Why People make Blackjack Side Bets
While there are plenty of ways to classify blackjack players, one of the best is to separate them in terms of logical and wishful thinking. Logical players know that by finding favorable rules and using perfect basic blackjack strategy, they can drop the house to 0.5% – or possibly lower when they play online blackjack. Despite trimming the casino advantage to nearly nothing, logical thinkers realize that they’ll probably lose money long-term.
Wishful players hope to be the exception and beat the blackjack house edge through basic strategy. Going further, they’re even willing to make extremely risky side bets that are offered in some games. Obviously logical players like to stay away from side wagers when they visit land-based casinos or play online blackjack since the house edge fluctuates between 5% and 15% on these bets. However, those who are wishful thinkers are more than willing to make a side bet in addition to their regular wager, and here’s a closer look at why.
Big Risks lead to Big Payouts
Unlike slots or video poker, you don’t have an opportunity to win jackpots and other big payoffs when playing blackjack. As mentioned before, the usual best case scenario involves lowering the casino edge to 0.5% with normal blackjack strategy. This process can be agonizing to players who want action since they often win a couple hands, lose a couple hands, win three hands, then lose two hands, and so forth.
Instead of slowly grinding back and forth like this, many people want to take a chance at big money when they play online blackjack. This is what makes side bets so interesting because they present the opportunity to win anywhere from a 3-to-1 or 5,000-to-1 payout in a single hand. Those who play Caribbean Stud poker are probably used to seeing massive side bet payouts, and they’ve become a hit in blackjack too.
Of course, popularity doesn’t necessarily mean profitability as many players have discovered. Some of the bigger payouts require very rare occurrences such as being dealt three suited 7’s or 8’s in a row. Obviously this isn’t an easy thing to do, which is why those who stick to solid blackjack strategy avoid extra wagers. But for those who want to win big when they play online blackjack, side bets are a thrilling prospect.
A Better Alternative
Bucking traditional blackjack strategy in favor of big payoffs puts players up against a huge house edge. Like we discussed before, the average house edge with a side bet lies somewhere between 5-15%. If you play online blackjack, the casino advantage may decrease somewhat with side wagers, but they’re never a great option in the long-run. So those who want to win big in the shortest amount of time should at least consider other alternatives.
For example, online slots offer giant jackpots, and these games normally feature a house edge ranging between 2-8%. Obviously there are lower casino advantages available, but this isn’t bad when you figure in the multi-million dollar jackpots that are sometimes involved. Another solid option is video poker because the house edge is 0.54% with Jacks or Better, and players can even gain a 0.8% advantage in some Deuces Wild variations. Seeing as how video poker games normally offer 40,000-coin jackpots or bigger, the top prizes are definitely attractive.
If you’re not totally biased towards blackjack and its side wagers, it’s worth trying to win big payouts in slots or video poker instead. But assuming you love to play blackjack online and in casinos, by all means make side wagers once and a while – just don’t get carried away!