How to Win at Progressive Blackjack - A Complete Guide for Beginners

How to Win at Progressive Blackjack - A Complete Guide for Beginners


Most Arabic players when they hear the word 'progressive' think of video slots like Mega Moolah and other big hits that have paid out huge multi million jackpots. However, there are plenty of other online casino games that also feature a progressive jackpot. Surprisingly, one of them is online blackjack, a popular card game where you need to make a better hand than the dealer and not go over 21. Progressive jackpots attract many Arabic gamblers, as everyone wants to take advantage of the chance to win that life-changing cash prize. 

To recap, a progressive (network) jackpot is a cumulative jackpot. That is, every time someone bets on a particular game, part of the money is transferred to the total prize pool. Despite the fact that the chances of winning a progressive are slim, these games draw crowds at Arabic online casinos. Read on to find out what progressive blackjack is, how it works and also its main features. In addition, we'll give you some tips with which you'll increase your chances of winning progressive blackjack. 

What is a Progressive Blackjack?

So, as mentioned above, the progressive jackpot is a concept firmly associated with online slots. However, as of late, online casino content producers are also providing progressive jackpots in some of their card and online table games. Perhaps the best known of these is the Caribbean Stud. However, what makes this game not the best option is the high fee charged by the house for hosting the game. As for progressive blackjack, this game is played pretty much the same way as regular blackjack, with standard payouts based on combinations. To qualify for the progressive jackpot, you need to make a side bet. Normally, the outcome of such a bet depends solely on chance. So, no matter how well you know the basic strategy or card-counting technique, it will not affect your jackpot betting result. 

To see how this works, let's take a look at Triple Sevens, a progressive blackjack game presented by Microgaming. To make life difficult for the card counters, here the cards are dealt from five decks. As the name implies, you need a hand of three sevens to win an extra prize (the jackpot). As there are 5 decks, it is possible that you may get more than one of the same cards. The jackpot in this game is awarded for a hand consisting of three diamond sevens. The jackpot starts at $10,000, or its equivalent in KWD. However, the prize pool increases every time someone bets on the game. Triple Sevens also has a few extra prizes - you'll win a small jackpot for a combination of three sevens of different suits, for example. Triple Sevens is far from the only progressive blackjack, and we've just looked at it to illustrate how it works. 

Does It Make Sense to Play Progressive Blackjack?

To see if it makes sense to play progressive blackjack, here's an example of progressive roulette, as it works a little easier. To qualify for the progressive jackpot, you - as with progressive blackjack - need to make a side bet. You will get the top prize by hitting the same number on the roulette wheel 5 times in a row. If the progressive jackpot is played at European Roulette, we have a wheel with 37 numbered pockets. The chance of hitting the right number is 1/37. According to probability theory, to calculate the probability of hitting the same number 5 times, you need to multiply the odds of hitting that number - 1/(37x37x37x37x37x37) = 1/69,343,957. You can easily guess this is an extremely low probability, so winning the progressive jackpot at roulette is just as difficult as at progressive slots. 

As for blackjack, things are a little different here. When you make a side bet to qualify for the progressive jackpot, the casino has a 37% advantage, and that's true as long as the total pot is $10,000 (or the equivalent amount in KWD). Every $10,000 added to the prize pool reduces the house advantage by 3.5%. Based on this, the jackpot is guaranteed when the total prize pool is $109,000. Remember that Triple Sevens is not ideal for those who want to win really big, as the game uses 5 packs of cards. 

5 Helpful Tips for Progressive Blackjack Beginners

If you're new to blackjack, perhaps the best advice for you is to start by learning the rules of the game. Also, since you'll be making side bets to qualify for the jackpot, progressive blackjack is a game for advanced players. Ideally, you should know the basic strategy thoroughly and be able to use it to your advantage. So, if you've decided to try your hand at progressive blackjack, here are some useful tips for you:

  • Choose versions of blackjack played from a single pack of cards. Unfortunately, most versions of progressive blackjack are played from multiple decks. This means you can forget about the idea of using the card-counting technique as it becomes meaningless.
  • The house advantage in progressive blackjack is always higher than in regular blackjack since you're spending money on an extra side bet.
  • Try to play within your budget. Plan ahead how many attempts you want to make at winning the jackpot so you don't deplete your bankroll before you hit the big payout.
  • Be focused on having fun first, as the perception that gambling is a way to make money can lead to negative experiences and bankruptcy.
  • Approach the game with a cold mind. When you are upset or angry about something, you risk losing too much in a gambling session. 

Finally, never play progressive blackjack with borrowed money. Allocate your gambling budget so you have enough money left to live on. 

Closing Thoughts

So, playing progressive blackjack - like other casino table games featuring progressives - is a very cautious gamble. In most cases, playing a side bet increases the house advantage to 10-40%. This is disappointing because common blackjack has a very low house advantage of 1.5-0.5% (depending on how well you know the basic strategy). You might as well spin the reels of a progressive slot or play keno. Because the odds of hitting a progressive are too low, we recommend that you limit your playing sessions to just a few attempts. The fact is that even if you make 20-30 side bets in a row, your chances of winning the jackpot won't increase significantly. So, focus on having fun playing the game.

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