Discount Gambling

Lucky Stiff BJ Side Bet @ 7 Cedars, WA

Posted in blackjack sidebets by stephenhow on May 28, 2013

luckystiffPaigow Dan told me about the new Lucky Stiff side bet his friend recently placed at the 7 Cedars Casino in WA. It looks fun, because you’re paid 5:1 when your initial 12-16 hard total ends up winning the main hand. Also, blackjack pays even-money on the side bet, and an initial pair of 8-8, 7-7, and 6-6 instantly wins 10:1. Anyways, I ran the bet through my BJ analyzer, to see if it was interesting in any way. I understand that 7 Cedars lets you bet $5 on the main hand, and up to $25 on the side bet. So I ran the analysis for a 5:1 side-to-main ratio on a 6-deck, H17, SP4, SPA4 game. The return showed a house edge of 3.5% of the combined (main+side) wager. The optimal strategy for the 5:1 side-to-main ratio only has a few differences with basic strategy.

Hand Dealer Upcard
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 A
Soft Totals
soft 21 S S S S S S S S S S
soft 20 S S S S S S S S S S
soft 19 S S S S D S S S S S
soft 18 D D D D D S S H H H
soft 17 H D D D D H H H H H
soft 16 H H D D D H H H H H
soft 15 H H D D D H H H H H
soft 14 H H H D D H H H H H
soft 13 H H H D D H H H H H
Hard Totals
hard 20 S S S S S S S S S S
hard 19 S S S S S S S S S S
hard 18 S S S S S S S S S S
hard 17 S S S S S S S S S S
hard 16 S S S S S H H H S H
hard 15 S S S S S H H H S H
hard 14 S S S S S H H H H H
hard 13 S S S S S H H H H H
hard 12 H S S S S H H H H H
hard 11 D D D D D D D D D D
hard 10 D D D D D D D D H H
hard 9 H D D D D H H H H H
hard 8 H H H H H H H H H H
hard 7 H H H H H H H H H H
hard 6 H H H H H H H H H H
hard 5 H H H H H H H H H H
Pairs
A-A P P P P P P P P P P
10-10 S S S S S S S S S S
9-9 P P P P P S P P S S
8-8 P P P P P P P P P P
7-7 P P P P P P H H H H
6-6 P P P P P H H H H H
5-5 D D D D D D D D H H
4-4 H H H P P H H H H H
3-3 P P P P P P H H H H
2-2 P P P P P P H H H H

The EORs are fairly small for the 5:1 side-to-main ratio. They’re about only 1/3rd as effective as the EORs for a standard 6-deck shoe main game. So it’s not worth your time to count this side bet. For a single card removed in a 6-deck game, the EORs are as follows:

Lucky Stiff EORs (5:1 side-to-main ratio, 6 decks)
Card Removed Return EOR
None 3.5009%
Ace 3.1324% 0.3685%
Deuce 3.3055% 0.1954%
Trey 3.3723% 0.1285%
Four 3.4423% 0.0585%
Five 3.5247% -0.0238%
Six 4.0443% -0.5434%
Seven 3.7864% -0.2856%
Eight 3.7654% -0.2845%
Nine 3.3903% 0.1106%
Ten/Face 3.4194% 0.0815%

This bet looks like fun. If you bet an equal main and side bet (1:1 side-to-main ratio), the house edge is 4.66% on the combined 2 unit bet (2.33% element-of-risk). That’s not too bad for a carnival-like odds. If you make a small side bet 1/5th of your main bet (e.g., a $1 side bet to a $5 main bet), then the house edge on the combined 1.2 unit bet is 1.38%. That’s not bad for a little bit of fun.

2 Responses

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  1. SM said, on March 7, 2016 at 9:23 pm

    Stephen I have some questions about this sidebet, is there an email I can contact you at?

    • stephenhow said, on March 9, 2016 at 12:28 pm

      Use the “Contact Me” link on the sidebar.


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