Blackjack Side Bets and Variations Explained

Blackjack is one of the most accessible games. Many people prefer playing blackjack over other games. This is because the number of decisions you need to make is less, and you need to have only basic knowledge of the blackjack strategy.

This article will make you learn and understand blackjack side bets and their variations. Many casino tables offer different types of blackjack bets. If you are an adventurous player, you will put forward a wager or two on the outcome of the hand. 

Blackjack Side Bets: Meaning

The players will have to bet in the dedicated place available in front of them. However, if side bets are available, they will be in smaller spaces. These smaller spaces will be open alongside the bigger bet space.

A blackjack side bet means you have to add additional chips to make a side bet. Your side bet will be wagering on creating a winning hand from your first two cards. It can also be a combination of yours and the dealer’s face-up card.

Some examples of the side bets are 21+3 and Blackjack Perfect Pairs. If you are a regular blackjack player, you will like the chances of side bets. The main reason behind this is that they offer you an opportunity to payout. 

However, many people prefer not to place any side bets while playing blackjack. This is because it is purely based on your luck, which is unpredictable.

Perfect Pairs

One of the most popular blackjack side bets is perfect pairs. A player must bet the first two cards dealt to him and should be the same in perfect pairs. Of course, the two cards may not be in the same suit. However, if they are not, the payout is higher. Perfect pairs are the most straightforward bet, which is why it is popular.

In Perfect pairs, the payout is based on the number of card decks in the shoe and the table you are playing. The perfect house edge in perfect pairs is about 11 percent. It is often considered a worthy side bet in blackjack because of the high probability and return-to-player.

Royal Match

This is another blackjack side bet. When a multi-deck blackjack game is played, the best aim is to get two suited cards. In most cases, a king and a queen are chosen as the two cards. The house edge in a royal match is about 3,7%. 

In the royal match bet, the payout and probability depend on the number of decks of cards used in the game. The wager will be offered to the players before the game. It is primarily played in online blackjack games.


The second kind of blackjack side bet is 21+3. It is one of the profitable side bets on the blackjack table. When players place this bet, they can win in five different ways.

In 21+3, the bet is placed on the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s upturned card. The house edge in 21+3 is about 3.24 percent.

Some expected occurrences of when you place a 21+3 side bet are:

  • Suited Three of a Kind: If the player’s two cards and the dealer’s up card are identical in value, color, and suit. Then the player gets a playout of 100:1.
  • Straight Flush: If the player’s two cards and the dealer’s up card are of the same suit and made a numerical sequence. The numerical sequence is like seven diamonds or eight diamonds. When this happens, then the payout for the player is 40:1. 
  • Three of a kind: It is when the three cards of the player and dealer are the same. However, these three cards are not matching suits. In three of a kind, the payout is 30:1.
  • Straight: This is when the player’s two cards and the dealer’s card have a matching numerical sequence. However, the three cards are not of the same suit. The payout is 10:1.
  • Flush: This is the last kind of 21+3 occurrence. It is when the three cards have the same suit. Flush has a payout of 5:1.


While reading about blackjack side bets is easy, it’s even more straightforward to try them out. Next time you are trying out the different side bets in your blackjack game. After you start trying out the other side bets, you’ll be able to discover which are the best ones. Additionally, you will be confident about your side bets the more you play blackjack.

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