What are Blackjack side bets?
Side bets in Blackjack are extra wagers that are placed on specific outcomes beyond the standard win-or-lose outcome between the player and the dealer. Blackjack side bets are typically made at the beginning of a round, together with the standard bets. At most times, side bets come with fixed odds, often offering higher payouts compared to the standard 2:1 that you get for beating the dealer.
Usually, blackjack players are used to placing their main bets in the designated area in front of them. When it comes to side bets, on the other hand, they will have their own smaller spaces next to the main, i.e. regular bets.
So, how do these side bets work in Blackjack? Well, you’ll place additional chips on a side bet before the dealer deals the cards, which essentially means betting on two outcomes: forming a winning hand from the initial two cards or achieving a combination with the face-up card of the dealer.
Some of the most popular side bets are 21 + 3 and Blackjack Perfect Pairs. While side bets can potentially lead to big payouts and are favoured by many blackjack players, it’s worth noting that they rely mostly on luck, which is why experienced and strategic Blackjack players tend to choose to steer clear of them.
Types Of Bets
In 21+3 side bets, you’re focused on the player’s initial two cards and the dealer’s face-up card. This bet depends on the potential combinations these three cards can form, similar to a game of poker:
- Flush: This happens when all three cards share the same suit, such as the four, nine, and Queen of diamonds. A successful flush typically comes with a payout of 5:1.
- Straight: A straight is possible when the three cards form a sequential sequence, regardless of their suits. For example, the five of spades, six of clubs, and seven of hearts. This combination generally results in a payout of 10:1.
- Three of a Kind: This involves having three cards of the same value, regardless of their suits. For example, three Jacks. This combination typically comes with a payout of 30:1.
- Straight Flush: A straight flush happens when the three cards form both a sequential sequence and share the same suit. For example, the six, seven, and eight of Queens. This combination usually gives a payout of 40:1.
- Suited Three of a Kind: This combination requires having three cards of the same value and suit. For example, three sevens of hearts. Getting a suited three-of-a-kind often leads to a massive payout of 100:1.
The Perfect Pairs side bet depends on the prediction that the first two cards in your hand will form either a mixed, coloured, or perfect pair:
- Mixed pair: This happens when the two cards share the same rank but have different colours (one red and one black), like the seven of hearts and spades. This combination typically leads to a payout of 5:1.
- Coloured pair: This involves having two cards of the same rank and colour but different suits, such as the Queen of Clubs and Spades. Getting a coloured pair usually results in a payout of 10:1.
- Perfect pair: A perfect pair is formed when the two cards are not only of the same rank but also share the same suit, like having two threes of diamonds. This combination often gives a huge payout of 30:1.
Easy Match is a Blackjack side bet that predicts the first two cards in your hand will have the same suit. In a single-deck game, this bet usually offers a payout of 3:1. In a multi-deck game, the payout is typically 5:2.
The Royal Match is a side bet that requires the first two cards in your hand to be the King and Queen of the same suit. In a single-deck game, this bet generally gives a payoff of 10:1. In a multi-deck game, the payout is usually 25:1.
This is a simple bet on whether the first two cards in your hand will have a total value over or under 13. An Ace counts as one, and a total value of exactly 13 usually results in a lost bet. This bet typically pays out at 10:1.
The Super Sevens bet revolves around being able to predict how many sevens will appear in your hand. If your first card is a seven, the payout is typically 3:1. If your first two cards are sevens, the payout is 50:1 if they are of different suits, and 100:1 if they share the same suit. If you hit and receive a third seven, the payout is usually 500:1 if they are of different suits, and a whopping 5000:1 if they are of the same suit.
The Lucky Ladies bet depends on whether the first two cards of your hand will have a total value of 20. If the cards have a value of 20 and they are of different suits, the payout is usually 4:1. If they are of the same suit, the payout is usually 10:1, and if they are of the same suit and rank, the payout is typically 25:1. If the two cards are the Queen of hearts (also called the ‘Lucky Ladies’), the payout is usually 200:1. If the two cards are the Queen of hearts and the dealer gets Blackjack, the payout is usually 1000:1.
Pair Square is a side bet that relies on whether the first two cards in your hand will form a pair. A pair of different suits, such as a seven of hearts and a seven of spades, usually results in a payout of 10:1. A pair of the same suit, for instance, two 10 of clubs, typically gives a payout of 15:1.
Lucky Lucky is a side bet on whether the first two cards in your hand, along with the dealer’s face-up card, will form a specific value or combination, as detailed below:
Match the Dealer
Match the Dealer is a bet that is possible if the rank of at least one of the first two cards in your hand can match the dealer’s face-up card. If there is a match with different suits, the usual payout is 4:1, and if there is a match with the same suit, the standard payout is 11:1.
Should you play side bets?
Blackjack side bets do not involve any skill whatsoever, and as such, you are betting on the luck of the draw. Moreover, the returns do not reflect the odds of each bet that comes in, which gives the house a significantly larger edge. Therefore, blackjack side bets are usually best viewed as a bit of a twist that adds further excitement to your standard session at the Blackjack table. However, it is our duty to advise you that you shouldn’t make them the main focus of your gameplay or your wagering, and most importantly, you should be aware and take into consideration the substantially increased house edge.