The game of blackjack enjoys robust popularity, thanks to the simple rules and the thrilling gameplay. Blackjack has been around since the 17th century, and it is a favorite game both in online and land-based gambling venues.
One of the reasons for the popularity of blackjack is the wide range of bets you can choose from. The most popular type is side bets that add another level of excitement to the overall gameplay.
Like other casino games, blackjack has evolved over the years, where new features have been introduced to make it more exciting to play. Even though the rules and features of blackjack table games vary, the objective remains the same. You must beat the dealer's hand by getting a hand as close to 21 as possible.
In this article, we've discussed the blackjack side bets, how they work, different types, the benefits, and much more.
Blackjack Side Bets: What are they, and how do they work?
As the name suggests, a side bet is an additional wager on blackjack tables. These wagers can be applied anytime in a standard blackjack game. Side bets in blackjack work in a pretty simple way, where you predict which cards a player or dealer will get.
All bets must be made before any cards are dealt. The unique thing is that the outcome in side bets is based on luck and not skill. But players have the option to count cards to increase the chances of choosing the best possible combinations for side bets.
What attracts many players to blackjack tables with side bets is the house edge is lower than any other games you can find on the casino floor. With a good blackjack strategy, you can play with a low house edge between 0.5% and 2%.
Nevertheless, you must understand that the odds of winning with side bets are very low, even if the odds of losing big money are minimal. As an even money game, you'll enjoy payouts of 2:1 if you are dealt a blackjack.
Thanks to side bets, you get the opportunity to play with much bigger odds and huge potential payouts of around 5,0000:1. But you must know that the house edge increases significantly up to around 10% or even higher.
Popular Types of Blackjack Side Bets
There are different types of blackjack side bets available in online casinos. Most casinos offer popular types like insurance bets, perfect pairs, lucky ladies, and many others. Depending on your skills and experience, you can choose one side bet or try out a couple of them.
These are the most popular side bets in blackjack:
Lucky ladies are the first side bet on our list. With this wager, you bet the initial two cards will add to a total hand of 20 using two queens. The highest payout you can get from this hand is 1000:1 when you have two queens of heart, and the dealer's upcard is a blackjack. The payouts you expect in the lucky ladies’ side bet are as follows:
- Two Queen of Hearts pays 200:1
- A Matched 20 pays 25:1
- A Suited 20 pays 10:1
- Any Suite 20 pays 4:1
Note that the house edge in this side bet is 17%. The good news is that you can employ the Hi-Lo approach to lower the house edge in your favor when the true count is 6.5 or bigger.
21+3 Side Bet
21+3 blackjack side bet is quite popular in online casinos. With this bet, you are paid based on the first two cards you are dealt and the dealer's upturned card. You win if three of your cards form a three-of-a-kind, straight, straight flush, or a flush.
The payouts for these side bets are as follows:
- Flush: You bet on all three cards to be of the same suit. The flush bet pays 5:1.
- Straight: The bet pays if you get three cards of the same rank in a sequence. The straight bet pays 10:1.
- Straight Flush: A bet is made on all three cards to be of the same suit and consecutive values. The straight flush bet pays 40:1.
- Three of a Kind: This bet wins if three cards have the same value. A three-of-a-kind side bet pays 30:1.
The house edge of 21+3 side bet is around 3.4%. However, with the many variations of this side bet, you can find house edge ranging between 2.78% and 13.39%.
The royal match is a popular side bet in blackjack games. This wager is available in single deck and multi-deck variations. Players have two approaches to winning using the royal match bet:
- Easy Match: The player must get the same suited blackjack with the easy match, which offers payouts of 5:1 in multideck and 3:1 in single deck games.
- Royal Match: You get paid at odds of 25:1 if your initial hand is a King or a Queen. The payouts for a single-deck game are 10:1.
Perfect Pair Side Bet
The strange thing about perfect pair bets is that they only involve the player's cards. A player wins in this side bet when the first two cards are a pair. Two cards can only be a pair if they have the same face value. A standard game has three types of the perfect pairs side bet.
- Mixed Pair: In the mixed pair, the bet is made on the possibility that the player will have cards of the same value. However, the cards have varying colors and suits. The payout of this bet is 5:1.
- Colored Pair: The bet is made on the chance that the player will get both cards with matching value and color but a different suit. The payout of this bet is 12:1.
- Perfect Pair: The bet is made on the possibility of the player getting a perfect pair of cards in multi-deck blackjack.
Supper sevens is a common blackjack side bet that focuses on the number of seven cards you hit. The payouts for the super sevens side bet are as follows:
- A Seven pays 3:1
- 2 Unsuited Seven pays 50:1
- 2 Suited Sevens pays 100:1
- 3 Unsuited Sevens pays 500:1
- 3 Suited Sevens pay 5000:1
Insurance Side Bet
Insurance side bets are also very popular in blackjack games. This bet acts as a cover if the dealer has an ace as the upcard. However, this involves half of your original bet. If the dealer ends up with a blackjack, the bet pays 2:1.
Basically, the insurance bets are helpful during card counting. Nevertheless, you must understand that this bet raises the house's edge, so you must use it with great caution.
Blackjack Side Bets - Are they Worth Playing?
As you can see, blackjack side bets offer some of the best odds of winning. These wagers are available in online and land-based casinos. Unlike standard bets, these additional bets can lower the house edge and boost your potential for enjoying big payouts. The most exciting thing is that side bets don't require special skills to use.
Nevertheless, these bets are suitable for risk takers as the losses can be as big as the returns. If you are well conversant with the counting system, these bets will work well for you. Overall, side bets can be profitable if they are applied accordingly. Always remember to play responsibly, both in a fun mode and with real money.
The Bottom Line
Many casinos offer different types of blackjack variations. These games have different bet options that can help you to get big payouts. Most blackjack tables allow players to use a basic strategy to increase the bet payouts. Of course, the pay table for these bets varies in
the online version and land-based casinos.
Like other online casino games, it is essential to practice and master rules before you play blackjack. Note that these additional bets are to encourage and engage punters to continue playing and can be risky if you don't understand them.