Blackjack Side Bets

blackjack side bets

What are Side Bets in Blackjack?

Side bets in Blackjack are just that, optional bets that you can make in addition to your main hand bet.

The bets cover things that happen during the main hand play that aren’t covered by the normal playing rules of Blackjack.

The side bets generally have no link to the main hand outcome, apart from Bet Behind which I’ll explain more about later.

Perfect Pairs, Bet Behind and 21+3 Blackjack Side Bets are the most common and are generally the same at all live casinos.

Be careful though, not all casinos use the same payout structure, some are better than others. I’ve created a Payout Comparison Table where I reveal the casinos with the best side bet payouts.

Casinos Love Side Bets (and so do players)

Side bets are great for live Casinos, as it’s through these they can make additional income.

Whilst the payouts offered are very attractive there is a greater house edge with these bets, so if you’re a percentage player you’d do well to avoid them.

However saying that, if your bankroll allows, it’s worth playing them, even for small sums as it adds a bit more fun to the game.

Live Casinos with Blackjack side bets

Casino Stakes No of Decks Bet Behind 21-3 (Poker) Perfect Pair Hot 3 Bust It Honey
Bonus
Lucky 7 Software Star Rating Country
Accepted
Play
Royal Panda £0.50 – £10,000 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4.5

No

Goto Casino
Mr Green 0.50 – 5k 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4

No

Goto Casino
Betfair £1 – £7,500 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Playtech
4.5

No

Goto Casino
Pokerstars 0.50 – 20k 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4.5

No

Goto Casino
£5 – £5,000 8 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Evolution
4.5

No

Goto Casino
casumo £5 – £5,000 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4

No

Goto Casino
BetVictor £5 – £25,000 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4.5

No

Goto Casino
Fairway £0.50 – £500 6 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Visionary Igaming
3.5

No

Goto Casino
Celtic Live Casino £0.50 – £500 6 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Visionary Igaming
5

No

Goto Casino
Leo Vegas £0.50 – £5,000 8 Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No Evolution
4.5

No

Goto Casino
Leo Vegas £5 – £5000 8 Yes No No No No No No Extreme Live Gaming
4.5

No

Goto Casino
Leo Vegas £10 – £2500 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No LuckyStreak
4.5

No

Goto Casino
Black Diamond $5 – $2,500 6 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Visionary Igaming
4

Yes

Goto Casino
32red £0.50 – £5000 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4

No

Goto Casino
£5 – £5,000 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4

No

Goto Casino
£5 – £2,000 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
3.5

No

Goto Casino
Genting £5 – £500 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4

No

Goto Casino
Energy Casino £5 – £2,500 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Extreme Live Gaming
3.5

No

Goto Casino
Energy Casino £0.50 -£2,500 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
3.5

No

Goto Casino
Paddy £5-5000 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Playtech
4.5

No

Goto Casino
£5 – 5,000 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4

No

Goto Casino
Bet365 see casino 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No See Casino
4.5

No

Goto Casino
Intercasino £5 – £5,000 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
3.5

No

Goto Casino
£3 – £5,000 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4.5

No

Goto Casino
£3 – £10,000 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4

No

Goto Casino
£2.50- £100 8 Yes No Yes No No No No Playtech
4

No

Goto Casino
€1- €500 6 No Yes Yes No No No No Visionary Igaming
4

No

Goto Casino
€5- €500 8 No Yes Yes No No No No Ezugi
4

No

Goto Casino
£1- £2,000 6 No No Yes No No Yes Yes BetConstruct
4.5

No

Goto Casino
marathonbet 0.50 – 5k 8 Yes No No No No No No Evolution
3.5

No

Goto Casino
cyber club 0.50 – 1k 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4

No

Goto Casino
Golden Tiger 0.50 – 5k 8 Yes Yes Yes No No No No Evolution
4

No

Goto Casino

What are the Blackjack Side Bets?

If you’re a regular Blackjack player you’ve bound to come across games that have side bets. In Land based casinos there is a whole range available, but the choice online at live casinos is a bit more limited.

This is primarily due to licensing restrictions and why you won’t find so many.

However I’ve gone round all the suppliers and compiled a list of the available side bets you’ll find on Live Dealer Blackjack.

  • Bet Behind.
  • Insurance.
  • Perfect Pairs.
  • Poker or 21-3.
  • Honey Bonus.
  • Lucky 7.
  • Hot 3.
  • Bust It.

Insurance is pretty much available everywhere online, the others are restricted to casinos that use the software provider that has the license for them.

Bet Behind

You can place a bet on other players cards just as if it was your own set of cards.

The difference here is that you have no say in how the hand is played, so it’s worth watching how the others players on the table are playing before laying any bets.

Ideally, you want to use a player that is using the basic strategy and seems to be getting good cards!

This bet is useful if you’re waiting for a seat at the table and want some of the action. Or if you’re playing at a seat and want to bet on someone else’s hand on the same table. Both options are available.

The minimum and maximum bets at some of the Live Casinos can be at a lower range than the general table stakes, so it’s worth looking out for that.

Insurance

This is a bet that is offered everywhere.

“Insurance” is offered by the dealer when his up card is showing an Ace.

The bet is offered to each player after all the initial cards have been dealt.

The bet is half your initial stake and will pay 2:1 if the dealer has Blackjack.

If the dealer has dealt himself two cards he will peek to see if he has blackjack.

The game is over if he has Blackjack and a payout is made to those that had insurance.

If the dealer only has one card the game round is played to completion, only when the dealer has taken his second card is the insurance bet completed.

The general consensus is Insurance is not a good bet to take. Just do a few searches in google to see the general advice for this bet type.

Let Me Explain Why Insurance is not a Good Bet

Let’s say you have bet 100, the dealer shows an Ace and offers you insurance. You place an insurance bet of 50.

If the dealer has Blackjack then you win 2:1 on your insurance bet, so you get back 150. However you lose your initial 100 stake, so you end up even. In this instance the bet has worked so happy days.

If however, the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, you lose your insurance bet. If you go on to win your hand you win at even money so take back 200. But you actually only have 150 because of your losing 50 insurance bet.

This means the payout on that particular hand is reduced to 1:2. Obviously, if you lose the hand then you’re out of pocket by the full 150.

So the best you can do is even money return and the worst you can do is lose your insurance bet and initial stake as well.

If you choose not to take insurance and won, you get even money, but if you lose you only lose your initial stake.

Given the dealer is more likely not going to hit a blackjack, this is one of those bets not to take, however much it hurts when he does have a Blackjack.

Perfect Pairs

This is where you can bet that your first two up cards or the dealer’s first two cards form a pair.

You must have placed an initial blackjack bet first to be able to place this bet.

At online live casinos, you can only bet on yours or the dealer’s hand. You can, however, bet on other players hands in land based casinos.

The payout is different depending on the type of pair you have.

Possible options are:

  • Red / Black Pair – different colour, different suits.
  • Red / Red Pair – same colour, different suits.
  • Black / Black Pair – same colour different suits.
  • Perfect Pair – Same colour, same suit.

21-3 Poker Hands (Rummy)

This bet is made on your initial two up cards and the up card of the dealer forming a 3 card poker hand.

Valid hands, in ranking order lowest to highest are:

  • Flush.
  • Straight.
  • 3 of a kind.
  • Straight Flush.
  • Suited Trips.

If you manage to get any of these you’ll receive a payout.

The software providers have different payouts, so it’s worth checking to make sure you’re getting the best value for your side bet.

Straight Flush at Mr Green

blackjack side bet - straight flush

Straight Flush at Bet365

blackjack side bet - straight flush at bet365

Here’s a couple of pics of Straight Flushes I got when playing at Mr Green and Bet365. I’ve also had trips plenty of times but not suited ones and loads of flushes and straights. They’re like London buses, you never see one then three come along at the same time!

Honey Bonus

This is the same as the 21-3 Poker hand side bet, but with the addition of a payout for a suited Blackjack.

The Honey Bonus is not found at many live casinos.

In fact, I’ve only seen it at BetConstruct casinos.

The great thing with this side bet is the payouts are far in excess of the ones offered at Evolution Gaming Live casinos.

  • 3 of a Kind pays 25:1.
  • Straight pays 15:1.
  • Flush 10:1.
  • Suited BJ 5:1.

Lucky 7

This is another exclusive side bet from Betconstruct.

The bet is on the number of 7’s in your hand.

  • One seven pays 3:1.
  • A pair of sevens unsuited pays 25:1.
  • A suited pair pays 50:1.
  • Three unsuited sevens pays 100:1.
  • Three suited sevens pays 500:1.

Hot 3

The Hot 3 Side Bet targets specific totals or card combinations of the players first two cards and the dealers up card.

Specifically 7-7-7 (three sevens, unsuited), Total hand value 21 – suited, Total hand value 21 – unsuited, Total hand value 20 – suited, Total hand value 19 – suited.

The top hand 7-7-7 pays 100-1.

This Side Bet is only available on Evolution Infinite Blackjack.

Bust It

Bust It is a side bet where you’re betting on the dealer busting their hand. The payouts are tiered depending on how many cards it takes for the dealer to bust.

The lower payout is for 3 cards at 1:1. If the dealer uses 8 cards to bust, the payout is 250-1.

This Side Bet is only available on Evolution Infinite Blackjack.

Important Blackjack Side Bets Payout Information

If you’re anything like me you probably thought that the payouts from all the providers are the same.

Well, I’m sorry to burst your bubble but they’re not.

There are some marked differences between the software providers that you really ought to know if you like playing side bets.

Ezugi Blackjack Side bet payouts

Which Side Bets am I talking about?

I’m talking about the Perfect Pairs and 21+3 side bets as this are where the differences are.

There are other side bets like Bet Behind, which isn’t really a side bet, you’re just getting the chance to bet on someone else’s hand while either playing your own or waiting for a seat at the table.

The Honey Bonus and Lucky 7’s side bets are specific to BetConstruct live casinos. I’ve listed them for completeness sake.

Evolution Blackjack Side bet payouts

The Differences

There are two main ways that the side bets differ:

  1. A difference in the payouts for individual hands. For example in the 21+3 side bet, Evolution and Extreme have 30:1 payout for 3 of a Kind, Ezugi only pay 25:1.
  2. A blanket payout is given for all winning side bets. For example, regardless of the hand value, you’ll get a flat 11:1 for Perfect Pairs and 9:1 for 21+3 hands with Visionary iGaming.

Why the Differences?

If I’m being honest I think it’s all down to the bottom line, money.

Obviously, it’s better for the casino to pay out less when someone wins. But I think this is a bit short sighted of the operators.

As players gain more experience and want to manage their bankrolls more efficiently, things like payouts really do matter. Players will then go hunting for the better deals.

There will be players that know no different and are happy to accept the payouts where they are playing.

That’s actually ok, but I think it’s important to have a choice and know what else is available.

Blackjack Side Bets Compared

So this little table breaks down the payouts for the side bets by the software provider.

Side Bets Evolution Gaming Playtech Visionary iGaming Ezugi Extreme Gaming LuckyStreak BetConstruct Wirex
Perfect Pairs
Perfect Pair 25:1 25:1 11:1 25:1 25:1 25:1 25:1 25:1
Coloured Pair 12:1 12:1 11:1 12:1 12:1 12:1 12:1 12:1
Mixed Pair 6:1 6:1 11:1 6:1 6:1 6:1 5:1 6:1
21+3
Suited Trips 100:1 100:1 9:1 100:1 100:1 9:1 100:1
Straight Flush 40:1 40:1 9:1 40:1 40:1 9:1 40:1
3 of a Kind 30:1 30:1 9:1 25:1 30:1 9:1 25:1
Straight 10:1 10:1 9:1 10:1 10:1 9:1 10:1
Flush 5:1 5:1 9:1 5:1 5:1 9:1 5:1
Honey Bonus
3 of a Kind 20:1
Straight 10:1
Flush 5:1
Suited Blackjack 3:1
Lucky 7’s
3 Suited 7’s 500:1
3 Unsuited 7’s 100:1
2 Suited 7’s 50:1
2 Unsuited 7’s 25:1
1st Card is a 7 3:1
Hot 3
7-7-7 (three sevens, unsuited) 100:1
Total hand value 21, suited. 20:1
Total hand value 21, unsuited. 4:1
Total hand value 20, suited. 2:1
Total hand value 19, suited. 1:1
Bust It
Dealer busts with 8 or more. 250:1
Dealer busts with 7 cards. 100:1
Dealer busts with 6 cards. 50:1
Dealer busts with 5 cards. 9:1
Dealer busts with 4 cards. 2:1
Dealer busts with 3 cards. 1:1

Note: Not all software providers have side bets and that’s why they are not represented in the table.

Back to Blackjack Side Bet Casinos Table.

Where you can find the best Payouts

As usual Evolution Gaming lead the way and show their competitors how to do it. They have the best payouts alongside Extreme Live Gaming.

If you’re playing from the UK then I’d recommend Leo Vegas and Genting for Evolution based Casinos. And for Extreme I’d say Leo Vegas as well.

Ezugi have one difference with payouts. UK players can’t play at Ezugi but others can so Leo Vegas is another good bet.

Blackjack Side Bets Summary

In my opinion, you should view the side bets as a bit of fun.

If you hit one, they can make a big difference to your bank balance and I’ve had more success with the 21-3 bet than I have with any of the others.

In the long run, though I have probably lost, I don’t think that’s the point when playing these bets. It’s having a bit of fun!