In the first part of this article we discussed blackjack side bets, of which there are a great number. This article continues with that list and completes what is an extensive number of side bets and bonus games.
This side bet is based entirely on the jacks and is employed in blackjack games that use a continuous shuffler. The game is based on three cards, the two in the player’s hand and the dealer’s up card. If three jacks are shown then the pay can be as high as 500-1, if only two jacks are shown then it can pay 10-1.
This game allows the player to bet on the dealer’s hand. They still play their own hand normally and they are not allowed to lose on purpose, but this can be a good option when the dealer looks in a better position than the player and a loss seems imminent.
This bet goes by many names and is fairly common in land-based casinos. If the player hits 20 with their two cards, and the dealer shows a 10, then the player may activate this option and end the hand early. They win 50% of what they would have won if they had played the hand through to the end. There are also a number of similar games that allow the player to bet on whether they or the dealer will hit 20 or not with their first two cards.
Lucky Lucky and 8s
These are similar bets that have slight differences. They are also known by other names such as Straight 8s and Lucky 7s. In one variant the 7 card is used, whilst in the other it is the 8 card, but it has also been known to be the king, the queen or a number of other cards. The game is played based on the player’s two cards and the dealer’s up card. If all three are suited 8s or 7s, then the payment can be between 120-1 to 200-1 (depending on the decks used) whereas if all three cards are just standard 7s or 8s then the payment can be between 30-1 to 50-1. An unsuited pair also pays, albeit not very well. A similar game to this is also commonly played, but instead of 7s or 8s it uses flush and straight cards and counts both of the dealer’s cards as well as both of the player’s cards. This game is sometimes known as 2 Run 21.
Wheel of Fortune
The Wheel of Fortune, or Bonus Spin (it also goes by other names) allows the player to spin a prize wheel when they get blackjack. What is on the prize wheel is entirely up to the casino. You are unlikely to find this game in the high roller casinos and in the online casinos, and are more likely to see it in the smaller casinos with a more amateur clientele. Sometimes this game requires a small side bet, but that is not always the case.
Match the Dealer
This is a self explanatory game in which the player bets on whether their card or cards will match the dealer’s up card. The highest payment here is for two suited matches that pays between 20-1 and 25-1. This game changes dramatically depending on the amount of decks used and on the game itself, and this side bet is also popular in the game of Spanish 21.
Hi/Low games, sometimes spelt “hi/lo” are very popular in the world of gaming and gambling. This simple game was the basis behind the Play Your Cards Right game show and is also used as a “gamble” option on many online slot machines. In blackjack, this game is played before the deal as the player bets on whether their first card will be higher than the dealer’s up card. This is a game of little strategy and skill and is just is fun option to add some extra risk and reward.
Aces are Wild/Wild Aces
This side bet is offered to the player when their first card is an ace. If they take it and their second card is a 10 then they win the bet and are paid an extra 2-1 on top of their blackjack winnings. If the second card is anything other than a 10, including another ace, then the bet loses.
Buster/Bust Bet/Bet on Bust
This is a simple bet that the player can make on whether the dealer will bust or not. The payment increases for every card that it takes the dealer to go bust. If it takes them just 3 cards then the payment is only 2-1, but if it takes them 6 cards then it is 12-1. Although very unlikely, there are also huge odds of 250-1 if the dealer uses 8 cards to go bust. A smiler game to this, which goes by a similar name, comes into play when the dealer’s up card is showing. The player makes a bet there and then on whether the dealer will go bust or not, and the odds they receive for that happening is dependent on the dealer’s up card. Ace pays the highest, whilst 4, 5 and 6 pays the lowest.
This is a common side bet that is available in casinos around the world. A block bet is a winning bet when the dealer and the player have cards of the same suit, and the player has the higher value card. There are other parts to this side bet though, with flushes and pairs coming into play to increase the odds and decrease the probability.
Red Runs/Red Flex/Black Flex/Black Runs
This is a rare bet and one that goes by many names. All players at the table are allowed to place this bet and depending on the variant of the side bet used, the emphasis is placed either on streaks of red cards or streaks of black cards. So, if the game is based on red cards and the dealer draws 7 or more consecutive red cards (they continue to draw even after the game is finished) then the players are paid handsomely. They are also paid a smaller amount for consecutive draws of between 2 and 6 cards. How many consecutive cards are needed, which colour is used and the payouts involved all depend on the casino’s preference.
House Money 21
This is a very fun and interesting bet, particularly if it lands. This side bet is played in other forms, but with a slight differences. In House Money 21 the player bets on whether their first two cards will form a flush, a straight or a pair. The twist comes when the payoff is made, as the player then decides whether they want to take this money, or whether they want to add it to their hand. Adding chips to an active hand can get you thrown out of every casino in the world, but this bet gives you the chance to do it without suffering any consequences. The bet pays more depending on whether the player gets a straight (often only 1-1) a pair (often 3-1) or a straight flush (often 4-1)
Suit ‘em Up
When this bet is played the player wins providing that his or her first two cards are suited. The bet begins with a small payment, but this increases depending on which cards are suited. If they are aces, then this bet can pay 60-1.
This is a fun little side bet that introduces some roulette play into the game of blackjack. There is a board next to the dealer at all times, looking like a mini roulette table. The players put their money on the number of the card that they think the dealer will draw. The sort of bets available, such as “suited” and “pairs” are all dependant on the casino. A similar bet allows players to bet on the total value of the cards drawn by the dealer, with payments averaging around 6-1.