Best real money blackjack side bets

Blackjack is considered to be one of the most popular casino titles available, but when it comes to their side bets they can be considered less favourable as they jack the house edge up quite a bit. We take a look at the most common side bets available in the game of 21, and whether they are worth it or not.

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What are blackjack side bets?

Blackjack side bets are quite literally wagers you can make on the side of the main game. They aren’t compulsory, rather they are optional wagers you can opt in for if you want to change the game up a bit, or add extra thrill.

Play Classic Blackjack by Microgaming at the best real money online casinosHowever, when you take a standard blackjack title you can get the house edge at land-based casinos as low as 0.56% (Crown Blackjack at the Crown Casino, Melbourne) and as low as 0.13% online (Microgaming’s Classic Blackjack title available at our recommended Microgaming casinos like Royal Vegas) provided you use the basic blackjack strategy.

When you opt in for titles that offer side bets you actually raise the house edge quite significantly. We take a look at the most popular side bets, their rules, and just how much they raise the house edge.

Types of blackjack side bets

There are a lot of side bets available at both land-based venues and online, however we’ve picked the most common.


We have included this wager option first as many players don’t consider it a side bet even though it is, and one that actually has quite a high house edge.

Insurance sees players wagering half their initial bet when the dealer is dealt an Ace. If the dealer’s second card, which is originally face down, is revealed to be a 10 to make Blackjack, the player receives a 2:1 payout, which generally sees the player’s initial bet returned.

However, if the dealer doesn’t make Blackjack with their second card then half their bet is lost and if they haven’t won the hand either that’s both the initial bet and the insurance wager gone.

Additionally, the house edge for this bet is actually 12%. This is incredibly high, and we therefore recommend avoiding this type of side bet altogether when playing.

Perfect Pairs

Perfect Pairs is one of the most popular real money side bets you will find at both land-based casinos and online.

The side bet relies on the first two cards the player receives and will therefore be determined as soon as these are dealt by the dealer. To win you need to land a pair with payouts determined as follows:

  • Same ranking cards but mixed colours and suits (e.g two fives, one Spade, one Diamond): 5:1
  • Same ranking cards – colours and numbers – but mixed suits (e.g two fives, one Spade, one Club): 10:1
  • Same ranking cards – colours, numbers, and suits (e.g two fives, both Spades): 30:1

While the payouts seem quite generous, the house edge attached can be quite high at around 7.3% depending on the rules of the game and where you play it. This is because the amount of other combinations – not a perfect pairs combination – are high seeing odds to win as very slim.

Lucky Ladies

There is a reason they call this side bet Lucky Ladies, as you definitely need lady luck on your side with the high house edge of 24.71%.

Lucky Ladies is quite popular in the US but can be found online as well. It once again relies on the first two cards dealt to the player, but this time they need to total 20.

There are five possible combinations to total 20 points, each with the following payouts:

  • Two unsuited cards (such as a Queen of Diamonds and a six of Spades): 4:1 with an 8.0139% chance
  • Two cards of the same suit (such as a King of Clubs and a four of Clubs): 9:1 with a 2.0777% chance
  • Two cards of the same suit and number (such as two Jack of Diamonds): 4:1 with a 0.4683%
  • Two cards both the Queen of Hearts: 125:1 with a 0.0295% chance
  • Two cards both the Queen of Hearts and the dealer draws Blackjack: 1000:1 with a 0.0015% chance

While the last combination seems quite appealing with the huge payout of 1000:1 when the dealer actually wins, the chance you will draw it is so slim we don’t recommend it unless you’re feeling incredibly lucky.

Match the Dealer

This side bet sees players wagering that either of their two first cards dealt, or both, will match the dealer’s first up card, with the following combinations;

  • First two cards are the same in number and suit as the dealer’s up card – can payout anywhere from 18:1 to 28:1
  • One of your first two cards are the same in number and suit as the dealer’s up card, while the other is the same number but different suit
  • One of your first two cards are the same in number and suit as the dealer’s up card
  • First two cards are the same in number as the dealer’s up card but different in suit
  • One of your first two cards are the same in number as the dealer’s up card but different suit

The house edge of this side bet can vary depending on the title (can be found in Blackjack titles as well as the variant Spanish 21) but it is estimated at around 3%.


This side bet is found exclusively at the Crown Casino, Melbourne, and sees players putting a wager in the ‘Blackpot’ box. Then if their first two cards dealt are six and seven, seven and eight, or six and eight, then the player is awarded with a 10:1 payout.

Blackpot - Side bet at blackjack in Crown Casino MelbourneYou can take this side bet to the next level too by opting to hit on the winning two card combination with the aim to get 21 with a six, seven and eight combination (in any order). You will be awarded with a 100:1 payout if you pull this off.

If you opt to do this all again after winning both the two card and the three card combo then win with the two card combo again, you will receive a 1000:1 payout and finally the maximum payout of $20,000 if you win the three card combo consecutively.

While this has been proven to be quite a popular side bet at Crown Melbourne, the odds are still highly in the favour of the house.

Double Jack

We found this side bet on Blackjack Professional Pro by Net Entertainment at Guts Casino.

This bet is placed after the main bets have been made but before any cards have been dealt and pays if the first card the player is dealt is a Jack, with two being dealt paying the most, as follows:

  • One Jack: 10:1
  • Two Jacks: 25:1
  • Two Jacks of Spades: 100:1

The house edge is around 4.93% for this bet – played with four decks – which is a bit lower than other side bets but still quite high.

Are blackjack side bets worthwhile?

Overall the high house edge of the side bets means we recommend sticking to the main bets in a game of 21, but if you are feeling lucky and enjoy a bit of a risk by all means try these out, just remember the odds aren’t in your favour.

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