The Royal Match is a side bet in blackjack that is based on the first two cards that are dealt to the players. The rules are pretty simple to understand and follow, if the player’s first two cards are suited, then the player is paid 5 to 2. If the player has a royal match (a king and queen of the same suit) then the bet pays out at 25 to 1. It doesn’t matter if you win or lose your hand since you are paid out on your side bet as soon as the first two cards are dealt.
The casino’s advantage on a Royal Match depends on how many decks the casino is using. The more decks that are being used, the better the odds for the player. If you are playing in an eight-deck game then the house edge is lowest at 6.46%, but if you drop to a six-deck game then the edge increases to 6.67%. Things get worse as the decks are dropped, with four decks raising the advantage to 7.08%, two decks bringing it to 8.33% and worst of all is the single deck game, which stands at a 10.86% house advantage. I have however seen a single deck blackjack game with a 4 to 1 pay table, which would drop the house edge down to 3.77%.
In all my days at the casino though, I have never had the chance to see a side bet offered by the casino that was better than the odds on the game it is based on. Gimmicky side bets normally have a house edge of at least 3%, but can go as high as 76%.
If you want to maximize your time, then stick to the regular games and leave the side bets for someone else who doesn’t value money.