How to Play Bonus Blackjack: Rules & Odds
Throughout history, slight variations in the rules of blackjack have been presented by different casinos around the world. For instance, Vegas has its own preferred rules, as does Atlantic City. Over time, casinos have proffered even more interesting ways to play the game, eventually augmenting the classic styling of blackjack with supplemental bonus bets that can pay off big should the cards be so fated.
One such game is known as Bonus Blackjack, and its popularity spread like wildfire when it was first introduced. Bonus Blackjack can be found at a vast number of online casinos, especially those powered by Microgaming software.
Bonus Blackjack gives players an additional betting circle on the felt that is completely optional. The side bet can be lower, higher, or the same amount as the player’s standard bet on the hand. In order to win the bonus bet, the first two cards the player is dealt must be of the same suit. Simply being dealt two same-suited cards is worth a 5-to-2 (or 2.5-to-1) payout on the bonus bet. If those cards happen to be Jack and Ace of the same suit, it pays 25-to-1, and if the Jack and Ace are both spades, it jumps to 50-to-1.
Bonus Blackjack Payouts are as follow:
- Any two suited cards: 5-to-2
- Jack + Ace suited: 25-to-1
- Jack of spades + Ace of spades: 50-to-1
The beauty of bonus bets is that the player can win a side bet without actually winning the traditional blackjack hand. If a player bets $2 on a hand and another $2 on the bonus, then loses the hand with a 18 to the dealers 19, the original $2 bet is lost, but $5 or more can still be won on the side bet. This occurs because the bonus bet is instantly taken or paid out the moment the first two cards are dealt, before the actual hand is played out.
Microgaming Bonus Blackjack rules are as follow:
- Two decks of cards are used.
- The Soft 17 rule applies (dealer must hit soft 17).
- The player may double down on any two cards, including after a split.
- Splits are allowed up to three times per hand.
- If splitting Aces, each hand receives only one card and if the total is 21 it is not considered a natural blackjack, paying only 1-to-1.