort McDowell Casino near Phoenix, AZ that offers huge payouts for a \$.25 bet (you can only bet a quarter).  I remember seeing this strange bet a while back, and was always curious about it.  I called across state lines to find out the details, and got out the paper and pencil to calculate the house edge for a six-deck shoe.

It’s called “Perfect Charlie”, and pays jackpots for 5-card 21’s (2-3-4-5-7), with different payouts for suited and/or ordered hands. The bet also pays off hands that start off as Perfect Charlies, but don’t make it (like 2-3-4, 2-3-4-5, etc.).

I wrote up an OpenOffice spreadsheet to calculate the odds. I wanted to include the spreadsheet source in this post, but WordPress.com won’t let me upload the .ods document 😦 Fortunately, OpenOffice exports spreadsheets to html.

This is a pretty obscure sidebet, which is probably only found at Fort McDowell. Nothing popped up immediately on Google for this, so I’m having a millionth-monkey moment here (i.e., when you realise you’re the millionth-monkey pounding at the keyboard, and all-of-a-sudden Shakespeare is on the screen).

The bet is pretty horrible in terms of house edge, but want do you want for a quarter?  Or actually, (\$.25)(1-.6478) = 8.8¢.  You get the chance to win up to \$70,000, while the house has an equally small chance of getting rich off this sidebet.

 Fort McDowell Blackjack Bonus Bet Hand Conditions Payout Probability Return \$0.25 2,3,4 offsuit, any order \$10.00 1.98E-03 8.11% \$0.25 2,3,4 offsuit, in order \$37.50 3.96E-04 5.98% \$0.25 2,3,4 suited, any order \$75.00 1.41E-04 4.24% \$0.25 2,3,4 suited, in order \$500.00 2.82E-05 5.64% \$0.25 2,3,4,5 offsuit, any order \$25.00 7.44E-04 7.52% \$0.25 2,3,4,5 offsuit, in order \$250.00 3.24E-05 3.24% \$0.25 2,3,4,5 suited, any order \$1,000.00 1.26E-05 5.03% \$0.25 2,3,4,5 suited, in order \$10,000.00 5.47E-07 2.19% \$0.25 2,3,4,5,7 offsuit, any order \$50.00 3.30E-04 6.63% \$0.25 2,3,4,5,7 offsuit, in order \$5,000.00 2.77E-06 5.54% \$0.25 2,3,4,5,7 suited, any order \$20,000.00 1.29E-06 10.34% \$0.25 2,3,4,5,7 suited, in order \$75,000.00 1.09E-08 0.33% total 64.78% decks 6

5 Responses

1. Taren said, on August 11, 2009 at 1:58 am

Millionth monkey indeed! This blog is the only information I’ve been able to find about Perfect Charlie outside of the establishment itself. I just visited a few days ago and stupidly didn’t take their flyer home that explains the rules and payouts. I couldn’t mentally process the rules while keeping track of the table, so I dismissed the side bet as an automatic 8% house edge on the \$3 table.

When you called, did you ask what the specifics were regarding what qualifies for the bonus? I remember reading something about having the Charlie start with specific cards on the deal- what were they?

There was a second rule about only being awarded for sequential cards, I believe- I watched a player get dealt 2d 3d 4h 4d and only get paid for the 2-3-4 offsuit in-order.

Keep up the good work!

2. Sheila White said, on February 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm

• stephenhow said, on February 16, 2010 at 8:11 am

You should be able to get your win-loss statement from either the cage, or from the player rewards desk. If you ask for your “win-loss statement”, they’ll know what you want, and they’ll tell you where to get it.

3. Vapormountain said, on November 6, 2010 at 5:25 pm

played one day there

hit a 234 diamonds in order had a chance for 20 grand if the 5d came in

had about a 1 in 52 of getting paid 80,000 to 1 ! didn’t happen