Blackjack Side Bets Explanation

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Blackjack, aka Twenty-One, and formerly called Vingt-Un, is, in gambling terms, a type of “bank game” best practiced by punters playing against the dealer in a given casino. The game is played with fifty-two to four hundred and sixteen cards (which corresponds to one to eight card decks, each of which consists strictly of 52 valid cards). It is played on a semicircular table with a maximum of two to seven gamblers per game. 

A Brief History in Time

Based on research and evidence, the first mention of the game is said to be found in an early seventeenth-century written work entitled Rinconete y Cortadillo by a Spanish author named Miguel de Cervantes. However, in France and Great Britain, the earliest references to the game can be found in 1768 and 1770, respectively, while in the United States, the game first appeared during the raging First World War.

Adorned with such rich historical significance, blackjack, and now free online blackjack at many online casinos is certainly widely recognized among the most interactive casino games in the world today. Initially, there are different primitive methods of betting that can be incorporated at a Blackjack table. However, with the spontaneous spread and increasing popularity of the game, improved and even more noteworthy betting methods have emerged, which are regulated and enforced by casinos on various platforms. One of them is side bets.

What Are Blackjack Side Bets?

A side bet is a wager that a player may place at the beginning of each round. And an individual betting on the side bet places their bet on the box next to the main bet box. Like any other blackjack bets, whether preceding or following, side bets are also subject to probability and a lot of luck. 

The objective is to guess the number of cards a player or the dealer will receive during an ongoing round. In a loose term, side bets are optional bets that may or may not be selected while playing regular and main bets. 

Side bets, which contain a much higher house edge than any other form of betting, appeal to players who prefer high risk and high returns. 

Here Are a Few Side Bets and How They Are Supposed To Be Played 

21 + 3

This is the most common and favorite side bet found in this game. This game variation can easily be found in almost any land-based or online casino that specializes in blackjack. Borrowed from poker, the game requires players to use their cards as well as the dealer’s playing cards.

21 + 3 side bets are divided into four major categories – Flush, Straight, Straight Flush, and Three of a Kind. 

  • Flush: In Flush, the odds of winning are 5:1. And the bet is placed with the expectation that there will be three cards of the same suit, for example – 5 of spades, Ace of spades, and 10 of spades. 
  • Straight: In Straight, the odds of winning are 10:1, and the objective is to find three cards of consecutive ranks irrespective of their suits – 7 of diamonds, 8 of hearts, and 9 of spades. 
  • Straight Flush: In a Straight Flush, the odds are at 40:1. In order to win this bet, all three cards not only have to be consecutive but also of the same suit – a 3 of diamonds has to be strictly followed by a 4 and a 5 of diamonds.
  • Three of a Kind: In Three of a Kind, the odds are 30:1. The objective is to establish three cards of the same numeric value (which considers both tens and figures) – 10 of hearts, K of spades, and K of diamonds.

Perfect Pairs

This blackjack variation bet requires only the player’s cards. It is won when the player’s first two cards constitute a pair. A pair can be formed in two ways: by numerical values and by face values. For example, a pair can be formed by the 7 of spades and the 7 of diamonds. On the other hand, Jack of hearts and Jack of clubs can make a winning pair simultaneously. The odds of winning in this betting range from 5:1 to 12:1. 

Over/Under 13

A player may bet that the sum of their cards would either be under 13 or over 13. By any chance, if the sum results in 13, the player would lose. For “over 13 bets,” the house edge is 6.5%, whereas, for “under 13 bets,” the house edge in most casinos is 10%. 


Well, this satisfies the discussion. However, with the game resting on an ever-evolving edge, there is no limit to which players cannot improve their blackjack skills. Therefore, it is certainly not worth a penny to learn new game strategies and try out side blackjack variations online for free.

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