A New Blackjack Variation: Streak

Mao Gaming has created a new blackjack variation: Streak. Like most variations, this excludes Pontoon, this new variation is based on a side bet.

The game of blackjack itself is played the same as it regularly would—there are no special rules here that change how you play. Streak comes down to its side bet. And in this one you’re betting on the how many games in a row you can win. Just win, not get blackjack. All you have to do is beat the dealer like you normally would.

At the beginning of a round of Streak Blackjack, after placing wager for that round, you can make one of four side bets: that you will win 2 times in a row, 3 times in a row, 4 times in a row or 5 times in a row. The payout for the streak bet pays out as follows:

Win 2 in a row: 3-1
Win 3 in a row: 7-1
Win 4 in a row: 17-1
Win 5 in a row: 37-1

In this variation when you have to push a hand it doesn’t count against you. And when it comes to splitting hands, if you win one split and lost the other, it will cancel itself out—think +1 and -1. If you win one split and push the other it will count as a win; and if you lose one split and push the other it will count as a loss.

Because you play to win at blackjack anyway, many players feel that this is a pretty decent variation and side bet. In Streak you’re betting on how many times you can win, which you’re trying to do anyway. But let’s look at the house edge on winning each of the streak bets:

Winning 2: 9.7%
Winning 3: 14.3%
Winning 4: 8.4%
Winning 5: 8.2%

Now other than winning three in a row, the house edges for the Streak side bet don’t seem that bad. But if you lose the side bet, that’s more money lost on top of the money lost while playing the regular blackjack portion of the game. And when you look at the house edge of 0.5% after basic strategy, which way looks like the better game to play?

As with all side bet blackjack variations, stick with a regular blackjack game.