29 Apr

Popular Blackjack Side Bet Rules

Comprehensive list of all known side bets in blackjack, inclusive of rules, payouts and win odds.

Variant Blackjack Rules and Side Bets

When we think of blackjack, we think of the traditional game, wherein players compete against the dealer to achieve a higher total, without exceeding 21. We understand that being dealt a natural, 2-card blackjack is worth a bonus payout. But what most novitiates of the game fail to realize is just how many different types of bets you can place at most of today’s tables, both in live and online casinos.

I’m talking specifically about what’s known as a side bet. Blackjack side bets are extra wagers that can be placed before the hand begins. The outcome of the bet usually has nothing to do with the standard game. More often than not, side bets are paid or collected, based on the initial cards dealt, before the traditional hand is even played.

Types of Side Bets in Blackjack

Comprehensive list of all known blackjack side bets, payouts and odds of winning.There are dozens of side bets known to the blackjack community. Below is a compilation of every sideline wager I’ve come across in all my years of gambling (and a few more I have yet to find in person), both in land-based casinos and the more expansive online variety.

Each item defined in the catalog below comes with its colloquial name and requisites of fulfillment. Where possible, I’ve added pay table information and odds. However, in cases where innumerable pay tables vary, I’ve left this information out, for my own sanity if nothing else.

You can skip directly to any side bet on the list by clicking its name below, or keep scrolling to browse them all in alphabetical order.

Blackjack Side Bets – Table of Content

» 21+3
» 21 Magic
» 21 to the River
» Any Pair
» Bet the Bust
» Bet the Set
» Bet the Set Progressive
» Black Jack’s Booty
» Blackjack Block Bonus
» Blackjack Match
» Blazing 7’s
» Block Pro Blackjack
» Bonanza Blackjack
» Bonus Blackjack
» Bonus Jackpot
» Bonus Lucky Ladies
» Bust
» Bust Bonus
» Bust It
» Buster Blackjack
» C3
» Cash Queens
» Copy Cat
» Crazy Sevens
» Dare any Pair
» Dead Man’s Hand
» Double Twist
» Extra Bet Blackjack
» EZ Bust
» Golden 21
» Hi/Low v.1 (Land-Based)
» Hi/Low v.2 (Online)
» High Hand Blackjack
» Honey Bonus
» Hot 3
» House Money
» In BETween
» Instant 18
» Lucky Charlie
» Lucky Aces
» Lucky Ladies
» Lucky Lucky
» Lucky Sevens
» Lucky Stiff
» Match the Dealer
» Next Step 21
» Over/Under 13
» Pair ‘Em Up
» Pair Play
» Perfect 11’s (w/ Dice)
» Perfect 11’s (w/o Dice)
» Perfect Pair (Evolution)
» Perfect Pairs (Generic)
» Pick ‘Em Blackjack
» Player Blackjack
» Progressive Blackjack
» Raise the Roof
» Royal 20’s
» Royal Match
» Spread-Bet
» Square Pair
» Streak
» Super 4
» Super Sevens
» Suit ‘Em
» Sweet Sixteen
» Tie / Push Your Luck
» Twisted Stud Bonus
» Wild Aces

21+3

21+3 is a rather common side bet in which the player has the option of placing a bet on the first three cards to appear between the player and dealer; that is, the player’s first two cards, and the dealer’s up-card. The value of these three cards combined will determine whether the side bet wins or loses; judged much the same way as a game of Three Card Poker.

There are many, many different pay tables associated with this game. All award a payout for achieving a 3-card Straight Flush, Straight, Flush, and Three of a Kind. Some also award payouts for a Suited Three of a Kind, and even more rare is a payout for a Pair.

See also:

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21 Magic

This side bet is found only in a specific variant known as Buffalo Blackjack. It is an optional wager in which the player wins if their hand achieves a total of 21 or natural blackjack, is a push if the hand ties the dealer’s 21 or blackjack, and loses if it totals anything else (up to 20 or bust).

What makes this side bet so unique is that the result is dependent on the outcome of the hand, thereby changing the player’s strategy in the base game. In most instances, the player’s goal should be to achieve a hand of 21; worth far more than the original even-money payout on a base game win, or 3 to 2 for a natural.

The pay table for the 21 Magic Side Bet is as follows:

Player Wins with… Payout
Natural Blackjack 6 to 1
3-Cards to 21 8 to 1
4-Cards to 21 9 to 1
5-Cards to 21 10 to 1
6-Cards to 21 10 to 1
7-Cards or more to 21 25 to 1

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21 to the River

This is one of the more interesting side bets I’ve come across. It combines blackjack with 5-card draw, but not in any traditional sense. If you place this side bet, it will only come into play if your blackjack hand busts. If you do not bust the original hand or any split hand, the side bet is returned as a push.

If your blackjack hand does bust, the card that busted the hand becomes the first card in your poker hand. If you split your hand and more than one busts, the first card to bust a hand becomes the first poker card.

Four additional cards are dealt from the shoe to combine with the bust card, developing a 5-card poker hand. The rank of this hand will determine whether you  win the side bet, and if so, how much it’s worth.

21 To The River Pay Table
5-Card Poker Hand is… Payout
Royal Flush 500 to 1
Straight Flush 250 to 1
5 of a Kind 100 to 1
4 of a Kind 50 to 1
Full House 25 to 1
Flush 15 to 1
Straight 10 to 1
3 of a Kind 5 to 1
2 Pair 2 to 1
Pair of Jacks or Better Push
All Else Lose
House Edge 1.29%

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Any Pair

See Bet the Set

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Bet the Bust

As the name implies, this is a side bet wherein the player can bet on the dealer busting his hand. In this version, the player gets to see the dealer’s up-card before deciding whether to Bet the Bust. The higher the odds of the dealer busting, based on the up-card shown, the less the bet will pay for a win.

This particular side bet can be found on a wide variety of game rules. As such, I’ve provided two tables, one for Dealer Stands on Soft 17, and one for Dealer Hits Soft 17. Each table shows the dealer’s up-card value, the pay out for a win, and house edge by number of decks in play.

House Edge if Dealer Stands on Soft 17
Up-Card Pays 1 Deck 2 Decks 4 Decks 6 Decks 8 Decks
A 7:2 23.58% 24.36% 24.60% 24.72% 24.79%
2 3:2 11.76% 11.68% 11.65% 11.63% 11.63%
3 3:2 6.10% 6.30% 6.37% 6.41% 6.44%
4 1:1 19.44% 20.29% 20.57% 20.70% 20.79%
5 1:1 14.22% 15.50% 15.91% 16.17% 16.24%
6 1:1 15.84% 15.57% 15.50% 15.46% 15.44%
7 5:2 9.05% 8.60% 8.46% 8.39% 8.35%
8 3:1 4.55% 3.35% 2.94% 2.73% 2.61%
9 3:1 6.62% 7.64% 7.97% 8.14% 8.24%
10 3:1 7.00% 7.54% 7.72% 7.81% 7.87%
House Edge if Dealer Hits Soft 17
Up-Card Pays 1 Deck 2 Decks 4 Decks 6 Decks 8 Decks
A 7:2 7.74% 8.85% 9.14% 9.28% 9.37%
2 3:2 10.91% 10.87% 10.85% 10.84% 10.84%
3 3:2 5.48% 5.64% 5.70% 5.73% 5.75%
4 1:1 18.84% 19.73% 20.02% 20.16% 20.25%
5 1:1 14.01% 15.27% 15.67% 15.87% 15.99%
6 1:1 12.45% 12.25% 12.20% 12.17% 12.16%
7 5:2 9.05% 8.60% 8.46% 8.39% 8.35%
8 3:1 4.55% 3.35% 2.94% 2.73% 2.61%
9 3:1 6.62% 7.64% 7.97% 8.14% 8.24%
10 3:1 7.00% 7.54% 7.72% 7.81% 7.87%

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Bet the Set

Bet the Set (a.k.a. Pair Square, or Any Pair), is one of the most popular side bets in blackjack. Bettors win if their first two cards are a pair. If that pair is suited, the payout is usually higher. The pay table for this type of wager can vary greatly from one live or online casino to the next. Here are a few of the more common pay tables and their respective house edge by number of decks in the shoe.

20/10 Pay Table
Player Hand Pays
Pair, suited 20 to 1
Pair, non-suited 10 to 1
1 Deck 2 Decks 4 Decks 6 Decks 8 Decks
35.29% 15.53% 5.80% 2.57% 0.96%
15/10 Pay Table
Player Hand Pays
Pair, suited 15 to 1
Pair, non-suited 10 to 1
1 Deck 2 Decks 4 Decks 6 Decks 8 Decks
35.29% 20.39% 13.04% 10.61% 9.40%
12/Any Pay Table
Player Hand Pays
Any Pair 12 to 1
1 Deck 2 Decks 4 Decks 6 Decks 8 Decks
23.53% 11.65% 5.80% 3.86% 2.89%

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Bet the Set – Progressive

This is a progressive version of the standard Bet the Set side bet in which bettors can win a progressive jackpot if 1) the player’s first two cards are a pair of the same color, and 2) the dealer’s two cards are the same pair and color as the player’s, combining for a 4 of a Kind in all red or all black. The progressive version also comes with an Envy Bonus, awarding $50 (per $1 wagered) to every other player that made the side bet on the hand that released the progressive jackpot.

The house edge for a 6-deck game with the following pay table is 27.74%. With a $1 side bet, the edge decreases by 3.32% for every $1,000 in the jackpot, dropping the house edge to 0.0% when the jackpot reaches $8,347.58 (-$50 for each additional side betting player at the table).

Player/Dealer Hand Requirement Pays
4 of a Kind, all same color 250 to 1 + Jackpot
4 of a Kind, different colors 100 to 1
Pair, same suit 20 to 1
Pair, different suits 5 to 1

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Black Jack’s Booty

I’m not perfectly clear on all the rules of this side bet, as I haven’t come across it in person and there’s limited information available online. From what I’ve been able to gather, it’s an interesting concept, to say the least. The Black Jack’s Booty side bet pits players against one another, like a poker game. So, in short, the base game is typical player-vs-dealer blackjack, and the side game is player-vs-player.

Here’s how it works. Black Jack’s Booty is an optional side bet in which each participating player wagers the same flat amount. I believe the bet size is determined as half the low-end table stakes (i.e. $5 at a $10 table). At the end of the hand, once all base game bets are won or lost, all of the side-betting player hands are compared against each other. The one with the highest total wins the side pot, minus rake.

The house will rake $2 per side pot. $1 goes to the house, and the other $1 to the progressive jackpot. Note that the size of the rake has nothing to do with the size of the pot. If two players bet $5 each, $2 is taken from the $10 side pot. If 5 players bet $5 each, $2 is taken from the $25 pot. As such, the value of the side bet will rise markedly higher with the number of participants who place it.

In case of a tie, the winners can either split the pot, or agree to move it to a side pot and compete for it once more on the next hand. If it is set into a side pot, only the players who previously tied will vie for it in the next round. A new pot is also created for the current round. The side pot can only be tied and competed for up two times. Following a third consecutive tie, it is automatically split between the eligible players.

If all players bust, nothing happens. The pot remains in place for the next hand.

If the dealer gets blackjack, again, nothing happens. Since all player hands automatically lose or push, no one is able to take a card. Therefore all side bets will remain in place for the next hand.

The progressive jackpot is called the Booty. This is the part I’m not too certain about. According to Nicholas Pelczar, who presented the game at the 2017 Cutting Edge Table Games show, this jackpot can be won in two sums, 25% or 100%. As Pelczar explains it:

“A progressive pot is won…whenever either the player, or two players, or a player and a dealer, receive suited black jacks, spades or clubs, on their first two cards. That pays 100% of the progressive pot. A 25% progressive will be paid if the dealer, or two players and the dealer, get non-suited twin black jacks.”

That’s not a 21-point “blackjack” (A+10) he’s describing, but a pair of black jacks (J+J) as the first two cards in a hand. If they are both clubs or both spades (black suited), 100% of the progressive is won. If they are mixed suits (club + spade), 25% is won.

The unclear part for me is whether a single player receiving this hand wins the pot, or if Mr. Pelczar was trying to say that two hands (player + player, or player + dealer) must have black jacks at the same time, to trigger a jackpot release. At one point, he insinuated a single player hand will do the trick. He then said two, and finally three hands (“two players and the dealer”). Furthermore, I have to assume that if it’s two players triggering the progressive, they will split the payout of 25% or 100% (as it’s possible to pay 25% to each, but not possible to pay 100% to each).

If anyone can shed more light on the specifics of the Black Jack’s Booty progressive, please comment below – thanks!

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Blackjack Block Bonus

This is one of those blackjack side bets I’ve heard of, but never seen myself, mostly because it’s prone to appear only in select European casinos. The outcome of the bet relies upon the player’s initial two cards and the dealer’s up-card. The bet wins if one of the player’s cards is the same suit of the dealer’s card, and that card outranks the dealer’s card in value. The payout for a win depends entirely on the player’s other card.

The combination of all three cards is known as a ‘Block’. There are four types of blocks that can win the Block Bonus side bet. They include:

Normal Block: Player’s cards are of unequal rank and suit; dealer’s suit matches one player suit; dealer’s rank is lower than player’s rank of matching suit.

Flush Block: All three cards are same suit; player’s cards are of unequal rank; one or both player cards outrank dealer’s card.

Pair Block: Player’s cards are of equal rank, but unequal suits; dealer’s suit matches one player suit; dealer’s rank is lower than player’s rank of matching suit.

Ultimate Block: All three cards are same suit; player’s card are of equal rank; player’s cards outrank dealer’s card. (Only possible with blackjack shoe of 2+ decks).

Push: If one of the player’s card is equal in rank and suit to the dealer’s card (i.e. both 8 of hearts), and the player’s other card is not capable of resulting in a win (lower than 8, not a heart), the outcome is a tie, and the bet pushes.

Note that card ranks are the same as traditional poker, with Ace being highest. The payouts for this side bet varies by the shoe size in use, as depicted by the following pay chart.

Type of Block Win 1 Deck 2 Decks 4 Decks 5+ Decks
Normal Block 2 to 1 2 to 1 2 to 1 2 to 1
Flush Block 5 to 1 5 to 1 5 to 1 5 to 1
Pair Block 15 to 1 10 to 1 10 to 1 10 to 1
Ultimate Block N/A 60 to 1 40 to 1 35 to 1

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Blackjack Match

This is a relatively new side bet that showed up in up Atlantic City in 2016, and has slowly spread its away across live and online casinos since. Blackjack Match is a flat $5 side bet that wins if the player and/or dealer are dealt a blackjack. If both have blackjack, and the card ranks and/or suits match, the pay out increases.

It carries a progressive jackpot for the best possible outcome, wherein the player and dealer are dealt matching blackjacks of A+K in matching suits. This pays 100% of the progressive jackpot. If player and dealer are both dealt any other matching suit blackjacks, 10% of the progressive is paid. There is also an Envy bonus that pays a hefty prize to any other players at the table who make the Blackjack Match side bet when a 100% or 10% payout is struck.

There are a variety of pay tables and shoe sizes that can be employed for this side bet. The majority of casinos use the following set-up, with a house edge that starts at 67.21%. The edge increases by 0.19% for each additional player at the table, and decreases by about 0.40% for every $10,000 in the progressive jackpot.

Player/Dealer Hand Requirements Pays* Envy
Player & Dealer Matching Ace+King Blackjacks, Suited 100% Jackpot $3,000.00
Player & Dealer Matching Blackjacks, Suited 10% Jackpot $1,000.00
Player & Dealer Blackjacks, Suited $1,000.00
Player & Dealer Blackjacks $150.00
Player Blackjack, Suited $50.00
Player Blackjack $25.00
Player Dealt Ace in First Two Cards $15.00

*All pays are “for 1”, meaning the side bet is not returned for a win.

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Blazing 7s

A trademark of Bally Gaming, Blazing 7’s is a side bet that revolves around the first three cards being 7. There are two versions of the bet available in different casinos.

Player’s First 3 Cards: This version states that all three cards must belong to the player, made up of his first two cards, plus the next card he takes, wither by hitting, doubling, or splitting. However, if the player does not take another card, he will only have two to work with. Additionally, if the dealer has blackjack, the player will not have the opportunity to hit or split for a third card.

Player’s + Dealer’s Cards: This second version states that the side bet applies to the first two dealt to the player, plus the up-card of the dealer, and that wins for one or two 7s can only come from the player’s first two cards. IF the player has a 7, and the dealer has a 7 showing, it will pay as one 7, not two.

If these separate rules didn’t complicated things enough, Bally also produced two different pay tables for the Blazing 7’s Side Bet. And, since they each offer a progressive jackpot, the house edge fluctuates with the value of the jackpot. As such, each pay table below offers the house edge at its starting mark, followed by the break-even point of the jackpot for a $1 wager.

Player’s First 3 Cards Pay Table 1 Player’s First 3 Cards Pay Table 2
Three Suited 7s 100% Jackpot Three 7s Diamonds 100% Jackpot
Three Colored 7s 10% Jackpot Three Suited 7s 10% Jackpot
Three 7s 200 to 1 Three Colored 7s 500 to 1
Two 7s 25 to 1 Three 7s 200 to 1
One 7 2 to 1 Two 7s 25 to 1
One 7 2 to 1
House Edge 47.77% Break-Even $23,772.09 House Edge 51.75% Break-Even $97,762.40
Player+Dealer 3 Cards Pay Table 1 Player+Dealer 3 Cards Pay Table 2
Three Suited 7s 100% Jackpot Three 7s Diamonds 100% Jackpot
Three Colored 7s 10% Jackpot Three Suited 7s 10% Jackpot
Three 7s 200 to 1 Three Colored 7s 500 to 1
Two 7s 25 to 1 Three 7s 200 to 1
One 7 2 to 1 Two 7s 25 to 1
One 7 2 to 1
House Edge 48.03% Break-Even $22,462.41 House Edge 51.61% Break-Even $100,216.92

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Block Pro Blackjack

Block Pro is another side bet that relies on the first three cards dealt – the first two belonging to the player, and the third being the face-up card of the dealer. The term ‘Block’ refers to these three cards. What makes this bet so difficult to win, however (house edge starts at a whopping 67%) is that the entire Block must of of the same suit for any hand to pay out. Eligible hands are:

  • Triple Aces: Three Aces of the same suit.
  • Triple Royal: Three matching face cards of the same suit.
  • Triple: Three of a Kind in 2 thru 10, all of the same suit.
  • Pair: A Pair plus any other card, all of the same suit.
  • Flush: Any three cards of the same suit.

The pay table for this bet comes with a progressive jackpot. As such, the house edge will gradually diminish as the jackpot increases. The pay outs, starting house edge and break-even point are as follows:

3-Card Suited Hand Requirement Pays
Triple Aces 100% Jackpot
Triple Royal (3 of a King in Face Cards) 20% Jackpot
Triple (3 of a Kind in 2 thru 10) 10% Jackpot
Pair 50
Flush 5
House Edge starts at 67.76% Break-Even $15,566.20

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Bonanza Blackjack

The Bonanza side bet is found only on an electronic blackjack game of the same name, available in some Las Vegas casinos. To win this optional $1 bet, the player must have any hard or soft hand totaling 20 points, and the dealer must have a 10 or face card showing. The payout will depend on what each of those cards are.

Player’s Cards Dealer’s Cards Pays
20pts, all cards same rank and suit First two cards match player’s $25,000.00
20pts, all cards same rank and suit Up-card matches player’s $2,500.00
20pts, same rank and suit Up-card any 10 $100.00
20pts, same rank Up-card any 10 $30.00
20pts, same rank Up-card any 10 $20.00
20pts, any cards Up-card any 10 $10.00
House Edge 18.19%

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Bonus Blackjack

There is no single side bet that goes by this name. I know of at least four of them. Each are detailed below. If you come across a Bonus Blackjack side bet, be sure to read the rules and pay table to see which is on offer.

V.1 Player / Dealer Blackjack

There are two separate wagers available; one that the player will get a blackjack, and one that the dealer will get a blackjack. Each of these pays 15 to 1.

If the player bets on both player and dealer receiving a blackjack, and both do so with hands composed of “Any Ace + Jack of Spades”, a progressive jackpot is released. The house edge rises from 22.78% on a 1-Deck game, up to 24.08% on an 8-Deck game.

V.2 Player 21

In this version, the side bet is a wager that the player’s hand will total 21 in one of three ways, either by suited blackjack, any 6-7-8, or any 7-7-7. Anything else loses. The following pay table has a house edge of 40.78% on a 6-deck game.

Player’s Hand Pays
7-7-7, any suits 500 to 1
6-7-8, any suits 50 to 1
Blackjack, suited only 20 to 1
V.3 Player Blackjack, Suited or Pairs

This next variant of the Bonus Blackjack side bet is based mostly on the player’s first two cards, necessitating a blackjack, two suited cards, or a pair. If the player has a blackjack, and the dealer happens to receive a blackjack as well, the highest payout of 25 to 1 is awarded. The house edge on a 6-deck game is 1.50%.

Player / Dealer Hand Requirements Pays
Player + Dealer Blackjack 25 to 1
Player blackjack, suited 15 to 1
Pair, suited 10 to 1
Player blackjack, unsuited 5 to 1
Any Suited cards 3 to 1
V.4 Player Blackjack, Pairs, Suited

This last version is very similar to V.3 above, with a slightly different hand requirement / pay table that’s far less favorable for the player. This time, the house edge on a 6-deck game is increased to 6.36%.

Player / Dealer Hand Requirements Pays
Player + Dealer Blackjack 25 to 1
Player blackjack, suited 10 to 1
Player blackjack, unsuited 3 to 1
Any Pair 2 to 1
Any Suited cards 1 to 1

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Bonus Jackpot

The Bonus Jackpot is a side bet that can be placed on any blackjack game that utilizes 3 or more decks, although I’ve only heard of it appearing in 6-deck and 8-deck games. It is another wager dependent on the player’s first two cards, plus the dealer’s up-card, where the best possible outcome is 3 Aces of matching suits – a combination worthy of releasing the jackpot prize.

There are two known pay tables for this bet, each based on a $1 wager ($5 may also be available). Note that all pays are “for 1”, meaning the side bet wager is not returned on wins.

Pay Table 1 – Three Suited Aces for Jackpot
Player’s First 2 Cards + Dealer’s Up-Card Pays
3 of a Kind in J-A, Suited 100% Jackpot
3 of a Kind in 2-10, Suited 125 for 1
Straight Flush 25 for 1
3 of a Kind, Unsuited 20 for 1
Straight 6 for 1
Flush 2 for 1
6-Deck House Edge 47.54% Break-even $10,957.37
8-Deck House Edge 48.18% Break-even $9,185.57
Pay Table 2 – Three Suited Jacks thru Aces for Jackpot
Player’s First 2 Cards + Dealer’s Up-Card Pays
3 of a Kind in Aces, Suited 100% Jackpot
3 of a Kind in 2-K, Suited 125 for 1
Straight Flush 25 for 1
3 of a Kind, Unsuited 20 for 1
Straight 6 for 1
Flush 2 for 1
6-Deck House Edge 47.06% Break-even $44,233.47
8-Deck House Edge 47.61% Break-even $37,146.29

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Bonus Lucky Ladies

This is a progressive jackpot version of the standard Lucky Ladies side bet. It requires a $1 wager to participate (optional, of course). To release the entire jackpot, you’ll need to be dealt a pair of Queens, both being Hearts, and the dealer needs to have a Blackjack in Hearts. If you get a pair of Queen Hearts and the dealer has any other suited blackjack (not hearts), you’ll receive 25% of the jackpot. And finally, receiving two Queen of Hearts when the dealer has any non-suited blackjack delivers 5% of the jackpot.

Other payouts are provided for having a total of 20 that is suited, paired, or both Queens of Hearts (without dealer BJ). See the table below for complete payouts and house edge in a 6-deck game.

Player’s Hand Dealer’s Hand Pays
2 Queen of Hearts Blackjack in Hearts 100% Jackpot
2 Queen of Hearts Blackjack Suited (not Hearts) 25% Jackpot
2 Queen of Hearts Blackjack (not Suited) 5% Jackpot
2 Queen of Hearts Any $125
Paired 20 Any $19
Suited 20 Any $9
House Edge = 31.19%

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Bust

The Bust side bet is primarily found in European casinos. It is similar to the Bet the Bust side bet detailed above, except that this one pays a flat rate of 5 to 2 if the dealer busts, irrespective of the dealer’s up-card when it happens. Because the rules of the blackjack game it can be attached to can vary, I’m providing two pay tables; one for Dealer Hits Soft 17, and another for Dealer Stands on Soft 17, each depicting the expected return for multiple decks.

Note that some are displayed in black with a negative (-) sign, noting a negative expected value (house edge), while others are displayed in green with a positive (+) sign, denoting that the player gains an a positive expected return. By these rules and calculations, placing the Bust side bet on a game with 6 decks or less where the dealer hits soft 17 will result in a player’s advantage, or player’s edge.

House Edge by Decks
House Edge by Rule 1 Deck 2 Decks 4 Decks 6 Decks 8 Decks
Soft 17 – Stand 0.75% 1.10% 1.27% 1.33% 1.36%
Soft 17 – Hit +0.62% +0.26% +0.08% +0.02% 0.01%

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Bust Bonus

This is essentially a more intricate version of Bet the Bust. The player is able to see the dealer’s up-card before choosing whether or not to place the Bust Bonus side bet, and wins if the dealer busts. The payout for a win varies by the dealer’s up-card, and increases substantially if all of the dealer’s cards are suited. A special bonus payout is awarded if the dealer busts on 8-8-8, or better yet, suited 8-8-8.

I’ve only seen this bet offered on blackjack games where 8 decks are employed, and the dealer hits soft 17. By these rules, the pay table and house edge by up-card are as follows.

Dealer’s
Up-Card
Payout
Unsuited
Edge
Unsuited
Payout
Suited
Edge
Suited
Ace 3 to 1 59.67% 50 to 1 11.20%
2 1 to 1 34.78% 25 to 1 22.09%
3 1 to 1 36.53% 15 to 1 17.41%
4 1 to 1 38.35% 10 to 1 14.65%
5 1 to 1 40.12% 5 to 1 8.97%
6 1 to 1 41.83% 3 to 1 6.31%
7 2 to 1 50.03% 15 to 1 17.79%
8 2 to 1 45.45%% 10 to 1 11.27%
9 2 to 1 43.48% 20 to 1 23.32%
Any 10 2 to 1 43.56% 20 to 1 24.68%
8-8-8 25 to 1 12.92% 75 to 1 1.83%

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Bust It

Bust It is another optional side bet that awards bettors if the dealer’s hand busts. The more cards the dealer takes before busting, the higher the reward for the player. This version is exclusive to blackjack games found on the Evolution Gaming live dealer casino platform. Evolution’s live blackjack tables that offer the Bust It side bet enforce a series of static rules, including the use of an 8-deck shoe, dealer stands on all 17s, and the dealer will always play his or her hands to completion, even if the player is dealt blackjack. By these rules, and the pay table structure below, the Bust It side bet comes with a house edge of 6.18%.

Dealer Busts with # of Cards Pays
3 1 to 1
4 2 to 1
5 9 to 1
6 50 to 1
7 100 to 1
8 250 to 1
House Edge 6.18%

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Buster Blackjack

This side bet takes the concept of ‘win if the dealer busts’ to a whole different level. Trademarked by AGS, the payouts for this one scales larger for each card the dealer hits with. Busting on 3 or 4 cards awards a 2 to 1 payout, scaling up to 250 to 1 if the dealer busts with 8+ cards. A second version of this side bet offers even higher payouts if the player happens to be dealt a blackjack on the dealer’s busted hand. Evolution Gaming’s Infinite Blackjack and other live dealer tables also present a version of this side bet known as Bust It.

The following pay tables incorporate the most common rules, utilizing 6 decks where dealer stands soft 17.

V.1 Pay Table – Dealer Busts
Busts on # of Cards Pays
3 or 4 2 to 1
5 4 to 1
6 15 to 1
7 50 to 1
8 250 to 1
House Edge 8.77%
V.2 Pay Table – Dealer Busts, Player Blackjack
Busts on # of Cards Pays
3 or 4 2 to 1
5 4 to 1
6 18 to 1
7 50 to 1
8 250 to 1
7 w/ Player Blackjack 800 to 1
8 w/ Player Blackjack 2,000 to 1
House Edge 6.20%


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C3

C3 is another blackjack side wager that is determined by the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s face-up card. There are four special hands that can award a payout on this bet. Their names and descriptions are as follows:

  • Highest Hearts: Player’s first two cards and dealer’s up-card are all Aces of Hearts.
  • Jacks in Black: Players first two cards and dealer’s up-card are all black Jacks (Clubs and/or Spades).
  • Trips: Player’s first two cards and dealer’s up-card are all of the same rank (3 of a Kind).
  • Red Carpet: Player’s first two cards and dealer’s up-card are all red (Hearts and/or Diamonds).

Below is the pay table and house edge for 4-deck, 6-deck and 8-deck games.

3-Card Hand Value Pays
Highest Hearts 300 to 1
Jacks in Black 200 to 1
Trips 50 to 1
Red Carpet 4 to 1
Edge w/ 4 Decks Edge w/ 6 Decks Edge w/ 8 Decks
12.90% 10.86% 9.83%

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Cash Queens

Comparable to the Lucky Ladies side bet, this version is found in a variety of online blackjack games in the Pala Interactive software platform. Payouts are based on the player’s first two cards totaling exactly 20 points. If that’s the case, the bet can win anywhere from x2 to x500 the wager. The value depends on the cards that make up the hand, and in some cases, the dealer’s hand as well.

For example, if the player has a pair of queens and the dealer has blackjack, the payout is the highest possible 500 to 1. A pair of queens for the player, without a dealer blackjack, pays 50 to 1. See the chart below for more info, including house edge by number of decks.

Cash Queens Side Bet Pay Table
Player’s First Two Cards Are… Dealer Has Pays
Queen + Queen Blackjack 500 to 1
Queen + Queen Not Blackjack 50 to 1
20pt Pair (10-10, J-J, or K-K) Any 10 to 1
Suited 20pt (e.g. A♠-9♠, J♦-10♦) Any 10 to 1
20pt Any Other Way Any 2 to 1
Edge w/ 1 Decks Edge w/ 2 Decks Edge w/ 4 Decks Edge w/ 6 Decks Edge w/ 8 Decks
21.01% 13.76% 10.18% 8.99% 8.40%

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Copy Cat

This is a rather simple side bet wherein the player wins if at least one of his first two cards matches the dealer’s up-card in rank. If both of the player’s cards match the dealer’s up-card (2 matches), the dealer’s face-down card will also be considered. If all this card also matches in rank (3 matches), the highest payout is awarded.

There are two known pay tables for the Copy Cat side bet. The first uses two decks of cards and pays a max 299 to 1 for three matches. The second uses only a single deck of cards, paying a max 500 to 1 for three matches.

V.1 Double Deck, Max 299 Payout
# of Cards Matching Dealer’s Up-Card Pays
1 299 to 1
2 25 to 1
3 5 to 1
House Edge 7.43%
V.2 Single Deck, Max 500 Payout
# of Cards Matching Dealer’s Up-Card Pays
1 500 to 1
2 50 to 1
3 6 to 1
House Edge 6.78%

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Crazy Sevens

Crazy Sevens (a.k.a. Lucky Sevens, Super Sevens) is a blackjack side bet that is decided by evaluating the player’s first three cards. If the first card is a 7, the player will win a payout of at least 5 to 1. If the second card is also a 7, the payout is higher. If the player hits or splits the hand, and the third card is also a 7, the payout grows higher again. The payout increases yet again if the sevens are suited.

There are various rule sets that could impact the house edge and strategy for the game when making this side bet. Considerations include 1) when splitting 7s, will the second card dealt to the first hand count as card number three, or does this negate eligibility beyond a two-7s payout; 2) when splitting, and the dealer has blackjack (no peek), does the player lose the entire bet – and if not, does the third card still count towards the side bet; 3) if the dealer peeks for blackjack and has it, will the player still be guaranteed a third card for the purpose of the side bet?

Note that the three side bets, Crazy Sevens, Lucky Sevens and Super Sevens, have the same rules, but different pay tables. See their respect sections for accurate pay schedules.

Crazy Sevens – Players First Cards Are (in order) Payout
7-7-7 Suited 2000 to 1
7-7-7 500 to 1
7-7 Suited 150 to 1
7-7 25 to 1
7 5 to 1
House Edge w/ 3rd Card Guarantee = 6.54%
House Edge w/o 3rd Card Guarantee = 7.53%

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Dare Any Pair

See Pair Play.

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Dead Man’s Hand

Dead Man’s Hand is a side bet that can be easily amended to any blackjack game, but is only known to exist in out-of-the-way casinos, like the Gold Dust Casino in Deadwood, South Dakota, or the Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City, Kansas; both infamous gambling localities back in the wild frontier days. The Dead Man’s Hand is A-8. Payouts are based on the player’s first two cards being an A or 8, or both. If the player is dealt a pair of Aces or 8s, splitting is encourages, as the payout grows for having A-8 in one or both hands after splitting.

Player’s Hand(s) Payout
First two hands are A-8 after Splitting 100 to 1
First two cards are A-A or 8-8 + Dealer has Blackjack 50 to 1
One of First Two Hands are A-8 after Splitting 20 to 1
First two cards are A-A or 8-8 4 to 1
First two cards are A-8 4 to 1
One of first two cards are A or 8 2 to 1

The house edge ranges from about 4.5% to 5% on the Dead Man’s Hand side bet. The number of decks in play will determine the exact edge of the game, as detailed below

Decks 2 4 6 8
Edge 4.98% 4.63% 4.51% 4.45%

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Double Twist

Double Twist is a side bet found on conventional blackjack games. The rules of the base game may vary from one table to the next, but the side bet rules are static. It is based entirely on the player’s first two cards, plus the dealer’s up card. If those three cards make up a viable 3-card poker hand of a Flush or better, the side bet wins. the number of decks in play will determine the house edge.

Double Twist Pay Table and House Edge
Player’s First 2 + Dealer Up Payout
3 Card Royal Straight 50 to 1
3 of a Kind, Suited 35 to 1
Straight Flush 30 to 1
3 of a Kind 20 to 1
Straight 4 to 1
Flush 3 to 1
Pair 1 to 1
Anything Else Lose

Any blackjack game that carries this side bet will utilize at least 4 decks, ensuring the possibility of a suited three of a kind. The more decks in use, the better the edge is for the player, as depicted below.

Decks 4 6 8
Edge 5.54% 4.05% 3.29%

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Extra Bet Blackjack

Blackjack Extra Bet is an optional side bet of sorts that can be added to any standard blackjack game. It was developed by Aces Up Gaming and is believed to have made its debut appearance in 2017. The idea is that players can make an extra wager to increase their overall size when they have an early advantage over the dealer.

After the initial bets are placed, and the dealer is passing out the first round of cards, if a player is dealt a 10, the game is immediately halted. The player is then asked if they want to place the “Extra Bet”. If not, the game resumes as normal. If so, the following rules apply.

Extra Bet Rules

  • The bet can be placed in any increment within the table limits, but may not exceed 5x the original hand wager.

  • The player must pay an immediate 20%, non-refundable fee, in addition to the bet.

  • If the player wins the hand, the Extra Bet wins. If the player loses, the Extra Bet is lost. A tie results in a push.

The extravagant 20% fee is applied to offset the fact that a player who is dealt a 10 as their first card already has an advantage over the house. However, that advantage, by standard rules (6-decks, dealer hits soft 17, double after split), is 14.14% – nowhere near the 20% the game charges. Calculate in the expected winnings from the original bet and an extra bet of 5x that, minus the fee, and it comes to a house edge of about 5%, making the Blackjack Extra Bet yet another sucker bet.

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EZ Bust

The EZ Bust side bet is a simple, optional wager that the dealer’s hand will bust. Unlike other similar side bets, this one can be placed after the dealer’s up-card is revealed, and is only offered if the up-card is 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. the player can bet any amount (within table limits) up to the size of the original wager. A winning EZ Bust bet pays even money.

The Odds of the Dealer Busting with a 2-6, by the number of decks in play, are as follows:

Up-Card 1 Deck 2 Decks 4 Decks 6 Decks 8 Decks
2 35.30% 35.33% 35.34% 35.35% 35.35%
3 37.56% 37.48% 37.45% 37.43% 37.43%
4 40.28% 37.85% 37.72% 37.65% 37.61%
5 42.89% 42.25% 42.04% 41.94% 41.88%
6 42.08% 42.21% 42.25% 42.27% 42.28%

The House Edge, based on the same criteria (dealer’s up-card / number of decks), is:

Up-Card 1 Deck 2 Decks 4 Decks 6 Decks 8 Decks
2 29.41% 28.69% 28.68% 28.67% 28.67%
3 24.39% 24.51% 24.56% 24.58% 24.60%
4 18.84% 19.73% 20.02% 20.16% 20.25%
5 14.01% 15.27% 15.67% 15.88% 15.99%
6 12.49% 12.25% 12.20% 12.17% 12.16%

Based on these calculations, the EZ Bust has a house edge of anywhere from 12.16% up to 29.41% Ouch! You’d be far better off playing a blackjack game with Bet the Bust, where the payouts rise above even money and the house edge can be diminished to as little as 2.61%.

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Golden 21

This is a very basic side bet that is won or lost dependent on the player’s first two cards only. Any blackjack, pair, consecutive suited cards, or suited Ace+King will win a payout. Anything else will not.

The rewards aren’t high enough to classify this as anything but a sucker bet, and the fewer decks in play, the worse it gets.

Golden 21 Side Bet Pay Table
Player’s First 2 Are… Payout
Ace + King, Suited 30 to 1
Straight Flush 5 to 1
Pair 3 to 1
Blackjack 3 to 2
Straight 1 to 1
Anything Else Lose
House Edge by Number of Decks
# of Decks
1
2
4
6
8
House Edge
12.37%
9.34%
7.84%
7.35%
7.10%

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Hi-Low v.1 (Nevada)

Hi-Low is a very basic side bet that’s been seen in land-based casinos in Nevada (unlike Hi-Low v.2, which is only found at RTG online casinos). It is simply a wager that the player’s first card will be higher than the dealer’s face-up card. If the player’s card is higher, a payout of 1 to 1 is awarded. If the dealer’s card is higher, the bet is lost. The dealer also wins all ties, except tied Aces, which is a push. The house edge varies by the number of decks in the shoe, as detailed the table below.

# of Decks
1
2
4
6
8
House Edge
5.43%
6.72%
6.69%
6.83%
6.90%

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Hi-Low v.2 (Online)

This version of the Hi-Low side bet is found in online casinos powered by RealTime Gaming. It is very different from Hi-Low v.1 side bet detailed above. In this version, the player will attempt to predict whether his first card will be higher or lower than his second card. Aces are not treated as high or low cards. Wins, losses and ties are based on the following criteria:

  • Correct predictions with no Aces = Player Wins
  • First card Ace, Second card 2-9 = Player Wins
  • Any Blackjack = Player Wins
  • Incorrect prediction with no Aces = Player Loses
  • Second card Ace, First card 2-9 = Player Loses
  • Both cards Aces = Push

RealTime Gaming is notorious for allowing its online casino licensees to customize the number of decks in use. The majority of RTG casinos choose to employ 6 decks, but it’s rarely advertised. This is important because the house edge will vary by the number of decks in play, according to the following table:

# of Decks
1
2
4
6
8
House Edge
0.60%
1.49%
1.93%
2.08%
2.15%

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Honey Bonus

The Honey Bonus is an optional side bet that players can win for having a real ‘honey of a hand!’ The requisites for a win are generally based on the player’s first two cards, combined with the dealer’s up-card; collectively making up a traditional three card poker hand. The player can also win this bet if their first two cards result in a suited blackjack, in which case the dealer’s up-card is irrelevant.

The pay table for this wager, and the associated house edge by number of decks in use, are as follow:

Player’s First Two Card + Dealer’s Up-Card< Pays
Three of a Kind 20:1
Straight 10:1
Flush 5:1
Suited Blackjack (Player’s Hand only) 3:1
# of Decks
4
6
8
House Edge
15.00%
14.01%
13.51%

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Hot 3

Hot 3 is an exclusive side bet found on Evolution Gaming’s Live Infinite Blackjack tables. It is comparable to the Lucky Lucky side bet in several ways, including the side bet’s basis on the player’s first two cards plus the dealer’s up-card, and the winning conditions requiring the total value of those cards falling on or between 19 and 21. Card values are ranked the same as in blackjack, where an Ace can equal 1 or 11.

The pay table for winning Hot 3 side bets, and house edge by number of decks, are as follows:

Player’s First Two Card + Dealer’s Up-Card Pays
Three 7s 100:1
Suited Total of 21 points 20:1
Total of 21 points 4:1
Total of 20 points 2:1
Total of 19 points 1:1
# of Decks
4
6
8
House Edge
5.65%
5.49%
5.40%

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House Money

This is a rather interesting side bet introduced a few years ago by Shuffle Master. The initial payout of the side bet is based on the player’s first two cards. If the bet is won, the winnings, and the initial side bet wager, can either be collected or parlayed (added) to the original blackjack hand bet.

Before I try to explain that in further detail, let’s take a look at the pay table for winning House Money side bets:

Player’s First Two Card are… Pays
Suited Ace+King (Blackjack) 9:1
2-Card Straight Flush 4:1
Pair 3:1
2-Card Straight 1:1
Anything else Lose

The typical explanation of this game tends to draw a lot of questions, so I’ll lead with an example.

Let’s assume you’ve placed a $5 blackjack bet, and a $5 House Money bet. You win the side bet with a 9-10 suited (2-Card Straight Flush), which pays 4 to 1. You receive $20 in winnings, plus the original $5 side bet back.

Now, you have the actual hand to deal with. At this point, you’ve already seen your hand (19) and the dealer’s hand. Maybe he has a 4 showing, so you’re pretty confident in your 19. You could collect the $20+$5 and leave the original bet alone, but instead you strategically decide to parlay your winnings into the blackjack bet. You can put the whole $25 on it, or save the $5 as a bit of added protection on your ROI and just parlay $20 onto it. The choice is yours.

Note that you can parlay the winnings for a Suited Blackjack (pays 9:1) into your original wager, as well. This presents the chance for an enormous payout. The dealer will have already peeked for blackjack with an Ace or 10 showing, therefore you already know if you’re guaranteed to win this bet.

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High Hand Blackjack

High Hand is an optional side bet that can be found attached to a very standard blackjack game of the same name. I’m not going to bother scripting a complete rule section for it, because the side bet is the only exceptional thing about it. If you’re not going to place the side bet, there’s really no reason to bother playing at a High Hand 21 table. With that being said…

To participate in the side bet, you must play the base game hand for at least the table minimum, and place a side bet equal to the table minimum. All side bets are placed into a single community jackpot. The base game is then played out in its entirety, followed by the settling of all side bets. Note that a player who doubles down or splits their hand will be required to double their side bet as well, making the additional hand eligible to win the community jackpot.

To determine the High Hand winner, all player and dealer hands are compared. Busted hands are eliminated, and will not be counted. The hand with the highest value wins, based on the following rules:

  • If a player has the highest hand, he or she wins the entire jackpot, minus a 5% rake (commission), paid to the house.

  • If the dealer has the highest hand, no one wins. All bets remain in the community jackpot, which will continue to build with the next hand.

  • In case of two hands tying for the highest total, again, no one wins. The jackpot remains on the table, growing larger with the next hand.

If the jackpot is not paid out (i.e. tie or dealer wins), only players who made the side bet on the previous hand can place another side bet on the following hand. Players who did compete for the previous jackpot can opt not to place a continuation bet, but I wouldn’t advise it.

The RTP on the High Hand Blackjack side bet is approximately 3%. If you find this one interesting, there’s a very similar side bet you may want to read up on called Black Jack’s Booty.

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In BETween

The cleverly titled In BETween side bet is an optional wager that mimics the card game Red Dog, wherein the rank of the third card must fall in between the rank of the first and second cards. In this blackjack side bet variation, it is the dealer’s up-card that must fall in between the ranks of the player’s first and second cards.

The closer in rank the player’s two cards are, the higher the payout becomes for a successful side bet. For instance, a 1-Card Spread would require there to be only one eligible card rank in between the player’s two cards, such as the player being dealt 5-7 and the dealer’s up-card being a 6. Likewise, a 2-Card Spread of 5-8 would win with a 6 or 7 as the dealer’s up-card, and so forth.

The highest payout is awarded when all three cards are of the exact same rank, called a Triple Match. For example, if the player’s hand is 4-4, and the dealer’s up-card is also 4, it makes a Triple Match. This is worth the highest payout of 30:1.

See the following pay table for more information and house edge:

Conditions for Winning Payout
Triple Match 30:1
1-Card Spread 10:1
2-Card Spread 6:1
3-Card Spread 4:1
4+ Card Spread 1:1
# of Decks
1
2
4
6
8
House Edge
10.50%
7.80%
6.00%
5.40%
5.10%

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Instant 18

This is a side bet in which player’s can elect to pay to have a second hand of exactly 18 points. There’s a special betting circle with an 18 in it for placing this bet. No cards are dealt to the hand, as they are not necessary. If you bet on this spot, it’s an automatic hand of 18. As far as I know, a bet on the initial blackjack hand is required to place this side bet.

There’s no special pay table for the Instant 18. If it beats the dealer, it wins 1 to 1, like any other hand. A tie is a push, and a loss a loss.

The house edge will vary slightly by number of decks and whether the dealer hits soft 17, but it will fall somewhere between 1.65% and 2.06%. Obviously, this is far worse than the house edge for playing a standard hand. In short – it’s not worth it.

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Lucky Aces

Lucky Aces is a side bet based on – you guessed it – Aces. More to the point, it depends on the number of Aces between the both player’s and dealer’s initial cards; as many as four of them to initiate the highest possible of payout of 500 to 1. Having fewer Aces can be worth a nice payout, too, especially if they happen to be of the same suit. A single Ace will pay 1 to 1, or 2 to 1 if it happens to be a diamond.

The complete paytable and house edge, according to the number of decks in use, is depicted below.

Player’s + Dealer’s First Two Cards contain… Pays
4 Aces 500:1
3 Suited Aces 250:1
3 Aces 30:1
2 Suited Aces 12:1
2 Aces 5:1
1 Ace of Diamonds 2:1
1 Ace 1:1
# of Decks 4 6 8
House Edge 16.83% 15.56% 14.90%

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Lucky Charlie

This side bet can be found on Casino Wizard brand electronic blackjack games. It’s a side, if you choose to play the base game. However, it’s also possible to forgo the blackjack game and just place the side bet. The strategy for the blackjack hand and Lucky Charlie bet are so drastically different, it wouldn’t really make sense to play them both anyway.

Lucky Charlie games utilize an 8-deck shoe. For the purpose of the side bet, Aces are always worth 1. If the dealer checks for and has blackjack, the Lucky Charlie bet automatically loses. Otherwise, beating the dealer is not necessary to win the side bet. If the player splits, the Lucky Charlie side bet will following whichever hand has the highest number of cards without busting.

To win the Lucky Charlie side bet, a hand must stand (cannot bust) with at least 4 cards, worth a payout of 2 to 1. Standing with 7 cards awards the highest prize of 100 to 1.

Lucky Charlie Pay Table and House Edge
Player Stands (Unbusted) with… Pays
7 Cards 100 to 1
6 Cards 25 to 1
5 Cards 5 to 1
4 Cards 2 to 1
Anything less, Bust, or Dealer Blackjack Lose
House Edge 16.71%
Lucky Charlie Strategy

The strategy for this bet is pretty simple. Note that it applies only to the Lucky Charlie side bet, and is not recommended for the traditional blackjack hand.

  • With 3 cards, including soft 21 – Hit
  • With 4 cards, total up to 15 – Hit
  • With 5 cards, total up to 17 – Hit
  • With 6 cards, total up to 17 – Hit
  • If splitting, when first hand reaches 4+ cards, strive to achieve better Lucky Charlie on second hand, even if it means busting.

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Lucky Ladies

It’s not just a popular saying among superstitious card players. Lucky Ladies is one of the world’s most famous and beloved side bets – not because it pays well, though. The concept is that a player who makes this side bet, then goes on to stand with any hand totaling 20, will win a payout. How that 20 is made will determine how much the player wins. (See also Bonus Lucky Ladies, the progressive jackpot version.)

Being so popular, there are a lot of different pay tables you may come across. Here are five of the most common, split into two tables, along with their respective house edges (assuming 6 decks).

Player’s Hand Consists of… Pay Table A Pay Table B
2 Queen of Hearts + Dealer BJ 1000:1 1000:1
2 Queen of Hearts 125:1 200:1
Paired 20 19:1 25:1
Suited 20 9:1 10:1
Unsuited 20 4:1 4:1
House Edge 24.71% 17.64%
Player’s Hand Consists of… Pay Table C Pay Table D Pay Table E
2 Queen of Hearts + Dealer BJ 250:1
2 Queen of Hearts 100:1 100:1
Pair of Queens, Any 25:1
Paired 20 9:1 30:1 25:1
Suited 20 6:1 10:1 10:1
Any 20 3:1 3:1 3:1
Queen of Hearts 2:1
Any 1 Queen 1:1 1:1
House Edge 29.89% 6.22% 5.87%

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Lucky Lucky

This optional side bet is widely believed to be the first blackjack side bet to incorporate the player’s first two cards in combination with the dealer’s up-card. It has been mimicked many, many times since then. Some games alter the name and the rules, while others alter the pay table; not to be more appealing to players, mind you, but to be more profitable for the casino.

The original Lucky Lucky side bet, with its original pay table, can still be found at casinos all over Canada and the USA. The winning conditions require the player to be dealt a lucky hand. It could be anything from a likely-to-win total of 19, 20 or 21, to an unsuited or suited trio of 6-7-8 or 7-7-7. Any of these hands will induce a payout ranging anywhere from 2 to 1, up to 200 to1.

Original Lucky Lucky Pay Table

Player’s First Two Cards + Dealer’s Up-Card Pay Table 1
7-7-7 Suited 200:1
6-7-8 Suited 100:1
7-7-7 Unsuited 50:1
6-7-8 Unsuited 30:1
Total of 21 Suited 15:1
Total of 21 Unsuited 3:1
Total of 20 2:1
Total of 19 2:1
House Edge 2.66%

Most Common Alternative Pay Tables

Player’s 2 + Dealer’s Up Pay Table 2 Pay Table 3 Pay Table 4
7-7-7 Suited N/A (2 Decks) 200:1 200:1
6-7-8 Suited 100:1 100:1 100:1
7-7-7 Unsuited 50:1 50:1 50:1
6-7-8 Unsuited 30:1 30:1 25:1
Total of 21 Suited 10:1 10:1 15:1
Total of 21 Unsuited 3:1 3:1 3:1
Total of 20 2:1 2:1 2:1
Total of 19 2:1 2:1 2:1
House Edge 5.39% 5.31% 3.95%

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Lucky Sevens

Lucky Sevens paytable below applies. For complete side bet rules, see Crazy Sevens above. Note that this version, supplied by live casinos employing BetConstruct software, does not guarantee a third card if the dealer has blackjack.

Lucky Sevens – Players First Cards Are (in order) Payout
7-7-7 Suited 500 to 1
7-7-7 100 to 1
7-7 Suited 50 to 1
7-7 25 to 1
7 3 to 1
House Edge w/ 3rd Card Guarantee = N/A
House Edge w/o 3rd Card Guarantee = 49.88%

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Lucky Stiff

The name of this side bet is a clever one. It’s Lucky because you have to win on a bad hand, while the term Stiff applies to a hard total. Put it together, and the requirements are that you either be dealt a really lucky hand to start, or a really unlicky hard total of 12-16 that goes on to become lucky enough to win.

The bad news is that if you aren’t dealt a blackjack or a hard 12-16 to start, you immediately lose the bet, which is obviously going to happen far more often than not. But at least it’s the really bad starting hands that can win it. Let’s get to the rules and stipulations.

The Lucky Stiff side bet is evaluated the moment the player is dealt his first two cards. One of the following will happen:

If the player has blackjack, the side bet instantly wins 1 to 1, regardless of the dealer’s hand. If the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, the original bet also wins.

When the player is dealt a starting hand of 6-6, 7-7 or 8-8, the Lucky Stiff bet instantly wins a payout of 10 to 1 (according to the most common pay table; 9 to 1 at others).

If the player’s starting hand is an unpaired hard total of 12 through 16, the game continues as usual. The player must complete the hand and go on to beat the dealer in order to win the Lucky Stiff bet, paying out at 5 to 1 if successful.

Lucky Stiff Pay Table V.1
Player’s 2-Card Starting Hand is… Payout
6-6, 7-7, or 8-8 10 to 1
Hard 12-16, and goes on to Beat the Dealer 5 to 1
Blackjack 1 to 1
Hard 12-16, goes on to Tie the Dealer Push
Hard 12-16, goes on to Lose to Dealer Lose
Anything Else Lose
Lucky Stiff Pay Table V.2
Player’s 2-Card Starting Hand is… Payout
6-6, 7-7, or 8-8 9 to 1
Hard 12-16, and goes on to Beat the Dealer 5 to 1
Blackjack 1 to 1
Hard 12-16, goes on to Tie the Dealer Push
Hard 12-16, goes on to Lose to Dealer Lose
Anything Else Lose
House Edge by Pay Table, Soft 17 Rule, and Number of Decks
House Edge for Pay Table v.1 House Edge for Pay Table v.2
# of
Decks
Soft 17
Dealer Stand
Soft 17
Dealer Hit
# of
Decks
Soft 17
Dealer Stand
Soft 17
Dealer Hit
1 6.44% 6.13% 1 8.15% 7.84%
2 5.19% 4.89% 2 6.90% 6.60%
6 4.34% 4.07% 6 6.05% 5.78%
8 4.22% 3.95% 8 5.93% 5.66%

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Match the Dealer

Match the Dealer is a very simple side that practically defines itself. The bet wins if either of the player’s first two cards match the rank of the dealer’s up-card. For example, if the dealer has an 8 showing, and either of the player’s cards are an 8, the bet wins. If the player does not have an 8, the bet loses.

The amount you win depends on how well matched the cards are. Same suit matches are worth more. If both of the player’s cards match the dealer’s, both cards are eligible for a payout. Each matching card is awarded an individual payout, according to the pay table below (i.e. there is no bonus payout for matching both cards). Note that the pay table and house edge will vary by the number of decks in use.

Classic Blackjack Version

Winning Hand 2 Decks 4 Decks 6 Decks 8 Decks
Suited Match 19:1 12:1 11:1 14:1
Unsuited Match 4:1 4:1 4:1 3:1
House Edge 3.31% 4.84% 4.06% 3.67%

Spanish 21 Version

Match the Dealer side bet is commonly found in Spanish 21 games. Despite the lower payouts, the lack of 10s in each deck notably reduces the house edge. The pay tables applied to 6-Deck and 8-Deck games are as follows:

Winning Hand 6 Decks 8 Decks
Suited Match 9:1 12:1
Unsuited Match 4:1 3:1
House Edge 3.06% 2.96%

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Next Step Blackjack

Next Step 21 is an optional side bet introduced by Innovative Gaming Concepts at the 2015 Cutting Edge Table Games convention. Since then, it has appeared on a variety of blackjack tables in the US; most notably at casinos in Nevada and Mississippi. It can be attached to any standard game rules, and will win or lose irrespective of the results in the base game.

The Next Step bet is a wager with a two-part payout system. First, the player or dealer must be dealt a blackjack in order for the bet to win any payout. If the dealer has a blackjack, the player is paid 3:1 and that’s the end of it. If the player has blackjack, the payout is 10:1, and the player progresses tot he “Next Step” of the bonus.

The Next Step is to roll a set of four dice. The object of this roll is to achieve a total value of anywhere from 17 to 21 points on the four diced. Rolling a 21 will proffer the highest payout of 50:1, 100:1 or 1000:1, depending on the cards that made up the blackjack. See the following pay table information for complete details and house edge.

Conditions for Winning Payout
Player only has Blackjack 10:1
Dealer only has Blackjack 3:1
Player + Dealer have Blackjack 13:1

If the Player (or Player + Dealer) has a blackjack, after being paid according to the above table, they will take the “Next Step”. The player is handed four dice to roll, with the following pay table applied:

Dice # Player’s Blackjack Hand Pay Table 1 Pay Table 2
21 A + K 1000:1 1000:1
21 Suited 100:1 100:1
21 Non-Suited 50:1 50:1
20 Any 40:1 30:1
19 Any 30:1 25:1
18 Any 20:1 15:1
17 Any 15:1 15:1
Other Any 0 0
6-Deck House Edge 11.32% 15.09%
8-Deck House Edge 11.39% 15.16%

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Over/Under 13

This is one of the oldest blackjack side bets in the book. It is a simple one, at that. Players are given the option to bet on a range of starting hand values. Betting on Under 13 is a bet that the player’s first two cards combined will total less than 13, whereas the Over 13 side bet is a wager the player’s original two-card total will exceed 13.

For the purpose of this side bet, Aces are always counted as 1, irrespective of the base game rules. Winning the Over or Under will always award a payout of even money.

In some casinos, the Over/Under side bet comes with a third option to bet on Exactly 13. The payout for this one is 10 to 1 and, oddly enough, carries a lower house edge than the Under 13. See the probability, pay table and house edge charts below for complete details.

Side Bets Under 13 Exactly 13 Over 13
Payout 1:1 10:1 1:1
House Edge by Shoe Size
1 Deck 44.95% 8.45% 46.61%
2 Decks 44.96% 8.36% 46.68%
4 Decks 44.97% 8.32% 46.71%
6 Decks 44.97% 8.31% 46.73%
8 Decks 44.97% 8.30% 46.73%

Note: For strategic gamblers, the Over/Under 13 side bets can become very susceptible to card counting. Stanford Wong details the strategy for this in perceptive detail in Chapter 11 of his best-selling guide, Professional Blackjack.

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Pair ‘Em Up

Pair ‘Em Up is an extended variation of the more commonly known Perfect Pairs side bet. You’ll find it available only at online blackjack tables developed by the software studio, Wager2Go. The basic concept is the same, wherein pairing the player’s first two cards is required to win. The pay table is far more detailed, though.

The rank of the paired cards will determine the value of the payout, with each original worth doubling if the pair is suited. If the cards aren’t paired, the bet loses. The following charts detail the pay table and house edge.

Suit ‘Em Up Side Bet Pay Table
Pairs Unsuited Suited
Aces 20:1 40:1
10-K 10:1 20:1
9s 9:1 18:1
8s 8:1 16:1
7s 7:1 14:1
6s 6:1 12:1
5s 5:1 10:1
4s 4:1 8:1
3s 3:1 6:1
2s 2:1 4:1
# of Decks
2
4
6
8
House Edge
31.07%
23.19%
20.58%
19.28%

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Pair Play

Pair Play is a side bet similar to Perfect Pairs. It can be found under a few other names, like Dare Any Pair, but they’re all the same. The only difference between them might be the number of decks used in the game, which will impact the house edge. The wager is based on on nothing more than the player’s first two cards being of the same rank – a pair of 2s, a pair of 8s, a pair of Kings, etc. The colors or suits of the cards have no bearing on payouts, as they do in Perfect Pairs.

Players First Two Cards Payout
Any Pair 11 to 1

The house edge varies by the number of decks in the shoe. The more decks, the better, but the best you’ll get is 10.36% with 8 decks. Pair Play is a sucker bet, through and through.

Decks 1 2 4 6 8
Edge 29.41% 18.45% 13.04% 11.25% 10.36%

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Perfect 11s (with Dice)

Perfect 11s is a side bet found in a special 21 variant known as Blackjack 11s. It can only be attached to this game, as there are some special pieces of equipment required to play. Six decks of cards are in use, and among them, one of the Aces of Spades will be clearly marked with the word “Jackpot”. Three special dice are also required, housed within a plastic bubble built into the table and rolled by the press of an embedded button. (See also Perfect 11s without Dice below)

In certain circumstances, when the side bet is won, these dice will be rolled to determine the prize, including the possibility of releasing one of four tiered progressive jackpots. The seed amounts for these jackpots are not displayed, and could vary from one casino to the next. Therefore, for the purpose of the pay table, I will refer to them as Progressive Jackpots 1, 2, 3 and 4, with 1 being the most valuable, and 4 being the least.

Winning this bet requires the player to be dealt an original, 2-card hand with a value of 11. This includes being dealt a natural blackjack. When this occurs, the player’s base game hand is labeled a natural blackjack by counting the Ace as 11, and it also wins the Perfect 11s side bet with the Ace counting as 1.

If the two cards involved are of the same suit, it is called a “Perfect 11”. When a Perfect 11 is dealt, the player will get to roll the dice. These are not typical dice, but rather what the game’s creators call “Infinity Dice”. Each die has five blank sides, and one side marked with an infinity symbol. The number of infinity symbols a player rolls when a Perfect 11 is dealt will determine the size of the payout, including the possibility of winning one of the progressive jackpots (3 or 4).

Perfect 11s Hand Requirement Payout
Jackpot Ace + King of Spades Progressive Jackpot 1
Jackpot Ace + King (not Spades) Progressive Jackpot 2
Perfect 11 + 3 Infinity Dice Progressive Jackpot 3
Perfect 11 + 2 Infinity Dice Progressive Jackpot 4
Perfect 11 + 0 or 1 Infinity Dice 15:1
Total 11, Same Colors 10:1
Total 11, Mixed Colors 3:1

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Perfect 11s (without Dice)

In this version of Blackjack 11s,  the Perfect 11s side bet does not require dice, (as opposed to Perfect 11s with Dice). The pay table is different, there is only one progressive jackpot, and there is no special Ace of Spades marked with the world “Jackpot”. Being dealt any Ace of Spades + King of Spades will deliver a payout of 250 to 1. To hit the progressive, you’ll need to be dealt this same Perfect 11 hand, and at the same time, the dealer must be dealt a 2-card total of 11.

This edition is available at the Hippodrome Casino in London, where the side bet requires a flat bet of £5. In case you find played at any other casino with a different betting structure, I will list the payouts as “to 1”.

Perfect 11s Hand Requirement Payout
Ace of Spades + King of Spades, Dealer 2-Card 11 Progressive Jackpot
Ace of Spades + King of Spades 50 to 1
Total 11, Same Suits 12 to 1
Total 11, Same Color 10 to 1
Total 11, Mixed Colors 7 to 1

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Perfect Pair (Evolution)

This side bet is found exclusively at Evolution Gaming’s live dealer blackjack tables. Note the singular title, “Pair”. Do not confuse this with the generic version found at land-based and online casinos all over the world that goes by the plural name, “Perfect Pairs”. While they are similar, they are not the same thing.

A Perfect Pair is defined as any original 2-card hand in which the two cards are an identical match, both in rank and suit. For example, two Jacks of Hearts would make a Perfect Pair. This side bet wins if the player’s hand, or the dealer’s hand, makes a Perfect Pair, worth 25 to 1. If both player and dealer hands achieve a Perfect Pair, a bonus payout of 200 to 1 is awarded.

The pay table and house edge are as follows. Note that Evolution Gaming uses an 8-deck shoe, therefore the edge is based on an 8-deck game.

Perfect Pair Pay Table Payout
Player and Dealer have Perfect Pair (2) 200:1
Player or Dealer have a Perfect Pair (1) 25:1
House Edge 8.05%

The following alternate pay table has been identified. In this version, there is no bonus payout for the player and dealer both having a Perfect Pair. Each will win the same 25 to 1 payout (i.e. 50:1 instead of 200:1). The house edge increases to 13.03%.

Alternate Pay Table Payout
Dealer and Player have Perfect Pair 25:1 x 2 (50:1)
Player has Perfect Pair 25:1
Dealer has a Perfect Pair 25:1
House Edge 13.03%

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Perfect Pairs (Generic)

Perfect Pairs is an optional side bet that is especially popular in land-based casinos outside North America. Thanks to the rise of online blackjack games, most players in Canada have become more familiar with it. Note that Perfect Pairs (plural) should not be confused with the Perfect Pair (singular) side bet available at Evolution Gaming powered online casinos.

Despites its plural context, this version only pays out of the player’s hand is dealt as a pair of same-rank cards (dealer’s hand, and the pairing thereof,  is inconsequential). Only the first two cards in the player’s hand count – split hands do not qualify. If the pair is of the same color or suit, the pay out increases, as depicted in the following pay tables.

There are four known pay tables for this side bet. Each bears its own house edge. For reference, the following tables and edge percentages are based on an 8-deck game.

Perfect Pairs Table 1 Table 2 Table 3 Table 4
Suited Pair 25:1 30:1 25:1 25:1
Colored Pair 12:1 10:1 12:1 15:1
Red+Black Pair 6:1 5:1 5:1 5:1
House Edge 4.10% 3.37% 7.95% 2.17%

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Pick ‘Em Blackjack

Created by Pat Jack Gaming, this is one of the most unique side bets I’ve come across. After winning the best game award at the 2014 Raving Table Games show in Las Vegas, it’s popped up as a branded gaming table in casinos all over North America. The concept of the game is attractive, to say the least. Players can participate in a traditional, randomly dealt hand, or they can forgo the niceties and place to bet on a hand value of their choosing – 17, 18 or 19.

There are advantages and disadvantages to choosing your hand value. Obviously, you cannot bust. That’s a nice perk. A hand of 17 isn’t all that valuable in a normal game, but choosing to play it will earn you a 3:2 payout for a the win. Electing to play a hand of 18 comes with a 1:1 payoff, whereas choosing the higher 19 has greater odds of winning, but a low payout of 1:2. When playing the traditional, randomly-dealt hand, standard rules and payouts apply (1:1 for a win, 3:2 for blackjack).

Pick ‘Em Blackjack Winning Hand Payouts

  • 17 Pays 3:2
  • 18 Pays 1:1
  • 19 Pays 1:2

Another interesting fact about this blackjack side bet is that players can elect to play any or all of the available hands. You could place a wager in the 17, 18 and 19 betting circles, as well as one in the larger, standard-hand betting circle. Or, you can choose any combination of these bets. Just know that, if you only bet on pre-valued hands, you won’t be dealt any cards.

I should point out that some view Pick ‘Em Blackjack as a side bet, while others call it a rule variation of 21. I believe it qualifies as both. The fact that players can participate only in the so-called ‘side bet’ makes it a game all on its own. Then again, the base-game rules can fluctuate greatly from one casino to the next, making it seem more like a side bet. Call it the Tomato of the blackjack world, if you will. For arguments sake, I’ll be posting this under this list of blackjack side bets, as well as our complete list of all Canadian blackjack variations.

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Player Blackjack

The Player Blackjack side bet comes in a range of formats, with various pay tables, available at different casinos all over the world. I won’t go into too much detail here, since most of them have terrible odds that really aren’t worth your wagering dollar.

The concept is simple enough…

  • For the basic Player Blackjack side bet, if the player is dealt a natural blackjack in their first two cards, this bet wins. If not, it loses.

  • In Colored Player Blackjack, the two cards that make up the hand must be of the same color; both red or both black.

  • In Suited Player Blackjack, the natural blackjack must be dealt with two cards of the same suit.

The following pay table details the most common payouts for each type of bet, and the corresponding house edge in a typical 6-deck game.

Player Blackjack Payout House Edge
Any Natural 2-Card 21 17 to 1 14.52%
Colored Player Blackjack Payout House Edge
Natural 2-Card 21, both cards of same color 19 to 1 15.51%
Suited Player Blackjack Payout House Edge
Natural 2-Card 21, both cards of same suit 77 to 1 7.40%

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Progressive Blackjack

The biggest draw for players here is – as the name distinctly implies – the ability to win a progressive jackpot. As we all know, progressives don’t strike often. They have terrible odds. But, they do unleash valuable riches when they are finally struck. And that’s something a lot of people are often willing to invest in. After all, the national lottery wouldn’t exist otherwise.

This particular side bet costs $1 to place, and can pay anywhere from $3 up to the total progressive jackpot, which typically seeds at $25,000. Winning any amount is dependent on being dealt Aces. One Ace will net the minimum $3 payout, rising exponentially for two, three or four aces, especially when same color and/or suit.

Only the cards in the player’s hand count towards winning this bet. To receive more than two Aces, you’ll need to hit or split your hand to receive additional cards. For the record, it is recommended to follow standard game play strategy, without any deviation.

Please note that the house edge on this side bet is supremely high, situated at 43.90% with a $25k progressive; an RTP of just 56.10%. The edge drops 2.56% for every additional $10,000 (0.256% per $1,000) in the jackpot. At that rate, a progressive of $207,287.85 would be required to reach an edge of 0% (equivalent to RTP 100%).

With that being said, here’s the most common Progressive Blackjack hand requirements and pay table, found at most land-based and online casinos:

Player’s hand contains… Payout
4 Aces, Same Suit Jackpot
4 Aces, Mixed Suit 2000:1
3 Aces, Same Suit 1000:1
3 Aces, Mixed Suit 200:1
2 Aces, Same Suit 50:1
2 Aces, Mixed Suit 15:1
1 Ace 3:1
Anything else Lose
Alternative Pay Table

This following pay table has also been observed at online casinos powered by Cryptologic software. Note that the house edge on this table is even worse, coming in at 59.69% with a $25k progressive jackpot, and breaking even at $2,621,763.29.

Player’s hand contains… Payout
4 Aces, Same Suit Jackpot
4 Aces, Mixed Suit 2500:1
3 Aces, Same Suit 1500:1
3 Aces, Mixed Suit 250:1
2 Aces, Same Suit 100:1
2 Aces, Mixed Suit 25:1
Anything else Lose

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Raise the Roof

This is an uncommon but interesting side bet found more often in Czech Republic casinos, although it has been seen in some North American establishments in the last few years. It is a side bet that wins if the dealer busts, with payouts based on the card that busted him. The lower the bust card, the higher the reward. Specific bust hands, like 4-5-6-7, pay the highest, especially if all those cards are suited. Best of all, the player will get to see the dealer’s up card before choosing whether to ‘Raise the Roof’.

Here’s how it works. Before the game starts, while placing the standard blackjack bet, players can opt to make this side bet. Cards are then dealt as usual, two to each player and two to the dealer; one of those being face up. The dealer will check for blackjack and, if he has it, all side bets are lost. If the dealer does not have blackjack, each side better is given a chance to Raise the Roof. They can either Stand on the current bet, or raising the side bet wager by anywhere from 1x to 5x its original size.

The game plays out as normal now. Player hands are decided, then the dealer’s. Note that if the player hand busts, the side bet is still active. If the dealer ends with a total of 17-21, all side bets (including raises) are lost. If the dealer busts, the total side bet (including raises) will win according to the pay table in use.

There are at least half a dozen known pay tables for the Raise the Roof side bet. Each of them are detailed below. The house edge ranges from 9.01% (PT 1) to 11.17% (PT 4) depending on the decks in use, and H17 or S17 rule in use. [PT = Pay Table]

Busts with… PT 1 PT 2 PT 3 PT 4 PT 5 PT 6
4-5-6-7 Suited 200 500 200 500 300 500
4-5-6-7 Mixed 40 50 50 40 30 25
6 10 10 10 10 10 10
7 5 4 5 5 5 5
8 2 2 2 2 2 2
9 1 1 1 1 1 1
10 1 1 1 1 1 1
Strategy for Raise the Roof Side Bet

No matter which pay table is in use, the proper strategy for when and how much to raise your side bet is as follows.

Dealer’s Up Card
Appropriate Action
A
Stand
2
Raise 1x
3
Raise 1x
4
Raise 5x
5
Raise 5x
6
Raise 5x
7
Stand
8
Stand
9
Stand
10
Stand

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Royal 20’s

Royal 20’s is a side bet that wins if the player’s first two cards equal 20. The rank of those will determine the size of the payout, scaling up to 25 to 1 for suited face cards.

Paytable
Player’s Initial 2-Card Hand is 20, with… Payout
Two Face Cards, Suited 25 to 1
Any Two, Suited 10 to 1
Any Two, Mixed Suits 5 to 1
House Edge by Decks
Decks 2 4 5 6 8
Edge 29.41% 18.45% 13.04% 11.25% 10.36%

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Royal Match

The Royal Match side bet is a wager that the player’s first two cards will be matching suits. This is known as an ‘Easy Match‘. If those cards happen to be a suited King and Queen, it’s called a ‘Royal Match‘, for which the side bet gets its name.

There are a few different pay tables you may come across, including one that pays for a suited blackjack, and another that pays if the player and dealer are suited. In both cases, the house edge depends on the number of decks in use, as detailed in the pay tables below.

Paytable 1 with House Edge by Decks
Player’s First Two Cards are… Payout
Royal Match 25 to 1
Easy Match 5 to 2
Decks 1 2 3 6 8
Edge 10.86% 8.33% 7.08% 6.67% 6.46%
Paytable 2 with House Edge by Decks
Player’s Initial 2-Card Hand is 20, with… Payout
Royal Match 10 to 1
Easy Match 3 to 1
Any Two, Mixed Suits 5 to 1
Decks 1 2 3 6 8
Edge 3.77% 0.82% 0.63% 1.11% 1.35%
Paytable 3 with Suited Blackjack
Player’s Initial 2-Card Hand is 20, with… Payout
Royal Match 25 to 1
Suited Blackjack 5 to 1
Easy Match 5 to 2
Decks 1 2 3 6 8
Edge 7.84% 5.34% 4.11% 3.70% 3.49%
Paytable 4 with Player + Dealer (P+D) Royal Match
Player’s Initial 2-Card Hand is 20, with… Payout
P+D Royal Match 1,000 to 1
Royal Match 25 to 1
Easy Match 5 to 2
Decks 1 2 3 6 8
Edge 10.14% 7.59% 6.30% 5.86% 5.64%

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Spread-Bet

This side bet involves a series of three optional wagers. Each one is based on the total point value of the player’s initial two-card hand. For the purpose of this side bet, all Aces count as 1.

Make no mistake, these are separate wagers, not a single wager on three possible winning outcomes. If you bet on an outcome of 2 or 3, and the actual outcome is 4 or 5, you will lose.

The three possible Spread Bets and their respective payouts are as follows:

Player’s 2-Card Hand Total is… Payout
2 or 3 50 to 1
4 or 5 21 to 1
6 to 9 5 to 1

The House Edge for these side bets will depend on what happens when the player is dealt a natural blackjack. Some versions consider this a basic total of 11, therefore a loss of the side bet. Other variations call this a Royal Blackjack, in which case the Spread Bet will push. The table below shows the house edge for each spread, with and without the Royal Blackjack exception.

House Edge w/ Blackjack Lose and Blackjack Push
House Edge Bet 2-3 Bet 4-5 Bet 6-9
BJ Lose 10.44% 9.13% 7.69%
BJ Push 6.87% 5.57% 4.13%

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Square Pair

See Bet the Set

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Streak

Betting on the Streak is just what it sounds like. Players can bet on having any number of consecutive wins, from 2 to 5. You’re betting on a specific number of consecutive winning hands. If you bet on a streak of 3 wins, then win 4 in a row, you only get the payout for 3, not 4.

Rules for Net Win, Push, & Break Even

To alleviate confusion in situations with split hands and pushes, the rules are based on wins and “net wins”. A net win is a hand where the player wins an amount of money. If you split your hand, then double down on one hand, and stand on the other, then you win the doubled hand, but the other loses, you’ve still won money overall. this constitutes a net win. However, if you push or break even on a hand, it will not count towards the streak bet. Only win/net wins and losses impact this bet.

Pay Table & House Edge with Standard Rules, 6 Decks
Player’s Win Streak Payout House Edge
2 50 to 1 9.72%
3 21 to 1 3.49%
4 5 to 1 3.20%
5 5 to 1 5.61%

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Super 4

Super 4 is an optional side bet in which the player is betting on the 4-card poker hand made up by the dealer’s and player’s first two cards combined. It’s been seen in various casinos with a variety of winning hands and pay tables. The one thing they all have in common is a progressive jackpot. To win 100% of the jackpot, or the largest of tiered jackpots (depending on the pay table), you need a Royal Flush in diamonds.

There are two versions of this side bet, in terms of winning hands. The more common edition has 9 winning ranks, with the lowest being a Dealer Blackjack. The less common version has 10 winning combinations; same as the first, plus a smaller payout for Dealer Ace Up.

I’m listing the two most common pay tables below; with and without a payout for Dealer Ace Up. I’m also including the house edge for each edition with 5 decks, 6 decks, and 8 decks.

Pay Tables for Version 1 & 2 w/ House Edge by Decks
Player+Dealer 2-Card Hand Rank Payout 1 Payout 2
4-Card Royal in Diamonds 100% Jackpot 100% Jackpot
4-Card Royal Flush 10% Jackpot 10% Jackpot
3 of a Kind $750 $750
4-Card Straight $500 $500
Flush $400 $400
2 Pairs $300 $300
All Cards Same Color $100 $100
One Pair $75 $50
Dealer has Blackjack $25 $25
Dealer has Ace Up Lose $10
Edge / Break Even Payout 1 Payout 2
House Edge w/ 5 Decks 63.54% 64.32%
Jackpot Size for 0% Edge $834,866.69
(2.18% per $10k)
$816,947.22
(2.18% per $10k)
House Edge w/ 6 Decks 63.81% 64.55%
Jackpot Size for 0% Edge $831,849.54
(2.18% per $10k)
$814,835.65
(2.18% per $10k)
House Edge w/ 8 Decks 64.15% 64.84%
Jackpot Size for 0% Edge $828,014.15
(2.16% per $10k)
$812,133.57
(2.16% per $10k)

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Suit ‘Em / Suit ‘Em Up

As you may have guessed by the title, this side bet has everything to do with suited cards. In this case, it’s the player’s first two cards that must match in suits. The rank of those two cards will determine the size of the payout. and of course, if the two cards aren’t suited, the bet loses.

There are two known pay tables for this side bet. The first has been spotted in land-based casinos, while the second is found in Felt Gaming’s online casino software. I’ve listed both pay tables below, along with a table detailing the house edge by number of decks in use.

Pay Tables for Version 1 & 2 w/ House Edge by Decks
Player’s First Two Cards are Suited… Payout 1 Payout 2
Pair of Aces 60 to 1 50 to 1
Blackjack 10 to 1 10 to 1
Pair (not Aces) 5 to 1 5 to 1
Total 11 3 to 1 3 to 1
Anything Else Suited 2 to 1 2 to 1
Not Suited Lose Lose
# Decks 2 4 6 8
PT1 Edge 9.41% 4.91% 3.41% 2.67%
PT2 Edge 10.16% 6.02% 4.65% 3.97%

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Super Sevens

Super Sevens paytable below applies. For complete side bet rules, see Crazy Sevens above.

Super Sevens – Players First Cards Are (in order) Payout
7-7-7 Suited 5000 to 1
7-7-7 500 to 1
7-7 Suited 100 to 1
7-7 5 to 1
7 3 to 1
House Edge w/ 3rd Card Guarantee = 11.40%
House Edge w/o 3rd Card Guarantee = 12.61%

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Sweet Sixteen

This bet pays out based on the total of the player’s initial two cards. I’m not certain why the name Sweet 16 was chosen to represent this side bet. There are a lot more hands that pay out that totals of 16, although that is one of the many a winning combinations.

Any two-card total of 16 or above pays 1 to 1. Having any Ace also pays 1 to 1; two Aces pays 2 to 1. Other low pairs (2-7) will push. See the full pay table below.

Pay Table with House Edge by Decks
Player’s First Two Cards… Payout
Two Aces 2 to 1
One Ace 1 to 1
Total 16-21 1 to 1
Pair of 2s-7s Push
Decks 1 2 4 6 8
Edge 3.62% 2.99% 2.68% 2.57% 2.52%

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Tie

The Tie side bet is – you guessed it – a bet on whether the player and dealer hands will tie. There are two version of this bet.

In the first, simpler version – I’ll call this Any Tie – the player wins if the two hands tie. The pay out is 10 to 1. Due to a very low house edge of 0.24% (with basic strategy applied), bets are capped at 50% of the amount wagered on the hand. If the player splits, the Tie bet must also split, but no addiitonal Tie bet is required when doubling.

In the second version, (sometimes going by the name Push Your Luck), players can bet on specific amounts to tie with, or any tie within a range of totals. These are separate bets, so you only win if you bet on that exact total or group of totals.

I’m detailing individual pay tables for each version, with a corresponding house edge for standard, 6-deck blackjack rules.

Pay Table for Any Tie
Player and Dealer Hands Tie Payout
Any Tie 10 to 1
House Edge 0.24%
Pay Table for Specific Ties (aka Push Your Luck)
Player and Dealer Hands Tie with… Payout Edge
Blackjack 400 to 1 7.18%
21 125 to 1 10.85%
20 25 to 1 8.47%
19 50 to 1 3.67%
18 45 to 1 5.79%
17 50 to 1 2.41%
High Tie (20-21-BJ) 20 to 1 9.39%
Low Tie (17-18-19) 15 to 1 8.07%

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Twisted Stud Bonus

This is a special side bet available exclusively blackjack variant known as Twisted 21. That game deals exactly 5 cards to each player. While a player’s blackjack hand may or may not not use all 5 of those cards, anyone placing the side bet will. Those cards are combined to make a 5 Card Stud hand, with payouts determined by the strength of that hand, as detailed in the pay table below.

Note: A “Twisted Stud” is a 5-card hand in which the total is 16 or below (Aces count as 1), and is not eligible for any other Twisted Stud payout. For example, A-A-2-5-7 = 16, but only pays 2 to 1 for the Pair of Aces, not 20 to 1 for the Twisted Stud.

5-Card Stud Poker Rank
Payout
Royal Flush
1,000 to 1
Straight Flush
500 to 1
4 of a Kind
200 to 1
Full House
75 to 1
Twisted Stud
20 to 1
Flush
15 to 1
Straight
6 to 1
3 of a Kind
4 to 1
2 Pair
3 to 1
1 Pair, Jacks or Better
2 to 1
Anything Else
Lose
House Edge*
2.49%

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Wild Aces

As we all know, the dealer will offer you Insurance every time he has an Ace showing. If you ever thought, “Gee, I wish I could take insurance on myself!”, you’re in luck. Wild Aces is just that – a chance for players to make an insurance bet on their own hand when their first card is an Ace.

Here’s how it works. If your at a table where the Wild Aces side bet is available, and your first card comes up an Ace, you will be asked if you want to make this wager. If you do, and your next card is a 10 or face card, resulting in a Blackjack, you win the side bet.

The payout is 2 to 1, so it really is just like taking insurance on yourself. And if you don’t get that precious 10-point card, you lose the side bet, and the hand continues playing out as normal.

Pay Table with House Edge by Decks
With Ace Up, Player’s Second Card is… Payout
Any 10 (i.e. Result is Blackjack) 2 to 1
Anything else Lose
Decks 1 2 4 6 8
Edge 5.89% 6.80% 7.25% 7.40% 7.47%

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Experience Modern Blackjack with Live Dealers in 2022

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