Blackjack Side Bets Explained
Many online casino UK casino players like playing blackjack online because it is a simple game to learn and can be very entertaining. There are only a few decisions that a player needs to make, and those who make use of the basic blackjack strategy can decrease the already-low house edge. Like with other casino table games, some blackjack variants have side bet options, and this guide is going to tell you everything you need to know about blackjack with side bets.
What Are Blackjack Side Bets?
If you are new to blackjack, or casino playing in general, then you might be sitting there wondering - what are blackjack side bets?. If so, your curiosity is about to be satiated as we are going to explain them right here. Side bets, to put it as simply as possible, are bonus wagers that are based on blackjack outcomes that go beyond whether the dealer or the player will win.
The majority of blackjack side bets must be placed at the start of each round before the dealer has dealt the cards. What about the blackjack side bets odds? Well, the majority of them will come with fixed odds that will usually have higher payouts than the 2:1 that is awarded to those who have a better hand than the dealer.
Some of the most common side bets that you will come across include Blackjack Perfect Pairs, 21 + 3, and Insurance Bet. These side bets will be available whether you are playing at a virtual or live casino table.
Blackjack Side Bets 21 + 3
Now that you have an understanding as to how side bets work in blackjack, we are now going to take a closer look at some of the most popular ones.
The blackjack side bet 21+3, which is also known as Rummy, is one that involves your first two cards as well as the face-up card of the dealer - your aim is to try and form a valid poker hand. So, to put it another way, whether you are playing live blackjack or virtual blackjack, you can opt to have a mini-game of poker while playing blackjack.
In order to land a win, the three cards on show for a 21 + 3 blackjack side bet must form one of these poker hands:
- Flush: Three cards with the same suit, giving a 5:1 payout.
- Straight: Three cards in a sequence of any suit, giving a 10:1 payout.
- Three of a Kind: Three cards with the same value and any suit, giving a 30:1 payout.
- Straight Flush: Three cards of the same suit in a sequence, giving a 40:1 payout.
- Suited Three of a Kind: Three cards with the same suit and value, giving a 100:1 payout.
How Do I Play 21 + 3 Side Bets?
Before you play any kind of blackjack variant, it is important to know the blackjack rules and how you go about making the different side bets that are on offer. Thankfully, more often than not, placing the side bet will be easy as counting to three. Below is a step-by-step guide that explains how:
- Go through our blackjack variants that we have on offer.
- Find one that you like the look of and click on it.
- If the 21 + 3 side bet is available, there will be a 21 + 3 side bet box next to the regular betting box.
- Put your stake in the 21 + 3 side bet box, and you have placed a 21 + 3 bet.
21 + 3 Side Bet Payouts
Blackjack side bet payouts will vary, and in the following table you can find a summary of the different payouts that go along with the various hands that you can land when playing a 21 + 3 side bet:
|Three of a Kind
|Suited Three of a Kind
While the 21 + 3 side bet involves the dealer's card, the Perfect Pairs side bet option is one that focuses on just your two cards. With such a side bet, you are putting money on your two cards forming one of three types of pairs. The three types of perfect pairs are:
- Mixed Pair - A pair of cards that has the same value but are different colors. This comes with a 5:1 payout.
- Colored Pair - Two cards of the same value and same color. It will usually have a 10:1 payout.
- Perfect Pair - Two cards with the same value and same suit. It has a payout of 30:1.
How to Play Perfect Pairs Side Bet
You will be glad to hear that playing a Perfect Pairs side bet is just as easy as placing a 21 + 3 side, and below you can find the steps that you need to follow in order to do so:
- Head over to our blackjack section, and click on a blackjack game that you like the look of.
- Before you receive your two cards, put your stake in the Perfect Pairs box.
- The side bet will then be settled, and the regular game of blackjack will be played out according to the house rules.
Perfect Pairs Payout
In the table below, you can find the payouts that are given for each of the different Perfect Pairs payout:
The Insurance side bet is one that you can only make use of if the dealer has an ace as their face-up card. If you place such a side bet, then you are basically buying protection for if the dealer has a ten or a picture card as their face-down card - this would give them a blackjack, which would beat your hand, unless, of course, you also have a blackjack.
This side bet pays out at odds of 2:1, which means that if the dealer does have a Blackjack, you will win the same amount as your original stake. If you do decide to place a blackjack insurance bet, then you need to know that the odds will not be in your favor over a long period of time.
Other Side Bets in Blackjack
The three side bets that we mentioned above are the most popular ones for British blackjack players, but there are a number of other side bets that blackjack players can consider making use of. We are now going to take a look at some of these in this section of our guide. The following are live blackjack side bets and virtual blackjack side bets.
This is a side bet on the number of sevens that your hand will be composed of. If your first card happens to be a seven, then the payout is usually 3:1. If the first two cards that you get are sevens, then you can look forward to a 50:1 payout if they have different suits and a 100:1 payout if they have the same suit.
If you take a hit and get another seven, then there is a big payout of 500:1 on the card if they have different suits and a huge payout of 5000:1 if they have the same suit. Obviously, the odds for this type of side bet are so high because the chances of you landing it are very slim.
Match the Dealer
This side bet is one where you want the value of at least one of your first two cards to match the value of the dealer's face-up card. If you get a match but with a different suit, then there is a 4:1 payout, while if you get a match with the same suit, you will receive an 11:1 payout.
With this side bet, you are betting on whether your first two cards will add up to the value of 20. If your two cards equal 20 and have different suits, then the payout on offer is 4:1. If they have the same suit, then there is a 10:1 payout while there is a 25:1 payout for the same rank and suit.
If your two cards are the Queen of Hearts, then there is a payout of 200:1 - this is where the side bet gets its name from. If you land two Queen of Hearts and the dealer lands a blackjack, then there is a 1000:1 payout.
With this side bet, you are betting on your first two cards being the Queen and King of the same suit. In a single deck blackjack game, this side usually has a payout of 10:1, while in a multi-deck blackjack game, there will usually be a 25:1 payout.
N.B. The payouts for the best blackjack side bets will vary from online casino to online casino, so check out the rules and paytable before you play any variant so that you are aware of what the potential payouts are.
Are Side Bets in Blackjack Worth It?
Now that we have informed you of some of the best blackjack side bets, we are now going to speak about whether you should play side bets in blackjack. Well, the truth of the matter is that most side bets that you come across will only offer a small chance of winning, and you cannot make use of the basic blackjack strategy with them either. This means that the house has a much higher edge with side bets when compared to the standard game.
So, are side bets in blackjack worth it? The answer to this is that they should be seen as a bit of fun and not predominantly as a means to boost your balance. Before you go ahead and place any kind of side bet, you need to carefully assess your chances of landing a win. Side bets provide a more exciting blackjack experience for those who do not want to be limited to one bet per round.
When it comes to a blackjack side bets strategy, there are not really any that you can make use of – they are just games of luck. However, having said that, one thing that you might want to consider is just sticking to the ones that come with a lower house edge.
If you want more blackjack tips, then feel free to click on the link provided.
FAQs about Blackjack Side Bets
Q: Are Side Bets Good in Blackjack?
A: Side bets can be fun to make use of, so they are good in the entertainment sense. They are also good when it comes to payouts, but what you need to remember is that your chances of winning a side bet are slimmer than your chances of winning with a regular blackjack bet. So, you should not get into the habit of placing side bets.
Q: What is a 21 + 3 Side Bet in Blackjack?
A: With this side bet, you use your first two cards and the dealer's face-up card to try and form a three-card poker hand. The hands that you can form, ranging from weakest to strongest, are a flush, straight, three of a kind, straight flush, and suited three of a kind. The lowest payout possible is 5:1, while the highest possible payout is 100:1.
Q: What Are the Top 3 Side Bets in Blackjack?
A: There are many different blackjack side bets nowadays, but the three top ones are 21 + 3, Perfect Pairs, and Insurance.
Q: What Are the Most Common Side Bets?
A: Some of the most common side bets that you can place when you are playing blackjack include 21 + 3, Insurance, Perfect Pairs, Lucky Ladies, Match the Dealer, Super Sevens, and Royal Match.