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Are Side Bets In Blackjack Worth It?

Are Side Bets In Blackjack Worth It?

Ever found yourself at a blackjack table, online or in a casino, wondering whether those extra side bet options are worth a punt? Well, you're not alone. Side bets in blackjack add a sprinkle of excitement to the mix, offering the chance to win big from a small stake. 

But here's the rub. While the potential payouts can be eye-catching, the odds of landing those wins are often less favourable than the main game. In essence, side bets are a gamble within a gamble, with higher house edges. 

Don't worry if you're scratching your head over terms like "house edge" – think of it as the advantage the casino has over you in the long run. In this blog post, we'll break down everything you need to know about blackjack side bets in the simplest terms. 

Is the extra wager worth it? Let's find out together. 

What Are Side Bets In Blackjack?

Side bets in blackjack are additional wagers you can place during a game, separate from your main hand bet. They offer a bit of extra excitement and the chance to win more money based on different outcomes than just beating the dealer. 

Usually, these bets involve predicting specific cards or combinations that might appear during the game. For example, you might bet on getting a pair as your first two cards or guess the suit of the dealer's upcard. 

What's handy to know is that the outcome of your side bet is independent of your main hand's outcome. So, you could lose your main bet but still win the side bet, and vice versa. 

It's a bit like having a small side game with its own rules and potential wins. But remember, these extra chances come with their own risks and, usually, a higher house edge. 

In short, side bets add an extra layer of excitement to your blackjack experience, offering you alternative opportunities to win. However, they are also additional opportunities for losses. If considering placing side bets, please do so responsibly. 

How To Determine If a Side Bet Is a Good Option

Deciding whether to go in for a side bet in blackjack doesn't have to feel like a shot in the dark. Here are a few pointers to help you make a more informed decision: 

  • Understand the Odds: The flashy payouts of side bets can be tempting, but remember that in almost all cases, the higher the potential reward, the slimmer the chances of winning. Take a moment to learn what the odds really are. If they seem too steep against you, it might be wiser to stick with the main game. 
  • Know the House Edge: This is essentially how much the casino expects to make from your bet over time. Side bets usually have a higher house edge, meaning the casino's advantage is greater. Consider the house edge to see if the bet is worth it for you. 
  • Consider Your Bankroll: How much are you willing to spend for the thrill? Since side bets are riskier, they should only be considered if your bankroll can support it. Never bet money you can't afford to lose, and remember, side bets should be about adding excitement, not stress. 
  • Focus on Entertainment, Not Just Profit: If the prospect of side bets appeals to you and fits within your budget regardless of the outcome, then it might be worth placing. After all, gambling is about entertainment, and as long as you're playing responsibly, a side bet can spice up the game. 

In essence, whether a side bet is a good option depends heavily on your personal preferences, understanding of the risks, your gambling budget, and what you're looking to get out of your blackjack experience. Always play responsibly and within your limits. 

Best Side Bets In Blackjack?

If you're curious about the variety that side bets can add to your blackjack game, here's a straightforward guide to some of the most popular ones. Remember, the key is to have fun and gamble responsibly. 

Perfect Pairs

Just like it sounds, you're betting that your first two cards will be a pair. There are three types: a perfect pair (identical twins - same rank and same suit), a coloured pair (same colour, different suits), or a mixed pair (different colours). The payout varies depending on the type of pair, with perfect pairs offering the highest reward. 


This mixes poker with blackjack, where you bet that your first two cards plus the dealer's up card will make a good poker hand, like a flush or three of a kind. If you hit a winning combination, you could see a decent return on your bet. 

Royal Match

Here, you're hoping your first two cards are of the same suit. Ideally, you want them to be a king and queen (a Royal Match), which pays out more. 


If the dealer's up card is an ace, you can take an insurance bet. This means you're betting the dealer has blackjack. It's a way to protect yourself against a dealer's blackjack, but take caution, as many seasoned players do not recommend it due to its high house edge. 

Over/Under 13

A simple guess on whether your initial two cards' total will be over or under 13. Sounds easy, right? But keep in mind that aces are always low in this bet, so they count as one. 

Each of these side bets has its unique appeal and level of risk, offering a little something for everyone. Whether you choose to place a side bet or only play the main game, remember the golden rule: play for enjoyment and bet within your means. Never chase your losses. 

What Is The Worst Side Bet In Blackjack?

Among the different side bets available, one contender often stands out for being particularly challenging for players: the Insurance bet. 

At its core, the Insurance bet is a wager on the dealer having a blackjack if their upcard is an ace. It sounds simple, right? You're basically getting a chance to protect your initial bet against a dealer's potential blackjack. However, here's the catch: the odds are not in your favour. 

Statistically, the Insurance bet carries a high house edge, which means your chances of winning are lower compared to many other side bets and the main game itself. 

What makes the Insurance bet the least appealing is its clever disguise as a safety net, which can often mislead players into thinking it's a cautious choice. In reality, it's a bet that profits the house more often than the player. 

In short, while the prospect of 'insuring' your hand against a dealer blackjack might seem logical, the numbers suggest it's a side bet that could cost you more in the long run. Remember, the best bet in blackjack is the one you're most comfortable making. It's important to enjoy the game for what it is – a mix of chance and strategy where nothing is guaranteed. 

Are Side Bets In Blackjack Worth It?

Deciding whether side bets are worth it in blackjack boils down to what you're looking to get out of the game. Are you in it for the experience, chasing a big win, or are you more about the steady play? 

First off, side bets undoubtedly add excitement; they offer additional chances to win regardless of the outcome of the main game bet. Also, the payouts on these bets can be significantly higher than for a standard blackjack win. 

However, it's essential to keep in mind the odds. Side bets come with a higher house edge, meaning the casino has a greater advantage over these bets than the main game. 

Many seasoned players claim that side bets should be viewed as an occasional extra rather than a regular staple of each round. If your budget allows for them, and the concept appeals to you, then side bets could be considered 'worth it'. 

Ultimately, it's important to consider your budget above all else. Please gamble responsibly. Set limits and stick to them.