Are Blackjack Side Bets Worth It

Can you get rich by making side bets in blackjack? What is the house edge for these side bets? Get the answers by reading this blackjack article.

blackjack side bets
Are Blackjack Side Bets Worth It

Doubling your bankroll in blackjack requires you to win several hands while minimizing losses. What if there is a way you can win a massive payout in just one hand?

This article will discuss the various side bets in blackjack, including their payout and your chances of winning them.

Value of Blackjack Side Bets

Blackjack side bets

Side bets offer the best possible payout outside of the regular blackjack game. You can expect the best payout in blackjack to split multiple hands and double down on each of them, resulting in a massive return if every one of these hands wins. However, the opportunity to split a hand does not come that often, especially the chance to re-split pairs. If you did win, the best return you can expect from this scarce opportunity is four or five times your stake.

In regards to payouts, blackjack side bets provide them in spades. The lowest possible payout you can expect is 3 to 1 your stake, while most side bets have a minimum of 5 to 1 your bet. Lucky players who meet the right conditions get 30 to 1 on their stake or even 5000 to 1 in super 7.

Note that your blackjack odds of meeting the requirements for the highest possible payouts for most side bets can be extremely slim. With the edge heavily favoring the house, side bets are more valuable to those who "bet to risk" instead of "bet to win." People who gamble for entertainment and are not bothered by the losses to get a shot at an incredibly high cash prize will favor these blackjack side bets.

Blackjack Side Bets Explained

New players who have heard of side bets are likely to be confused when they come across a regular blackjack table or online blackjack game. Regular blackjack usually does not have the option for you to make side bets. Instead, it would help if you found tables or online titles with these side bets, such as 21+3 blackjack or perfect pairs blackjack.

You will know there is a side-bet option when there is an area on the felt where you can place your chips. You can ask the dealer or read the game's online help section to confirm if a side bet is available.

Another type of side bet becomes available when certain conditions meet. This condition tends to be the insurance side bet that presents itself when the dealer has an ace card. You can wager whether the dealer has a natural blackjack or one of four 10 cards as their hidden hole.

Side Bets & House Edge

Below is a detailed discussion of three popular blackjack side bets and their respective house edge.


Based on the popular three-card poker game, 21+3 is about creating a poker hand with both your hole cards and the dealer-up card. Because of its similarities to poker, payouts are based on the value of your poker hands. The least possible hand you can win with 21+3 is a flush, giving you a payout of 5 to 1. A straight flush is the best possible hand you can get that pays 30 to 1.

The house edge of 21+3 is low when there are six or more decks in the shoe, which is an average of 13%. Keep in mind that this is for the regular version of 21+3. Alternative versions of the side-bet with higher payouts for straight flush (40 to 1) or a progressive jackpot payout tend to have a house edge of 4% or less.  

Perfect Pair

As the name suggests, perfect pairs are about the hole cards you draw. Any pair, regardless of suit or color, has a payout of 5 to 1. Getting a pair with the same color gives a payout of 15 to 1. On the other hand, a pair with the same suit has a payout of 25 to 1. There are alternative versions of perfect pairs where the "perfect pair" hand has a payout of 30 to 1 instead of 25 to 1.

The house edge is much lower in tables that have more decks in its shoe since more cards increase your chance of forming the "perfect pair" hand. The house edge for a 6-deck shoe is around 12.54%, while an 8-deck shoe is set at 8.05%.  

Blackjack side bets are worth it if you risk a small amount of your bankroll for a chance to get a significant return within a single hand. Your chances of accomplishing the payouts for most of these side-bets increase when numerous shoes are in the dealer's shoes.

This article was published on November 23, 2022, and last updated on November 22, 2022.