Blackjack Side Bets Explained – The Ultimate Guide

Author: Amelia Thompson Updated:
Blackjack Side Bets Explained

Blackjack is a common game at online casinos, mainly in the UK. Let’s find out more about blackjack side bets payouts and how to play with them! 

What is a side bet in Blackjack?

What is a Blackjack or Pontoon Side Bet

Side bets are additional wagers you can place while playing a casino game. In blackjack, this means exploring different betting options other than wagering on whether you or the dealer reaches 21 first.

An impressive feature of side wagers is that they can give you a payout even if you go bust or the dealer beats you to 21.  

Additional costs

These types of stakes are not free; they cost additional chips to place. You should also know that they depend on luck to get good results. This is pretty understandable since blackjack itself is a chance game. But, if you are the adventurous type on an average bankroll, these small cons shouldn’t stop you from placing the bets.

How do Blackjack side bets work?

At the best online casinos UK, these side bets appear alongside the main bets’ spaces on the screen. 

Click on any side bet area and select your chip to stake them. Bear in mind that you can only place side wagers before the round starts. That is before you receive your first two cards from the dealer. 

Why should you play Blackjack side bets? 

Why Should I Stake Blackjack Side Bets3

One thing expert UK blackjack players can’t deny is that side bets can bring good results along.  

And this translates to a good Blackjack side bets payout range!

Blackjack side bets payout

Getting a natural blackjack or beating the dealer will give you a 2:1 payout. However, side wagers allow you to receive even better results, as high as 5,000:1.

Besides, these bets add a twist to the game of blackjack. With the variety of stakes to place and payouts to hope for, the game would be far from boring and monotonous.

Side bets require small amounts to stake. It’s great to know that even with the high rewards they offer, you don’t have to break the bank to play them.

What about the Blackjack side bet odds? 

Keep in mind: the higher the rewards, the lower the odds of winning. So, their massive payouts should not be the only reason why you are interested in placing these wagers.

Different available Blackjack side bets

You will find many blackjack wagers available online. These, according to our experts, are the best and most popular options available

Insurance

Insurance

Here, you stake on the chance that the dealer’s hand is a blackjack. It is a bet you can make after receiving your two cards, and the dealer’s upcard is an Ace. You win or break even on the hand if the dealer holds a 10 -value hole card. It pays 2:1. 

Operators limit the highest amount of insurance bet that can be staked at 50% or half of your initial wager. 

For example

If your main bet is £10, your insurance stake will be capped at £5. At every online casino, the odds of you winning this wager stands at 1:3.

Perfect Pairs

Perfect-Pairs

Perfect Pairs focuses only on your two-hole cards. You win this side wager if your first two dealt cards are of the same value or a pair. Your hole cards qualify as a pair if they both share the same face value (face cards) or numerical value. Your payout depends on the three types of perfect pairs. 

  • Mixed Pair: Stake on whether you will receive a  pair of two different colors, black or black. It pays out 5:1.
  • Colored: One pair of the same color, same value but different suits. Receive a 10:1 payout if you win. 
  • Perfect Pair: This is the best pair in multi-deck blackjack. It also offers the highest payout. You win if you receive a pair with the same number in the same suit. Its odds of winning and payout are 30:1. 

21+3 Side Bet

21+3

21+3 is another popular bet you can consider when playing this game. It originates from poker; the wager covers both the dealer’s and the player’s cards.

You can get a decent payout if you get a qualifying hand from your hole cards and the dealer’s upcard. However, the quality of your returns depends on your three-card winning combinations. 

Types of 21+3 side wagers 

  • Flush: Stake on all three cards having the same suit. Of all 21+3 wagers, it’s the easiest to win. The odds of winning are 5:1.
  • Straight Flush: Three cards are of the same suit with a consecutive value sequence like 5, 6, 7, and all spades. Payout is 10 to 1.
  • Straight: This stake pays if a player’s two cards and the dealer’s face-up card have consecutive numerical values. For instance, 6 (club), 7 (spade) and 8 (diamond). Odds are 10:1.
  • Three Of A Kind: The player wins if the three cards are of the same face card or numerical value. The odds of winning are 30/1.
  • Suited Triple: Also known as a suited three-of-a-kind, this wager pays when all three cards are of the same number and same suit. It offers the largest payout at 100:1. 
  • Royal Match

The Royal Match is an option available in both single and multi-deck blackjack variations. There are two combinations to winning a Royal match; Easy Match and Royal Match.

How does it work?

If the player’s first two hole cards are of the same suit, he gets a 5:2 payout. But, if you land a natural blackjack with your suited cards, you will get an improved 5:1 payout for multi-deck blackjack. Payout is 3:1 for single-deck variants.

The second option rewards players if their dealt cards feature a King and Queen of the same suit. Single-deck blackjack offers a 10:1 payout for this wager. For multi-deck options, the payout is 25:1

If you’re not sure whether the casino you are playing at is secure enough to use this technique or not, we compiled a list with verified and tested live casinos, licensed by the UKGC, to choose from. In our verification process, we included multiple aspects, from games, to providers, support and terms and conditions.

The difference in Royal Match payouts

There is a significant difference between Royal Match payouts in one-deck and six-deck blackjack versions because of the odds involved. 

Remember, the payout ratio of a particular casino game also represents its odds. So, while multi-deck versions offer you a bigger payout, their odds of winning are highly stacked against you.

Over/Under 13

OverUnder-13

Another exclusive but simple bet you can place on blackjack is that your original cards would be over 13 or under 13.  Thirteen is the base number of this wager; to win, the sum of your hole cards has to be over or under the figure. However, if your card’s total value is exactly 13, you will lose your stake. 

Rules of the side bet

In this wager, an ace is valued as 1. If you are dealt an Ace, it will count as one towards your total hand rank. Another vital factor to note about this bet is that over 13 and under 13 have different house edges. 

While the former has a house advantage of 6.5%, under 13 features a 10% casino advantage. The differences in their house edges are evident in their respective payouts. Of course, winning under 13 bets will make you more money than over 13.

Is there any other side bet that you should know about?

Are There Any Other Side Bets That I Should Know About

This game has many other wagers that may not be as known as the above-listed options but they may bring good results. Here are some of them:

  • Super Sevens: This wager counts the number of “Sevens” in the player’s hole cards and the dealer’s up card. The more seven you hit, the higher your payout. Super Sevens offers the highest payout at 5000:1 if all the first three cards are suited sevens.
  • Lucky Ladies: Your stake wins if your initial hand totals 20. Certain numbers, including twenties and queens, offer a bigger payout. You can win on five possible outcomes, including Lucky Ladies, Matching 20, Paired 20, Suited 20, and Any 20 or Unsuited 20.
  • Lucky Lucky: Lucky Lucky is based on the first three cards in a pontoon round (player’s two cards and dealer’s face-up card). Hands that total 19, 20 or 21 gets a payout, with special bonuses for suited hands and totals with 6-7-8 and 7-7-7. With a payout of 200 to 1, Suited 777 has the highest payout in this side wager. 
  • Hi-Lo: The player wagers on whether his first card will be higher or lower than the dealer’s up-card. The dealer wins if the two cards share the same rank, except aces. However, if the two cards are aces, the bet will push. 

Other notable Blackjack side wagers include 

  • 16 Bonus; 
  • Bet the Set;
  • Bonanza Blackjack;
  • Match the Dealer;
  • Lucky Charlie.

Can you play all types of side bets?

Can I Place All Types Of Side Bets

Generally, there are no limitations to the wagers you can place while playing Blackjack. As long as it’s available in your chosen pontoon version, you will be able to play them. But, it is important to know that while these bets can give you a healthy win, they also pose a risk to your bankroll.

It is not advisable to play some wagers at all. Although they offer great rewards, it is almost impossible to win them. Maybe if you had a substantial playing capital, you could give them a trial. But not when you are on an average or tight bankroll.

In addition, remember that there is no real blackjack side bet strategy. Winning solely depends on luck.

The best Blackjack side bet

As each side bet has different payouts, it is believed that out of all blackjack side bets, the 21+3 game and the Perfect Pairs are the most profitable ones mainly because they offer the highest payouts: Perfect Pairs Offers a payout of 30:1 and the 21+3 offers a payout of 40:1.

Is the side bets strategy worth it?

Are Blackjack Side Bets Worth Real-Money Play

Now that you are able to confidently answer the question “what is a side bet in blackjack,” another question that also pops up “are these wagers really worth it.” The smartest way to find out is to try them yourself.

But before you commit real money, keep in mind that side wagers have higher house edges than main bets. In addition, you can lose more money than you win in the long term. There is also no guarantee of getting good results.

Our advice

If you are the player that loves to take risks and the blackjack side bet odds do not faze you, then go for it. 

People prefer starting with online gameplays because it is one of the easiest ways to become comfortable with the Blackjack side bets. Remember that you should only use this method to get a glimpse of the game and not turn it into a gambling addiction. Make sure to always keep your habits in check!