How Blackjack Side Bets Work?

Last updated:

November 24, 2023
thumbnail image featuring a female and male players and explaining how do blackjack side bets work

Many professional Blackjack players believe this is a perfect game on its own and doesn’t need any side bets to make it more interesting. However, casinos don’t agree with this and have devised several side bets in which you can increase your winnings and add even more thrill to the game. But what are side bets, and how do Blackjack side bets work? Stay with us till the end of this article to find out everything about Blackjack side bets.


What are Blackjack side bets?

The main principle of Blackjack is for the player to defeat the dealer and have a better hand than them. But side bets work independently of the outcome of the game. In a Blackjack side bet, besides the game’s usual process, you make additional wagers on the cards the player and the dealer get in the first round of every game. You decide on the side bets you want to make before each round starts. Therefore, skill has nothing to do with these side bets; only luck will determine your success or failure. The most attractive feature of side bets in Blackjack is that they usually have a high payout rate. You can even find a 1000 to 1 ratio in which you will win one thousand dollars for every dollar you bet.

Are Blackjack side bets worth it?

The short answer to this question is NO! Blackjack side bets are basically an extra income for the casino because they have terrible odds and a very high house edge. That’s why most Blackjack teachers and experts advise against side bets, especially if you are a novice player.


However, it can be an attractive trap for even professional players. These bets, indeed, have a significantly higher payout rate. But with high payouts comes a high house edge, too. This is why you should beware of the house edge in every side bet and put money on those that cost you the least.


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What are the Blackjack side bets with the best odds?

Realistically speaking, none of the Blackjack side bets have odds in your favor. But if you still insist on venturing into the side bet business, there are two main factors you need to consider while picking a side bet: house edge and the odds of winning. Considering these factors carefully, you will realize that all Blackjack side bets have weak odds and high house edges. So, you can’t say any of these bets have the best odds. Having these facts in mind, the following side bets are slightly less risky than the others.


Perfect pairs

Perfect pairs

In Perfect Pairs, you wager on the first two cards that the player gets. In this side bet, there are three ways that you can win:


  • Mixed pairs. In Mixed pairs, the player’s first two cards have the same number, but come from different colors and suits. This side bet usually has a 5:1 payout rate.


  • Colored pairs. When you have a colored pair, you win the bet because the player has two cards with the same number and color. But these cards are from different suits. The Payout for colored pairs is usually 10:1.


  • Perfect pairs: As you can see in the name, everything about the player’s first two cards is perfect. They have the same number, color, and suit. And you can get a 30:1 payout if you get a perfect pair.


The odds of the Perfect Pairs depend on how many decks of cards are in the shoe and how many hands have been played before. So, you can’t calculate the exact odds for each bet. And the house edge is determined by the casino and can differ from place to place. But, it usually stays around 10%.



This is one of the Blackjack side bets that looks at the player’s two cards and the dealer’s one upturned card together. The rules of 21+3 are significantly similar to the 3-card Poker. And according to these rules, you can win this bet in five ways.


  • When the three cards are the same number and the same suit. This situation is called a Suited Three-of-a-kind, and the payout is 100:1.
  • When the three cards are the same suit, and make a sequence. This is called a Straight and a Flush together, and the payout is 40:1.
  • When the three cards are the same number but not the same suit, that is Three-of-a-kind; you will get 30 times your original wager by winning.
  • When the three cards make a sequence but are not from the same suit. This situation is called a Straight, and it pays 10:1
  • When the three cards are not related in terms of number but come from the same suit or a Flush. The payout for Flush is 5:1.


The payout rates mentioned above can vary according to the casino where you are playing and the number of decks placed in the shoe. The house edge also varies for each type of win, but it generally ranges from 2.78% to 13.39%.


5, 6, or 7 Card Charlie

5 Card Charlie is an old rule in Blackjack that is nowadays used as a side bet in the game. As you know, the main objective of Blackjack is to get close to the number 21 without getting over it. According to the 5 Card Carlie rule, you will win the game if you get 5 cards without going over 21. The 5 Card Charlie side bet works the same. In this side bet, you wager to get 5 cards without going over 21 or the dealer getting a Blackjack. For example, in 5 Card Charlie, you will win if your 5 cards are 2, 5, 7, 3, and an Ace. In this case, the total number of your cards is 18. You will get a 5:1 payout if your dealer has not already gotten a Blackjack. The 5 Card Charlie has two other variations:


  • 6 Card Charlie, in which you will have to get 6 cards without going over 21. And the payout is 10:1.
  • 7 Card Charlie. In this side bet, you should get 7 cards without going over 21. The payout for this side bet is 30:1.


Most casinos do not offer the 5, 6, or 7 Card Charlie side bets because it lowers the house edge by -1.5%.

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What are the other Blackjack side bets with lower odds?

Insurance bet

Insurance bet is the worst Blackjack side bet and should be avoided at all costs. The Insurance bet is when you wager half your chips so all won’t be lost if the dealer gets a Blackjack. The house edge in the Insurance bet is 6%, and most experts advise against it because the dealer’s odds of getting a Blackjack is almost 30%.


Super 7s

You will win this side bet if the first card you get is a seven. your payout will increase as the number of sevens in your hand rises. Ultimately, you will have the highest payout, which is 5000:1, if you get three sevens of the same suit.


Over/under 13

Will your total number be over 13 or under it? This is something else to bet on in a Blackjack game. Just remember that in this bet, an Ace is counted as one.


What are the best online casinos that offer Blackjack side bets?

What are the best online casinos that offer Blackjack side bets?

  1. Red Dog Casino

This online casino offers a $ 8,000 welcome bonus. You can play Suit Em’up Blackjack with a side bet of Perfect Pairs there.


  1. Super Slots Casino

Super Slots offers side bets such as Super Seven and Match the Dealer in its Blackjack games. You can also enjoy the 250% welcome bonus up to $6,000.


  1. Betonline

Botonline is one of the most popular casino websites for online gambling and sports betting. This casino offers a $ 3,000 welcome bonus for its 300 casino games and $ 1,000 for the sports betting section.


To Sum up

Many professional Blackjack players would tell you to stay away from side bets because of their significant house edge. They are right! Side bets should be avoided, especially by novice players, and betting on side bets should not be considered a Blackjack strategy. However, can you resist the extra thrill and the chance of winning a 1000:1 payout?


The trick is to know all about the side bets and their house edges and make informed decisions about which wagers to make. Which Blackjack side bet seems the most tempting to you? Which one do you think is worth it?

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  • Are side bets in Blackjack profitable?

     No. They are not. The truth is that the odds of all of these side bets are too low, and the house edge for them is too high to give you an actual profit unless you are one of the lucky ones who hits a mega jackpot and wins a 5000:1 payout.

  • Are Blackjack side bets skill or luck?

    The Blackjack game itself is more skill than luck. However, the story is different with the side bets. All side bets are pure luck.

  • Should you make big bets on Blackjack?

    If you can read the cards and realize that the higher cards have remained in the shoe, yes. You can increase your bets to take advantage of the low house edges.

  • Can you win both Blackjack and a side bet?

    Yes. Side bets have little to do with the main game. Since the two are independent, there is a possibility for you to win both at the same time.


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