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Popular Side Bets in Blackjack Explained

- May 7, 2014 By Staff Writer -

Popular Side Bets in Blackjack ExplainedWhat are Side Bets in Blackjack?

Side bets are fun detours from your standard bet and can add lot of excitement to your play. They accompany your regular bet and are usually placed prior to the dealing of cards. However, side bets can be risky and can sometimes deplete your bankroll easily if you don’t know how and when to play them. They are set up to provide you a fair chance of a sometimes gigantic win and at the same time to give the house a fair profit if you lose.

Side bets are optional bets and have their own names like Super Sevens, Royal Match etc. They can be very easy to understand and very easy to wager. Find a nice blackjack variation with nice bet limits that best fit your bankroll and start first practicing the side bets in free play until you feel ready to play them with real money.

Why Do Players Love Side Bets?

Simply because they can be too exciting. Waiting for a risky outcome has always appealed to people giving them adrenaline rush. They are probably the ultimate gambling feature with which you can guess lots of different kinds of card combinations. Besides they can be really rewarding as you will see below.

List of Common Blackjack Side Bets

Here you can read explanations about some common and popular side bets and the odds associated with them.

  • 21 + 3: for this side bet your first two cards and the dealer’s face up card are used. If you make a 21 + 3 side bet, it means you bet that your two cards and the dealer’s card will make up a three card poker hand, such as Three of a Kind, Straight Flush, and Three of a Kind of the same suite. If you hit Three of a Kind you, the payout is 90:1. If you hit Straight Flush you are paid 180:1. The biggest payoff is for the Three of a Kind suited side bet, which pays 270:1. The usual house edge for this side bet is around 9%.
  • Insurance: available in Blackjack Insurance. It is offered to you after the dealer has received his two cards, but his face up card needs to be an Ace. In such case you are offered to place an Insurance bet, and you win if the dealer’s face down card has the value of ten. The bet pays half of your standard wager, 2:1.
  • Lucky Ladies: this is one of the most popular side bets. It is based on your first two cards and it is made before they are dealt. Five different payouts can be triggered for this side bet based on the combination of cards. If your first two cards are a total of 20, you win, which pays 4:1. If they total 20 and are of the same suite, you get 9:1. If they are total of 20 and they are of the same suite, you are paid 19:1. If the two cards are Queen of Hearts it pays 125:1. And finally, a ginormous 1000:1 payoff if they are both Queen of Hearts and the dealer’s hand is a blackjack. That is $1000 for a $1 wagered.
  • Lucky Lucky: this bet too is formed with your first two cards and the dealer’s up card. It offers 8 different payout odds for 8 different combinations of cards. For example, the lowest payout is if your hand total is 19 for which you get 2:1. The same payout is applied if you have a total of 20. If your hand is 21 but the cards are of different suite, you get 3:1. The rest of the possible combinations are a hand total of 21 of the same suite (15:1), 6, 7 and 8 of different suites (30:1), three 7s of different suites (50:1). 6, 7 and 8 of the same suite (100:1) and three 7s of the same suite (200:1).
  • Pair Square / Bet the Set: only two combinations are possible with this side bet, suited pair and unsuited pair. The first pays 25:1, while the second 10:1.
  • Perfect Pairs: this bet also involves your first two cards that need to be a pair. However, there are three pair types. The highest paying is Perfect Pairs, which pays 30:1. For this you need a pair of identical cards. A Colored Pair is a pair composed of two cards with matching rank and color. It pays 10:1. The lowest paying is a pair of two cards with different color but matching rank for which you are paid 5:1.
  • Royal Match: it’s made before the cards are dealt. It’s very simple. You win if your first two cards are of the same suite or if they are Queen and King of the same suite. The former pays 5:2, while the latter 25:1.
  • Field of Gold: this bet is based on your first two cards as well. There are 6 card combinations that can land you a win, such as a hand total of 11 or 12 (1:1), any kind of blackjack (3:2), a hand total of 9 or 10 (2:1), a hand total of 3 or 4 (3:1), two Aces (10:1) and blackjack hand consisted of a Jack and an Ace of the same suite (25:1).
  • Super Sevens: a fairly difficult bet with an incredible payout for the highest paying card combination, which is three sevens of the same suite. Some casinos pay 5000:1 for this bet, while some only 1500:1, which is still quite high. The two highest paying card combinations are based on your first three cards: the first two cards you receive upon dealing, and the third card that you get after hitting. The other combinations are three 7s of different suites (500:1), first two cards are 7s of the same suite (100:1), first two cards are 7s of different suites (50:1 or 30:1), and a first card with the value of 7 (3:1).
  • Over/Under 13: a simple side bet with which you guess if your first two cards total is under or over 13. Aces are counted as 1. There are three combinations and each pays 1:1, such as betting that the total will be 13, or that it will be over or under 13.
  • Bonus Blackjack: paying 15 to 1 it involves betting that the player or the dealer will have a blackjack. If you place a bet on both possibilities, and you score a blackjack with a jack of spades and ace, you can win additional money.
  • Hi/Low Side Bet: place this side bet if you think that your first card will be higher or lower than face up card in the dealer’s hand.

Things to Consider

Consider that these bets are based purely on your luck, so be careful with your money. There is no easy way to make the right guess about the combination of your first cards. Furthermore, these side bets can burn your bankroll faster if you hit a losing streak, so consider playing them only if you have the appropriate bankroll. The cost can be simply too much.



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