Playing cards is a relatively easy game to play, once you familiarise yourself with the basics. Rules and strategies are easy to follow, and perhaps this is why Blackjack finds itself at the top of the list of most popular casino games.
What’s great about online Blackjack at Paddy Power Games in particular, is the extra layer of complexity that side bets add to your gaming experience. Whilst they may sound little daunting, side bets aren’t as complicated as they may originally sound. To help you get in the know, we’ve compiled a short guide to the what, why and how of placing side bets in Blackjack.
Side bets are pretty self-explanatory – they are simply additional bets that players can place during any standard game of Blackjack. They usually involve predicting which cards other players will receive next. All wagers will be placed before the cards are dealt, with this type of bet being based on chance rather than skill.
Compared with other top casino games, Blackjack has the lowest house edge, regardless of how well (or not) you play. What’s more, there’s also a lower chance of winning with this game, with even money being a more likely outcome, only rising to 2x your stake if you achieve Blackjack.
But this is where side bets come into play. Place these additional bets and your odds will increase, although so will the house edge. Essentially, side bets increase the excitement when playing Blackjack, leading to higher risk but also the potential for higher rewards.
The last detail we need to cover is how to get involved in Blackjack side bets. If you’ve played the game before, online or at a real-life table, then you’ll know that all potential bets are outlined around the table or along the side of your screen. The three main side bets that you should expect to find are:
This is the most common side bet that you should expect to find in Blackjack. As the name suggests, this bet allows you to cover yourself against a big loss if the dealer pulls an ace face up.
An insurance side bet involves half of your original stake and can dish out 2x if the dealer finished with Blackjack, reducing the overall house edge.
- Perfect Pairs
This bet uses just the player’s cards, paying out varying prizes depending on the type of pair. Two of the same value but different suit and colour is referred to as a mixed pair and pays out up to 5x your first stake. Two of the same value and colour is called a coloured pair and offers 12x, whilst a truly perfect pair contains two of the exact same cards, dishing out a whopping 25x. All payouts are subject to where you choose to play and different gaming tables.
Our third side bet involves the player’s two cards and the dealer up card. From there, the outcome of these cards will determine how much you’ll be rewarded with. If all cards are suited it’s referred to as a flush and pays out the lowest amount, whereas the top payout of this side bet can be achieved if the outcome is a suited triple which involves three of the same cards being revealed. Between these two bets, you can also bet: straight (consecutive values), three of a kind (not of the same suit) and straight flush (consecutive value and same suit).