You’ve probably heard people say to stay away from blackjack side bets. Or maybe you’ve heard people say that the side bets are for suckers. Count me among those people. As I have said many times, side bets have a higher house edge than the traditional blackjack game, which with basic strategy can be lowered to 0.5%.
“But I really want to play some side bets,” you say. “Can’t you give me some advice?” First of all, you realize that you’re asking for advice on ignoring my advice, right? Okay, I will look past that and help you out. Here is my advice for blackjack side bets.
Blackjack side bets can come in the traditional game – such as taking insurance – or in blackjack variations – such as Triple Sevens. In either case, the side bet has a higher house edge than the normal game, meaning that the money you wager on that side bet is more likely to be lost than if you had bet it on the regular game. With that in mind, I have two pieces of advice.
First, if you simply want to play some blackjack side bets and variations as something different, try doing it for free. Most online casinos offer free blackjack games. I advise playing the free games if you simply want something new. You get to experience a different way to play blackjack without losing more of your money.
If you must wager money on the game to have fun, though, I suggest you follow my second piece of advice: Recognize that you are probably throwing your money away. You should treat side bets the same as progressive slots. They offer a worse house edge than regular slots, but if you win it will be worth it. You probably won’t win, though. People play progressive slots, knowing that they are unlikely to win anything, in the hopes that against all odds, they will hit the jackpot. The same should be your mindset for side bets. Wagering on a side bet will likely cost you your money, but if you do happen to win, it will be pretty exciting. Some side bets – those that have the lowest odds of occurring – pay out huge prizes. To some people, taking a shot at that big money is worth the likelihood of losing your wager. If you are okay with that, then it’s okay to spend money on a side bet. Just know the odds of the bet and the probability of being unsuccessful.