- Live Dealer
- Great selection of slots
- High-quality live dealer games
- Excellent welcome bonus
- Live Dealer
- 300+ games
- Crypto-friendly casino
- Live dealer jackpot
- Bonus galore for different verticals
Some options like perfect pairs, 21+3, and insurance bets are incredibly popular with players, although there are many others available. Different blackjack variants have their own set of side bets, though they tend to share the most popular ones. That said, some versions don’t have side bets at all.
While side bets offer a lot of excitement, pros consider them a waste of money.
Let’s see if that’s the case, which ones are the most popular, and how to select them.
What Side Bets Exist in Live Blackjack
As there are more than 60 unique side bets available in live blackjack, we’ll focus only on the most common and those that might interest a casual gamer.
Perfect Pairs lets you wager on whether your initial two cards will be a pair. The payout depends on the type of combinations you get, usually including:
- Perfect pair (same suit) — 25:1 payout
- Colored pair (same color) — 12:1 payout
- Mixed pair (mixed colors) — 6:1 payout
The insurance bet is familiar to most blackjack players, allowing them to place a side bet that acts as protection for their regular wager. You can use it if the dealer’s up card is an ace, so you get paid 2:1 if the dealer lands a 10 and hits blackjack.
However, the chances of this happening are too low to warrant placing an insurance bet (half your initial stake). Plus, you’d have to do it with every new hand, which would cost more than losing when the dealer lands a blackjack.
The bet lets you wager on the initial three cards — your first two cards and the dealer’s face-up card.
You can wager on these three forming a specific hand from 3-Card Poker, and place the following 21+3 side bets:
- Flush (three same-suit cards) — 5:1 payout
- Straight (cards in consecutive order) — 10:1 payout
- Three-of-a-kind (three same cards) — 30:1 payout
- Straight flush (same suit cards in consecutive order) — 40:1 payout
- Suited three-of-a-kind (three same cards in the same suit) — 100:1 payout
This set of side bets lets you place wagers on another player’s cards like you would with your own hand. However, here, you have no control over their moves, so you can’t know what will happen.
Bet behind is only worthwhile if you’ve figured out the other player’s strategy.
The side bet lets you wager on the number of sevens you get.
Betting options include two sevens of the same suit, three sevens of any suit, and more.
The Lucky Lucky side bet allows you to predict what your initial two cards will be together with the dealer’s face-up card.
For instance, you can bet on all of them being 7s, forming a straight flush of 6–8, being the same suit, and more.
The Hot 3 bet lets you wager on the combined value of the first three cards (your initial two cards and the dealer’s face-up card).
You can guess whether the value is 19, 20, or 21. The payouts are low but get higher if the cards are in the same suit.
This side bet is simple, and you win it if the dealer busts. The payout depends on the number of cards the dealer holds.
The more cards they have after they bust, the bigger the payout.
The side bet pays when you land two suited cards, usually 5:2.
If you get a “royal match,” that is, a king and a queen, the payout is 25:1.
You win this side bet if the value of your initial two cards is 11. The payout is:
- 5:1 if you get a blackjack with an ace and a 10
- 10:1 if you receive any two cards
- 21:1 if you draw any two same-suited cards
Should I Use Side Bets?
As always, this depends on the type of player you are and your objectives.
If you’re looking to optimize your gameplay and win more, then you should avoid all side bets. However, if you’re a casual player looking for thrills or simply to experiment, then, by all means, try one out.
Side bets are entirely luck-based and offer huge payouts, but the odds of winning them are usually very low. Due to this, they shouldn’t be included in any serious playing strategy, only in casual gaming.