One lucky Canadian man became an instant millionaire when he won the Blackjack Progressive side bet on September 17, 2018. The amazing win took place at the Caesars Windsor casino. Known only as Peter, the blackjack player joins eight other local residents who have won $1 million or more from the casino. The huge jackpot is reflective of an ongoing trend in casinos who are trying to compete with online blackjack as it grows more popular and becomes legal in more jurisdictions.
How to Win $1 Million at Blackjack
For Peter, winning $1 million at blackjack was actually little more than sheer luck. The player was participating in a game called Blackjack Progressive. This variation of the game combines traditional blackjack with the progressive jackpots that are usually reserved for slot machines.
Peter made a side bet on the progressive wager of $5. Players can receive a bonus payout when their hand meets certain criteria. In Peter’s case, the two cards he was dealt during the hand of blackjack and the dealer’s up card comprised a royal flush of Ace-King-Queen. Each card in the sequence was a diamond. This is the hand that qualifies for the game’s largest payout. The jackpot increases progressively over time until someone receives the qualifying hand.
The diamond royal flush was dealt to Peter about 8:07 p.m. local time. Even the dealer was very happy for Peter. She stated that there was a great sense of excitement as she turned over the final card in the sequence. There is no word on whether or not Peter tipped dealer Michelle Jubenville, but Counting Edge certainly hopes that the player allowed the blackjack dealer to share in his good fortune.
Winning $1 million at blackjack is not an easy feat for anyone. Without the presence of a huge progressive jackpot it would be almost impossible. These types of jackpots are bringing in more players, and many of them are playing blackjack for the first time.
Why Casinos Use Progressive Jackpots in Blackjack
You might be wondering why a casino would offer up the potential of a $1 million progressive jackpot on a game that has one of the smallest advantages for the house. There are several reasons for this. First among these is that live blackjack in a real casino has seen some of its popularity wane in recent years. Most attribute this to the rising popularity of other games like baccarat.
Live players have also been migrating to online casinos where blackjack is offered. In Canada where this type of gambling is legal, a player can enjoy blackjack on a computer, phone, or tablet right from the comfort of their own home. They don’t have to travel, and they don’t have to deal with other players at the table. Some online casinos are even offering live dealer blackjack. Online casinos also provide all of the popular variations of the game, and some of them offer free tournaments.
A final reason is that the casino knows side bets in blackjack will lower the player’s edge. Unless a player strikes it lucky like Peter did at Caesars Windsor, the profitability of a side bet is very questionable. Side bets go way back in blackjack. Insurance was one of the first side bets offered to players, and it is still widely recognized as a bad play in most situations.
Peter was betting $5 on the side bet when he got lucky. Imagine how many players make that same side bet multiple times in a single day without winning anything. The casino is actively encouraging players to bet more than they normally would on a hand of blackjack by offering side bets, and this will help to nullify any advantage that a player may receive from card counting or using basic strategy.
Blackjack Strategies for Progressive Jackpots
Those who want to play a blackjack side bet for a chance to win a progressive jackpot really only have one profitable option. The key is to only play the side bet when the jackpot has grown to an enormous sum. This alters the odds in the player’s favor in the long run.
Consider the phenomenon that is happening in the US with the Mega Millions lottery in October of 2018. At the time this article was written the jackpot was $1.6 Billion, making it the largest lottery jackpot that has ever been offered by the Mega Millions game. It could very well be the largest jackpot in history. Now, ask yourself this question. Who has a more profitable edge in the game? The player that has been playing the lottery every week for years, or the player that has only jumped in when the jackpot got so high? The answer is the player that only participates when there is a huge jackpot.
Here is why. The odds of each player winning are exactly the same when they purchase a single ticket. The difference is that the weekly player has invested large sums of money over the years while the new player has only invested the price of a single ticket.
It’s the same with a blackjack progressive jackpot. The player that makes the side bet on every hand trying to hit the progressive has no better chance ON A SINGLE HAND than the player who only makes the side bet when the progressive is $1 million. This is a strong lesson about how profitability factors into odds when it comes to gambling.
You could make your way to a live casino and try to win $1 million, or you could stay at home and check out one of our recommended online casinos. You’ll even get a nice welcome bonus when you make your first deposit.