Caribbean Stud Poker: Walk Into Any Casino Worldwide or Online, and You’re at a Table

Caribbean Stud Poker is a very popular table game that has been seeing a lot of casino action for more than 30 years. It is found in nearly every casino that offers table play, and also online. If you know poker hand rankings, it is easy to learn and play.

How to Play

The game is played on a blackjack like table with six or seven seating areas. Each betting area contains three positions to make bets:

  1. A slot for the optional Progressive Jackpot bet
  2. An Ante bet box
  3. A bet (call) box

The objective is for the player to have a higher ranking hand than the dealer.

A standard 52 card deck is used. Before the cards are dealt, all players must make the ante bet. An optional progressive jackpot bet may also be made by inserting a one dollar chip or coin into the appropriate slot. The dealer will then deal five cards face down to each player, and four cards face down and one face up to his or herself.

After players review their hands, they must then make a decision to either call (make an additional wager), or fold, (forfeit the ante and optional jackpot bet). If the player calls, s/he must place an additional wager in the bet box, which must be twice the ante. After collecting the chips from the players that folded, the dealer will then turn over all the cards.

Dealer Qualifier

The dealer must have at least an Ace/King or higher to qualify for play. If the dealer does not qualify, All hands that called will win the ante bet at even money. The call bet becomes a push and will be returned to you.

If the dealer qualifies, the hand is compared to each player’s hand. If dealer beats player, the ante and call bets are lost to the house. If player beats dealer, He or she is paid even money for the ante wager.The call bet is paid according to a pay table depending on the strength of the poker hand as follows:

  • One Pair – pays even money
  • Two Pair – 2 to 1
  • Three of a Kind – 3 to 1
  • Straight – 4 to 1
  • Flush – 5 to 1
  • Full House – 7 to 1
  • Four of a Kind – 20 to 1
  • Straight Flush – 50 to 1
  • Royal Flush – 100 to 1

Payouts may vary between jurisdictions. Most casinos have a maximum table payout. Many are set at $5,000.

The Downside

A drawback for Caribbean Stud Poker is the dealer qualifying requirement. A player may have a very high paying poker hand but if the dealer does not qualify, the player will only win the ante bet at even money.

Progressive Jackpot

Provided the player placed $1.00 in the jackpot slot, the bonus pays to all qualified players that called. The dealer’s hand does not matter. Most progressive jackpots are at least $10,000. Here is one pay table

  • Flush – $50
  • Full House – $100
  • 4 of a Kind – $500
  • Straight Flush – 10% of jackpot amount
  • Royal Flush – 100% of Jackpot

If two or more players qualify for all or part of the jackpot in the same hand, they will share the jackpot.

Strategy

The following strategy when playing is recommended

  • Always call on a pair or higher
  • Always fold with less than Ace/King
  • Call with an Ace/King if you have a Queen and your fourth highest card is equal to or higher than the dealer’s up card

The house edge is about 5.3% when proper strategy is used.

The house edge for playing the progressive jackpot option is a whopping 26.5%!

Gambling History: How Far Back Do Gambling Games Go? Possibly With the Egyptian Pharaohs

At what period in history did people start to gamble? The exact period is unknown but believe it or not, pairs of dice have been found in Egyptian tombs over 4,000 years old! Also, gambling games were played in ancient China, where Poker is thought to have originated. In 1492 during the Columbus landing, Native Americans were sports betting on the outcome of a game resembling LaCross. So when did it all start in America? Read on.

Early America

Gambling in America started with the first English settlers in the 1600’s. Their traditions included card games that were part of the aristocratic lifestyle. However, when Puritans colonized in Massachusetts Bay they had the freedom to create their own culture which included hostility towards gambling. They outlawed the possession of dice, cards, and gambling table games in their communities. Nevertheless, gambling prevailed in other localities. Many English colonists considered gambling to be a suitable form of entertainment.

The Revolution

The colony of Virginia was the first to realize that lotteries could raise capital for local governments. Eventually all 13 colonies were raising lottery revenue. Proceeds helped build Universities like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Lotteries also funded churches and libraries. Founding Fathers George Washington, Ben Franklin, and John Hancock were promoters of specific lotteries for public works projects. When the Revolutionary War started, the Continental Congress voted for a $10 million lottery to finance the war.

Westward Ho

During the early 1800’s the taverns and road houses allowed dice and card games, creating the first version of casinos. As America’s population began to increase, casinos became more lavish. The Mississippi River was a major trade route where merchants and entrepreneurs brought their cash. Gambling on riverboats became a favorite pastime and New Orleans became the gambling capitol of America. In 1849 gambling followed the pioneers to California during the gold rush. Gambling establishments began to flourish there and west of the Mississippi, including Nevada. In the late 1800’s Roulette was adopted from France and the Slot Machine was invented.

Much of the public viewed gambling as a social ill because it was linked to alcoholism and prostitution. Reformers convinced jurisdictions to shut down the Dens of Iniquity. Most states discontinued lotteries as well. Riverboat gambling dried up with the advent of the railroad. By the end of the century only Nevada allowed gambling.

20th Century

In 1910 Nevada finally shut the door on gambling, which left horse race wagering the only legal entity in America. In 1912 Arizona and New Mexico were granted statehood under the condition that gambling remain outlawed. During the 1920’s prohibition era, the public’s thirst for gambling matched that of alcohol. Casinos went underground along with the speakeasys. In 1931 Nevada legalized gambling again and remained the only state to do so until the latter half of the century. Gambling flourished underground as organized crime made heavy investments in Nevada, and prospered by controlling off track betting and the numbers lottery.

During the 1950’s the U.S. Senate investigated organized crime’s link to illegal gambling. Eventually the mob departed Las Vegas. States put bookies out of business by legalizing off track betting and numbers games. Atlantic City approved gambling in 1976, the Indian Gaming Act was approved by congress in the late 1980’s. Dockside riverboat gambling made a comeback, racetracks installed slot machines while Las Vegas reinvented itself by building mega resorts during the 1990’s.

Century 21

The American Gaming Association reported that there are 832,988 slot machines spread out over 1,151 casinos and racetracks across 44 states with more on the way. It appears that the American culture’s thirst for gambling matches that of the Egyptian Pharaohs! America has embraced gambling as an acceptable form of entertainment.

Casino Comps: Not Only For High Rollers – Everyone Can Get in on the Game, Here’s How It’s Done

Players that often visit casinos are aware that many patrons are comped during their stay. Regulars receive free or discounted rooms, meals, show tickets, free play, etc. Many average players that wager on penny, nickel, or quarter slot machines, bet $5 or $10 per hand at table games, think that the freebies are only for the high rollers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

How Casino Comps Work

Comps (complementaries) are valued at a portion of a player’s expected loss to the casino over time. This is called the house edge. For example, the house edge on Blackjack is about 0.5% when perfect basic strategy is used by the player. This means that a player’s theoretical loss is about 50 cents for every $100 bet. Players can win too, but that’s gambling. However in the long run over time, the house always wins, and comps keep players coming back.

How to Get Casino Comps

Sign up for a Players Club card without hesitation. All casinos offer them at no charge. Each time you use it at a slot machine or table game, you build up points. Of course the more you play the more points you earn. Depending on where you play and your level of play your points can be used towards meals, hotel stays, exclusive event invitations, show tickets, cash back and more. Rewards vary between casinos and are liquid (change often). Always check with the Players Club associates for specifics.

How Comps are Determined

Points on your card are determined by the amount of credit (coin in) at any machine game after you insert your players card in the appropriate slot. The amount you play is not as important as length of time you play. For example, If you put $20 in a quarter slot machine, and you play for an hour or so with it, the amount of coin in could be $100 or more. The amount through put is what counts.

If you play table games, place your card on the table with your cash when you buy-in. The dealer will give it to the pit boss who will record it. The card will be returned to you promptly. Your average bet will be monitored and recorded from time to time during your session.Once again, how long you play takes precedence for comp rewards.

Once you’re established as a steady player you’ll receive offers in your mailbox(snail mail and/or e-mail).

If you’re a table game player that wagers $25 per hand and higher, ask the pit boss to rate you. S/he will keep track of your average bet size for as long as you play. If you play for two or three hours always ask if you’re entitled to any comps.

For table games,the comps players receive depends on the game you’re playing. For example, three hours of Blackjack at your theoretical loss of 0.5% will earn you less in rewards than three hours of Caribbean Stud Poker, where your expected loss is 5.2%.

The same applies to slot and video poker machines. For example, three hours of video poker play will earn you less in comps than the same time at a slot machine, because video poker has a skill element to it, whereas slots do not.

Where you play is also a factor. Playing as a Vegas locals casino could earn you more generous rewards than playing the same amount of time at the upscale Wynn and Bellagio resorts.

When to Talk to a Host

If you’re planning to stay for a few days call the casino and ask to speak to a casino host. S/he can offer you special room rates and will book your room for you. Tell the host what games you play and what your betting level is. You may also want to enquire about making an upfront cashier deposit. For example, if you’re staying for four days and deposit $2,000, you can draw out $500 a day to prove your betting level. If you’re playing tables get to know the pit crew(s). This can go a long way with your host relationship.

Illegal Sports Gambling Is Big Business! Will It Finally Become Legal? Supreme Court to Decide

No matter what sports season we’re in, you probably have a favorite sport you relish following. Maybe March madness college basketball, the NFL, baseball, hockey, golf, or soccer. Perhaps you would like to make a little bet, but many sports fans in the United States are leery of the legitimacy and legality of internet gambling. If you live in the United States, your legal sports betting options at brick and mortar casinos are limited to Nevada, and to some degree at Delaware racetracks.

The Supreme Court has heard arguments on a New Jersey challenge which would permit sports gambling at its casinos and racetracks. If the court rules in favor of New Jersey, Gaming experts predict that most states will jump on the bandwagon to legalization, in order to fill state coffers with tax revenue.

If you’re unfamiliar with the particulars of how to bet on sports, the following describes how it all works:

Sports Betting Jargon

Before we get into the specifics, here’s a little jargon explanation to help you understand the process:

  • Action – A term for all the betting activity that happens during an event.
  • Handle – The total amount of money wagered on events.
  • Spread – Giving one of the two teams points to even out the betting action.
  • Sports Books – Establishments that take bets on sporting events.
  • Juice – A percentage of the win taken from a bettor that won an even money bet. Sometimes called the vig, which is short for vigorish.

Types of Bets

There are many different types of bets. By far, football draws the most action with the biggest handle. The Super Bowl alone draws over $100 million in legal betting activity, and over three billion (that’s billion with a B!) illegal wagers. Now you see why states want a piece of the action.

  • Even Money Bets – Players betting on only one team to beat another. The sports book takes the juice/vig from the winning payout amount. A common vig is $11 for $10. (Bettor wages $11, wins $10.) House keeps $1. Most bets will have a point spread (line). If the player is picking the underdog, S/he will take points. If the bettor is picking the favorite, S/he is laying (giving) points.
  • Parlay Bets – Betting on multiple (two or more) teams to win. Here’s a scenario on a point spread ticket. Let’s assume that on event #1, Tampa Bay is playing at Green Bay with GB favored to win by at least 3 points. In event #2, Buffalo is playing at Miami and BUF is expected to win by at least 7 points. Your game ticket would look something like this:

Event Visitor Vs Home

1. TB GB. -3

2 BUF. -7 MIA

This means that if you bet on GB they must win by more than 3 points. A bet on BUF would require them to win by more than 7 points. By choosing the favorites you are laying (giving) points. If you were to put your money on GB and MIA, you would be taking (receiving) the points.

One way to eliminate confusion is to jot down a spread score before the games start. for example on this ticket:

The score before the game starts is:

  1. TB 3 GB 0
  2. MIA 7 BUF 0

When the games are over just give the points to the underdogs. In most jurisdictions, ties lose for the player. In other jurisdictions the prize payout for one tie is reduced to the next lowest payout factor. A common play in casinos is a four team pick for 10X the bet.Bet $10, win $100, but you can wager from two to twelve games. The more games you play, the higher the winning payouts.

  • Over/Under – One scenario is betting that the final score ill be over or under a certain number a preset number.
  • Prop Bets – A proposition bet is where you predict the outcome of a preset number of props on a single ticket. Example: Total field goals over/under 4. Total interceptions over/under 3. Total sacks over/under 2. Total receiving yards, total yards, and the list goes on and on.

Texas Holdem Bonus: No Poker Face? No Problem – Just Beat the Casino Dealer to Win This Table Game

There are poker rooms galore in most major casinos worldwide. Perhaps you’ve seen the action during your visit(s),but had reservations about playing the game of choice for most poker players, Texas Holdem, for fear of intimidation from seasoned players. If so, you should try the table game called Texas Holdem Bonus. If you can’t hold a poker face, no problem. The objective is to beat the casino dealer, just as you would in Blackjack and most other table games.

How Texas Holdem Bonus is Played

  • One single 52 card is used. All players must first make an Ante wager. An optional Bonus bet if chosen must also be made at this time.
  • All players and the dealer receive two face down hole cards. Players must decide to either Fold or make an additional bet to see the Flop, which is a bet to see the next three community cards, which can be used by all players to complete their best five card poker hand. The flop bet must be twice the ante amount.
  • After the flop, players may either check(make no bet bu remain in the hand), of make a Turn bet, which is a bet to see the fourth community card. The turn bet must be equal to the ante. The players may check again or make a bet equal to the ante to see the fifth and final River card.

Players and dealer then play heads up to make their best five-card hand using the hole cards and the community cards.The best poker hand wins.

If the house dealer wins, the player loses all wagers except the bonus bet if made. If the player wins, he flop, turn, and river bets pay even money. For the player to get paid on the ante bet s/he must have at least a flush or higher. (Some casinos pay for a straight or higher.) Otherwise the bet pushes.

If bet, the bonus payout is based on the players two hole cards and will be paid even if s/he loses the original hand.

Bonus Bet Pay Table

Bonus pay tables do vary between jurisdictions. Here is a common one:

Player Cards Payout

  • Player/Dealer A, A- 1,000/1 (Not offered everywhere)
  • A, A- 30/1
  • A, K, suited 25/1
  • A, Q, or A, J, suited-. 20/1
  • A, K, unsuited- 15/1
  • KK, QQ, JJ- 10/1
  • A,Q, or A, J, unsuited- 5/1
  • 2,2 through 10,10- 3/1 (Not offered everywhere)

Recommended Strategy

Players should fold an unsuited 2/3 through 2/7. Otherwise bet the flop.

Be aware that you will need a decent stake to buy in. If you play at a $5 minimum table and you bet all positions, flop, turn, and river, including the bonus, one hand will cost you $30.

The house edge is about 2% but jumps to 8% when the optional bonus bet is made.

Double Attack Blackjack: Think the Casino Dealer Has a Weak Hand? Double Your Bet to Attack

Double Attack Blackjack is another variant of this popular table game. During recent years alternates have been appearing (and disappearing) from the casino pits. The most active variants today are Blackjack Switch, Spanish 21, Free Bet Blackjack, and Three Card Blackjack.

Blackjack rules for Double Attack Blackjack gives the player the opportunity to double the play bet if he or she thinks the casino dealer has a weak up card.

How the Game is Played

A Spanish Deck s used which has 48 cards instead of the usual 52. The four 10’s are removed. Ace through 9, and J, Q, K, are all in play. Eight 48 card decks are used. Insurance pays 5/2 but a player blackjack pays even money instead of the usual 3/2 or 6/5 in some jurisdictions.

After all players place their initial wager the dealer will reveal his or her up-card. It’s important to note that this is done before any cards are dealt to the players.

Based on the value of the dealer up-card, players then have the option to Double Attack the dealer’s hand by placing an additional bet in the appropriate position. The amount must be equal to or less than the initial wager. After two cards are dealt to each player the following options are playable:

  • Double Down – on any two cards on the initial and double attack wagers up to the original bet.
  • Split – any pair. Players must place an equal amount for both the initial and double attack bets.
  • Surrender – When the dealer does not have a blackjack players can surrender one half of their wager(s) including after hitting, splitting, or doubling down.

Optional Bust It! Side Bet

This optional side bet pays if the dealer busts with exactly three cards. Otherwise the bet loses.Players can wager as little as one dollar up to their initial bet but not mor than $50. Here is the winning pay table:

Third Card Bust

  • J, Q, K – Pays 3/1
  • Nine – Pays 6/1
  • Eight – Pays 8/1
  • Seven – Pays 10/1
  • Six – Pays 15/1
  • Bonus 8-8-8 Same color – Pays 50/1
  • Bonus 8-8-8 suited – Pays 200/1

Things to Consider When Playing

According to simple blackjack basic strategy:

  • If a dealer’s up-card is a 2 or 3, he or she is considered neutral
  • If the dealer has a 4,5, or 6, the dealer is considered weak
  • If the dealer has a 7 through ace, he or she is strong

Remember that players do not have any cards when choosing to attack or not.

The insurance payout of 5/2 (for the few players that take this option) is more than double the standard 2/1 however when taking insurance players are betting that the dealer has a blackjack. With 32 10’s removed from an eight deck game, there are fewer blackjack possibilities for the dealer and player. Doubling down is also less effective in that there are fewer 10’s.

Here’s a recommended strategy when deciding to double attack or not:

  • If a dealer’s up-card is 2 or 3, make your minimum attack bet
  • If the up-card is a 4,5, or 6 make your maximum attack bet
  • If the up-card is 7 through Ace, do not make an attack bet

The game is not as prevalent in brick and mortar casinos as the aforementioned blackjack variants. For you readers in or near Niagara Falls, Canada, the game is at the Fallsview Casino. It is also available online for free and real play.

Ultimate Texas Holdem – Play This Table Game Against a House Dealer, Raise Up to 4 Times Your Bet

If you like poker but you feel you’re not seasoned enough to compete against other players in a poker room, then Ultimate Texas Holdem may be the table game for you. In this game you play solely against the house dealer, not the other players at the table.

How the Game is Played

The table has positions for up to five players and a house dealer with a standard 52 card deck of playing cards.

Players start by making two bets of equal size in the Ante and Blind Circles. There is also a spot for an optional Trips wager.

The dealer will then give each player and his or her self-two cards face down. S/he will also place five community cards face down on the table.

Players then look at their hole cards and make a decision depending on the strength of their cards to either check, (make no bet) or raise 3X or 4X their ante wager.

The dealer then turns over three of the five community cards. This is known as the flop. After this action, players that checked may make a play bet equal to two times the ante, or check again. Players that already bet may not bet further.

The dealer then turns over the two remaining community cards. All players that checked twice must now make a play bet equal to their ante, or fold forfeiting their ante and blind wagers.

The players and dealer then make their best possible five card poker hand by using their two hole cards and three of the five community cards.

The dealer must have at least a pair to open. If the dealer does not qualify to open, All the players ante bets push. All other bets receive action.

If the player beats the dealer, the play and ante bets win even money.

If the dealer beats the player, the ante, play, and blind bets lose.

If the dealer and player tie, all bets push.

The winning blind bet pays with the following progressive pay table if the player beats the dealer with at least a straight, otherwise it pushes:

Blind Pay Table

Straight – Pays 1/1

Flush – 3/2

Full House – 3/1

Four of a Kind- 10/1

Straight Flush – 50/1

Royal Flush – 500/1

The following optional trips bet pays according to the following pay table even if the player loses to the dealer:

Trips Pay Table

Trips – Pays 3/1

Straight – 5/1

Flush – 6/1

Full House – 8/1

Four of a Kind – 30/1

Straight Flush – 40/1

Royal Flush – 50/1

Strategy

Here’s some simple pre-flop strategy: Raise 4X with any A/2 to A/K.

Raise 4X with suited K/2 to K/4, Q/6, Q/7, and, J/8, J/9.

Raise 4X with any pair of 3’s or higher.

Always make a 4X raise, never 3X.

House Edge

The house edge for this game has been calculated at about 2%. When making the optional trips wager, it jumps to about 3.5%.

When Can Betting Wrong Be the Right Choice? Only in the Casino Game of Craps

Craps strategy for the Wrong Bettor could be the right choice since your chance of winning the roll increases when the shooter sevens out. (Loses the roll). A wrong bettor is usually in the minority and not very welcome at the table. Only about 2% of bettors bet against the shooter.

Wrong Bettor Strategy

Start by selecting a lower minimum table, such as a $5.00 one, and buy in for $120 which will give you a reasonable play session. Ask the dealer for 20 five-dollar chips and 20 one-dollar chips. When the dealer announces the new game by shouting “comin’ out”, place the five-dollar chip on the Don’t Pass Line. Then place three one-dollar chips on the table, directing the dealer to put two-dollars on any seven (payout is 4 to 1), and one-dollar on the eleven, also called the yo’ (payout is 15 to 1). These two plays will keep you in the game on the Come Out roll with the following possibilities:

If the Shooter Rolls:

7 – you win 8, lose 6

2 or 3 – you win 5, lose 3

11 – you win 15, lose 7

12 – you lose 3, the $5 bet pushes

4,5,6, or 8,9,10 – lose 3

The five dollars remains on the Don’t Pass Bar. For example, if a 4 is rolled, your five-dollars is still active. The 4 becomes the point number. As a wrong bettor, you want the 7 to be rolled before the 4, in order to collect your wager.

The Odds Bet

When you place an odds bet as a wrong bettor you’re laying odds instead of taking odds because your chances of winning are now greater than losing. However, it will cost you more to lay the odds.

For example, there are 6 ways to win with a 7: 4,3; 5,2: 6,1: or 3,4: 2,5; 1,6. The three ways to lose with a 4 are 3, 1; 1, 3; or 2, 2. In other words there is a 1 to 2 payoff. You will have to lay $10 odds to collect $5 true odds. The total line bet is $15 ($5 on Don’t Pass; $10 on odds) total win is $10. ($5 for the Don’t Pass, $5 for the odds.)

When you lay your odds bet, place it off center atop your Don’t Pass wager chips. This tells the dealer that you are laying single odds against the point number 4.

Some casinos only offer single odds to wrong bettors. If you are interested in playing double odds, check with the dealer first. It’s advisable to remember that laying double odds as a wrong bettor can become quite expensive, depleting your buy in quickly.

True odds against other point numbers are:

Point Numbers True Odds

4 and 10 – 1 to 2

5 and 9 – 2 to 3

6 and 8 – 5 to 6

While a wrong bettor puts up more to win less, the risk to benefit advantage is that you can win more often.

Odds Strategy

Lay odds bets against the point numbers 4, 5, 9, or 10 only. The 6, 8-point strategy is played differently.

Place Betting
After you lay your odds bet, put $12.00 on the table and tell the dealer to place the 6 and 8.Each time a 6 or 8 is rolled before a 7 you’ll be paid seven-dollars. Press up one time so that you have $12.00 on each number. These numbers are as important to you as a wrong bettor as they are to the right bettor. You want Lady Luck to drop her 6’s and 8’s before your seven is made or the point number is rolled.

If the shooter sevens out, you’ll collect your Don’t Pass wager, but will lose the 6, 8 place bets. If the shooter makes the point, you’ll lose the Don’t Pass wager. The place bets remain on the felt and are still active.

6 and 8 Point Strategy

If the 6 or 8 becomes the point on the come out, use a different strategy. For example, if the 6 is the point, make a $6.00 place bet on the 8. This time do not lay odds. Hedge the point by asking the dealer to make a Hard Way bet on the 6. The hard way is one way only, in this instance a 3 and 3. The hard ways are proposition bets that I don’t normally recommend but in this case, it could be a good hedge.

This bet pays 9 to 1 and the payout is $45 if the shooter makes the point the hard way. Your Don’t Pass wager will lose.

Keep in mind that craps is still a game of pure chance and is best viewed as simply a form of entertainment. When the dice do not confirm your hunches, leave them to play another day.

Three Card Blackjack, a Casino Table Game Where Players and Dealers Never Bust

The blackjack rules for the casino table game of Thee Card Blackjack vary in that the player is dealt three cards instead of two.

How Three Card Blackjack is Played

Three Card Blackjack is played with a standard 52-card deck. The objective of the game is for players to make the best blackjack hand to beat the dealer using two or three of their cards. Players or dealers cannot bust. Standing, Hitting, doubling, and pair splitting are not permitted, and a player blackjack always beats a dealer blackjack, however a blackjack pays even money instead of the traditional 3/2.

There are three betting positions, Ante, Ace Plus (optional side bet), and the Play Bet. Players must first make an ante wager. Also, the ace plus option if he or she chooses. The dealer pitches three cards face down to each player and three cards to his or herself. The two dealer cards are face down; one is face up.

Based on the value of the dealer’s up card, players must make one of two decisions after looking at their cards:

Fold – the ante wager is forfeited, but the ace plus wager if made will remain.

Raise – the player makes a play wager equal to the ante.

Here are some hand examples:

Player #1 – Has an A, 5, 4.

Player #2 – Has a 6, 7, and 9 (player cannot bust, so the 6 is not counted)

Player #3 – Has an A, 3, A

Dealer – Shows an 8-up card and a 10, 6, are face down.

Note that player #1 has a total of 20 (11 for the Ace, + 5 + 4 = 20) this player chooses to raise against the dealer 8. Player #2 has a total of 16 (9 + 7, = 16. The player chooses to fold. Player #3 has a total of 15 (11 + 1 for the two aces, plus 3 = 15.) He or she also folds, but the ace plus bet remains.

The dealer has a total of 18, so player #1 wins even money for the ante, raise, and ace plus bet. Player #2 loses the ante wager and ace plus bet if made, because no ace was dealt in that hand. Player #3 loses the ante wager but is paid 10/1 for two aces.

The dealer must have at least a 17 to open. If the dealer cannot open, the ante and raise bets will push, unless a player has a blackjack, for which even money will be paid. If the dealer can open, the higher hand wins.

Optional Ace Plus Wager

Here is the pay table for the optional ace plus wager, which pays even if the player loses the hand. Pay tables may vary between jurisdictions:

Ace, any, any – 1 to 1

Ace, ten, any – 3 to 1

Ace, ten, ten – 6 to 1

Ace, ace, any – 15 to 1

Ace, ace, ten – 25 – 1

Ace, ace, ace – 100 – 1

Strategy and House Edge

The strategy for a player’s total to raise against the dealer’s up card is as follows:

16 or less – Never raise

17 – Dealer 2

18 – Dealer 2 – 8

19 – Dealer 2 – 9

20, 21,- Always raise

The house edge for Three Card Blackjack is about 2% for the ante and play bets but increases to between 2.5 & 7% for the ace plus bet depending on the jurisdictions’ pay table.

Free Bet Blackjack – The Casino Table Game Where the Dealer Actually Gives You Free Bets

The rules for Free Bet Blackjack are played like the traditional version except for the two variations listed below. The casino uses six decks of cards, the dealer hits soft seventeen, (hand containing an ace +6) a player blackjack pays 3/2, re-split certain pairs up to four hands, and double after splitting is allowed. Here are the two variations:

Variation One

Double Down Rule – A player may double down on hard totals (hands with no ace) of 11, 10, or 9 only. Doubling on other hands is permitted however by doing so the player will not receive the free bet wager offered by the casino.

After a player makes the allowable double down wager, the house then gives the player a free double wager by matching the player’s original bet with a free bet button. If the dealer wins the player only loses his or her original wager. If the hand is a push, the player keeps the original wager only. If the player wins, he or she keeps the original wager plus winnings equal to double that wager.

Variation Two

Pair Splitting – A player may split any pair except 4’s or 10’s up to four times. The player receives one free split wager each time, where the player’s split cards are divided into two one card hands. The player’s original wager is placed on the first card and the second card receives the free bet button. Doubling after splitting is allowed. If the player so chooses to double after the split he or she will also receive a free double wager. For the winning hands, each free bet button is replaced with real chips. For a player loss or push, the house takes back the free bet button(s).

You may wonder why all this generosity? Instead of the dealer busting with a total of 22, where the house would pay winnings to all remaining hands, 22 becomes a push. Therefore, all remaining player hands also push.

Optional Side Wager

Push 22 Side Bet – This is an optional wager where a player may bet that the dealer will push with a total of 22. If the player wins, ascending payouts are made depending on the cards. Here is the pay table:

Suited Dealer 22 – Pays 50 to 1

Same Color 22 – Pays 20 to 1

Any other 22 – Pays 8 to 1

The house edge for Free Bet Blackjack is about 1.0% without placing a Push 22 side wager, but jumps to almost 6% if the option is made.

Strategy for this game is simple. Besides exercising basic strategy, take advantage of every opportunity to free split and free double.