Blackjack Side Bets Explained – A Comprehensive Guide

Blackjack side bets allow players to place extra bets during a standard game. There are loads of options available, including perfect pairs and insurance bets. Before you decide to try your luck with any of these options, it’s important to understand exactly what you can expect when it comes to potential payouts and odds.

This is why we’ve decided to put together a comprehensive guide for those looking to understand these wagers. So, if you’d like to determine whether or not side bets are worth considering, then you’re in the right place.

What are Blackjack Side Bets?

When playing blackjack, players will start off by placing their initial bets, and if any side bets are available, they will be displayed alongside the blackjack table.

You will then have the opportunity to add additional chips before the round starts and cards are dealt. There are many side bets available in blackjack, with 21+3, perfect pairs, and insurance bets being the most popular as they provide the chance to receive rewarding payouts.

Although there are many who enjoy the excitement of blackjack side bets, certain players choose to stick to the basics as these bets are based on luck alone.

Understanding the Different Types of Side Bets in Blackjack

In most cases, side bets are based on the opening cards dealt, as well as the face-up card of the dealer. Below, we have taken a detailed look at the standout side bets available to those looking to play blackjack at online casinos.

21+3

With this side bet in blackjack, you are wagering on whether your first two cards and the dealer’s face-up card make up one of the relevant three-card poker hands.

Bets are placed before cards are dealt, with a 21+3 box generally being displayed clearly. Your bet will be successful if the three cards in question form one of the five hands.

If it does not, your side bet will lose. Blackjack side bets payouts vary, with three of a kind being the most generous, at a payout of 100:1.

You may be wondering how you can form a three of a kind hand. This is possible because most blackjack games are played using between 6-8 decks.

When you take a look at live dealer blackjack and virtual blackjack, you will find that the 21+3 side bet in blackjack is often available on both. Before trying your luck with this side bet, we recommend attempting it in demo mode on virtual blackjack games before putting it to the test against a live dealer.  Let’s take a closer look at the various odds and payouts for each possible winning hand,  including straight flush and suited three of a kind.

You can view a full blackjack glossary and terms via our guide.

Hand Explanation Odds Payout 
Flush Three cards of the same suit 0.059 5:1
Straight Three cards of consecutive value, ie 5-6-7 0.031 10:1
Three of a Kind Three cards of the same value 0.005 30:1
Straight Flush Three cards of consecutive value from the same suit 0.002 40:1
Suited Three of a Kind Three cards of the same value from the same suit 0.0002 100:1

Perfect Pairs

Another one of the available blackjack side bets is perfect pairs. With this wager, the dealer’s face-up card is discarded. Instead, it is only your two cards that are taken into account. As the name suggests, if the two cards in question are a pair, you will earn a payout.

However, if they are not a pair, you will walk away with nothing. In terms of the blackjack side bets payout rates, the table below provides more information. However, you should note that the amount paid out will be determined by the type of pair dealt. Here we cover more information about coloured pair, perfect pair, and mixed pair odds and payouts.

Side Bets Explanation  Odds Payout Odds
Perfect Pair The two cards have the same rank and suit 0.017 30:1
Coloured Pair The two cards have the same rank and color, but are from different suits 0.019 10:1
Mixed Pair The two cards have the same rank, but a different suit and colour 0.039 5:1

Insurance bet

Insurance works differently when compared to other blackjack side bets. This is because it is only available in specific circumstances. You will only be able to place an insurance bet after the first set of cards have been dealt.

The other requirement is that the dealer’s face-up card must be an Ace. Of course, this means that they are in with a chance of their hand being blackjack.

Blackjack side bets

In most cases, you will be able to wager as much as half of your main bet on insurance. However, the insurance side bet is one that most players will avoid, given the payouts and odds.

Dealer’s Hand Odds Payouts
Blackjack 0.3 2:1

Super Sevens

With this side bet in blackjack, you are simply wagering on the number of 7’s that you will receive. Based on the player’s opening three cards, you will win if the opening card dealt is a 7.

The payouts increase if consecutive 7’s are dealt, and even more so if they are of the same suit. Three consecutive suited 7’s will result in the maximum side bets payout of 5,000:1.

Over/Under 13

An increasingly popular blackjack side bet, this involves wagering on whether the total value of your first two cards will be higher or lower than 13.

It is important to note that in this instance, an Ace has a value of 1, rather than 11. Meanwhile, if the total is exactly 13, your bet will lose.

Why Play Blackjack Side Bets?

Compared to other casino games, a standard game at most blackjack tables has an extremely low house edge of between 0.5%-2% which is one of the many reasons it’s so popular at both online and land-based casinos.

Players choose to try their luck with side bets because it provides the opportunity to land massive payouts, with some winning hands paying out as much as 5,000:1.

However, you should note that by placing side bets, the house edge will rise significantly, with many carrying a house edge of 10% or more.

Other Blackjack Side Bets Explained

Now that we have outlined the most common side bets found at most blackjack tables, it is time to discuss alternatives available to players. The wagers below are all different, with the blackjack side bets odds and payouts varying too. They are well worth taking advantage of, with the highest payout being 500:1.

  • Royal Match In the event of the first two cards dealt being suited, your blackjack side bet will win. Meanwhile, should the two cards be a Queen and King, the bonus will be greater. However, the payout will depend on the specific blackjack variant..
  • Pair Square With this blackjack side bet, you will earn a payout if your opening two cards are a pair. Your payout will depend on the suits of pairs dealt. Depending on the casino, this side bet may be referred to as “Bet the Set” or “Any Pair”.
  • Match the Dealer Here, your blackjack side bet will win if either of your first two cards match the dealer’s up card in terms of its rank. The payouts will be more generous if both cards match and are from the same suit.
  • Lucky Lucky Lucky Lucky is comparable to the 21+3 blackjack side bet, which we have already discussed. With this side bet, you are betting on the first three cards dealt, the player’s first two and the dealer’s face-up card. Aces can be either 1 or 11. Unlike 21+3, you are not required to form a traditional poker hand in order to win.
  • Lucky Ladies This is one of the most popular side bets. Established in Washington, the basic principle is that any player hand worth 20 or more will earn a payout. Hands featuring two queens pay out more, while the payout increases further if the dealer has blackjack.
  • Easy Match This is one of the simplest side bets in blackjack. If your opening two cards are from the same suit, your wager will be successful.

Payouts You Can Expect from Other Blackjack Side Bets

It is important to be aware of the potential blackjack side bet payout before placing any additional wagers at an online casino. The exact payout depends on the specific cards dealt, which are outlined in the table below.

Side Bet Payouts
Easy Match (Single Deck) 3:1
Easy Match (Multi Deck) 5:2
Lucky Ladies (Different Suits) 10:1
Lucky Ladies (Same Suits) 25:1
Lucky Ladies (Two Queens of Hearts) 200:1
Lucky Ladies (Two Queens of Hearts & Dealer’s Blackjack) 1,000:1
Lucky Lucky (Total Value of 19 or 20) 2:1
Lucky Lucky (Total Value of 21) 3:1
Lucky Lucky (Total Value of 21 and Same Suit) 15:1
Lucky Lucky (6, 7, and 8) 30:1
Lucky Lucky (Three 7s) 50:1
Lucky Lucky (6, 7, and 8 and Same Suit) 100:1
Lucky Lucky (Three 7s and Same Suit) 200:1
Match the Dealer (Different Suit) 4:1
Match the Dealer (Same Suit) 11:1
Over/Under 13 10:1
Pair Square (Different Suits) 10:1
Pair Square (Same Suit) 15:1
Royal Match (Single Deck) 10:1
Royal Match (Multi Deck) 25:1
Super Sevens (Single Card) 3:1
Super Sevens (Two Cards Different Suits) 50:1
Super Sevens (Two Cards Same Suits) 100:1
Super Sevens (Three Cards Different Suits) 500:1
Super Sevens (Three Cards Same Suits) 5,000:1

Is it Worth Placing a Blackjack Side Bet?

Now that you’ve read our guide on how side bets work, you should have a better idea of what to expect when the time comes to take your seat at the blackjack table and beat the dealer to 21. However, you may still be wondering whether the risk is worth the reward. In our opinion, side bets definitely add to the experience.

However, it is really the potential payouts that appeal the most. When placing traditional blackjack bets, the potential payouts are 1:1 or 3:2. If you come up with an effective side bets strategy, you could end up winning much larger amounts.

If you’re relatively new to this game, we recommend doing a bit of research on the house edge and basic strategy before attempting to place any side bets. This way, you’ll have a complete understanding of exactly how to play blackjack and what to expect in terms of odds.

More blackjack tips are available via our guide.

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FAQs

[Q0]What is the best side bet in blackjack?[/Q0][A0]This depends on your blackjack side bets strategy and objectives. Some side bets are simple to understand, whereas others may take a little more time to come to grips with. Before placing a blackjack side bet, be sure to do a little bit of research to decide which one is perfect for you.[/A0][Q1]Are side bets worth it in blackjack?[/Q1][A1]Side bets certainly add to the enjoyment for players. However, most players who make money from blackjack will steer clear of side bets. Of course, the decision is yours, with experimenting with demo games being advisable. [/A1][Q2]What are the top 3 side bets in blackjack?[/Q2][A2]When playing blackjack, you will find yourself in a position to place a whole host of side bets. However, it is 21+3, insurance, and the perfect pairs side bet that are the most common. Of course, it is entirely your decision whether to place such side bets or not. [/A2][Q3]Should you always take even money in blackjack?[/Q3][A3]When playing blackjack, it is not advisable to take even money. This is because the payout would only be 1:1, not even 2x or 3x your stake. Simply put, the numbers just don’t add up. So, take this into account when forming your blackjack side bet strategy. [/A3]
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