Blackjack Side Bet Payouts – Should You Be Making This Play?
Blackjack Side Bet Payouts – Should You Be Making This Play?
Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games and among the simplest ones to play. That said, not many blackjack players know that they can choose from a diverse variety of blackjack side bets.
These can add a great level of complexity to the base game and also provide them with some massive potential winnings.
However, these pros are also accompanied by some cons, such as higher house edge and the fact that they are often challenging to get right.
In this article, we’ll discuss what are side bets in blackjack, go over their potential payouts, and help you decide whether or not you should be making these plays the next time you play.
What Are Side Bets in Blackjack?
Before we dig deeper and go over each specific type of blackjack side bet you can play, we should first understand what these bets are and how they work.
Simply put, blackjack side bets are additional wagers you can place. This can be either on the cards that you or the dealer will receive (or both).
Side bets are completely based on luck, as there’s nothing you can do skill-wise to enhance your chances of winning. With that in mind, they pay out much better than regular blackjack bets, in which you simply get a 1:1 return on your money when you win.
As you’ll see through different types of side bets on this page, they can pay out hundreds if not thousands of times more in return for a winning bet.
However, it’s important to mention that blackjack side bets aren’t exactly very favorable. With most types of side bets that we’ll discuss on this page, the house edge rises significantly, up to 10% or more.
In other words, if you’re not careful when placing blackjack side bets, you can end up losing money much quicker than you would just playing blackjack without them.
Why Do Players Love Blackjack Side Bets?
One of blackjack’s biggest advantages over other casino games is its comparably low house edge. So, as blackjack side bets come with an increased house edge, why do players even entertain them?
The most common reason why players choose to place side bets is that these make the play more entertaining. Blackjack is a very easy and straightforward game, and you can learn it within minutes.
That said, it can get repetitive during a long session, as there’s not very much room for decision-making like in poker.
So, a blackjack side bet can help spice up the experience and make it more exciting and unpredictable, albeit at a higher risk of losing more money faster.
Types of Blackjack Side Bets
There are many types of blackjack side bets, and before you place any of them, it’s crucial to understand what each of these involves.
Moreover, you should know the blackjack side bets payouts and odds so that you know what you can expect when you place each particular one. With that in mind, let’s go over all of the types of blackjack side bets:
Insurance bets are somewhat of a controversial topic in the blackjack world. The base premise of an insurance bet is that you can place it to cover your bet in case the dealer shows a face-up Ace card.
For most blackjack players, an insurance bet is a poor choice that unnecessarily eats away their bankroll.
The exact odds for winning an insurance bet depend on how many decks are in play and on how many ten-value cards have already been dealt.
Looking at the standard blackjack version, the probability of the dealer having blackjack in this scenario is 9:4. If the dealer has a blackjack, the payout is 2:1. If you have the blackjack and took the insurance bet prior, the payout is 3:2.
The main pros of insurance side bets are that they can be very useful if you’re betting large amounts and are about to hit your target.
Moreover, if you’re counting cards and can keep a rough estimate of how many ten-point cards are left in the deck, placing insurance bets can be very profitable.
Of course, card counting is frowned upon in many casinos, and you may even get kicked out of the venue if you get caught doing so.
On the other hand, the insurance side bet also significantly increases the house edge. In single-deck blackjack, the insurance bet brings up the house edge to about 5.8%.
In blackjack versions that use from six to eight decks, the house edge can reach up to 7.5%. Playing with such a high house edge from round to round is inadvisable and rarely profitable.
This side bet is a bit more complex than the previous one, as it involves the player’s two cards and the dealer’s one face-up card. These three cards make up five possible combinations.
Check out the table below to see what these are, their odds, and payouts:
|Suited Three of a Kind (Three of the same card)||100||100:1|
|Straight Flush (Consecutive cards in the same suit)||35||40:1|
|Three of a Kind (Three matching cards not in the same suit)||33||30:1|
|Straight (All three cards in consecutive order)||10||10:1|
|Flush (All cards in the same suit)||5||5:1|
As the odds and payouts vary depending on the specific combination, so can the house edge for this side bet, depending on how many decks are used in the game.
For example, with four decks the house edge is a little under 9%. For five, it’s 7.8%. For six decks it’s around 7%, and for seven, it’s just under 6.3%.
Royal Match Payout
The Royal Match bet is one of the first side bets to be included in blackjack but one that’s still popular many years after it was introduced.
This is a blackjack side bet you place on your first two cards, assuming they are in the same suit.
The payouts can vary depending on which same-suited cards make up your hand. If you have a suited King and Queen, you have a Royal Match, which pays out 25:1. If you have a same-suited pair, the dealer will pay you out at 5:2.
Lastly, the most rewarding payout is the Crown Treasure. To win this side bet, you must guess correctly that both you and the dealer have a Royal Match. The payout for this side bet is usually a pre-set jackpot that’s in accordance with the betting limits of the table you are playing at.
Perfect Pairs Payout
The Perfect Pairs side bet is one of the most exciting side bets in blackjack. You place it expecting for your two first cards to be a pair and can hope for one of three possible pair combinations. You can get a:
- Mixed Pair – Two cards with the same value but different suits
- Colored Pair – Two cards of the same value and the same color but different suits
- Perfect Pair – Two same-suited cards of the same value
In most large casinos, the Perfect Pairs bet should at least be in the amount of the table’s minimum bet limit, although it doesn’t need to match the player’s regular wager.
Let’s take a closer look at the table to see the Perfect Pairs payouts and probabilities:
|Combination||Payout||Probability of Hitting|
Super 7s Payout
The Super 7s bet pays out if you get one or more sevens in your hand. The bet pays right away if the first card dealt to you is a seven. If two or more sevens are dealt consecutively, the payouts increase.
As some Super 7s combinations offer massive payouts, the maximum amount you can wager on this side bet in most casinos is $5. Here’s a quick rundown of the possible combinations and their expected payouts:
|Three Suited Sevens||5000:1|
|Three Unsuited Sevens||500:1|
|Two Suited Sevens||100:1|
|Two Unsuited Sevens||50:1|
Over/Under 13 Payout
This is actually a pair of blackjack side bets in which you need to guess whether the total of your first two cards will be over 13 or under 13.
This bet pays even money for either outcome if you guess it right. In some casinos, you can even bet that the exact total of your first two hands will be 13. In this case, the payout is a very solid 10:1.
The rules are pretty simple, but there are some crucial aspects to keep in mind. These include:
- Aces are always worth one point
- The bet must be placed before any additional cards are drawn after the deal
- The Over/Under 13 bet can be the table minimum and shouldn’t exceed the original bet amount
With everything above in mind, we should also highlight that this is one of the worst blackjack side bets, especially if you choose the “under” option. This is because this side bet has a house edge of around 10%.
The “over” side bet has a house edge of approximately 6.5%. Lastly, the “Exactly 13 bet” has a house edge between 7% and 8.5%, depending on the number of decks used.
Lucky Ladies Payout
You can place this side bet on any hand equaling twenty. Naturally, as the name implies, a pair of Queens is the highest-paying combination for this side bet.
That said, there’s a handful of probable combinations for winning the Lucky Ladies side bet. These include:
- Any 20 – Any two cards that make up a total of 20
- Suited 20 – Any two suited cards that total 20
- Paired 20 – Two same-ranked cards totaling 20 (Only available in single-deck blackjack games)
- Matched 20 – Two same-suited cards of the same rank that make up a total of 20
- Lucky Ladies – A pair of Queen of Hearts (Significant extra payout if this hand is accompanied by the dealer’s blackjack)
Each of these hand combinations pays out a different amount of money, as we’ve illustrated in the table below:
|Lucky Ladies With Dealer’s Blackjack||1000:1|
Can You Place Multiple Side Bets in Blackjack?
Yes, you’re free to place as many side bets as you want. But, keep in mind that doing so can deplete your bankroll very quickly if you go on even a short losing streak.
Additionally, you should check your casino’s house rules, as some casinos may limit the number of side bets you can place or the maximum amounts of money you can wager per a single blackjack side bet.
Are Blackjack Side Bets Worth It? – Summing It Up
To sum it up, is a side bet in blackjack a good choice for you? The most straightforward answer would be – it depends.
If you’re playing primarily with a mindset to obtain stable profits, you should always avoid blackjack side bets.
On the other hand, if you’re playing mainly for fun and want to mix up your betting patterns in the game, side bets can provide you with a lot of entertainment value.
They are diverse, and many of them offer you the opportunity of winning a large amount of money on any single hand.
Ultimately, only you can decide whether or not these bets are worth your time and money. That said, to leave you off, we generally recommend avoiding blackjack side bets due to their excessively high house edge.
But, if you decide that they’re right for you, it’s best to research and learn all of the details of the particular side bet to understand how it fits your general blackjack strategy.