Blackjack Poker Side Bet


Popular examples include 777 or Perfect Pairs. 21 +3 Blackjack is a regular game which can be either European or US rules, which has a 3-card optional side bet. The idea is that you make a poker style hand with your first 2 cards in combination with the dealer’s up card. There are some big payouts possible.

Bonus bets stand alone from the regular blackjack bet and are sometimes called side-bets; they are optional wagers with brand names like Royal Match, Progressive Blackjack, and Lucky Ladies. To play the bonus bet, place a minimum wage of $1 in the circle for the side-bet next to your regular blackjack bet. As a general guideline, side bets in blackjack have high house edges and should be avoided. But if you insist on trying your luck, at least stick to the side bets that have the lowest house edge. The '21' stands for blackjack and the '3' is for Three Card Poker, the poker hand consisting of the player's first two cards and the dealer's. Blackjack is famous for the low house edge, which can go below 0.50% when the game is played according to the optimal strategy. If you place a side bet, you can put your balance at danger since the house edge is much higher. For instance, the 21+3 side comes with a 3.2386% house margin.

Overview of 21+3 Blackjack

The 21+3 side bet is optional, and its size does not need to be the same as the main bet. In order to play the side-bet, you need to participate in the main hand.

Placing a bet in the 21+3 square is all you need to do to participate. As soon as the deal is made, and before any player takes any actions the 2 player cards and the dealer’s up-card (or only card in European Blackjack) are compared to the pay table.

There are several variations of 21+3 payouts, the most simple pays from a ‘flush +pair’ and up, with 9-to-1 payouts in each case. When pairs are also included, this is hit more often, so the prizes are lowered to reflect this. There are 3-to-1 for all hands (pair, flush, straight, trips and straight flush) or there are staggered pay tables.

When the prizes are staggered, a straight flush or better can win significant money. Here is an example:

  • Flush – Pays 5:1
  • Straight – Pays 10:1
  • Straight Flush – Pays 35:1
  • Three of a Kind – Pays 33:1
  • Suited 3 of a Kind – 100:1

Keep in mind that depending on the pay table, the house edge can get as high as 13% for this side bet. You can find examples of games (depending on the number of decks in use) where this is around 2.78% instead.

Strategy for 21+3 Blackjack


It goes without saying that knowing the correct basic strategy of the base game is a prerequisite here. Without this you are just handing money to the house.

Your main ‘strategy’ decision over the long run with the 21+3 side-bet is whether to play or not. The house edge is bigger than in most base games. If you know this, then you get to decide whether the added interest and entertainment (and chance of a windfall win) are worth it to you. If the extra engagement from the 21+3 bet works for you – then you can simply add a little to your bankroll to cover this.

Card counters can beat this game by memorizing the suits as they are dealt. It is possible on some deals to find one suit over-represented as the shoe gets smaller – turning the edge positive for players. The expected hourly rate for this is very low compared to other forms of counting. Online the deck is shuffled after each hand, making card counting impossible.

Pros and Cons of 21+3 Blackjack

Adding a poker style hand to blackjack makes for an interesting variation – though I do wonder whether ‘purists’ in either discipline would approve! Depending on which of the pay tables you use there is the chance of a 9-to-1 or even bigger windfall. That elusive suited 3-of-a-kind (paying 100-to-1) would certainly be memorable.


Whether you participate depends on your attitude towards side-bets in general. Some players like these bets, and are happy to pay the extra house-edge for the chance of the occasional big win. Others scorn these bets as long-term losers.


Online casinos offer a plethora of Blackjack variants. They vary in the main rules they use and side bets they offer. While Blackjack side bets provide players with an opportunity to win higher payouts while adding more excitement to the gameplay, they also involve more risk than the original wager. In this article, we will discuss the math behind Blackjack optional bets and whether they are worth your time and money.

Getting Rich Quickly

Blackjack Poker Side Bet

On our gaming portal dedicated to the game of Blackjack, you can learn about different side bets. We have covered the most popular side bets as well as lesser-known ones like Match the Dealer and Super Sevens. Once you start reading about these side bets, the first thing you will learn is that they pay prizes that are bigger than those paid by the standard Blackjack bet. When you beat the dealer, you get paid 1:1. The biggest payout you can expect on the main bet is when you get natural, and it stands at 3:2 in the game variants you should play.

As for side bets, the payouts go from 9:1 on the 21+3 side bet all the way up to 5,000:1 on the Triple 7s bet when you get three suited 7s. When compared with the prizes that the Ante can earn you, the side bets seem quite tempting. However, when you see the house margin they come with, you can understand how risky they are. Although the house edge varies depending on the number of decks in play, it is much higher than the one of the main bet.

The Math behind Blackjack Side Bets

Blackjack With Poker Side Bet

So, if you dream of getting rich quickly, you may go for side bets. Yet, it would help if you did not forget the risk they involve. Blackjack is famous for the low house edge, which can go below 0.50% when the game is played according to the optimal strategy. If you place a side bet, you can put your balance at danger since the house edge is much higher. For instance, the 21+3 side comes with a 3.2386% house margin. As for the Triple 7’s or Super Sevens, the house edge is even higher, sitting at an abysmal 11.40%.

To play a round of Blackjack, you need to place the main bet, while the side bet is optional. So, you have to risk a certain amount by default and playing the side bet requires more money. Although these side bets may not seem that big, over a while, they may add up to an amount which you could use to play more rounds and build your balance slowly but surely.

Blackjack With 3 Card Poker Side Bet

What Should You Do About Side Bets?

Blackjack 21 With Perfect Pair And Poker Side Bet

All Blackjack games come with side bets included. Whether they are Perfect Pairs, 21+3 or Lucky Ladies, all these side bets offer prizes of a higher value that may seem too good to be true. Theoretically, you can win big, but in practice, they can drain your bankroll. The truth about Blackjack side bets is that they are more about luck than skill.

Blackjack Poker Side Bet Odds

If you like taking risks, you can play them from time to time. Wager the minimum amounts now and then and who knows? If you get lucky, you can give a boost to your balance in a single round. Click here to visit some of the best online Blackjack casinos and enjoy games to your liking!