With simple rules and low casino advantage, Blackjack is a highly exciting casino game to play at both online casinos and land-based gambling venues. What makes Blackjack even more interesting is the fact that it allows players to place a variety of side wagers. Here, we explain to you the basics and the payouts of some of the most popular Blackjack side bets. Keep reading!
What are Blackjack side bets?
As their name implies, Blackjack side bets are additional wagers that can be placed in a Blackjack game. Both online and land-based Blackjack games offer these features in order to make blackjack more appealing.
In most Blackjack games, players need to place the initial wager before being able to make side wagers. The only exception to this rule is the Bet Behind side bet. A very positive thing about Blackjack side bets is that they pay irrespective of what happens in the main game. So, even if you lose your main bet, you are eligible to win your side bets.
Speaking about the payouts, they vary based on the specific Blackjack dealer rule and the probability of the side bet winning. In general, you can expect to receive a payout between 2 to 500 times your initial wager with Blackjack side bets.
How to place Blackjack side bets?
The same as with double down and other main betting options, placing side bets in Blackjack is easy. On the Blackjack table, you’ll find designated areas where players can place their chips. The square slots are located near the main betting area and are printed with their motives.
If you want to place a specific type of side bet, all you need to do is move your chips or point towards the betting area for that wager. In online Blackjack games, you can transfer your virtual chips with the help of your mouse or fingers. The minimum wager for Blackjack side bets is usually equal to the minimum wager size for original bets.
A look at some common Blackjack side bets
When playing Blackjack Split and other Blackjack variations, there are a variety of side bets for you to make. Below we take a look at the most common Blackjack side bets:
21+3 is a popular side bet in Blackjack. And it involves the three cards that are received in the initial Blackjack round – two face-down cards that are given to the player and one face-up card that’s received by the dealer. Here, a payout is awarded if the combination of the cards makes any of the following Poker hands – Flush, Straight, Three of a Kind, Straight Flush and Suited Triple.
Below we’ve listed the payouts for different 21+3 hands:
- Flush – Three cards from the same suit (5:1)
- Straight – Three cards in sequence form a straight hand (10:1)
- Three of a Kind – This hand comprises three hands of the same kind (30:1 or 25:1)
- Straight Flush – Three cards that are in sequence and of the same suit (40:1)
- Suited Triple – Three identical cards (100:1)
Introduced in the mid-20th century, this side bet is popular among players who play Blackjack in land-based gambling venues. Here, a payout is received if the total value of the player’s initial hand is equal to 20. But note that the payout for certain card combinations is better than the rest. Here is the Lucky Ladies pay table that’s common at most gambling venues:
- Two unsuited cards totalling 20 – 4:1
- Suit cards totalling 20 – 9:1
- Matching cards which total 20 points – 19:1
- Two queen of hearts – 125:1
- Two queen of hearts plus dealer blackjack – 1,000:1
This is another common side bet in Blackjack. Here, players bet that they will receive two cards of the same rank. The payout for this side wager depends on what kind of pair is dealt.
- Mixed pair – Two cards of the same rank, but varying colour (6:1)
- Coloured pair – Cards with the same rank and colour (12:1)
- Perfect pair – Cards that are of the same colour and have the same suit (25:1)
House edge for Blackjack side bets
Blackjack side bets are a great way to try your luck at significant monetary rewards, but it’s worth noting that they come with a relatively high casino advantage. For players who don’t know, the house edge is the mathematical advantage that the gambling venue has over you in a given casino game.
To lower the house edge in Blackjack, the basic strategy can be used. The basic strategy details the optimal move to make for each hand, based on the player’s total hand value and the dealer’s up card. The standard Blackjack system does not require knowledge of advantage gambling techniques like Blackjack card counting, but some things must be memorized.