In an effort to win back the casual punter and make amends for a number of contentious blackjack changes, Crown Casino has introduced a unique and highly rewarding side-bet, one that has quickly turned into one of the card game’s most popular bets. The Blackpot side bet is growing in popularity at Southbank’s casino and on other gambling floors across the country and Asia, offering some of the biggest payouts of any blackjack side game. What’s special about this side bet, and why should you play it? Let’s take a look at the basics.
Blackpot: How the best blackjack side bet works
The Blackpot side bet is an exciting wager that is really unlike any other in blackjack, which is what makes it so special. The odds are truly unbelievable, up to an outstanding 20,000-1, so the potential for an enormous win, relative to the table limit, is up for grabs. The payout gets increasingly attractive because the odds are increasingly tougher, but you could walk away with the Blackpot jackpot without having wagered more than $10 or $20. That’s a huge windfall for little investment.
Placing a Blackpot bet is very simple. On each blackjack table, you’ll see betting boxes, each of which represent a hand. You can wager on a standard hand to compete against the dealer, as well as the Blackpot bet, which sits atop the standard wager. You can also wager on the Blackpot bet on another player’s hand. Sometimes the Blackpot bet is accompanied by the Perfect Pairs bet, and you may either need to distinguish your bet with the dealer, or ensure your wager sits in the right section of the betting box. A Blackpot box can house up to five wagers, so you can have one person making a standard wager, and then five other players each wagering on the Blackpot box on the same hand.
The first deal
Interestingly, there are actually four distinct phases of the Blackpot side bet, all of which are optional. With each additional phase you enter into, the odds increase and you move a step closer to claiming the Blackpot jackpot.
In the first phase, you’ll place a simple bet in the Blackpot box on the hand’s initial two cards, as dealt by the dealer. To win, you’ll need one of the following combinations:
- Six and Seven
- Seven and Eight
- Eight and Six
You will win on any of these combinations, regardless of suit or order the cards have been dealt. This pays 10 to 1, meaning a minimum bet on a $5 of $10 for a side bet would net you $100. It’s important to remember that when playing the Blackpot bet, you only win on the above three combinations, regardless of how the hand performs against the dealer. The hand could be a blackjack, but you would still lose because it’s not one of the three winning combinations.
The second phase
This is where things start to get interesting. If you win on the initial deal and the playing hand is dealt a third card, you can either stand, at which point the dealer will remove the Blackpot wager, or remain active. You can only remain active if the playing hand — ie. the player that placed the initial wager on the hand — continues playing and asks the dealer to hit a third card.
If you remain active, you can win on only one hand: Six, Seven and Eight. That means that relative to your initial winning hand, you’ll need the final number in the combination to win the second phase. So if you won on Six and Eight, you would need the third card to be a Seven.
Winning this phase boosts the odds up to an outstanding 100 to 1, so you winnings off the first bet into the second phase have been boosted from $100 up to $1000. As you can see, two good deals can lead to a rather significant windfall.
The next hand
You can continue playing from here and keep the stake active for the next hand, so long as the betting box as an active standard wager. It will need to be in the same box, so if the initial player has decided not to wager, you’ll need to either bet yourself, or hope someone else places a standard wager.
Winning this wager is as simple as the first phase: simply win on a combination of six and seven, seven and eight, or eight and six. The upside of this bet, however, is that it offers odds of 1000 to 1. You’re now up from a $100 windfall to a $10,000 one if you can pull off the Blackpot win for a third consecutive time.
The Blackpot Jackpot
This is the same as the second phase: simply complete the trio of six, seven and eight on the initial hand combination, and you’ll snag a stunning 20,000-1 on your initial side bet stake, which is utterly insane. You will have started with $10, and will walk away with $200,000.
Probability and payouts in Blackpot
The general payout odds are as follows:
- First hand, initial bet: 10 to 1
- First hand, subsequent bet: 100 to 1
- Second hand, initial bet: 1000 to 1
- Second hand, subsequent bet: 20,000 to 1
Some tables may have maximum payout limits, meaning a $10 bet and a win on the subsequent bet on the second hand may not yield a $200,000 windfall. This may be the case on some Crown Blackjack tables with lower and more varied betting limits.
The winning hands for each bet are follows:
- First hand, initial bet: 6+7, 7+6 or 8+6
- First hand, subsequent bet: 6+7+8
- Second hand, initial bet: 6+7, 7+6 or 8+6
- Second hand, subsequent bet: 6+7+8
Where can I make a Blackpot bet?
You can place a Blackpot side bet at around 70 different blackjack tables scattered across Crown Casino Melbourne at Southbank. The innovative bet is slowly making its way out of the casino, having grown in popularity among punters. However, some attribute this popularity to the fact it counteracts the nature of Blackjack Plus, which is often considered to be the worst variants of blackjack available. Blackpot seems like a nice alternative, as the odds generally remain the same across all tables, and the dealer isn’t given any additional advantages over the hand.
Verdict on Blackpot: Is it worth a punt?
It’s a fun bet, that’s for sure, and it’s also rather inexpensive when you consider the potential payout. The odds are obviously greatly stacked against you, however, which explains the high payout value. It still stands as an attractive bet. It may not be worth to focus exclusively on this side bet, but it acts as a nice breakaway from the standard wager should you be struggling against the dealer.