Side bets and the way they take place in blackjack variations are many. It’s a great way to pick up extra wins in many games.
Betting on the Side in Blackjack
Blackjack is a widely known game in casinos, and with the use of basic strategy, players can further decrease the game’s naturally low house edge. Nevertheless, some blackjack games have additional gambling options called side bets, that involve more risk, primarily for adventurous players aiming to increase their potential winnings.
This article aims to tackle the ins and outs of what these side bets are, the strategies used, and the most popular types of side bets players use in blackjack. This covers both online and offline at a land-based casino.
Understanding Blackjack Side Bets
Blackjack side bets are optional wagers that you place in addition to the main blackjack bet. You place these bets in smaller spaces adjacent to the main betting area.
Why Should You Play Side Bets in Blackjack?
Side bets in blackjack have higher house edges than the regular game, making them high risk and reward. While these bets require smaller wagers, the payouts are relatively large.
However, the odds of winning are low, making these bets more suitable for gamblers who enjoy taking risks or seek fast-paced, thrilling games.
How do Blackjack Side Bets Work?
To place a side bet in blackjack, you must add additional chips before the deal of the cards. Side bets are typically based on making a winning hand from your first two cards or a combination of yours and the dealer’s face-up card.
Where to Play Side Bets
Blackjack side bets are pretty popular in land-based casinos and offline gambling rooms but blackjack side bets seem to be the most popular at online casinos as Online casinos offer a wider range of different side bets as well as Blackjack variations.
When you are looking for a table that offers side bets, check the rules of the variant played, as the available side bets are usually posted near the table.
Types of Blackjack Side Bets
A popular additional wager is the “Perfect Pairs” side bet, which is exclusively based on the player’s cards. This side bet wins if the first two cards of the player are a pair. The three variations of Perfect Pairs are the Mixed Pair, Colored Pair, and Perfect Pair. The payout for a Perfect Pair is 30:1.
The 21+3 side bet is based on the player’s two cards and the dealer’s face-up card. The player wins if the three cards make any of these combinations: Flush, Straight, Straight Flush, or Three of a Kind. The payout for a winning hand is 9:1.
The over/under 13 side bet allows players to bet on the sum of their first two cards pulled being either over or under 13. If it is 13, the player will lose. The house edge for getting over 13 is 6.5%, and the house edge for getting under 13 is 10%.
The Suit Em Up side bet is a type of wager that depends on the player’s first two cards being of the same suit. If the two cards match, you win the bet. And if they don’t, you lose the bet.
However, not all suited hands are treated equally.
For example, while any suited hand earns a payout of 2 to 1, a suited hand that totals 11 gets a payout of 3 to 1. A pair of suited cards gets a payout of 5 to 1, while a suited blackjack gets 10 to 1. The best payout, however, goes to a pair of suited Aces, which earns a payout of 60 to 1.
Super Sevens is a side bet that counts the number of “Seven” cards a player hits. This bet is placed on what the player’s first three cards dealt are. If their first card is a seven, the player wins a payout of 3:1. If their second card is also a seven and they are unsuited, the payout increases to 50:1.
Rolling Stack Blackjack is a thrilling variation of blackjack that features a rolling side bet. To participate in the side bet, you need to get one of the following two-card starting hands: Straight Flush, Ace-King Suited, Pair or Straight.
You can then choose to take down your winnings or add them to your standard blackjack wager, which allows you to play with Rolling Stacks. The Rolling Stack bet is won if your first two cards are any of the following:
- Suited Straight
- Flush Pair
If you win the Rolling Stack bet, you have the option to collect your winnings and original bet, or you can choose to add them to your standard blackjack wager for even bigger potential payouts.
Some casinos do not allow the player to hit a third card when the dealer has a blackjack, and the player has two sevens. This raises the house edge to 12.6%. However, if the player is allowed to hit a third card, it drops the house edge to 11.4%.
In a double down, the player can double their bet in exchange for an extra card but the player has to stand after receiving that card. This can be a bit of a risky gamble as a player cannot hit again if they have received a low-valued card.
There are three occasions that this bet will be worth the risk:
- When the cards total 11 – this will give the player a fantastic chance to hit 21 or a number close to it.
- Soft 16,17 or 18 – If the player gets an ace with a value card of 5 to 7, and the dealer has a low standard card, this will be the best time to double down your bet as it is less likely for the player to end with a high hand.
- Hard 9 or 10 – If the player can get their cards to total 9 or 10, and the dealer has a low standard card, there will then be a high chance of winning the bet if the player is lucky enough to get a high standard card.
Insurance Side Bet
Insurance is a type of side bet that players can choose to place if the dealer’s face-up card is an ace. This bet provides protection against the dealer having a blackjack, but the odds are slightly against the player in the long run.
Best Blackjack Side Bets To Place
The most popular side bets are 21+3, insurance and perfect pairs. Insurance is a bet made on the possibility of the dealer’s hand being a blackjack. Perfect pairs are awarded when the first two dealt cards for the player are a pair. The 21+3 side bet is taken from poker and involves both the player’s and the dealer’s cards.
Blackjack side bets can add an exciting element to your game play, but they are based purely on luck and carry a higher house edge. Some players do have strategies of how best to place side bets but it still comes down to luck as to whether or not a side bet will be profitable. These side bets usually depend on the player’s examination of risk, reward and timing.
Admittedly we are fans of blackjack. Even more we do like to play some of the blackjack variations with side bets like Suit ‘Em Up, Perfect Pairs and Rolling Stack. If you would like to know about those specific games, see the game reviews we have linked above.