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How sports betting can help bring a new layer to casino games

See how sports betting elements can be implemented into casino games in order to continuously innovate and increase popularity.


14 Oct 2016

Innovation is a word that should always be at the forefront of the minds of casino operators, whether it be introducing new games to the floor, original additions to the food menu of a restaurant or current in-demand technology to the bedrooms.

Some suggestions have already been highlighted on this site, such as learning from arcades, themed slot machines or gimmicks on one-off evenings.

Another form of advancement that may be welcomed by players is the introduction of side bets to existing casino games.

One such modernism that already exists in some environments is 21+3 – a blackjack side bet which incorporates hands from Texas Hold’em Poker.

This requires three cards (the two dealt to the player and the face-up card of the dealer) and should they combine to bring about a flush, straight, straight flush, three of a kind or suited three of a kind, a player will make a profit on their initial side bet.

The level of profit is based on the difficulty of obtaining a hand, with a suited three of a kind said to pay 100 times the original stake.

Rather than using other casino games as the basis for a side bet, the sheer number of markets available within sports betting offers an abundance of new opportunities for game extensions. Here are five crossover markets casinos could use:


In football this generally relates to how many goals will be scored in a match, while in cricket it could be the number of runs that a particular team registers when batting.

This can logically be transferred into the casino environment in both roulette and blackjack.

For roulette, it could be whether the ball lands on a number over or under a preset figure. It could be 11, with the payout for going low and winning obviously being more substantial than for those going above.

With blackjack, the over or under could focus on the total value of the two cards dealt to a player. A total of 14 would seem appropriate over/under lines from which to start, with another rule being that aces must count as one in this side bet.


In sports betting, this are typically markets for first goalscorers, first try scorers or first touchdown scorers, among others.

With three picture cards having a valuation of 10 in blackjack (king, queen and jack), a side bet revolving around which is dealt face-up first on the table may generate additional betting interest.

Alternatively, with four different suits within the game, another option could detail which of the four possible suited aces are first visible on the table.

Enhanced markets

As a way of enticing more bets, it is not unusual for a bookmaker to marginally increase the price of something specific happening within a sporting event. This could be a particular player scoring a goal or the favourite team in the betting winning a match.

This would be easy to incorporate into casino games, with a perfect blackjack paying out at a slightly superior rate for a particular time period or number of hands.

In roulette, the payout on a straight bet could increase from 35/1 to 40/1 for a few spins. To make it easier to follow, it could be on the green number 0 for the first five spins every hour or something of that nature.

Handicap betting

This is a regular in sports betting, where teams can be backed to win when allocated a certain head start.

For example, if there is a mismatch on paper between two teams, a market will exist where the underdogs are given a two-goal handicap. A person can then bet whether the favourites will overcome this handicap (win by three goals) or the underdogs will make their fabricated advantage count.

In blackjack, one way to incorporate a handicap system on certain hands will be to knowingly give the dealer a certain card, rather than the one on top of the dealing shoe.

If a player knew that a dealer would be holding a 4 before placing their bet, this would give them an advantage as to how much they may wish to stake. Through having access to this information, it could be made clear that their winning profits at the end of the hand would be reduced.

Will a certain event occur?

In football this might be whether a goal is scored in the opening 15 minutes of a match, in boxing it could be whether a knockdown occurs in a fight or on Formula 1 there are sometimes markets as to whether the safety car will be called onto the track.

Similar to other suggestions above, a side bet could be whether a blackjack is dealt in the next five hands or a certain dozen bet lands within the next five roulette spins.