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 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

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  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

    Would tell me how to receive my win loss statement, Please

    • 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

    got the $500 instead

  4. Dave said, on March 6, 2013 at 11:48 pm

    I won $1000,00 the last time I was there.

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