Rise and Fall of Blackjack’s Super 7s Side Bet

Dealt Blackjack Table With a Red Arrow Going Down

Blackjack offers plenty of entertaining side bets. These side wagers typically offer large payouts and spice up the action.

Super 7s used to be one of the most popular blackjack side bets. It was prominently featured in many casinos across the US. However, Super 7s eventually disappeared from the gaming scene.

I’m going to cover the rise and fall of this previously-popular side wager. I’ll also discuss how it’s making a comeback—only with a huge catch involved.

Basics of the Super 7 Side Bet

Super 7s is a side wager that was born in the 1990s. Sometimes called Crazy Sevens or Lucky Sevens, it quickly spread across many casinos.

This bet became popular for multiple reasons. Like many side bets, it was/is extremely cheap to make. You only have to risk $1 to wager on Super 7s.

Secondly, the rules are easy to understand. You win so long as your first dealt card is a 7. You’ll collect even larger prizes with additional sevens.

Here’s a common pay table for Super 7s:

  • 7-7-7 suited – 5,000:1 payout
  • 7-7-7 any suit – 500:1
  • 7-7 suited – 100:1
  • 7-7 any suit – 50:1
  • 7 – 3:1

As you may have guessed, the odds of getting any of the top payouts aren’t very good. You also only stand a 7.1% chance of getting any 7 and winning a 3:1 payout.

Nevertheless, Super 7s does give you a chance to win big. The best part is that you only have to risk a dollar to try it.

Casinos Initially Loved This Wager

Casinos don’t offer blackjack side bets because they love handing out huge payouts. Instead, they see these wagers as a way to make additional money.

Blackjack in itself isn’t a highly lucrative game for casinos. Many players have some semblance of basic strategy and can reduce the house edge to 1% or lower.

Side bets are a great way for casinos to gain a bigger advantage over players. Super 7s is especially beneficial to the casino.

Multiple Blackjack Hands on a Table

It features an 11.4% house edge, making it one of the worst propositions in gaming. For perspective, the vast majority of slot machines carry a much lower house advantage than this.

Super Sevens may not give players the best chance to win. It does, however, provide gaming establishments with a big edge.

Card Counters Figured Out How to Beat Super 7s

The average player stands to lose a lot on a per-dollar basis through Super Sevens. They’ll lose $11.40 on average per $100 wagered.

However, advantage gamblers discovered a way to beat this side bet. They found that Super 7s was susceptible to card counting.

Of course, card counting is nothing new to blackjack. It’s been used by many pro players to beat the game for decades.

Super Sevens, though, can especially give gamblers a massive advantage. One can gain around an 8.5% edge over casinos by properly counting this side wager. Compare this to regular card counting, which only provides players with up to a 1.5% advantage.

How does counting Super 7s work? Here’s how to count the different card values.

  • You count a 7 as -12.
  • You count all other cards as +1.

You gain an advantage with a true count of +4 or above. True count refers to your running count divided by the number of estimated remaining decks. If you have a running count of +12 and estimate that two decks remain (12/6), for example, then the true count is +6.

You’ll place the Super Seven wager so long as the true count is +4 or above. In all other cases, you avoid making this bet.

Your edge increases greatly as the positive count grows higher. With a +10 true count, for example, your advantage becomes 20%. At a +20 true count, you’ll enjoy a whopping 60% edge!

As mentioned before, the average player advantage is 8.5% with perfect counting. This sizeable edge makes Super 7 one of the most-lucrative advantage-play methods in all of gaming.

Casinos Got Rid of This Side Bet

Super 7s became a double-edged sword for casinos. On one hand, it offers them an 11.4% edge over the average player.

The downside for them, though, is that this bet can easily be beaten. Gamblers can gain a 60% advantage when their count reaches +20 or higher.

However, card counting wasn’t the only reason why casinos began souring on Super Sevens. They ultimately didn’t feel that raking in an $0.11 profit for each bet justified the troubles. Some side wagers are available in higher denominations than just $1.

Closeup of Two Blackjack Hand

Casinos not only had counters to contend with but also had to slow the game down for side payouts. This combination, along with the low-profit potential, was enough to doom Super 7s. By the turn of the millennium, Super Sevens was gone.

Super 7 Is Making a Comeback

Super Sevens may have largely disappeared from casinos by the late 1990s. However, it’s recently made a comeback through online blackjack.

The online version mostly works the same as the land-based version that was offered throughout the nineties. However, it contains two big differences:

  • You can’t count online Super Sevens.
  • You don’t get a third card if the dealer has a natural blackjack.

Online blackjack doesn’t allow for card counting of any type. The shoe is automatically shuffled by the software after every hand. Therefore, you never get into the shoe far enough to develop an accurate count.

As for the second point, you can’t get the top payouts whenever the dealer has a natural. This rule might seem like small potatoes, but it actually increases the house edge to almost 50%!

Bottom line, you definitely don’t want to place this wager if a third card isn’t guaranteed after a dealer blackjack. After all, an 11.4% house advantage is already bad enough.

Some land-based casinos are also rolling Super 7s back out. They aren’t offering this wager in as great of frequency as online casinos. Nevertheless, you can find this bet in some brick-and-mortar establishments.

Again, you want to ensure that the rules are fair. If you don’t receive a third card on a dealer’s natural, then you should skip over this wager.

Are Any Blackjack Side Bets Worth Making?

Super Sevens doesn’t cost much to place. However, it’s not the greatest side wager from a house edge perspective.

Assuming you’re looking for some side bets with better odds, then you should consider the following options:

  • Hi-Lo – You bet on whether your second card will be of higher value than the first. Aces give casinos an automatic win. Despite the unfavorable aces rule, this wager still features a reasonable 2.08% house edge.
  • Royal Match – This simple bet requires that your first two cards be suited for a win. It features a 3.78% house edge with one deck and a 6.67% edge with six decks.
  • Bonus Pairs – You need a pair to be dealt within your first two cards. An exact pair (same rank and suit) delivers the highest payout at 25:1. Bonus Pairs carries a 4.10% house edge, which is better than the similar and more-famous Perfect Pairs bet (5.79%).
  • 21+3 – You need to form a qualifying 3-card poker hand using your first two cards and the dealer’s up card. A flush (5:1 payout) is the minimum qualifying hand. This wager carries a 4.14% house advantage.

Our Final Thoughts on Super Sevens

Super 7s seemed to have staying power when it first entered casinos. After all, players quickly took to this wager and enjoyed it.

However, Super Sevens lasted less than a decade in brick-and-mortar casinos. It had three main problems that doomed it, including a low denomination, being beatable, and slowing tables down.

Casinos can handle when a side wager slows down tables if the denomination is big enough (i.e. $5). However, a $0.11 profit on dollar wagers doesn’t cut it—especially when card counters can beat Super 7s.

Nevertheless, Super Sevens has made a comeback thanks to online blackjack. It’s also available in a small percentage of land-based casinos.

You just need to look out for the third-card rule described above. This rule can push the house edge to a ridiculous 50%.