While those games are thrilling, they often come with different rulesets. That can be fun from time to time. However, you just want to relax with a few rounds of regular blackjack sometimes. For those of you looking to add a dash of spice without playing a variant, side bets are the answer! Today, we will look at some of the most common and popular blackjack side bets available to players.
This is a side bet we have seen on almost every blackjack table we have played. It is easy to see why it is so popular, too. Punters get a chance to get a decent prize for a relatively simple task. Casinos get to drop your house edge if you decide to play this side bet. If keeping the low house edge is something you care about, you skip out on side bets altogether. Everybody wins!
As its name implies, Perfect Pairs rewards you for getting a pair of matching cards in your hands. The closer they match, the bigger the payout. Just numbers matching will result in a 6:1 prize, while a coloured pair pays 12:1. The biggest reward is for a pair of identical cards, where both number, colour and symbol are the same. This will result in a satisfying 25:1 reward!
21 + 3
One more super common live blackjack side bet is 21 + 3. It requires more effort to learn, but it pays better and has a better house edge than Perfect Pairs. When playing this side bet, your first two drawn cards and the dealer’s face up card will try to form a three-card poker hand. What prize you receive will then depend on what card combinations you are able to form.
A flush earns you a 5:1 payout, while a straight rewards a 10:1 win. A three-of-a-kind side bet win will get you a 30:1 score and a straight flush will pay 40:1. The best prize is won when you earn a straight flush, which requires three same suit cards with consecutively growing numbers. This pays a mouth-watering 100:1 prize if you win!
If you’re looking for a similar side bet as 21 + 3, this is the one you want. Like before, you are forming a specific combination of cards with your first two cards and the dealer’s face-up card. Unlike 21 + 3, the result is to get a 19, 20 or 21. Just scoring a 19 or 20 total will earn you a 1:1 and 2:1 payouts, respectively.
Depending on which cards form the 21 hand, you will receive different cash prizes. An unsuited 21 is worth 4:1 and a suited 21 pays 20:1. The best reward comes from getting three sevens, which earns a 100:1 payout!
For players looking for a risky side bet, we can think of no better choice. Bust It tasks players with making the dealer bust. The more cards the dealer gets before busting, the better your payout! A plain three-card bust just pays a 1:1 cash prize. If you can make the dealer bust with eight cards, you will receive a staggering 250:1 prize!
What is Squeeze Feature in Live Baccarat?
The general idea behind squeezing the cards is simple. Players believe that squeezing the outside edges of the card gives them better odds of getting a lucky card. Afterwards, brick and mortar casinos adopted the idea and ran with it. After all, slowly unveiling the card on each game round meant players would stay at the table for longer. They’d play more and order more drinks and snacks.
How Does Squeezing Work?
The squeeze starts at the top of the card. Tug at its two upper corners to cover the number, while revealing the card’s suite: spades, hearts, diamonds or clubs. As you draw further with your fingers, you’ll start picking up on additional details. If you see parts of a picture, then you have a J, Q or K. All of these are valued at zero in Baccarat, meaning you can end the squeeze early. It clearly didn’t work this time!
After squeezing more than a third of the card, you should have an idea of what you’re holding. If you still can’t see anything, you’ve probably got an ace in your hand. Otherwise, it’s time to slowly start turning the card around. You still use your thumbs to cover the numbers, while slowly revealing the symbols. It creates a lot of suspense, especially if you’re split between drawing a nine or a ten!
Should You Squeeze?
It depends on what you want from your baccarat round. For punters in a rush, it’s definitely one of the worst possible features! Each round is delayed due to the dealer or the players slowly unveiling the dealt cards. If you want to squeeze a few rounds of baccarat before leaving your house, definitely avoid it.
However, if you want to add a bit of flavour to each round, then we definitely recommend it! If the dealer knows how to squeeze baccarat cards properly, it can be incredibly tense! Watching the card slowly unfold anxiously. Feeling all your emotions build up until you leap from happiness or slump back in your chair out of rage or sadness. That an online casino game can evoke such emotions is amazing to see!…