Blackjack Side Bets – Are They Really Worth the Gamble?

min read
poker chips and playing cards on a blackjack table next to a glass of whiskey
BetMGM Jul 27, 2023, 6:02 AM

Ever found yourself glued to your screen enjoying a live dealer blackjack game? If so, you’re probably already familiar with the suspense that unfolds as each card is dealt. But did you know there’s an added layer of intrigue you might be missing out on? Blackjack side bets are exciting additions that can truly amplify the thrill, transforming your everyday blackjack experience into something far more gripping. But are they worth it?

What Are Side Bets in Blackjack?

Side bets in blackjack are essentially your side gig while the main event is still happening. Alongside your primary bet, you make an additional wager that has its own unique payoff, separate from the regular blackjack chips action. But, with great potential rewards come greater risks — these side bets are notorious for having a higher house edge.

The Allure of Side Bets

Imagine playing a game of blackjack that’s as richly textured as a movie plot — with twists and turns at every corner. That’s the appeal of side bets. They bring an element of surprise and excitement. What’s more, you get a hefty payout if you play your cards right (pun intended.) Plus, they lend a bit of a twist to the conventional blackjack strategy, opening up new tactical horizons.

Side Bet Rules – A Quick Overview

Side bets have their own set of rules that run parallel to the main game. The stakes are placed before the dealer deals the hand. The payoff for each side bet varies, each having its own unique rules. The thrilling part? You could rake in a substantial sum if your side bet hits.

The Different Flavors of Side Bets

To appreciate the true zest of blackjack side bets, it’s important to understand the most popular types you’re likely to encounter at a blackjack table or an online casino:

1. Insurance

Ever wish you could shield yourself against a dealer’s blackjack? The insurance side bet is your answer. This side bet’s in play when the dealer’s upcard is an ace and pays out 2:1 if they land a blackjack.

2. Perfect Pairs

Twins, anyone? This side bet rewards you if your first two cards make a pair — either mixed, colored or a perfect pair.

3. 21+3 Blackjack

Why not put a little bit of poker in your blackjack game? The 21+3 bet rewards you if your first two cards and the dealer’s upcard form a valid poker hand, say a flush or a straight.

4. Super Sevens

Got a thing for lucky number seven? This bet pays out progressively if you get 1, 2 or even three 7s.

5. Over/Under 13

This bet’s all about guessing whether your first two cards will total above or below 13.

  • Lucky Ladies: Feeling like a lucky lady tonight? Score 20 with your first two cards and this side bet pays out.
  • Royal Match: If your first two cards are of the same suit, this bet rewards you — more so if it’s a royal pair (king and queen.)

Are Side Bets Worth It?

The million-dollar question: are side bets worth your hard-earned cash? When do you make bets in blackjack and when do you go for side bets instead? Well, that depends on what you’re in the game for. If you’re playing blackjack for the sheer thrill and unpredictability, then, sure, side bets can amplify your experience. They provide an extra layer of suspense and, be honest, who doesn’t love the prospect of a big payout? However, if you’re all about playing the odds and maximizing your returns, side bets might not be your best bet, thanks to their higher house edge.

The Next Big Side Bet Payout Could Be Yours at BetMGM

They can offer a roller coaster of a ride, with high payouts and an opportunity to deviate from the standard game strategy. But don’t forget — they carry a higher risk due to the increased house edge. So, whether you’re the “anchorman” in blackjack, looking to add a bit of spice to your game or are just getting started with online blackjack, remember to approach side bets with caution.

Side bets are like the dessert of your blackjack meal — tantalizing and enjoyable — but you wouldn’t want to replace your main course with them, especially if you’re hungry for profits. And hey, don’t forget to apply some blackjack theory, like how to know when to split, to improve your game even more.

Ready to try your hand at these side bets? Register at BetMGM and take a seat at one of the many live dealer blackjack tables and other casino table games. With a little bit of strategy, some luck and a dash of daring, who knows? The next big side bet payout could be yours. BetMGM. It’s the only place to play.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.