Side Bets in Blackjack—Perfect Pairs

Side bets are never a good idea in blackjack. It doesn’t matter if you’re playing online or in a casino. Side bets are an easy way to lose more of your money, and lose it faster.

Sure the side bets sound like fun. Maybe they’re a way to heighten the gambling thrill. But in reality, if you stop and think about how a side bet works, you’ll see that it’s not a great idea to play with them.

For example, let’s take a look at Blackjack Perfect Pairs.

Perfect Pairs is played like any other game of blackjack. It’s usually played with six decks and has the same house rules as a standard game of blackjack. So regular game play has the same odds as a normal game. You can use basic strategy in the game and lower the house edge on the portion of Perfect Pairs that is played like regular blackjack.

Now for the Perfect Pairs part. In this blackjack variation, players can make a side bet on whether the first two cards they’re dealt will be a pair.

Yes, that is the side bet and key to this variation of blackjack. You are merely wagering your money on whether you’ll be dealt a pair in your first two cards. And, unlike regular blackjack, there is nothing a player can do to alter the house odds for the side bet portion; there is no way to increase your chances of being dealt a pair.

It seems like a silly thing to wager on.

In Perfect Pairs there are three ways to win the side bet in Perfect Pairs:

– A perfect pair is made up of two cards that are identical; payout is 25
– A colored pair is made up of two cards of the same rank and color, just different suits; payout is 12
– A red/black pair is made up two cards of the same rank; payout is 6

Without one of those types of pairs you will lose your side bet.

Now let’s look at the house edge on Perfect Pairs versus the house edge on a standard version of blackjack:

– Perfect Pairs: 4.10%
– Standard Blackjack pre-basic strategy: 2-5%
– Standard Blackjack with basic strategy: 0.05%

Would you rather play against a house edge of 4.10% in which you can’t lower the odds? Or just stick to standard blackjack that you can influence?