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A “Deep Dive” Into Blackjack’s Bet Behind Option

I love Blackjack, and if you’ve spent much time on my site, you’ll know I frequent Blackjack tables worldwide. It’s a lot of fun to play!

However, some readers have started to ask me about the “Bet Behind” option, and it’s something I’m going to be addressing today.

Most blackjack tables have optional side bets and a feature called “Bet Behind,” which lets players bet on another player’s hand.

In this blog post, I’ll explain in detail the Bet Behind option, why it’s available, and how using it at an online casino differs from using it at a traditional casino.

I’ll discuss whether or not you should Bet Behind, the pros and cons, and how to “Bet Behind” online and off.

I’m going to kick things off by briefly introducing Blackjack.

blackjack bet behind

A Brief Introduction To Blackjack

As someone who plays Blackjack a lot, I can confirm it’s one of the most popular card games in the world.

Blackjack, also called “21,” is a game of strategy and skill in which players try to beat the dealer by getting a hand with a higher total value than the dealer’s without going over 21 – busting, as it’s known. Blackjack uses one to 12 decks of cards, and each player gets two cards.

Players can “hit” and get more cards to improve their hands. The game’s goal is to beat the dealer by having a hand worth more than the dealer without going over 21. Blackjack is available in brick-and-mortar casinos and online live dealer casinos.

Offline and online both have their pros and cons.

In land-based casinos, players can enjoy the social atmosphere and thrill of playing in a real casino.

Online Blackjack, on the other hand, lets you play from the comfort of your own home – albeit in a solitary environment unless you’re playing at a live table. More on that later.

The Problems With Blackjack Tables

I’ve always found a problem playing Blackjack – regardless of where it’s played; limited seats exist, and they fill up fast.

For example, try going to the Hippodrome in London on a Saturday night; you could wait 30 minutes or more to get a seat!

The introduction of unlimited live Blackjack online has solved this problem, allowing an unlimited number of players to play the same hand. However, most players want to play on specific tables or with particular dealers.

Land-based casinos can only hire so many dealers and have so many tables – so when there are no seats available, there’s very little you can do.

When this happens, you generally have just a few options:

  • Don’t play at all
  • Visit another casino or online gambling website
  • Wait and hope a seat opens up
  • Use the Bet Behind option

You’re much more likely to find a seat when playing online live Blackjack than in a live dealer casino – but it’s still a problem.

That’s why many live gaming developers have started introducing the Bet Behind option to their games. As I’ll discuss in the next section, the Bet Behind choice can be suitable – although it’s with its risks.

What Is Bet Behind?

First, I must explain what the Bet Behind option does.

In short, Bet Behind allows you to “tail” another player at the table. Once a player has placed their chips on the table, you can put them behind theirs. Your chips will now be riding on their bet. The dealer then deals two cards, although only the leading player can make decisions.

You both lose your chips if they draw a card and go bust. If they win the hand, both chip-stacks win. The outcome of the primary player’s chips is the same as your chips.

If they win, you win. If they lose, you lose. It is that simple.

I’ve noticed that not all land-based casinos allow you to Bet Behind. I believe in asking permission before betting behind.

In reality – and indeed from what I’ve seen – this is seldom followed.

It’s common for players to have two, three, or even more players betting behind on their hands.

Most online casinos – those offering live dealer games – generally allow you to “Bet Behind”, but this isn’t always the case.

So, again, do your research and ensure the Bet Behind option is there if it’s something you want to take advantage of.

Why Is Bet Behind Offered?

Allowing players to Bet Behind is a way for a casino to ensure that as many people as possible can place Blackjack bets.

This is especially effective in land-based casinos where the number of tables available is limited.

By letting players “Bet Behind” a player already sitting, the casino can increase the number of people playing the game without adding more seats. This can bring in subsequently more revenue.

Another reason casinos offer Bet Behind is that it lets people who are less skilled or experienced play the game without having to make their own decisions.

If newcomers play Blackjack independently, they might feel intimidated or uncomfortable sitting with more experienced players at a table. Allowing them to “Bet Behind” a player already comfortably playing will also enable beginners to get in on the action.

Another compelling argument for Bet Behind is that it can get players more interested in and excited about the game they are watching.

Players no longer have to watch the game; they can now bet on the seated player they think will win.

I’ve seen this lead to players placing bets who would never have sat at the tables themselves – again, driving up revenue for the casino.

Finally, in some land-based casinos, betting behind allows you to place smaller bets than the table minimum.

The leading player’s bet already meets the minimum bet threshold, so you can sometimes place much smaller bets than if you were seated playing the game yourself.

This is an excellent option for those on lower bankrolls who wouldn’t be able to play the game otherwise.

Pros of Bet Behind

Regardless of my personal opinions of the Bet Behind option, there’s no denying it brings several advantages to players.

These advantages are particularly relevant when gaming in a land-based casino with limited seating. Below, I will walk you through some of the main pros of placing a Bet Behind wager.

You Don’t Need To Worry About Finding A Seat

I’ve learned as a blackjack player that one of the best things about betting behind is that you don’t have to worry about finding a seat.

Finding a spot to play can be challenging when many people are at the table. But with the Bet Behind option, you can bet on another person’s hand without worrying about locating an open seat at the table.

So if you’re looking to gamble in a crowded casino or you want to play at a high-limit table, it’s an excellent option.

You Can Always Choose Your Favourite Table Or Dealer

I, like many gamblers, have small superstitions about the tables I play at and the dealers I interact with.

As a result, I completely understand why some players prefer to Bet Behind on their favourite table rather than sit down at a game they don’t feel comfortable at.

This gives you more control over your gaming experience and lets you play at your favourite tables with your favourite dealers.

So, the Bet Behind option can make sense if you like a specific dealer due to a good luck streak in the past – or if you want to sit at a table with knowledgeable players making good decisions.

You Can Double Your Action

When you “Bet Behind” in Blackjack, you can double your action, which is something seasoned gamblers live for!

Using Bet Behind, you can bet on as many hands as you like, allowing you far greater win potential.

But, of course, I’d be irresponsible not to point out that the exact opposite can happen. Placing multiple bets can result in you losing a lot of money much faster.

The Bet Behind option can also be suitable for those with little free time. For example, rather than sitting at one table for an hour and playing 40 hands, betting behind could let you play 200 hands in the same amount of time at the same table!

Cons of Bet Behind

I’ve explained some critical advantages of the Bet Behind option, so it’s time to look at some downsides. Unfortunately, these downsides often prevent me from ever betting behind in the first place.

You Have No Say Over The Hand (Usually)

As a blackjack player, I’ve found that when you “Bet Behind”, you don’t have almost any control over the hand.

When you “Bet Behind”,” you are betting on another player’s hand. When the action comes to them, the dealer will look at them to make the decision; it doesn’t matter how much you protest their decision; it’s not yours to make.

This can be incredibly frustrating if the player you’re betting on makes terrible choices or needs to learn how to play the game.

You can’t make decisions or play the hand yourself; all you can do is hope that the primary player will make the right ones. However, there is one exception to this – when a pair is dealt or when a double opportunity arises.

Let’s imagine, for example, you’re betting behind a player who’s dealt a pair of twos. If they want to split, they will need to double your stake.

However, you do not have to follow suit, although you can if you prefer.

If you don’t, the first card dealt will become your bet, which will be the hand you play. Likewise, if the primary player wants to double down, you do not have to either.

However, if the primary player doubles and it’s a low card, you will not be able to ask for another card.

It Can Get Confusing

For me, one of the biggest problems with betting behind is that it can get confusing – fast.

So many chips are on the table when multiple players start betting behind.

Remember, the leading player puts their chips down, and then you put them down. More players could follow suit – and this can happen on multiple hands all at the same time!

This can make it hard to keep track of your bets and cause you to lose track of your chips, especially as some dealers stack all chips on top of one another.

I advise against betting behind if you’re a new player, as you’ll need to be alert and on the ball at all times.

Lower Social Aspect

One of the minor downsides I want to point out – which only applies when you’re gambling in a land-based casino – is that betting behind in Blackjack is generally less pleasant.

But, on the other hand, one of the best things about playing Blackjack in a land-based casino is getting to know the other people at the table and having some banter with them.

However, if you “Bet Behind”, you don’t directly participate in the game.

Instead, you bet on the leading player, and there’s rarely any interaction. This can make the experience less appealing. You also don’t get to talk and interact with the dealer as much.

How To Bet Behind

So, now that I’ve explained the basics of betting behind – I think it’s time we talk about how to place a “Bet Behind” bet.

As I mentioned, there will be some differences in how to place these bets depending on whether you’re playing in a land-based casino or on a live table online.

If you’re betting in a land-based casino, check with the croupier or floor manager to ensure they allow betting behind.

Land-Based Casinos and Bet Behind

As a general rule of thumb, there are four steps associated with betting behind in land-based casinos. I’ll outline these steps below:

Check with the dealer or floor manager whether it’s acceptable to “Bet Behind”. Some casinos have dedicated “Bet Behind” tables, while others may only offer the option at certain times or on certain days of the week.

Once you’ve been given the “OK”, find a player sitting down, playing, and place your chips behind theirs, ensuring they are within the betting area. The chips should be visible and far enough away from the leading player’s chips that it’s clear they’re not theirs.

Allow the dealer to deal the cards, and watch in anticipation as the leading player makes their decision. Remember, I would only advise butting in or giving your advice here if it’s clear the bettor is making a mistake. This is their hand, not yours, after all.

Once the action has finished, the dealer will calculate winning and losing hands. Your returns depend on whether the leading seated player’s bet wins, loses, or pushes.

Interestingly, many players don’t realise it’s possible to “Bet Behind” at land-based casinos. I think it’s an easy bet to place, but if you don’t know what you’re doing, you can always ask the dealer for assistance if you’re unsure how to put the bet.

Also, remember that the minimum and maximum bets for “Bet Behind” wagers may differ from the leading player’s bets, so check the table limits before placing your wager.

Online Live Casinos and Bet Behind

If I’m being honest, betting behind on live dealer games at online casinos is similar to land-based ones.

However, you’re not physically placing any chips down on the table.

First, you need to find a live Blackjack table with occupied seats. I’d recommend taking your time and seeking a table with competent players who look like they know what they’re doing.

If a “Bet Behind” option is available, you will see a small “Bet Behind” in the main bet area directly on the main user interface. To place your bet, click on this “Bet Behind” option and choose how much you want to wager.

I should emphasise, however, that placing a “Bet Behind” bet online is a bit different than in a land-based casino.

In a land-based casino, if you want, you can talk with the leading player and offer advice – even if it’s not polite or recommended.

Online, however, you will not have that option – and the leading player has total control over the result of the hand.

When Should You Play Bet Behind?

While it’s not my favourite bet in the world, I believe there are situations where you should “Bet Behind”.

Of course, I strongly advise against blindly betting behind a player you know nothing about, as they may have no idea how to play the game and end up costing you a lot of money.

Below, I will talk about a few situations where you should consider betting behind other players.

When The Tables Are Full

I’ve encountered this problem a few times, where I walk into a land-based casino, and all of the Blackjack tables I wanted to play are full.

This is especially common on weekends when there are a lot of people heading to the casino.

In this scenario, the Bet Behind option is a good option. It allows me to bet on the hands of the other people at the table without needing to wait for a seat to free up.

However, as I mentioned earlier, when gambling in a land-based casino, it’s generally considered good etiquette to seek permission from the player before betting behind them.

Playing online, however, is fine – as the player probably won’t even know others are playing behind them.

Of course, you can wait for a table to become available. But, ultimately, it comes down to personal choice.

Before placing a “Bet Behind” bet in Blackjack, I must remind myself that someone else will make decisions for me. So I’ll almost always watch them play a few hands before deciding to “Bet Behind” them.

When There’s An Experienced Player

If a clearly-experienced Blackjack player is sitting at the table, I’d also advocate for betting behind them.

For example, assume you’re a complete novice and need more experience playing Blackjack. You need to understand the basic strategy or how it works – and maybe you’ve just played on hunches in the past.

There’s nothing wrong with playing behind an experienced player who’s likely to make the correct decisions each hand.

Another reason I like this method of betting behind is that it allows you to play without dealing with the stress of having to make decisions.

But this should go without saying; please, don’t blame the leading player if they make a mistake or end up costing you money.

It’s your choice to place the “Bet Behind” wager.

When You’re With Friends

Provided you’re not colluding in an unethical way, casinos have no problem with two partners – friends, couples – whatever – putting their minds together.

However, if you’re thinking about working together to count cards, you will run into problems. Blackjack dealers are well-trained to spot this behaviour, so I wouldn’t bother trying.

However, if it’s just you and a friend who want to make decisions together – and share the same risk – then it can be fun to play together like this.

You can either pool your money together and play behind another player or have one of you place the main bet with the other’s money behind.

I’d be careful that you pre-agree on rules; you don’t want to disagree about which decision to make once the cards are on the table!

Basic Bet Behind Blackjack Strategies

If you’ve been an observant reader of this post, you’ll have noticed that when you “Bet Behind”, you have absolutely no influence on the outcome of the hand.

The leading player holds all of the control. The only thing you can do is place your chips, hope the cards dealt are favourable and pray the bettor makes the right decisions!

As a result, you may think that there are no strategies or tricks to successfully betting behind other players. This is true – in terms of how the game plays out.

However, you can use a few tricks to slightly improve your chances of winning while betting behind.

I’ve already covered some main ones; betting behind an experienced player, for example, and keeping track of your chips.

However, there are also some less-obvious tips to consider.

Bet Within Your Limits

This goes without saying, but when you’re betting behind on Blackjack – or playing any casino table game, for that matter – you should always be betting within your limits.

Many experts agree that you should only wager up to 5% of your total chip stack on a single game round. Betting 5% allows you to go on a losing streak and avoid being completely wiped out.

Let’s imagine you have £$€100 and are betting £$€5 per hand. You have 20 game rounds at a minimum. However, if you were placing £$€10 bets, the number of guaranteed rounds you’d be able to play would be just ten. So I’d suggest always keeping tabs on your bankroll and doing your best to bet within the 5% limit.

Keep a Cool Head

Gambling is gambling; I’ve had insane winning streaks and lost a lot of money.

Unfortunately, that’s just the way it works – and when you’re playing Blackjack, you will encounter a freak run of bad luck from time to time. When this happens, you must accept that this is just a part of the game.

If you feel stressed or emotional, step away from the table, go for a cigarette, drink, or leave for the night.

If you manage to stay emotionally stable, you’re far less likely to make any rash bets, which is something that can quickly spiral out of control.

Don’t Get “Stuck” To One Player

Remember earlier, I told you to find an experienced player and “Bet Behind” them? Just because you’ve found a player who knows what they’re doing doesn’t mean you should stick with them all night.

Always try to keep an eye on the other players at the table.

New players may join who show even more promise than the person you’re currently betting behind on – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with switching up who you play behind.


The “Bet Behind” option isn’t something I usually see land-based casinos openly advertising.

I’m pretty confident many players don’t even know the ability to “Bet Behind” other players exists! However, now you know all about it – and how it works – there’s no reason for you not to give it a go for yourself next time you’re playing Blackjack.

I’ll admit the “Bet Behind” option isn’t for everyone, and I can understand why.

However, it can be an excellent option in certain circumstances, saving me a lot of time.

If you try betting behind – good luck – and have fun!

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About Neil’s Casino Comparer Reviews

I have tried to be objective and consistent with all my live casino reviews. Hopefully, they will strike a chord with you, but I thought it might be helpful to explain the criteria I use to mark each of the casinos. Hopefully, the categories and explanations make sense.

Playability – What is the overall impression of the casino? Did I have a good time? are the dealers nice and chatty and is everything easy to understand? Does it have a good set of games and is there a comprehensive set of betting options? Are high stakes players taken care of?

Software – What is the software like to use and does it integrate well with the rest of the casino?. Are the images clear and is the video streaming fast? Have they taken more than the default shared tables? Is it available on mobile?

Payment Options – Does the casino have a good variety of payment options? Do they payout quickly and on time?

Security – How good is the reputation of the casino amongst other players? Do they hold a valid gaming license? Are they transparent about the security measures they have in place? Are they regularly audited? Do they publish this information?

Support – Do they have multiple methods for communication with me? Is support available 24×7? Do they have instant chat and are they quick to respond? Are they able to help me immediately? Do they have an online FAQ and self-help library? Are the support people knowledgeable about the product I’m playing?

Bonuses – Do they have bonuses?. How strict are the wagering requirements? Do they offer repeat bonuses?. Do they offer loyalty points and can they be redeemed for cash or playing credits?

After all that, would I play there regularly?

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