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Most new games are blackjack or poker based. Great 8 is an exception to this rule.

It just began its trial in Las Vegas at the M Resort so if you have a chance, head down to the M and give it a try.

Baccarat is certainly not a tough game to learn. The draw rules can be a bit cumbersome and the game can be a bit slow. So, Richar Fitoussi and associates came up with an even simpler, faster version.

The game is played with an 8 deck shoe. For each deck, two special “Great 8” cards are added. Thus, there are a total of 432 cards in this shoe. The goal of the game is to get as close to 8 as possible.

Unlike Baccarat, the tens digit counts. An 8 and a 4 is a 12, not a 2. Also, in Super 8, the Player and Banker hands initially receive a single card. If it is a Super 8 or a regular 8, it is a natural and the game ends. If both Player and Banker have a Great 8 or a regular 8, it is a tie and the wager pushes. A Great 8 outranks a regular 8.

If neither player has a Natural, a draw card is potentially dealt to each hand. While Baccarat has a rather complex strategy for draws, Great 8 has a very simple one. If the hand is a 5 or less, it draws. If it is a 6 or more, it doesn’t.

If a Great 8 is drawn, this counts as a type of natural and will beat all hands (except for a Natural which would never have allowed this draw to take place). If both hands draw a Great 8, it is a push. If neither hand draws a Great 8, the hand closest to 8 wins. It does not matter if the hand is lower or greater than an 8. So, a 12 will beat a 3; 9 and 7 are a push.

A natural Great 8 pays 6-to-5. All other wins pay even money. For some of you who are math oriented, you may wonder where the house advantage comes from. Super 8 utilizes a Tiger 6 hand to do this.

If a hand wins with a 6 (one card or two), the hand is a Push. This is true for the Player or the Banker hand, as a player may wager on either. Because the rules are the same for both, there is no advantage to wagering on one vs. the other. They are essentially just Hand 1 and Hand 2.

This simple betting structure and use of the Tiger 6 hand allows Great 8 to operate without any commission. As of this time, I have not been able to conduct a full analysis of the game to provide a payback. Given the nature of the house edge, my best guess is that it is in line with many other games.

As there is no strategy whatsoever, the edge should be larger than we might find for blackjack or Ultimate Texas Hold’em. When I have a chance to analyze the game, I will provide an update with the exact payback of Great 8.

Of course, no new game is complete without at least one sidebet. Great 8 is no exception. It has the Great Bonus, which has 4 payouts.

• Great 8 Tie – 50-to-1

• Great 8 over Natural 8 – 25-to-1

• Tiger 6 – 10-to-1

• Two Card Tie (at least one of the hands must have 2 cards) – 2-to-1

Since I do not have the probabilities of the last two hands available, I don’t know what the payback of the sidebet is. I do know the probabilities of the first two hands are 0.1289% and 0.275%, respectively.

I’m also told the very first hand dealt in Great 8 history resulted in a Great 8 over a Natural 8, resulting in the Player winning 25-to-1. When I complete my analysis, I will provide a payback for the sidebet as well.

It is almost impossible to predict a successful game in this industry. Great 8 offers a fast and easy alternative to regular baccarat and that certainly gives it an opportunity to succeed.

If you’d like to learn more about the game, check out their website at or head on down to the M Resort to watch it in action.

Buy his book now!

Elliot Frome is a second generation gaming analyst and author. His math credits include Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Mississippi Stud, House Money and many other games. His website is Contact Elliot at [email protected].

About the Author

Elliot Frome

Elliot Frome’s roots run deep into gaming theory and analysis. His father, Lenny, was a pioneer in developing video poker strategy in the 1980s and is credited with raising its popularity to dizzying heights. Elliot is a second generation gaming author and analyst with nearly 20 years of programming experience.

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