BlackJack Side Bets: The Truth About Blackjack Side Bets

17 October 2022 < 1 minute to read
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The truth about Blackjack side bets. Come to think of it any blackjack player knows that side bets in blackjack are important.

We talked extensively already why blackjack is the best casino game to play. Our blackjack players really enjoyed it and asked us to write another informative blackjack article.

We put pen to paper, and since it’s about the same casino game. We take a closer look at the “Truth about side bets in blackjack” in this guide.

BlackJack Side Bets

The Best Online US Casinos That Offer Blackjack Side Bets

We don’t condone side bets. However, now and again an opportunity presents itself where you can take a risk.

Below you’ll find the best online casinos for Americans that offer side bets. If you use a side bet please do so with discretion.

The Truth About Blackjack Side Bets

When blackjack noobs like us sit down at the table. Can you guess the edge of the house against that’s against us? Well, it’s 0.7%.

Generally speaking, it doesn’t sound like much. But, we’re talking about blackjack here, so it’s huge. In the event, the player uses a perfect blackjack strategy he or she can reduce the house edge to -0.54%.

Obviously, it depends on the number of decks and the rules of the blackjack casino for real money. Since online blackjack players are becoming smarter. Online casinos that offer live casino blackjack have to be even smarter.

So, to counteract a new wave of savvy blackjack players, online gambling sites came up with another superb solution. Can you guess what it is? We’ll give you a few seconds to answer.

If you can’t remember, or you don’t know. Blackjack casinos now add side bets to the equation which increases their profit margin.

When the dealer has an Ace as an upcard the casino offers you an insurance bet.

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Insurance Bets In Blackjack

Let’s take a closer look at Insurance. The good news is players can place up to 1/2 of their bets on the insurance line. Or, is it good news? Let’s find out.

You might be thinking what’s the big deal about insurance? Now, if the dealer hits a blackjack you’ll lose your bets, right? The insurance will cover the bet you just lost against the dealer.

How does insurance in blackjack work? If your bet is $5 and the dealer’s card is an ace, you can place $2.50 on insurance.

Moreover, the top blackjack players know how to keep their emotions in check.

The last thing you want to do is walk out of the casino scowling at yourself. If you had a few bad sessions at the table call it quits and try another day.

When will the dealer offer blackjack player insurance? When the dealer turns over his up card and he sees it’s an Ace.

Simple Blackjack Side Bets Illustration

If the dealer gets a blackjack, he’ll take your $5, but he’ll pay you 2 to 1 on your insurance bet. The dealer will then return your insurance bet of $2.50 as well as your $5.

Therefore, you lost nothing. In the event, the dealer did not have blackjack. You’ll forfeit the $2.50 wager you made on the insurance and you’ll play out the hand. Which begs the question. Is the bet on insurance good or bad?

If we look at the stats of Insurance it doesn’t favor the player. If the dealer’s card is an Ace he’ll win the hand 3 out of the 10 times. To simplify matters for the blackjack player, you.

If your average bet per hand is $5, you’ll lose every 3 hands out of 10. If you’re into stats and stuff. Have a look at how to use online casino game stats to your advantage.

Your loss will be $15 if you don’t take insurance. If you do take insurance of $2.50 it will cost you $17.50 after you played 3 hands.

This is why blackjack experts don’t like insurance bets because they can be expensive. The bottom line is never to take insurance.

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The Truth About Side Bets In Blackjack

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Are side bets in blackjack really that good? There are blackjack casino players that swear by insurance. They hold the opinion that it’s the only way to play if you have a blackjack.

Especially, if the dealer’s up card is an Ace. Once again let’s crunch the numbers. Remember, the dealer will have a 10 when he has an Ace 3 times out of the 10 times.

Blackjack pays 1 1/2 to 1, your aim should be to win the bet 7 out of 10 times. Assuming your average bet per hand in blackjack is $5 you’ll win $52.50.

It’s better to win your hand this way. Besides, winning your hand 10 times translates into a win of $50.


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Other Side Bets – First 2 Cards Total 20

To best illustrate our point. Let’s say that the top live dealer USA casinos offer a side bet of 20. If your first two cards total 20 for an additional side wager.

The casino will pay you on that wager; regardless of the outcome. Many casinos pay 3 to 1; your odds are 9 to 1 of getting 20 on your first two cards.

If you decide to take out a side bet on each hand, you’ll lose. The house edge goes from a very placid -0.54% to a nutter of 24.71% on a 6-deck blackjack game.

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Buster Blackjack – Additional Side Bets

Buster Blackjack is another side wager casinos offer. The player will win some money if the dealer goes bust. There is a small catch though.

The payout the player receives depends on how many cards it took the dealer to go bust. The more cards it takes the dealer to bust the more money the player wins.

If the dealer decides to stand on a soft 17. The dealer will bust 29.1% of the time. Moreover, if the dealer hits on a soft 17, he’ll bust 29.6%.

The odds against the player losing the hand are 2 or 3 times, basically, it’s meh.

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Push Your Luck

Push your luck is a side when the player’s hand ties in with that of the dealer. This bet pays 10 to 1 if the player pushes the dealer.

An interesting thing about this side bet and compared to the previous side bets we discussed. Is that the house edge on this bet is small?

If you bet the max bet on this side bet of 1/2. The edge increase from 0.51% to 0.76% that’s if you play with a deck of 6 cards.

The cost is 0.25% which translates into a win of 1 out of 10 times, not good.

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When a player uses a perfect blackjack strategy against the house, the edge is 0.54%. As we said previously this depends on the rules of the casino and if it’s with a 6-deck game.

The moment a blackjack player uses side bets that’s when the house edge goes South. Your probability of logging out of the casino a winner is slim.

The crux of the matter is don’t use side bets in blackjack, never! Like any casino game, blackjack has a negative expectation.

No matter how good you are, or how long you play. The house or in this case the casino will win in the long run. So, there’s absolutely nothing you can do.

Make sure you understand the rules of the game and that you use an optimal betting strategy. It helps a lot too if you time your blackjack sessions.

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