Why Blackjack Side Bets Ups Your Game

Blackjack has a great reputation for being one of the easiest and best games to play at a land-based and online casino. The fast-paced nature of the table game, and the potential for big payouts creates an adrenaline rush and engaging experience for every player, no matter what your skill level is.

The financial reward you get is no doubt, a fantastic drawing card. The option of side bets is a real money-maker as you get to experience an extra layer of excitement to keep you that much more engaged. You can profit from the variety this betting choice gives you as you can switch between different side bets and try out new strategies to win those large payouts.

The Origins of Blackjack Side Bets

Why and when were side bets permitted in casinos? Introduced in the 1980s, it was a strategic move aimed to add a new dimension of wagering to the traditional way of playing blackjack, while also increasing the revenue of the casino. Side bets offer you the opportunity to make additional wagers on specific outcomes beyond the standard game, with higher payouts.

The idea of side bets was probably a joint effort between the casino and software providers, as well as game developers in order to establish how a gambling house could profit more. All these parties likely worked together to design new betting options, to then integrate them into the already existing games, and new games too.

The big question nobody can truly answer is, the true origin and details of how blackjack side bets came to be. Chalk it up to the creative process, and the varied opinions, thoughts, suggestions, and innovations that evolved over time as a result of the collaboration between the casino and the second and third parties. 

No matter how or where side bets were created, they are beyond popular and continue to grow as a favorite strategy amongst players. Bit by bit, side bets have progressed and been modified to meet the changing preferences of players. Technology has also played a role in their evolution, with the rise of online and mobile betting making it easier to access a wider range of side bets. As player preferences continue to change, it’s likely that the offering of side bets will continue to do so too.

Here’s a rundown on the various types of side bets you can utilize:

  • Insurance bet: Only available when the dealer’s up card is an Ace. It pays 2:1 if the dealer has blackjack
  • Perfect pairs bet: Will pay based on the rank and suit of the first two cards dealt to you. A perfect pair is two cards of the same rank and suit.
  • 21 + 3 bet: Based on your two cards and the dealer’s up card. Payout is dependent on if the three cards form a straight, flush, three-of-a-kind, or straight flush.
  • Any pair bet: Pays if your first two cards are a pair.
  • Royal match bet: Should your first two cards be a king and queen of the same suit, you win!
  • Lucky Ladies bet: You’re a winner if your first two cards are a queen of heart.
  • Buster bet: A side bet that loses if the dealer busts with a certain number of cards.
  • Super sevens bet: This blackjack side bet payout is reliant on the number of sevens dealt, with higher payouts for more seven.

Perhaps you know about these types of side bets. Maybe you’ve learnt about a few new ones now. This article will delve more into how they really can work for you. Just call us the ‘guru’ of blackjack ways to win 😉

Understanding The Odds

Increased payout potential with side bets is a given. But you need to also consider what the house edge is (the advantage the casino has over your wins). In addition, you need to also know what the payout for each type of side bet is. 

The blackjack side bet odds can vary in range when it comes to the house edge from very high to moderate. The insurance bet is notorious for having a high house edge as it pays 2:1 when the dealer has a natural 21. While this bet may seem attractive, it’s important to note that the dealer having a natural is a relatively rare occurrence, making it a less favorable option for you as a player. On the other hand, the perfect pairs bet has a moderate house edge as it pays a set amount for getting a pair in the first two cards dealt. The odds of winning this bet can vary depending on the specific rules and payouts of the casino, but it generally offers a better chance of winning compared to the insurance bet. If you’re playing online, you can always take a look at the payout table you’ll find on screen or in the hamburger menu.

Strategy is key when it comes to the impact and the success of side bets in blackjack. Using a card counting strategy for example, can increase the chances of winning a side bet because it provides information about what cards are in the remaining deck, which can then influence your decision on whether or not to make certain side bets. Let’s say, you know there are a high number of 10 value cards left in the deck. You’ll be more likely to make an insurance bet because the chances of the dealer having blackjack are higher. The same goes for if you know that there are a large number of pairs left in the deck which are more likely to make a perfect pairs bet.

The success of your blackjack side bets strategy will vary depending on the specific side bet chosen and the rules of the specific game being played. It’s important to understand the odds and rules of each side bet, and to use a strategy that is tailored to those rules in order to increase your chances of winning.

stack of casino chips on table

A Closer Look at Popular Side Bets

We’ll start with the most popular, the insurance bet. This side bet is usually above your main bet with a value of being equal to half of your original bet. With it paying 2:1, as stated previously, you will get $10 ($5 x 2).

  • Perfect Pairs is another side bet in blackjack where you can take advantage of three variations:
  • Colored Pair: Here, the first two cards dealt to you will be of the same rank and have the same color (e.g. two red queens). The payout is normally 12 to 1.
  • Mixed Pair: Is when the first two cards dealt are of the same rank, but have different colors (e.g. a red queen and a black queen). The payout is typically 6 to 1.
  • Perfect Pair: This is when the first two cards dealt are of the same rank, and both have the same color and suit (e.g. two red queens of hearts). The payout is 25 to 1.

The 21+3 bet in blackjack is another side bet that combines the two initial cards and the dealer’s up card to form a three card blackjack hand. The goal of the 21+3 bet is to form a better three card hand than the dealer’s. You’ll win if your three card hand forms one of the winning hands, which typically include flushes, straights, three of a kind, and straight flushes. The payouts vary depending on the specific rules of the game, but typically range from 5:1 for a flush to 100:1 for a straight flush.The probability of winning the 21+3 bet depends on the rules of the game and the number of decks being used. However, in general, the 21+3 bet has a higher house edge compared to the main blackjack bet, so the probability of winning is lower.

Next up, we’ll look at the Any Pair and Royal Match bets which are based on your first two cards. These bets offer the opportunity to win a payout based on the specific combination of your first two cards, regardless of the outcome of the main blackjack game. The win here ranges from 5:1 for a pair of 10s or face cards, to 25:1 for a pair of aces.

Ah, the Royal Match bet. This type of bet is reliant on your first two cards being a king and queen of the same suit. The payout? 3:1 for a non-suited king and queen, to 25:1 for a suited king and queen.

And what about the Lucky Ladies and Buster Blackjack side bets?

Lucky Ladies is a side bet placed on your two cards totaling 20. The rules to win is that your first two cards must be a queen and any other card with a value of 10. A winning Lucky Ladies bet varies, but is higher than the standard blackjack payout, with a 6.9 probability of winning.

In Buster Blackjack, you bank on the dealer busting (having a hand value over 21) on the next card. This side bet has a high blackjack payout, with a 20% probability of winning.

Now, let’s analyze how you can win with the Super Sevens bet

Super Sevens is when you bet on your first card being a 7, because if it is, you win! The payouts are quite high, with a 15% probability of winning. 

Pay attention before wagering, as the worst blackjack side bets you can make are on:

  1. Perfect Pairs as the odds of winning are low.
  2. 21+3 can have a high payout, but the odds of winning are also low.
  3. Royal Match too, has a high payout, but the odds of winning are low too.

Maximizing Your Winnings with Blackjack Side Bets

Always try and play multiple side bets at least once as it’s sure to increase your chances of winning. Only focus on bets with the best odds. Do research. Check what side bets are available and focus on the ones with the best odds of winning. Keep in mind that the odds can vary from game to game, so always check the specific rules and payouts before placing a bet.

Stick to your budget to avoid chasing losses! Keep in mind that blackjack side bets, like any form of gambling, come with risk. Avoid side bets with high house edges. Avoid these bets and focus on the ones with a lower house edge. You can also use a progressive betting system which involves gradually increasing your bet size after a win and decreasing it after a loss. This can help you manage your bankroll and limit your losses.

Use Your Blackjack Side Bet Knowledge at Big Dollar Casino

The only hotspot you should be playing online real money blackjack at is at Big Dollar Casino. We have a wide range of blackjack games, like Jacks or Better, Single Deck Blackjack, Vegas Strip Blackjack, or Live Dealer Blackjack. Pick the one you believe will get you rolling in that dough! You can also choose whether or not you want to include side bets in your blackjack gameplay. It’s your own personal decision that should be based on your individual preferences, risk tolerance, and financial situation. Just know the potential risks and approach side bets with caution.

Whatever you decide,  your winning journey needs to start at Big Dollar Casino. Create an account, pick your blackjack game, and begin testing those side bets and see where it takes you.