What are side bets in poker, blackjack, etc.?

Increasing numbers of casinos are offering players a richer betting experience in the form of sidebets in blackjack and poker games. The reason is simple: no one pretends that it’s easy to get substantial payouts when playing, say, online blackjack- but there is a way of getting a higher payoff: side bets. So what are they, and how do you use them?

What are side bets?

Side bets are extra wagers you can place at the beginning of a roundat the same time as your main bet. Even if you lose your main bet, you can still win a side bet.Some of the most popular side bets are known as “Double down,” “21+3”,“Split,” “Insurance,” and “Surrender.” Let’s walk you through each of them.

The “Double down” side bet

Many English-speaking people have come across the card term “double down,” even if they know nothing about the game. It’s come to mean reaffirming a belief or a decision, especially if it’s being challenged. But in blackjack or poker, it means merely increasing your original bet (in blackjack, that’s the wager you’ve placed whether you or the dealer will come closest to 21 in a duel). The best NJ Online Casinos will then allow players to increase their first bet – “double down” on it – by 100%. But once you’ve done that, you only get one more card, after which you must stand.

The “21+3” side bet

You may well be able to guess what this bet entails after understanding the “double down” variant. This side bet focuses on the first two cards dealt to the player plus the dealer’s “up” card. You’re then able to bet on the three cards being in one of the followingcombinations (before they’re dealt, of course):

  • A Flush (i.e., three cards of the same suit)
  • A Straight (three cards of successive value, like 4, 5, 7)
  • A Straight Flush (three cards of successive value belonging to the same suit)
  • A Three-of-a-Kind (three cards of the same value, or identical face cards, from different suits)
  • A Suited Three-of-a-Kind (three cards of the same value, or identical face card, from the same suit)

The “Split” side bet

If you place a “Split” bet, you get to proceed with it if the two cards first dealt have the same numerical number (e.g., two nines). You can then decide whether or not you’d like to split them into two separate hands. But your bet for the newly created second hand must match your initial bet.

The “Insurance” side bet

If the dealer’s upcard turns out to be an ace after the first two cards have been dealt, you can opt to implementan “insurance” side bet (placed at the same time as the main bet, as before) before the dealer checks the card that remains face down on the table (the “hole” card).

As the name implies, this gives the player insurance against the raised likelihood that the dealer’s hole card will make a two-card hand of 21 in value. Players can bet up to half their initial stake, and the bet pays odds of two-to-one. In other words, if the dealer does make 21 with the hole card, the player breaks even instead of losing the entire bet.

The “Surrender” side bet

In truth, this is more of an opportunity than a bet. With the “Surrender” option, you get the chance to compare your opening two-card hand with the dealer’s upcard. If you form the judgment that the dealer is more likely to get 21 than you are, you can surrender half your stake with this option (but you can take no further part in the hand).

There are lots of other side bets (e.g., Perfect Pairs, Lucky Ladies, and Royal Match, to name a few),but these are the most popular.