Thu, Jan 19, 1:11pm by Staff Writer
Blackjack fans the world over savour that special moment when the dealer’s hand total climbs over 21 to go bust, thus guaranteeing all live player hands to be winners – but for the last decade American players have been able to earn a little extra on the side.
By wagering on a special side bet known as ‘Buster Blackjack’ – which has been around for ages, but became the intellectual property of major casino equipment manufacturer American Gaming Systems (AGS) in September of 2015 – players can earn additional payouts whenever the dealer goes bust.
But thanks to a partnership between AGS and Melbourne’s Crown Casino, which was announced this month, Australian players can now enjoy all the Buster Blackjack side bet action they can handle.
When wagering on the Buster Blackjack side bet, players are hoping to see the dealer go bust to earn a minimum payout of 2-1 on their money. That payout is awarded when the dealer busts holding either three or four cards, but rises to 4-1 when they bust on five cards.
From there, dealer busts on six cards payout at a 15-1 rate, seven-card busts offer a 50-1 reward, and the top payout of 250-1 is triggered when the dealer uses eight or more cards to bust.
This wager carries a house edge of 6.21 percent, making it a relative longshot.
Additionally, when the player makes a blackjack while the dealer busts holding seven cards, they’ll earn a AUD$1,000 cash bonus, while blackjacks on an eight-card (or more) bust are good for a AUD$5,000 cash bonus. The side bet must be for $5 or more to trigger these blackjack bonuses.
In a press release issued upon AGS’ acquisition of Buster Blackjack, John Hemberger – Senior Vice President of Table Products at AGS – offered his take on the side bet’s rising popularity:
“We’ve already doubled the game’s install base. Thanks to its easy-to-understand gameplay, payout simplicity, and the excitement it adds to any standard blackjack table, we’ve seen an explosion in the game’s popularity, which has translated into exceptional performance for our casino partners.”
With more than 500 installations in over 90 American casinos, Buster Blackjack is billed as one of the ‘fastest growing side bets in the world’.
In announcing the new partnership with Crown Casino, Hemberger praised Australia’s leading casino for embracing innovation and integrating Buster Blackjack in a full-fledged installation:
“Working with the team at Crown has been such a great experience – they are true professionals and very strategic operators. Crown’s executives know their players seek excitement from games with high volatility, which is one of the reasons they were attracted to this side bet.”
“It’s also why we’re confident this will be a lasting partnership that allows us to expand our reach internationally with more of our core-gambler style table products.”
Sean Knights, the Executive General Manager of Table Games at Crown Melbourne, also pointed to the Australian love for high-risk, high-reward wagering when commenting on Buster Blackjack’s introduction to local punters:
“Our players have a strong appetite for this type of betting, and we’re confident it will do well as a dual side-bet on our blackjack tables.”
Buster Blackjack will be added to 15 conventional blackjack tables at the Crown, and the casino’s blackjack rules page online has already added the side bet’s terms and conditions, signaling an imminent launch.
You can get the hang of Buster Blackjack gameplay here by trying AGS’ free-to-play version.
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