A Guide to Blackjack Side Bets

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Blackjack side bets are a great way to add variety to your blackjack playing experience. These optional wagers offer exciting payouts when they hit.

Blackjack side bets are a great way to add variety to your blackjack playing experience. These optional wagers offer exciting payouts when they hit.

This guide will teach you the basics of making side bets in blackjack. I will discuss common side bets found at top blackjack casino sites and tell you how to take advantage of them. Also, I will tell you which bets are worth taking and which ones you should stay away from.

What Are Side Bets in Blackjack?

First and foremost, what are blackjack side bets? To play blackjack, you have to place a wager on your hand and try to bet the dealer. Side wagers are any additional bet you place outside of the ante on your hand.

For instance, you can bet on any hand having a pair or the dealer having a natural blackjack. These bets payout regardless of whether your hand wins or loses that round. When used correctly, these bets can help you increase your winnings significantly.

Side wagers are not to be confused with additional bets you can make on your own hand. Doubling down, for example, is not a side wager because you still need to win that round to win your bet.

How to Play Side Bets in Blackjack

Most side bets blackjack players have at their disposal are only available before any cards are dealt. So, you have to bet on these markets immediately after making your ante bet for that round. Likewise, many side bets can be paid out before the hand is over, depending on the stipulations of the wager.

One notable exception is the insurance wager. This wager is only available when the dealer is showing an ace. In this situation, players are asked if they would like to place the insurance bet to protect against the dealer having a natural.

Placing side bets is easy to do and can be done with just the click of a button in online games. Simply select the amount you want to wager and place the bet, just like you would with your ante wager. Land-based players simply need to place their chips on the corresponding side wager icon on the table before the hand starts.

Common Blackjack Side Bets

The types of side bets available to you will depend on where you decide to play blackjack. Here are seven common blackjack side bets to look for when playing this popular table game.

Blackjack Insurance Bet

The most common side wager in blackjack is the insurance bet. This wager “protects” the player against the dealer having a natural. It is only available when the dealer is showing an ace as their face-up card.

To win this bet, the dealer has to have a 10-point card as their face-down card, giving them a natural blackjack. When this happens, you are rewarded with a 2:1 payout.

Your insurance bet also must be worth half of your original stake for that hand. So, if you wagered $10 on the hand, your insurance wager must be worth $5. You lose your original $10 bet but break even on the payout from the insurance wager.

Many experienced blackjack players avoid this wager. Their reasoning is simple: the odds are not attractive enough. At best you break even, and at worst, you increase your losses that hand by 50%.

Perfect Pairs

Another common blackjack side bet is the perfect pairs wager. This side bet is won or lost based on the first two cards dealt to the player.

When you make a perfect pairs wager, you are betting on the first two cards in your hand being a pair. Any other outcome and your bet losses. The more “perfect” your pairs, the better your payout odds with this side bet.

  • Mixed pairs = 6:1 odds
  • Colored pairs = 12:1 odds
  • Perfect pairs = 25:1 odds

Mixed pairs are two of the same card, but they have different suits. Colored pairs are two cards of different suits but the same value and color, such as a seven of hearts and a seven of diamonds. Perfect pairs have to be of the same suit, such as two nines of clubs.

To get a perfect pair, you need to play blackjack with multiple decks rather than single-deck games. You can test your luck at this style of blackjack today at Lucky Cola Casino. It offers a free version of Perfect Pairs blackjack.

21 + 3

The 21 + 3 bet in blackjack is also a popular side wager. It combines aspects of another well-known card game, poker.

In this bet, you are wagering that your two starting cards plus the dealer’s up card form a three-card poker hand. Specifically, you are looking for a flush, straight, three-of-a-kind, or straight flush in order to win. Some casinos even offer special payouts for a suited three-of-a-kind hand.

Payout odds can vary from one casino to another, but some examples of the payout for a 21 + 3 bet include the following:

  • Flush = 5:1 odds
  • Straight = 10:1 odds
  • Three-of-a-kind = 33:1 odds
  • Straight flush = 35:1
  • Suited three-of-a-kind = 100:1

Like the perfect pairs wager, 21 + 3 blackjack is typically only used in multi-deck blackjack games. This allows you to have three cards of the same value and suit. The more decks that are used, the better your chances of getting the suited three-of-a-kind combination.

Lucky Cola Casino is a great place to master this side bet in blackjack. It offers a blackjack game from Dragon Gaming that offers both perfect pairs and 21 + 3 wagers. This casino also offers up to $1,500 in casino funds as part of its crypto welcome casino bonus.

Super 7

The Super 7 wager is also a great example of the best side bets blackjack has to offer. This wager, as the name implies, pays based on the number of sevens that you are dealt.

You are typically only allowed to wager $1 on a Super 7 side wager. Despite its low betting limits, this wager still offers the chance to win huge cash prizes. The number of sevens that appear and their suits will determine your payout.

  • First card dealt is a 7 = 3:1 odds
  • First two cards are 7s = 50:1 odds
  • First two cards are 7s of the same suit = 100:1 odds
  • First three cards dealt are 7s = 500:1 odds
  • First three cards dealt are 7s of the same suit = 5000:1 odds

Turning $1 into $5,000 is the stuff gamblers dream about. Also, because the maximum bet is so low, most players can easily incorporate this bet into their bankroll. Lucky Cola has free and paid versions of this game available and offers up to $3,000 in bonus funds with its 200% crypto welcome bonus.

Progressive Jackpots

Rounding out my list of the best side bets in online blackjack are progressive jackpot tables. Unlike the other wagers listed above, this bet is not necessarily tied to the cards you are dealt. These wagers often have the biggest blackjack side bets payout of any wager.

Some blackjack games offer progressive prizes that are awarded at random. Others award prizes based on the player’s hand. Lucky Cola Casino, for instance, offers a blackjack game tied to the Supreme 777 progressive jackpot.

There are three different progressive jackpots in this game, and the lucky winner is determined by the cards in their hand. You must opt into this progressive prize by placing the side wager before cards are dealt.

  • 7 in your starting hand = 1:1 odds
  • Both cards in your hand are 7s = 5:1
  • First three cards in your hand are 7s = 100:1
  • First three cards are 7s of the same color = Minor jackpot
  • First three cards are 7s of the same suit = Major jackpot

The grand jackpot is only awarded when the first three cards in your hand are 7s of spades. At the time of writing, the grand jackpot in Lucky Cola’s Supreme 777 blackjack game is north of $100,000.

This is just one example of progressive blackjack games. The rules for winning the jackpot will vary from one jackpot to another. So, make sure you read the rules carefully before competing for a progressive prize in blackjack.

Blackjack Side Bets Summary

Blackjack side bets can be challenging to master, but they are usually worth the effort. The best side bets offer massive payouts that offset their high house edge. Some side wagers are even tied to progressive prizes that offer six-figure payouts to winners.

Check out the guide above to learn more about playing blackjack with side bets. I discuss side wagers for this table game and break down five of the most popular variations. You can learn more about the game in general by reading our blackjack beginners’ guide.