Casino Side Bets
Every casino offers a selection of classic gambling games like blackjack, roulette and craps that players have enjoyed for centuries, along with plenty of newer favorites like Three Card Poker and Caribbean Stud. But sometimes, just playing these games in their original forms can get a bit dull and repetitive.
That’s where side bets come in. Many live and online casinos now offer side bets that allow players to get more action while playing their favorite casino game. In most cases, these bets can be played for a fraction of the cost of the main game. For instance, while a blackjack table might have a minimum bet of $5, $10 or $25, chances are that there’s also a side bet on the table that can be played for just $1.
Why do casinos offer side bets? Well, the answer is pretty obvious: by getting more action at a table, the casino knows it will make more money in the long run. In fact, most side bets have a very high house edge, making them easy money for a casino. This is why the general advice usually given to casino gamblers is to just stay away from side bets.
However, not all side bets are the same, and some are better bets than others. Besides, since the amount you bet on them tends to be very low, so they can sometimes be a fun way to add a little extra action during a game that’s starting to feel dull. Here are a few common side games you might see on your next trip to the casino:
Blackjack Side Bets
Perhaps the most common blackjack side bet is Super Sevens. Playing the game is simple; if you want to play, you just put a $1 chip on the Super Sevens spot. The player wins if they receive sevens on the next hand, starting with the first card dealt. The pay table usually looks like this:
First Card is a Seven: 3-1
First Two Cards are Sevens: 50-1
First Two Cards are Suited Sevens: 100-1
First Three Cards are Sevens: 500-1
First Three Cards are Suited Sevens: 5,000-1
The house edge on Super Sevens is about 12%, depending on the exact rules and the number of decks used.
Craps Side Bets
As if craps didn’t have enough betting options already, some craps tables also offer side bets. The most popular one is the Fire Bet, which pays players if a shooter manages to hit four or more different points before losing the dice (due to crapping out or rolling a seven before a point). Each point hit must be unique; if a shooter hits a 6, then has a point of 6 on their next come out roll and hits the points again, that still only counts as one point made. For a $1 bet, the following pay chart is common:
Four Points Made: $25
Five Points Made: $250
Six Points Made: $1,000
This game has a house edge of over 20%.
Let it Ride Side Bets
Some Let it Ride tables offer a 3-card bonus bet that is essentially the same as the Pairplus bet in Three Card Poker. The player is paid based on the quality of the initial three card hand they are dealt, not taking into account the two community cards dealt later by the dealer. A typical pay chart may offer the following:
Mini Royal Flush (AKQ of the same suit): 50-1
Straight Flush: 40-1
Three of a Kind: 30-1
Using the above pay table, the house edge is about 7%.