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Should I make the "Match the Dealer" side bet?

13 April 2008

By Frank Scoblete

Dear Frank:

I go to an Indian Casino in Connecticut. I play blackjack. They have a side bet called Match the Dealer. Do you have any thought on this game? Is it worth playing?


Dear John:

The answer is no. The house edge on this bet in traditional six and eight-deck games is about 4 percent - much too high to bother with. In Spanish 21, the house edge is a more moderate 2 percent.

But keep in mind, basic strategy players face about a half-percent house edge in traditional blackjack and about an eight-tenths of one percent edge playing the Spanish 21 blackjack game. That means you are making a bet that is eight times worse in traditional blackjack and over two times worse in Spanish 21.

The side bet is rather simple. The player wins the side bet if he can match either of his initial cards to the dealer's upcard, including number and suit. For complete details of this wager, go to

For your letter I am giving you a free 10-day subscription to my private, members-only web site at We have over 5,000 members on this site and the discussions are lively, interesting, educational and fun.

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete

Frank Scoblete
Frank Scoblete is the #1 best selling gaming author in America. His newest books are Slots Conquest: How to Beat the Slot Machines; Everything Casino Poker: Get the Edge at Video Poker, Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Pai Gow Poker!; Beat Blackjack Now: The Easiest Way to Get the Edge; Casino Craps: Shoot to Win!; Cutting Edge Craps: Advanced Strategies for Serious Players; Casino Conquest: Beat the Casinos at Their Own Games! and The Virgin Kiss.

Frank and Casino City Times columnist Jerry "Stickman" teach private lessons in dice control. Frank's books are available at, in bookstores or by mail order. Call 1-800-944-0406 or write to Frank Scoblete Enterprises, PO Box 446, Malverne, NY 11565. Frank can also be reached by email at

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