Blackjack is quite possibly one of the most popular card games in both casinos and online, thanks to its simple rules and easy-to-learn strategies.
Blackjack side bets add another level of complexity to the game but at a much higher risk.
In this article, let’s look at the various side bet options, how they’re structured, and how much side bets pay.
What are Blackjack side bets?
Blackjack side bets are bets placed in addition to the standard game of blackjack. They entail predicting which cards the player, and occasionally the dealer, will be dealt.
Wagers are placed prior to the distribution of cards, and each side bet is based on chance rather than skill, though you can count cards to help you choose the most likely combinations for your best side bets.
Why play Blackjack side bets?
One of the most attractive aspects of blackjack is its low house edge compared to other games on the casino floor.
A good player will face a house edge of around 0.5 percent. Even if you play exceptionally poorly, that edge will only rise to around 2%. But, while the chances of losing big are low, winning big is also low.
Blackjack is primarily an even-money game, rising to a maximum of 2:1 if you are dealt a Blackjack.
Side bets allow you to play much longer odds for higher player wins – up to 5,000:1 in one case.
Nevertheless, it should be noted that the house edge increases significantly for Blackjack side bets, with the majority of bets carrying a house edge of 10% or higher.
Side bets, in other words, make it much easier to lose money at blackjack.
What are the most common Blackjack side bets?
At most blackjack tables, you will find a number of popular side bets.
These are marked with the odds, either printed on the Blackjack tables. They may also be available as a handout or in the online version as a side menu.
Before placing your bets, you should carefully review the payouts, as they vary significantly between casinos or online sites.
The three most popular Blackjack side bets are:
Insurance is the most popular Blackjack side bet. It allows you to protect yourself against blackjack if the dealer has an ace face up.
This bet requires half of your original stake and pays out at a ratio of 2:1 if the dealer has blackjack. The insurance bet lowers the house edge overall.
This side bet only uses the player’s cards and pays out if you are dealt two of a kind as follows:
- A mixed pair, two of the same value but different suit and colour, pays 5:1.
- A coloured pair, two of the same value and colour, pays 12:1
- A perfect pair, two of the same card, pays 25:1
The returns can vary between casinos and pay tables. The house edge will be subject to on the payout and the number of decks used, ranging from 2 or 3 percent to 11 percent.
This side bet comprises the player’s two cards and the dealer’s upturned card. It will payout for the following combinations:
A flush (all suited cards) pays 5:1.
Straight – (all consecutive cards) – pays 10:1.
Three of a kind (different suits) pays 30:1.
Straight flushes (consecutive cards of the same suit) pay 40:1.
Suited triplets (three of the same card) pay 100:1.
The 21+3 side bet’s house edge varies depending on the number of decks used. It is 8.78% for four decks, 7.81% for five decks, 7.14% for six decks, and so on.
What are some other side bets to keep an eye out for
Because the online casino industry is so competitive, new side bets are invented all the time to try to attract new Blackjack players. Some of these are
- Royal match
- Over/under 13
- Super sevens
- Lucky ladies
Is it worthwhile to place side bets on blackjack?
Blackjack side bets require no skill and rely solely on the luck of the draw.
Still, have questions about how to play blackjack? Check out our other detailed blackjack guide
Furthermore, the returns do not reflect the odds of each bet coming in, giving the house a much larger edge. Blackjack side bets are best viewed as an added layer of complexity to a session at the Blackjack table. However, you should not make them the primary focus of your gameplay or wagering, and you should keep in mind the significantly increased house edge.
Also, make sure to place your blackjack side bets only on trustworthy sites like the UWin online casino site. Uwin sports offer the best deposit bonuses and promotions for blackjack side bets. We also have a UWin betting app that you can download and play blackjack side bets anytime!
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