What Are the Side Bets of Blackjack?

Unveiling Blackjack Side Bets: Pros and Cons for Players


In the dynamic world of gambling, blackjack side bets have emerged as a twist on the traditional casino game, offering players additional opportunities to wager and win. This innovation in gameplay has sparked both excitement and controversy among gambling enthusiasts and experts alike. In this article, we delve into the realm of blackjack side bets, examining their advantages and disadvantages to provide you with a comprehensive understanding of this casino adaptation.

Understanding Blackjack Side Bets

Blackjack side bets are extra wagers that can be placed alongside the main bet during the commencement of a blackjack round. While not all land-based and online casinos offer these options, they add an intriguing layer to the gameplay. These side bets encompass various options, each with distinct odds and potential payouts. The decision to wager on your hand or the dealer’s hand is a crucial aspect, as it influences your strategies and potential earnings.

Exploring Common Blackjack Side Bets

Here, we present a list of popular blackjack side bets commonly found on regulated online gambling platforms. These bets are characterized by their simplicity, visibility, and promising payouts, offering a potential advantage to players.

1. Royal Match

The Royal Match side bet is player-friendly and prevalent in many online casinos. With a house edge of 3.7%, players aim to match two suited cards, with a 5:2 payout. The best-case scenario is a king and queen match, resulting in a 25:1 payout. Variations in ratios may occur based on the number of decks and the casino operator.

2. 21+3

The 21+3 side bet involves forming poker hands—flush, straight, three-of-a-kind, or straight—with your first two cards and the dealer's face-up card. While common, its benefits are modest, offering a 3.24% chance of winning or a 9:1 payout.

3. Over/Under 13

In the Over/Under 13 side bet, predicting whether the sum of your first two cards will be below (6.5% house edge) or above (13% house edge) 13 is the goal. Aces count as ones, and it’s essential to note that a sum of exactly 13 results in a loss in both scenarios.

4. Insurance

The insurance side bet is a wager on whether the dealer will reveal a blackjack. With a 2:1 return, it hinges on the dealer’s face card being a ten, an ace, or any face card.

5. Lucky Ladies

To win the Lucky Ladies side bet, your first two cards should total 20. Achieving this results in a 4:1 payout. The pinnacle is a pair of queens of hearts, rewarding you with a rare 1000:1 payout if the dealer also gets a blackjack.

Balancing Pros and Cons

Like any casino game, blackjack side bets come with advantages and drawbacks. While they offer higher returns, they can be distracting. Ultimately, the choice of whether to engage in side bets rests with you.

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  • Are blackjack side bets worth the risk? 

The worth of blackjack side bets depends on your gambling style and preferences. While they offer higher payouts, they can distract from the main game and decrease your chances of winning.

  •  Can I win big with blackjack side bets? 

Yes, some side bets offer substantial payouts, such as the Lucky Ladies side bet with a potential 1000:1 return. However, these big wins are rare, and side bets often have higher house edges.

  • Should I prioritize traditional blackjack or side bets?

Prioritizing traditional blackjack strategy is advisable for consistent wins. Side bets can be entertaining and potentially lucrative, but they should complement your main game rather than overshadow it.


In the ever-evolving world of gambling, blackjack side bets have introduced an exciting twist to the classic casino game. While these additional wagers offer players the chance to increase their potential earnings, they also come with certain risks and drawbacks. The allure of higher payouts and the thrill of predicting specific outcomes have attracted players to embrace these prop bets. However, detractors argue that side bets can divert players from the core blackjack strategy, ultimately diminishing their chances of winning.

We've explored common blackjack side bets, such as the Royal Match, 21+3, Over/Under 13, Insurance, and Lucky Ladies. Each bet presents a unique opportunity for players to engage in supplementary wagering. While Royal Match provides a chance for suited cards to match, 21+3 requires forming specific poker hands. Over/Under 13 challenges players to predict the sum of their first two cards, while Insurance hinges on the dealer revealing a blackjack. Lucky Ladies rewards players for achieving a total of 20 with their initial two cards.

When considering blackjack side bets, it's essential to strike a balance between the potential for higher returns and the risk of distraction from the main game. These bets can enhance your gambling experience, but responsible play and a solid understanding of their odds are crucial. Whether you choose to embrace the added excitement of side bets or focus solely on traditional blackjack strategy, remember that both approaches have their merits and drawbacks.

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Sean O'Connell

Content Writer

Sean grew up in a small town in County Kerry, Ireland. He always had a love for storytelling and writing, which led him to pursue a career in content writing. He currently lives in Dublin, where he spends his free time exploring the city and visiting different casinos.

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