Blackjack Side Bets Are Bad Bets – Avoided Them While Playing

Most blackjack games in casinos today offer optional bonus or side bets. Once rare at a basic blackjack table they are becoming more and more widespread. The rational is simple because they carry a huge house edge. Anywhere from 3% to 20% or more compared to the 0.5% edge when playing straight up blackjack while using correct Basic Strategy. The bigger the edge, the more money the house makes.

The side bets do have an upside for the player in that all winning bonus wagers will pay out even if the player loses the original hand, and the large payouts are tempting. If you care to venture in, here are some of the most popular ones:

Twenty-One + 3

This side bet incorporates a little 3 Card Poker excitement into the mix in that your first two cards and the dealer’s up card are the determining factors. After you’ve made your BJ and optional Twenty One + 3 wagers, the combination of the three cards must equal a flush, straight flush, any straight, or three of a kind. The bet wins 9 to 1 on a six or eight deck game. The house edge is about 3%.

Royal Match 21

This one is based on your first two dealt cards:

Any two suited cards pay 2.5 to 1

A suited King & Queen (Royal Match) pays 25 to 1

A player Royal Match & dealer Royal Match in any suit pays 1000 to 1

The maximum bet allowed will vary between casinos. With the outcome based on your first two cards, the house edge is about 6%.

Bet the Set 21

This side bet focuses on your first two cards after you’ve made you’re blackjack wager and a Bet the Set wager. In some jurisdictions this bet is also known as Pair Square. If you are dealt any pair you are paid according to a pre-determined pay table based on the number of decks in play:

Single deck – pair pays 15 to 1

Double deck – pair pays 10 to 1, suited pair pays 25 to 1

Four, six or eight deck – pair pays 10 to 1, suited pair pays 15 to 1

Depending upon the number of decks in play and the pay table which varies between jurisdictions, the house edge varies between 5 & 6%.

Dealer Bust 21

Player wins if the dealer busts with various up cards showing. The winning payouts are paid according to the following table:

Bust with Ace up – Pays 10 to 1

Bust with 10 to K – Pays 4 to 1

Bust with 7 to 9 – Pays 2 to 1

Bust with 2 to 6 – Pays 1 to 1

The house edge is about 10% if the dealer stands on soft seventeen, about 8% if the dealer hits soft seventeen.

Over/Under 13

A player can wager on whether the total of his first two cards will be over, or under, 13. An exact 13 total always loses and Ace always counts as 1. The house edge for the Over 13 wager is 6.5 %, and for the Under 13, it’s 10 %. The side bet is usually offered on six- and eight- deck games.

Pair Square

A player wins if his or her first two cards are the same rank (such as a pair of 8′s). An unmatched pair (like an 8 of Clubs and an 8 of Hearts) pays 10 to 1. A matched pair (like a pair of 8′s of clubs) pays 15 to 1. The house edge is 10.6 %.

Super Sevens

In addition to your blackjack game bet, wager $1 that you will be dealt from one to three sevens resulting in the following payouts:

One seven pays 3 to 1

Two unsuited sevens pay 50 to 1

Two suited sevens pay 100 to 1

Three unsuited sevens pay 500 to 1

Three suited sevens pay 5000 to 1

The house edge is about 12% with no third card dealt and about 11% when a third card is dealt.

Lucky ladies

Here is a bet where any hand totaling 20 wins something. If you’re lucky enough to have a pair of Queens, you’ll win more, as the following pay table shows:

Pair of Queens with a dealer Blackjack – pays 250 to 1

Pair of Queens – Pays 25 to 1

Any suited 20 – pays 9 to 1

Any unsuited 20 – pays 4 to 1

The house edge is between 17 & 20 % depending on the jurisdictions pay table.

Always keep in mind that your bankroll is at a greater risk of a quicker depletion while playing blackjack games and making these tempting side bets.

Casino Etiquette for Beginners – Top 7 Do’s and Don’ts

Below is our guide of the top do’s and dont’s at the casino. Follow our example and you will master the casino etiquette.

Do:

1. Know your limits
Surely, this is not a behavioural thing, but it will keep you from losing all of your money – believe me, amateurs are really good at blowing their money. You need to know your bankroll in order to play (relatively) stress-free. Because once you have decided the amount of money you are prepared to lose, you will expect the losses you endure, and winnings will be bonuses.

2. Know the rules
Once you learn how to play without blowing all of your money, you need to learn how to know the rules of the games (knowing every casino game is preferred, but you can learn the rules of the games you like the most and stick to them).

So, before you sit at any table, study the game online, watch a video maybe or just watch a real-life game. In addition to not pissing you opponents off, you will also increase your winning chances if you learn the rules of casino games before sitting down to a stable.

3. Know where to smoke
You may not know, but some casinos limit smoking to particular sectors of their venues. There are also those casinos which permit smoking anywhere within the premise. If you are a smoker and you have entered a casino of the latter type, you should always be considerate. Dealers and fellow players may not be smokers, but even if they are, exhaling smoke in their faces is the worst possible thing you can do.

Another thing you should always do is completely extinguish the cigarette you have put out, as otherwise a stream of smoke could rise and enter your fellow player’s personal space, and that is-you guessed it-rude and annoying.

4. Know what to bring
It is essential that you bring a watch and your cellphone to the casino. Most casinos do not feature clocks and windows. Unless you want to spend more time at the casino than you initially expected, you should be able to see what time it is.

As for mobile devices, those can be of use if you get separated from your friends and you need to call them. However, you ought to familiarise yourself with the casino policy – some casinos have a cell-phone policy under which you may be asked to leave the premise if you use your mobile device while playing.

Do not:

5. Believe in superstitions
Most casino games are based on luck. So, even if you get an authentic rabbit’s foot, it will help you win in any way. Do not think that all those weirdos wearing “lucky charms” at the casino are getting lucky because of the charms.

In fact, every bet has no connection to the previous one or the following one – it is a grave mistake to treat bets as successive events. In the end, remember that the house has an edge, and no lucky charm can get you beyond that edge. All you can do is be knowledgeable and be prepared for losses.

6. Drink excessively
Of course, since you are a first-timer, you need a drink to help you relax. But do not let this one drink turn into 100. Excessive drinking will cloud your judgement and you might spend more money than you have prepared in your bankroll. That is not all – while you may be having fun, your opponents at the table probably do not have fun.

7. Be shy
Okay, we said that you need to know the rules of the game before you proceed to playing, right? Well, now we are telling you that if you are not sure about the rules of a particular game, you should ask the dealer for advice. Did we confuse you? We meant that you should not dive in the pool if you have no idea how to swim. Once you have learned how to swim-dive-but let the lifeguard save you from drowning. Even professional swimmers are at risk of drowning, you know, i.e., even professionals need help from time to time. Do not be afraid to ask for advice when you need it.

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