Blackjack Side Bets and Other Gameplay Variations

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Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games around, with its numerous game variations and different side bets being enjoyed by everyone, from casual players to celebrities alike.

Blackjack remains at the forefront when it comes to its popularity amongst gamblers.  Whoever you are and whatever your gambling intention might be, you can get the gist of the game with relative ease.  The game also features an above-average player odds, with the most skilled blackjack players often able to achieve a nearly 50/50 chance of success.   

For many players, blackjack is the perfect game, plain and simple.  Additionally, for those who are looking for a greater variety when it comes to gameplay, there are several interesting blackjack game variations worth checking out:   

Perfect Pairs

Perfect Pairs involves the two cards that the player gets dealt with.  If both cards display the same value (e.g. two jacks, or two fives), the player wins.  An important variable to consider here is the suit of each card, since this will determine the size of the payout.  A “perfect pair” will include two same cards from the same suit and will pay the highest.

Perfect Pairs payout table is as follows:

  • Perfect pair – 30:1
  • Same colour pair – 10:1
  • Mixed colour pair – 5:1

The Perfect Pairs wager is independent of the primary wager and is optional.  This means that a regular hand can be paid without making a side bet.  Should you decide to do a Perfect Pairs wager, you can bet an equal amount, which can be more or less what your main bet is.

21 + 3

A 21 + 3 side bet can be made as a substitute, or in addition to a Perfect Pairs bet.  This side bet makes use of the initial three faceup cards from each hand – the dealer’s faceup card and the two cards that the player gets dealt – to create a poker hand.  If the player’s hand reveals a three of a kind or better, the player wins.

The 21 + 3 payout table is as follows:

  • Suited three of a kind – 100:1
  • Straight flush – 40:1
  • Three of a kind – 25:1
  • Straight – 10:1
  • Flush – 5:1

The result of the main bet does not affect the outcome of a 21 + 3 wager, and you will be paid out for this bet at the beginning of a hand.

Multi-Hand Blackjack

Multi-hand blackjack allows the players to square off against the dealer several times simultaneously.  Multiple hands allow players to hedge their bets, even though cards can’t be mixed and matched.  For example, should your first hand be good, you can approach your second hand a bit more conservatively.   

The overarching benefit of multi-hand blackjack is its speed.  Some multi-hand blackjack tables allow players to play up to five hands at once.  If you are playing online, you can even select the turbo option, which eliminates the dealing animation, further speeding up the game.

Hi-Lo Blackjack

This is one of the most straightforward side bets you can get in blackjack and allows the player to wager on whether their second card will be lower or higher than the first.  For example, if you choose “hi” and you get dealt a two of hearts, followed by a five of hearts, you win. 

However, should you bet “hi” and the abovementioned cards got dealt in reverse order, you would lose.  The payout for a hi-lo win is 2:1, making this type of betting a perfect testing ground for the Martingale betting strategy.   

Charlie 7

The primary objective of Charlie 7 betting is to score 21, or to get to this number closer than the dealer can without going bust.  An added benefit is that should you get dealt seven cards that are less or equal to 21, you automatically win that hand.

This variation offers players an additional winning chance and boosts their odds.  Although the rules of Charlie 7 don’t come into effect that frequently, they provide players with a saving grace when they struggle to get a high card.    

With added blackjack game variations, the game becomes even more appealing, offering players added opportunities to strike it rich.  All you have to do is pick a wagering style that best suits you and test your skills at the table.  Who knows, you might just hit the jackpot!