[toc]Truth be told, the majority of table game side bets exist so that casinos can generate more profits. Characteristically, these side bets are defined by their attractive top prizes and mammoth house edges, often as high as 10 percent or more.
Compare these to the house edges on blackjack (< 0.5 percent) and baccarat (~1 – 1.25 percent) and it’s easy to see why they’re popping up more and more.
What is the Dragon Bonus?
The Dragon Bonus is unique in that it can be played on the Player or the Banker side — or both, although this is not wholly recommended.
But other than that facet, it’s a relatively straightforward wager.
Players have two ways to win:
- When their hand is a natural (8, 9).
- When their non-natural hand wins by at least four points.
All winning naturals pay 1:1. Non-natural wins pay according to the following scale:
- Win by 9: 30:1
- Win by 8: 10:1
- Win by 7: 6:1
- Win by 6: 4:1
- Win by 5: 2:1
- Win by 4: 1:1
- Natural tie: Push
Unlike some side bets that wrap up a lot of their return in nearly impossible to hit jackpots, Dragon Bonus bettors have a realistic chance of winning a top prize. That’s not to say winning by 9 is a common occurrence, but it happens enough that even casual players should realize the wager’s full return within a reasonable time frame.
The minimum Dragon Bonus wager at the Live Dealer tables is just $1, far smaller than that found at most land-based casinos.
So if you’re looking to try it out on the cheap there’s probably not a better place than Golden Nugget Casino.
Same but different
There is one caveat to the Dragon Bonus that we should mention: the house edge on the Player Dragon Bonus is significantly lower than on the Banker side. The reason for this is beyond the scope of this article, but has to do with the conditions under which cards are drawn.
All that’s important to know is that the house edge on Dragon Bonus Banker bets is a whopping 9.37 percent, while on the Player side it’s a scant 2.65 percent. Admittedly, that’s still higher than the house edge on the main game, but lower than nearly any other side bet found in the casino, online or otherwise.
All told, the Dragon Bonus a nice option for action seekers who like baccarat, but relish the chance to get paid more than even money on their wagers.