Are blackjack side bets worth it? This question divides players between those who shy away from higher house edges and others who feel that a cheeky side wager makes for a more exciting gambling experience.
Regardless of what you're leaning towards, I'll help you determine the best blackjack side wagers to make and when you should consider playing them.
I'll explain the side bets online casinos offer, their odds & payouts, and the best games to play—making recommendations based on player preferences and gambling styles.
Everything About Blackjack Side Bets
Are Blackjack Side Bets Worth It? Find out below.
What Are Blackjack Side Bets?
A blackjack side bet is an optional extra wager placed before a hand.
It offers bigger payouts versus a regular blackjack wager. For example, the Lucky Ladies side bet pays up to 1,000x your stake.
Besides their larger payouts, side wagers have different rules than standard blackjack bets.
They are dependent upon your hand strength rather than if you beat the dealer.
For instance, you could win a side bet with three suited cards but still lose against the dealer.
Most land-based and online casinos offer $1 side wagers, making the price attractive even for low rollers.
However, the blackjack house edge is high for certain bets.
Casinos offer these wagers because of the long-term return they see.
You should pay close attention to blackjack side bet odds and avoid yielding too much to the house.
What Types of Blackjack Side Bets Are Out There?
By now, you may be wondering what are the side bets in blackjack. Let's discuss the most popular wagers and how side bets work in blackjack.
Are There Any Other Side Bets In Blackjack?
Plenty of other side wagers are available in blackjack, including the following:
How do Blackjack Side Bets Impact My Odds & Winnings?
Standard blackjack odds of winning are among the best in the casino.
How do blackjack side bet odds compare to that of regular bets?
Here is a comparison using one of the most favorable side wagers: Perfect Pairs.
- House edge: 0.5% with strategy and favorable rules
- The probability of winning a hand (pays 1:1): 42.2%
- The probability of a natural blackjack (pays 3:2 or 6:5): 4.8%
Perfect Pairs Bet
- House edge: 3.24%
- The probability of a perfect pair (pays 30:1):1.67%
- The probability of a colored pair (pays 10:1):1.93%
- The probability of a mixed pair (pays 5:1): 3.86%
The fact that blackjack side bets tend to increase house edge doesn't mean you should always decline them.
On the contrary, it's fun to mix things up and play for bigger potential payouts if you know how to play them.
Are Blackjack Side Bets Worth It?
Whether side bets in blackjack are worth it depends upon your personal preferences.
However, I've compiled some scenarios to help you determine if side wagers are worthwhile.
You Are a Casual Player Seeking More Excitement
You may not have dreams of big profits and blackjack domination in your head.
Instead, you might be a casual player who focuses on having fun.
Side bets are perfect because they add more action and potential wins in each hand.
You Want the Lowest Blackjack House Edge
Side wagers can never match the low house edge of regular bets.
Even the best blackjack side bets like 21+3 (3.24% house edge) still do not measure up to regular play.
Worst-case scenarios like insurance (7.39%) are some of the least-desirable wagers in casino gaming.
Bigger Payouts are Tempting to You
Blackjack side bet's payout potential is far greater than the standard game's.
For example, Super Sevens and Lucky Ladies offer top payouts worth 5,000:1 and 1,000:1 payouts, respectively.
You Love the Strategic Aspect of Blackjack
You may enjoy the challenge and complexity of knowing when to hit and stand.
The same intricate strategy is void with side bets.
Blackjack side bet strategy mostly amounts to knowing which wagers have the lowest house edges.
My Thoughts on Blackjack Side Bets
Personal preference plays a predominant role in deciding whether or not you play blackjack side bets.
At face value, each side wager placed will come with additional risk, which will be offset by the relatively low cost of the bet.
With this trade-off comes the possibility of bigger wins and making your blackjack experience more enjoyable.
I encourage you to at least test the waters by placing a single side wager and gauge how the experience makes you feel.
After all, the price of knowing if you enjoy the added thrills or prefer a methodical strategy that maximizes returns is just $1.
My Favorite Online Casinos Offering Blackjack Side Bets
Are you looking for online casinos with the best blackjack side bets?
The following sites are my favorites for side wagers and other crucial aspects, like bonuses, banking options, and customer support.
Blackjack Side Bet Strategies
Again, the blackjack side bet strategy is not as complex as what regular play entails.
Here are my tips to you help boost your odds of winning.
Seek Low House Edges
Some side wagers give you a better chance to win than others. 21+3 (3.24%) and Perfect Pairs (4.2%) are among the best regarding house edge.
Other side bets like insurance (7.39%) are not worth consideration due to poor odds.
Know the Number of Decks
Many blackjack games feature six decks, so house edges here involve six-deck tables.
However, you will also run into single-, double-, four- and eight-deck games—the blackjack house edge on side bets normally decreases with more decks.
For example, 21+3 carries a 13.3% house advantage with one deck and a 3.24% house edge with six.
Consider the Volatility
Side wagers with big payouts are attractive, but they are also volatile.
For example, Perfect Pairs is an intriguing prospect due to a blackjack payout chart ranging from 5:1 to 30:1.
Your odds of forming the lowest pair (red/black) are only 25:1. You will lose many dollar bets before collecting wins at this rate.
Bring a Larger Bankroll
A dollar is not much in blackjack's grand scheme, but it can add up when you make side bets every round.
The volatility issue mentioned above only adds to the challenge.
I recommend adding at least 10-20% more to your bankroll before sessions involving side wagers.
Remember Basic Blackjack Strategy
Do not get too caught up in the side bet excitement. You must place regular bets before making side bets.
Blackjack gets expensive when you are not making good decisions regarding hitting, standing, splitting, or doubling down.
Check our online blackjack guide to refresh your basic blackjack strategy.
Make Exciting Side Bets at Online Casinos
Side bets offer unique advantages that are not available through regular wagers alone.
They feature big payouts and different rules that shake up the blackjack routine.
I recommend trying some of my favorite online casinos for side bets.
Are blackjack side bets worth it for you? After registering at these gaming sites, you can sample these wagers for free and find out without risking money.
Assuming you like the side wagers at a casino, you can deposit with credit cards or cryptocurrencies.
You can chase bonuses and rewards when making real-money blackjack side bets.
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