Side Bets - Is It Worth It?

Blackjack is an immensely popular casino game because of how easy it is to understand and play in addition to its low house edge. But did you know, you also have the option of betting on a variety of side bets when playing Blackjack online?

Although side bets in Blackjack are rarely spoken about, they can be an important part of the game if you know how to get the most out of them.

Blackjack Side Bets Explained

There are several different sidebets available to you, but they will depend on the casino/table and type of Blackjack game that you are playing. The most common side bets are:
  • Perfect Pairs
  • Insurance
  • 21+3

Perfect Pairs

An extremely simple side bet; the Perfect Pair bet is betting on the two cards you are initially dealt being the same. For example, if you are dealt two sevens, you win. If you are dealt two sevens which are the same suit, your payout will be even greater.

Perfect pair odds vary depending on the casino you are playing at but will typically be similar to the payouts shown below:
  • Mixed colour pair: 5:1
  • Same colour pair: 10:1
  • Perfect Pair: 30:1

Is Perfect Pairs Bet a Good or Bad Bet?

Although a perfect pair pays out 30:1 on average, we would advise against this bet as the likelihood of hitting is low.


This side bet is only available when the dealer is dealt an ace during the initial drawing phase. You can choose to take insurance for half the cost of your original bet. This bet is an insurance against the dealer having Blackjack, if the dealer hits Blackjack, the insurance bet will pay you 2:1.

Is Insurance a good or a bad bet?

The Insurance bet is a good bet should the dealer hit Blackjack, but from a mathematical viewpoint, it is a bad bet. With that being said, it turns a loss into a win.


The 21 + 3 side bet offers you five different ways to win and uses your first two cards as well as the dealer's upturned card. Placing a 21+3 side bet means that you are betting on one of the following to occur:
  • Suited three of a kind (Payout - 100:1)

  • Straight flush (Payout - 40:1)
    Three of a kind (Payout - (30/1)
    Straight (Payout - 10:1)
    Flush (Payout - 5:1)
To give you an example, if you placed a £2 bet on a 21+3 side bet and you were dealt x2 Queen of spades and the dealer was also dealt a Queen of spades, you would receive £202 along with any winnings at the end of the hand.

Is 21+3 a good or bad bet?

Like the other two Blackjack side bets in this list, this is a great side bet to take if you manage to hit a win. However,the odds are certainly against you. With that being said, betting a small amount on 21+3 adds more excitement to each hand and can payout handsomely if you do hit a win.

Blackjack Side Bets

Despite the less than great mathematical odds which Blackjack side bets offer, they certainly help to increase the excitement and anticipation when playing Blackjack.
Of course, it is completely up to you whether to take one of these side bets, we would advise to play it by ear.
Once you’re ready to hit the tables, don’t forget to check out our expert guide on how to improve your Blackjack play, which includes more information on Blackjack side bets.
We have several different types of online Blackjack games for you to choose from, including the brand new Rolling Stack Blackjack! So, good luck and have fun!