The Mines Games Dragon 7 Side Bet
1. The Dragon 7 Side Bet Overview
Dragon 7 is a side wager that pays at enhanced odds of 40 to 1 provided that the Banker side wins the round with three cards whose values add up to a total of 7 as is the case with 2/2/3, for example. It loses in all other scenarios.
2. House Edge and Hit Frequency
At standard baccarat tables where eight full decks are in play, the house maintains an edge of 7.61% with the Dragon 7 bet. The wager has a low hit frequency as it wins approximately 2.25% of the time and loses the remaining 97.75% of the time.
Relying solely on intuition, one would assume that a shoe rich in 7s and zero-value cards like K, Q, J, and 10 improves the odds of winning with this bet. The Banker hand is more likely to draw initial hands of 10/10 and pull off to a three-card 7 with 10/10/7 under such conditions.
As it turns out, this reasoning is incorrect. The main prerequisite for winning this side wager is the Banker drawing a third card. Cards with a denomination of 9 and 8 are the most likely to prevent this from happening. Their absence from the shoe could help the side bettor in this instance.
The opposite is true of smaller cards like aces through 7s. They are more likely to help the Banker achieve a three-card total of 7. The Banker must take a third card more frequently when they start with low totals of 0 through 3.
It makes sense the cards with lower denominations 4 through 7 are the most likely to produce a three-card total that adds up to 7. The conclusion is the excess of lower cards (4, 5, 6, and 7) and the depletion of high cards (9 and 8) work to the advantage of players who count the Dragon 7 wager.
3. Counting System for the Dragon 7 Bet
Contrary to intuition, the removal of zero-value cards from the shoe also works to the benefit of advantage players. Based on this, gambling expert Eliot Jacobson came up with another system specifically intended for counting this side bet. The player must wait until the true count rises to +4 to bet on Dragon 7 at advantage.
- Kings, Queens, Jacks, Aces, 10s, 2s, and 3s have a tag value of 0.
- 4s, 5s, 6s, and 7s are counted as -1.
- 9s and 8s are counted as +2.
You are probably wondering why the 2s and 3s have tags of zero when their excess tips the scales in favor of side bettors. This has to do with the effect of card removal (EOR). The value of these small cards diminishes because they will help the Banker draw to a total of seven in fewer situations compared to cards 4 through 7.
So what is the benefit of using this system? A simulation involving 200 million shoes with eight decks shows this system can earn you 0.74 bet units per one hundred hands. However, the dealer must again place the cut card 14 cards from the shoe’s end.