Have you tried playing with a side bet in blackjack? There are multiple side bets in blackjack for you to use and then span all sorts of games, from RNG (random number generator) and live casino games to bitcoin blackjack titles.

If you haven’t, you needn’t worry. We’ll walk you through playing online blackjack with side bets right here. If you’re asking, “what is a side bet in blackjack?” or want to understand how live blackjack side bets work, we’ve got the answers.

Join us as we explore this topic in-depth with our guide to these often simplistic, risky, but arguably prosperous options.

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Blackjack side bets explained

What is a side bet in blackjack’s meaning? A side bet in blackjack is effectively any bet you place outside of the main hand, excluding doubling down or splitting. There are many side bets in blackjack, and they won’t all appear in the same games.

In this guide, we’re only going to look at the most common options and avoid the worse blackjack side bets entirely. Stick to the bets featured below, and you’ll be able to start betting with blackjack side bets in no time.

The 21+3 poker style blackjack side-bet

The most commonly found side bet in blackjack is known as 21+3. It has some of the most prosperous blackjack side bet payouts and is commonly found in European blackjack games. The bet utilises your two cards and the dealer’s upturned card. You’re looking for poker hands in that three-card combo.

You can receive:

♣️ 5:1 payout for a Flush

♣️ 10:1 for a Straight

♣️ 30:1 for a Three-of-a-Kind

♣️ 40:1 for a Straight Flush

♣️ 100:1, a rare payout, for a Suited Triple (where all three cards are identical)

The number of decks featured in the blackjack game will determine the odds of success, and these can range from a low of 6.29% with seven decks up to a high of 8.78% when only four decks are used. The fewer the decks, the more likely you are to land a side bet. 

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Introducing the Perfect Pairs side bet

One of the best blackjack side bets is Perfect Pairs. This only utilises your cards, with Mixed Pairs, Coloured Pairs and Perfect Pairs all options. It can be found in all sorts of games, ranging from European Blackjack to Multi-Hand Blackjack and beyond. Here’s how it works:

♠️ Mixed Pair: Any two blackjack cards of the same value, but a different suit pays out at 5:1

♠️ Coloured Pair: Any two blackjack cards of the same value and colour pays out 12:1

♠️ Perfect Pair: Two identical cards pays out at 25:1

Note that because you need at least two decks to have a “Perfect Pair”, this side bet doesn’t exist in games that use a single deck, such as Single Deck Blackjack. Again, the odds vary depending on the number of decks used, with probabilities of 3% up to 11% possible.

Royal Match

Royal Match is a slightly less common blackjack side bet. This can only be found in a handful of blackjack games at selected casinos, so you might have to scout around to find a game offering this side bet.

In a nutshell, Royal Matches see you looking for suited cards. You’ll receive a payout of 5:2 for any suited cards you happen to be holding. If you were to hold a suited King and Queen, the payout would rise to 25:1.

Super Sevens

Super Sevens bets naturally revolve around landing sevens and plenty of them. This is much more common to find in online blackjack games than Royal Match side bets and can result in the most profitable payouts of any blackjack side bet.

♦️ When placed, you will win 3:1 if your hand contains a seven.

♦️ You can win 50:1 for two unsuited seven cards and 100:1 for two suited sevens.

♦️ A hat-trick can result in a 500:1 payout if they are unsuited.

♦️ Bagging three identical suited sevens will result in an epic 5,000:1 prize.

Over/Under 13

Over/Under 13 is a simplistic side bet that you can expect to see in some but not all blackjack games. With this bet, you’re looking to try and predict whether your two-card hand will be worth more or less than thirteen points. It doesn’t matter which cards form the hand, be that a face and a three, or a seven and a six, and so on. 

If you bet on your hand being greater or less than thirteen, and you’re correct, you’ll pocket an even money (1:1) prize. Some casino games permit wins on exactly thirteen, and some consider it a losing tally.

Lucky Ladies

One of the newer blackjack side bets around, Lucky Ladies, allows you to bet on twenties. If your cards add up to a basic twenty (unsuited), then you’ll receive a straightforward 4:1 cash prize on your hand.

♥️ If your cards add up to a basic twenty (unsuited), then you’ll receive a straightforward 4:1 cash prize on your hand.

♥️ If those cards are suited, you can win 10:1.

♥️ This will rise to 25:1 if your cards are both suited and identical, such as two black Ten of Clubs.

♥️  If you land suited Queen of Hearts, you’ll win 200:1

♥️ You get 1,000:1 if you land two Queen of Hearts when the dealer has blackjack.

You already know about insurance bets, right?

Does the insurance bet really count as a blackjack side-bet? We’d say so. Insurance can be taken whenever the dealer’s upturned card looks as though it could contribute to a blackjack hand. In most RNG games, the option will come up automatically and typically costs 1.00, although some games may demand the same side bet as your stake.

  • If the dealer goes on to hold a blackjack hand (in their first two cards), your insurance bet will see you pick up prizes of 2:1, even if you lose the hand.
  • However, if the dealer doesn’t have twenty-one, then you lose your side bet, even if you win the hand.

Professional blackjack players do not typically favour insurance bets. The main reason for this is that the house edge is 5.8%, even with just a single deck of cards. When six to eight decks are used, the house edge rises to 7.5%, which is certainly not ideal. We explain more in our “Do you take insurance in blackjack” guide.

Is it worth making a blackjack side bet?

Tip

Blackjack side bets can be worth it, but placing a side bet in blackjack is costly if you aren’t successful. We’d always fancy a punt on progressive blackjack side bets, where you can win uncapped prizes with specific hands.

However, playing regular blackjack side bets in between hands in regular games is risky, especially when playing high limit blackjack. Just remember that the odds of success aren’t great with side bets, which is why the payouts tend to be extravagant.

The pros and cons of wagering with blackjack side bets

PROS
  • You can play free blackjack online with side bets to practice
  • Mobile blackjack games often feature side bets, as do live dealer games
  • Some can see you win up to 5,000:1
  • You usually don’t have to win the hand to pocket a prize with a side bet
CONS
  • You can’t find a side bet into a blackjack formula or strategy as they are unpredictable
  • Blackjack side bets have relatively poor probability rates and high house edges

Frequently asked questions about blackjack side bets

Blackjack side bets technically count as any extra bet you make in the game, save for doubling down and splitting.
It’s up to you, but you should know that they are very unpredictable and will mess with any online blackjack strategy you may be using.
Blackjack side bet payouts vary from game to game and bet to bet. At worst, they are worth even money and at best, they can deliver wins worth 5,000:1.
This side bet is one of the most common. It rewards you if you place a side bet that your two cards and the dealer’s upturned card will result in a “poker hand” displayed on the paytable.
In most cases, blackjack side bet odds aren’t great. Some exponentially increase the house edge. It is best to look at these on a game-by-game basis.
Playing free online blackjack with side bets lets you get some practice in. However, there is no blackjack cheat sheet you can use, and blackjack side bets strategy doesn’t exist. In fact, they mess up betting strategies such as the Martingale, and so on.

Start betting with blackjack side bets today

Now that you’ve had side bets in blackjack explained to you, you may fancy having a crack at them. Before placing a blackjack side bet, read our guide on how to make money playing blackjack and familiarise yourself with the games. At the same time, read our game guides to learn how the rules of each blackjack game vary and which side bets they feature before betting online.