Blackjack is the single most popular casino table game in the world. The game is revered for its simplicity as well as its fast-paced action and meaningful player decisions. There isn’t a casino anywhere in the world where table games are allowed, that isn’t littered with blackjack tables.
With so many players flocking to the game, casinos are always looking for ways to spice up the action on the venerable game.
You never want to fix something that isn’t broken, so messing with the standard gameplay is a major no-no, but adding side bets can be a great way to make the game more fun for players that have been hitting, standing, and doubling down for decades. There are so many different blackjack side bets out there that we couldn’t even count them if we tried.
That is where we here at TheSportsGeek come in, as we are here to guide you through all of these different blackjack side bet options.
We will tell you which side bets are high value and which ones are bets that you want to stay away from.
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What Are Blackjack Side Bets?
A blackjack side bet is any bet that isn’t your main wager. These are almost never mandatory bets, but they are quite popular, and outside of some high limit pits, basically every blackjack game is going to have at least 1 side bet option, and sometimes 2 or more.
These bets can vary from being based on your cards, the dealer’s cards, or a combination of both. Most blackjack side bets offer odds-based payouts and others offer progressive jackpot payouts.
Popular Blackjack Side Bets
21+3: This side bet combines blackjack with popular poker derivative game, 3 Card Poker.
Match The Dealer While I am not sure if Match The Dealer was the very first blackjack side bet, it was certainly one of the first to gain widespread popularity.
Royal Match Royal Match has been around for a long time and is a twist on the typical match the dealer side bets that were some of the very first blackjack side bets developed. Royal Match is where you are looking to match your first 2 cards.
Blazing 7’s The Blazing 7s blackjack side bet is a side bet that features a progressive payout. If you get a 7 as one of your first 2 cards you win, that’s it! The more 7s that you get, the more you get paid out.
King’s Bounty Kings Bounty is another popular side bet that focuses mostly on kings and getting 20 on your first 2 cards.
When Should You Make Side Bets in Blackjack?
Now that you have a good idea of what a blackjack side bet is, and you have seen some of the most popular ones on the market, now we get to the real question, when should you make side bets in blackjack?
One thing that you do have to take into account though, is that many of these side bets aren’t very player-friendly.
The house advantage on blackjack side bets are nearly always significantly higher than the house advantage on the blackjack game itself.
Which Blackjack Side Bets I Like
Personally, I like the side bets that feature huge payouts or progressive jackpots. I rarely ever play big money when I am playing blackjack, so for me, the only way I am ever going to make a big score, is by playing the side bets.
Getting dealt a pair of 2 isn’t a very good blackjack hand, but when the dealer rolls up another 2 as their up card, and you nail a big payout for trip deuces playing the 21+3 side bet, it turns your loser of a hand into a big win.
Which Blackjack Side Bets I Don’t Like
We just talked about how I like side bets that pay out big amounts, so it probably won’t surprise you that I am not a huge fan of blackjack side bets that only offer small payouts.
Kings Bounty is an example of that, as when I get a 20, I am already happy as I have a very good chance of winning my main bet, I don’t really need the bonus to add a couple more bucks to my already strong hand.
If you are looking for some additional action the next time you sit down at a blackjack table, side bets are a great way to add some fun and excitement to the game. There are endless blackjack side bet options available, and we see new ones introduced all of the time.
Online casinos tend to have way more blackjack side bets available than brick-and-mortar casinos. So, if you can’t find your favorite side bet at your local casino, you should give online blackjack a try, as they are sure to have just what you are looking for!
Many of these online casinos now even feature live dealers, dealing real cards, to give you the most authentic blackjack experience possible. If you are new to online gaming and you are looking for a place to play, make sure that you swing by TheSportsGeek’s online blackjack sites page, where we have exclusive offers from all of the top online casinos.
At TheSportsGeek we pride ourselves on delivering value to our readers, and you aren’t going to want to miss out on all of these offers! Thanks for reading and good luck playing blackjack side bets!