Blackjack Side Bets

The traditional blackjack game can be made more exciting with the addition of side bets. These are additional bets that can be placed in the game to provide more winning opportunities for the player. Of course, they also bring more risk and can cost players money in the long run. In this blackjack guide, we are going to take a more detailed look at different blackjack side bets, learn how to play blackjack when placing side bets, and find out if they are profitable.

What is Blackjack Side Bets and How it Works?

Side bets are additional bets that players get the chance to play in blackjack. These can be presented at the beginning of the round and can be on the outcome of the initial draw or the overall hand, or they can be offered to the player during the hand, depending on how it is being played. A side bet, like all bets in blackjack, is based completely on luck, and does not reduce the house edge in the game in any way. Most blackjack tips recommend against the use of side-bet. Each type of side bet brings its own additional risks and rewards, and it is important players weigh these up and consider their blackjack strategies before making a decision.

Most Popular Side Bets in Blackjack

Side bets can be a good way of making a blackjack game more exciting. Let’s take a look at some of the most popular blackjack side bets and how they work.

21+3 Side Bet

A 21+3 side bet essentially mixes blackjack with poker. For this bet, players will bet on whether their two initial cards and the dealer’s face-up card combine to make one of five three-card poker hands. These hands are a flush, straight, three of a kind, straight flush, or suited three of a kind. The payouts and odds depend on which hand is dealt.

Perfect Pair

The Perfect Pair side-bet, as its name might suggest, is a bet on the two cards you are initially dealt, being a matching pair of numbers. You can land three types of pairs - a mixed pair, a coloured pair, and a perfect pair.

Insurance

Insurance is one of the best-known side bets in blackjack. This allows players to place a second, smaller bet when the dealer’s up card is an Ace. In this instance, players can bet, typically for half the price of their main bet, that the dealer will get a blackjack. This pays out at 2/1.

Other Blackjack Side Bets

The following are some of the lesser-known blackjack side-bets. Not all of these bets will be available online, and some of them will only be available in very specific versions of blackjack.

Super 7's

Super 7s is a side bet that can be incredibly complicated. The bet is on the number 7 being dealt in the initial hand. There are three variations of this : Super Sevens, Crazy Sevens, and Lucky Sevens. The payout is then determined by the number of sevens dealt and their colour and suit combinations.

Super 4

The Super 4 side-bet is available in some variations of the game. It is basically split into two parts. Firstly, you are betting on the dealer having a blackjack, and secondly, you are betting on the combined four cards forming a poker hand, with different hands having different payouts.

Split Aces

Split Aces is an easy to understand side-bet that pays out if the first card a player is dealt is an Ace. This will pay out even more if the player ends up with a pair of Aces as their first hand. This is an uncommon side bet that has been used in European land-based casinos.

Lucky Lucky

Lucky Lucky is a side-bet based on the first three cards dealt and visible on the table. The bet is won if the player’s two cards and the dealer’s up card are equal to 19, 20, or 21. Bonuses depend on the cards and number that make up these hands.

Suit 'Em Up

Suit 'Em Up is an increasingly popular side-bet that has been seen in some online versions of blackjack. For this, you bet on the first two cards in your hand being matching suits. There are then different payouts depending on what the cards are.

Royal Match

This is an optional bet where players bet on the first two cards being dealt belonging to the same suit or be a royal match. This bet pays out if it is two cards of the same same, or, even better, a suited King and Queen.

Progressive Blackjack

This is a side-bet that has been used at real-life casinos. The side bets are thrown into a progressive jackpot cross several tables. The first person to hit a specific hand-combination will win the progressive jackpot.

Lucky Ladies

Lucky Ladies is a side-bet that the first two cards dealt will total 20. There are different payouts depending on the combination of cards that leads to 20. This side bet has an extremely high house edge.

Blackjack Match

Blackjack Match is a side bet that pays out if either the player or dealer has a blackjack that is made of matching suits. The odds of landing this one are extremely low, so be sure to approach with caution.

High Streak

High Streak is a side bet on whether you will go on a winning run or not. This is typically between two to five hands. This side bet is extremely rare and is normally only available in European casinos.

EZ Bust

EZ Bust is a bet that can be presented when the initial hands have been dealt. If the dealer's up card is a 2 or 6, then you can bet on them going bust. This will pay even money if they do.

Spread-Bet

Spread-Bet is a series of three different side-bets on the initial hand the player is dealt. These are a bet on the hand being 2 or 3, 4 or 5, or 6 to 9. These pay out 50/1, 21/1, and 5/1, respectively.

Pair Square

Pair Square is a simple side-bet which pays out if the players first two cards are a pair. The bet will payout more if the two cards are a suited pair.

Buster Blackjack

The Buster side bet is a bet on the dealer going bust. This is available in some online versions of the game and has become popular due to its simplicity.

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Are Blackjack Side Bets Worth Playing?

The vast majority of blackjack side bets do not present players with a good chance of winning. As such, players should treat side bets as a way to add a little bit of fun to the game and not to boost their chances of landing a big win. The generally accepted stance among blackjack players is that you should not take side bets if you want to make money from the game in the long term.

Final Thoughts

Side bets can be a lot of fun, but it is always worth remembering that none of them reduce the house edge in any way. Players can be presented with the option to place a side bet in situations where they feel like it will benefit them, and they should always remain aware of this and make sure they are gambling responsibly. Do not make big decisions in the heat of the moment and take bets that you would not otherwise place. There have been a lot of studies that show the house edge in blackjack can not be beaten, and players should remember this when playing.

Blackjack Side Bets FAQs

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