How to Play Buster Blackjack

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Buster Blackjack is a new side bet giving Lucky Ladies a true run for its money, and for good reason. While Lucky Ladies has been around for many years, the bet has a fairly high casino edge, as most side bets do. The edge depends on the pay table and runs from 16.73-percent to 29..9-percent. Buster Blackjack is offered with eight different pay tables, but each holds less than 5-percent. That’s a huge difference.

While several blackjack variation games have been invented that draws on the idea of a payoff for the dealer losing (Beat the Dealer comes to mind), this is the first that makes the game and the payoffs simple.

Buster Blackjack is played with standard English decks of 52-cards, usually from a six-deck shoe. Double deck games are also found in California, where the game is offered in many locations. Actually, the game is really just a side bet on regular blackjack tables, and playing the bet is simple.

Players just make a wager of up to the amount of their blackjack hand wager, so if the player bets $50 on their regular blackjack bet they can bet up to $50 on Buster. The hands are played out as with any blackjack game, but if the player busts or makes a blackjack, their original wager is settled and their cards remain on the layout with their Buster Bet. They have to wait for the dealer’s hand to finish.

Even if all players bust, the dealer must hit their hand out and see if they also bust, creating a winner for all Buster bets. This is a bit strange, but that’s Buster Blackjack. The most popular pay table found in California pays 200 to 1 as the top award:

  • Dealer bust with 8+ cards pays 200-to-1.
  • Dealer bust with 7 cards pays 100-to-1.
  • Dealer bust with 6 cards pays 30-to-1.
  • Dealer bust with 5 cards pays 6-to-1.
  • Dealer bust with 4 cards pays 3-to-1.
  • Dealer bust with 3 cards pays 1-to-1.
  • No Dealer bust, player’s Buster Blackjack wager loses
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Overall, the dealer will bust approximately 28.5-percent of the time, so the bet returns a winning payoff fairly often, unlike Lucky Ladies, which returns a winning payoff about 12-percent of the time.

Bonus Payoffs

Some pay tables offer an additional bonus payout when the player also holds a blackjack. The additional payoff is $1000 for a dealer-bust of 7-cards or $8,000 for a dealer-bust of 8-cards.

Progressive Tables

As with many side bets, there is a progressive variety game also offered. Again, standard blackjack, but with a progressive meter fed by another separate wager from the player. The progressive is triggered when the dealer busts with 8 or more cards. The progressive pay table is based on a wager of from 1 to 5 coins.

Unfortunately, the progressive wager carries a much higher house edge than the standard bets, about 20-percent. In addition, the game moves at a much slower rate because players must buy credits from the dealer who must key them into the player’s seat number. The player then makes their own Buster bet each hand and winnings are keyed into the player’s set number display keypad after each win. The added moves by the dealer are the same as at EZ Pai Gow where there is no commission taken.

DEALER BUSTS   1 CREDIT  2 CREDITS  3 CREDITS   4 CREDITS  MAX CREDITS

With 8+ Cards    2,500       5,000         7,500               10,000        JACKPOT

With 7 Cards       250           500             750                1,000             1,250

With 6 Cards       50             100            150                  200                250

With 5 Cards       10              20              30                   40                   50

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With 4 Cards       2                4                 6                     8                   10

With 3 Cards       1                2                 3                     4                    5

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