The Global Gaming Expo (G2E) is around the corner and we’re already starting to see companies teasing their new casino games and bets. This year the conference will take place in Las Vegas from Oct. 10-13.
G2E is the annual gathering of the gaming and casino industries. Gaming manufacturers exhibit their products and services for casinos to eventually purchase.
Sometimes the deals are immediate and the casinos will rush out the newest games. Many games take time before they’re in casinos. Sometimes the products on display are just demos of what will soon be available.
The G2E expo space is set up similarly to casino floors. Slot machines dominate the expo hall.
Traditional table games don’t occupy nearly as much space as the slots. In recent years there’s actually been more space devoted to the increasingly popular electronic table games (ETGs) and Stadium Gaming installations.
Even though there are more blackjack games on casino floors than other table games, there aren’t many new variants or side bets on display. With that in mind, it’s always fun to see anything new for blackjack players.
Sweet 16 Blackjack
TCSJohnHuxley released information about its new Sweet 16 Blackjack side bet as we get ready for G2E. Like most side bets, this is an optional wager in addition to the base blackjack game.
The tagline from TCSJohnHuxley for the Sweet 16 bet is “16 is not the hand you normally want to be dealt in blackjack, but in this game you most certainly do”.
This side bet is similar to others but for when a player’s cards total 16. The player will win the Sweet 16 side bet if their first two cards add up to 16.
The amount of the side bet win will change based on the suits, colors, and values of the cards. Here is the paytable for the Sweet 16 bet:
- 160:1 – Sweet 16 (Ace of Hearts and Five of Hearts)
- 16:1 – Suited 16 (Any 2 cards of the same suit adding up to 16)
- 12:1 – Same Color 16 (Any 2 cards of the same color adding up to 16)
- 6:1 – Mixed Color 16 (Any 2 cards of mixed colors adding up to 16)
Blackjack side bets typically have a higher house edge than the base game. The Sweet 16 side bet is no different.
According to TCSJohnHuxley the house edge on the Sweet 16 side bet is between 4.82% – 4.91%.
One of the reasons blackjack players enjoy the game is for the low house edge. This wager is the antithesis of why many players like to play blackjack.
Having said that, action junkies will likely enjoy the simplicity and potential of a big 160:1 payout of the Sweet 16 side bet.
Popular Blackjack Side Bets
There are more blackjack side bets in casinos than ever before. Casino operators love side bets because they increase the house edge at blackjack games without changing the rules.
The blackjack betting circle now looks similar to Mickey Mouse ears with a side bet on each side. Some day it wouldn’t be surprising to see the blackjack betting completely surrounded by side bet options.
ETGs and Stadium Gaming installations have unlimited space for side bets. It’s more likely than not that we’ll continue to see additional side bets in the future.
Here are some of the more popular side bets in casinos today:
21+3 – The first two player’s cards and the dealer’s up card are combined to make a three-card poker hand. The player wins 9-1 if those three cards make a straight, flush, three of a kind, or a straight flush.
Buster Blackjack – This is a side bet that pays a player when a dealer busts. The more cards the dealer has the larger the payout. Players are paid 2-1 if a dealer busts with 3 or 4 cards. The biggest payout of 250-1 is when the dealer busts with 8 or more cards.
Lucky Ladies – This popular side bet pays when a player makes a 20 starting hand. An ace and a 9 also count. An unsuited 20 pays 4-1, suited 20 9-1, two exact cards pay 19-1, and a pair of queens of hearts pay 125-1. The jackpot pays 1000-1. This is when the player has a pair of queens of hearts AND the dealer has a blackjack.
Pair Square – The Pair Square bet wins if a player’s starting cards pair. There are different pay tables, depending on the number of decks in use at the table.
Royal Match – Pays 10-1 if a player is dealt a suited king and queen. Any suited starting hand pays 3-1.
We’ll be at G2E looking for new blackjack games and side bets in a few weeks.