You don’t need to sit in a chair opposite Chris Tarrant if you want to become a millionaire, winning such a life-changing sum of money can also be achieved by visiting a casino.
Such mammoth casino wins are typically reserved for slots players, with players usually needing to bet the maximum stake possible on all win lines to compete for the top-level jackpots.
It is not so common that millionaires are made as a result of a single hand of blackjack, but this did occur earlier this year to one lucky casino visitor in the state of Maryland in the US.
Manuel Ortiz visited the Live! Casino and Hotel and took a seat at the Super 4 Blackjack table. After around two hours of play, a $5 jackpot wager he had placed netted him a $1,075,710 windfall.
Ortiz had hit the Super 4 progressive jackpot.
What is the Super 4?
Many blackjack tables are now spiced up by the inclusion of side bets that players can make alongside their regular bet.
The main focus of the Super 4 blackjack side bet is that the dealer must show a blackjack. From there, the amount that a player wins is determined by the four-card hand created when the player’s opening two cards are positioned alongside the two of the dealer.
With many casinos often using six decks when dealing blackjack, the likelihood of a blackjack being dealt is once in every 21 hands.
The poker value of the four-card hand determines the size of any payout. Unusually compared with standard sports bets, the player does not get their stake back alongside any winnings.
From the four cards, if a pair is dealt, a player can expect to win $50. This goes up to $200 for two pair, $300 for a flush, $400 for a straight and $750 for three of a kind.
Unsurprisingly, it is a royal flush that provides the biggest returns.
Diamonds are a man’s best friend
The Super 4 is a progressive jackpot, which means that the amount available to be won increases as more people bet into it.
It will start at a set amount, for example $50,000. But if this bet is regularly placed and not won for a significant period of time, the size of the jackpot has the capacity to grow out of control.
Receive a royal flush in any suit consisting of a jack, queen, king and ace and a player can expect to claim 10% of the progressive jackpot amount.
However, if this royal flush occurs in the diamond suit, this is when the full progressive jackpot is won.
This was how the size of Mr Ortiz’s prize was so substantial, as he was dealt a jack and queen of diamonds in the same hand that the dealer had a king of diamonds as their up card and then flipped the ace in the hole.
Assuming that the lucky hand in question came in a blackjack game using six decks of cards, the probability of a royal flush in diamonds occurring in a single hand is 0.000001673.
At $5 every hand, consistently placing this bet can get expensive very quickly on the assumption that 60 hands of blackjack are dealt each hour.
Therefore, players may want to pick and choose the moments in which to place this additional wager. For those able to track and count cards, it would be possible to run a count where diamonds are prominent among the unseen cards remaining in the deck.
Other blackjack side bets
Casinos can be considerably different in terms of the blackjack side bets they make available, and although the majority fail to offer the sizeable jackpots of the Super 4, the payoff is that they land far more frequently.
Some simply rely on the dealer busting and a few examples have been touched on previously.
With others, it doesn’t matter whether a player or dealer exceeds a hand total of 21. Instead, they are more like the Super 4 in the sense that it is the cards on display that determine if a side bet is a winner.
Such side bets include Lucky Ladies and Perfect Pair. More information on this type of side bet can be found here.
It is worth highlighting that these side bets may be effective at generating additional excitement within blackjack hands, but they come with a cost. The house edge to casinos can be highly advantageous with many of these bets.