Blackjack Bets - Rules, Payouts, Side Bets | LeoVegas

Blackjack types of bets guide

Blackjack holds its own against many other card-based casino games, such as poker, in terms of popularity. Thousands of players place their blackjack bets in our live casino lobby. Today, we will be examining all the various blackjack bets you can place and exploring blackjack odds, blackjack payouts, and specific strategies, such as when to split in blackjack.

Main blackjack bets explained

One of the main selling points of online blackjack games is that it doesn't take long to pick up on the rules. While it may take a little bit longer to establish how to bet and what sorts of strategies players look to use, it takes much less time to understand than poker, for instance, which can take hours of learning. Let's examine some of the blackjack bets that players try to utilise in their favour.

Blackjack hit or stand rules

The goal of blackjack is to get 21 or get as close to 21 as possible. All the players involved, including the dealer, are given two cards and can choose to hit or stand. This decision is entirely up to you. Some players prefer riskier approaches, but as a general idea, we will discuss the typical limits players implement.

When to hit in blackjack

Generally, any hand between two and 12 is a good starting point. Depending on the type of blackjack game you are playing, you can hit up to five times, but some games may vary this number. If your hand is between 12 and 15, this can be a grey area for some blackjack players, and it's important to remember that blackjack hit or stand strategies boil down to the player and how aggressive your style is.

Usually, 10 or 11 are the best hands to draw; these will often give you the best chance to land a total higher than 17, which provides a much higher statistical likelihood of winning. Despite some people claiming some strategies give you a better chance of winning a blackjack game, this isn't the case; it's all maths and probability.

When to stand in blackjack

Anything above 17 is considered a substantial hand, and you'd be unlucky to lose if you land a 17 or higher. Also, if you decide to hit on anything higher than 15, you have a much higher chance of going bust and losing the hand, so you need to weigh up all these variables before making your move.

Blackjack split rules

If the first two cards you are drawn are the same number, you can play two separate hands. Blackjack split rules are relatively straightforward, but it is a good idea to sharpen your knowledge to know what to look out for and when this move is most effective.

When to split aces in blackjack

One of the most widely known rules for a blackjack split hand is to split if you have aces or eights. It's obvious why you should split an ace, as they can total 1 or 11. Essentially, you get two shots at a firm hand. While this can double your money potentially, it can also work the other way, so it's best to familiarise yourself with how blackjack split bets work, as you could be left with a painful loss if you don't strategize or manage your cash efficiently.

It is typically not a good idea to split 10s, as you minimise the statistical likelihood of landing a solid hand.

How many times can you split

If you were to look at a standard deck of cards, simple maths tells you that the most you can split in one hand is four times. However, most casinos will usually only give you the option to split three times.

Depending on the number, it could increase your chances or multiply your losses, so be careful how you proceed if you find yourself in this unique situation.

Can the dealer split in blackjack

The dealer can't split their hand in blackjack, which can help to balance the odds slightly, but the house always has an advantage.

Blackjack double-down rules

If the dealer gives you a solid starting hand, blackjack double down is an attempt to capitalise on the strength of your hand. Blackjack bets rarely allow you to double down and take advantage of a strong hand.

Once you have doubled down, you can only take one more card before you have to stick. This is why knowing when to apply this bet is essential.

When to double down in blackjack

The best way to remember blackjack double-down rules is that you need to have a great hand. If we apply the logic of a great indicator to a blackjack double-down bet, this will tell us that the best times to double down are if you have a soft 16, 17, or 18. A soft hand is when one of your cards is an ace, which provides you with more flexibility.

If you have an 11, this would be an ideal time to double down. While it doesn't guarantee a win, an 11 provides a better chance to strike while the iron is hot.

When to split and double down

As far as blackjack bets go, split and double down can net you the biggest win, but it can also result in a significant loss. If you have a pair of aces, a split and double-down bet might be a masterstroke, but it's always best to play with caution.

Blackjack surrender rules

Blackjack surrender means you sit out the game and relinquish your stake. This may be wise especially if the dealer has an ace and you have a weaker hand that is unlikely to play out positively in your favour. While it doesn't quite mean it's an even-money blackjack bet, it's an excellent bet to utilise in the event of a poor hand.

Early vs late surrender

Early surrender can take away some of the house’s edge if implemented correctly. Different casinos have varying rules, so it's always a good idea to check this before you begin playing. If you choose early surrender, you sacrifice half your bet before the dealer checks the hole card. Ultimately, you can insulate yourself from losing your total bet if you do not have a favourable hand.

Late surrender is when you use the same methodology after the dealer has revealed their hole card. They work similarly, but different casinos have different rules on how they apply it, which is no surprise given that it can lower the house's edge.

When to surrender in blackjack

Following the initial draw, if you take a look at your two cards and you have a 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, or 17 and neither of your cards is an ace, these are the hands where players will often surrender. The general idea is to help mitigate risk if you have a poor hand, and both early and late surrender gives you this option.


Blackjack side bets

Blackjack side bets act as a game within a game, where you can gamble on the outcome. Usually, a side bet occurs before the hand is dealt, and you're placing a side bet on whether you win the game, often with odds of around 2/1. Blackjack side bets add more drama to the game; however, you need to understand how they work before you can use them most effectively.

21+3 side bet

Blackjack bets cover a wide range of bets from relatively simple ones to ones that are more specific to frequent players. A 21+3 blackjack side bet can give you tremendous odds and incorporates many combinations you'd see in poker. A 21+3 side bet is a bet on whether your two cards and the dealer's up card will equal three cards in the same suit, known as a normal flush.

These bets are placed before the cards are dealt, and the combinations and payouts vary depending on the casino.

What is a flush in blackjack

A flush in blackjack is the same as a flush in any other card-based game. It includes any combination of cards in the same suit. Usually, the payout is around 5/1.

What is a straight in blackjack

A straight has the potential of a higher payout as it works like a flush, but they all need to be in numerical order, such as 2,3,4, or 8,9,10 of any suit.

What is three-of-a-kind in blackjack

As we continue up the scale, with the probability getting lower and the payout getting higher, a three-of-a-kind is when your two cards and the dealer's card all match, say you have a pair of nines and the dealer has another nine, for example.

What is a straight flush in blackjack

A straight flush includes a run of numerical value, but all cards need to be of the same suit. The chances of this are higher than landing an individual number in a roulette game at about 40/1.

What is a suited three-of-a-kind in blackjack

The biggest payout for 21+3 side blackjack bets is the suited three-of-a-kind. While highly unlikely, you can get odds of up to 100/1. Remember, this is possible as blackjack casinos will use multiple decks of cards.

Perfect pairs side bet

Another common side bet is placing an additional wager that the two cards drawn will be a pair. This usually offers odds of over 25/1.

How much does a coloured pair pay in blackjack

A coloured pair refers to the cards both being red or black. For instance, if you land the six of clubs and six of spades, this is a coloured pair, and it usually pays out between 12/1 and 15/1.

How much does a perfect pair pay in blackjack

A perfect pair works similarly, but they're of the same rank and suit. So, if you get two queens of diamonds, this will net you a return of 30/1.

How much does a mixed pair pay in blackjack

A mixed pair pays out 7/1. This is when you combine the same number across any of the other suits — for instance, a seven of diamonds and a seven of clubs or spades.

Blackjack insurance

An insurance bet covers you if the house gets a blackjack. When the dealer's face-up card is an ace, you can utilise this method to help protect you against losses, but it can also multiply your loss, so you must be careful. Many people need to have blackjack insurance explained, so we’ve done just that. Once the blackjack insurance rules are clear to you, you'll know how to use them to full effect.

Blackjack insurance odds

Blackjack insurance rules generally dictate that if the dealer has a blackjack, you'll get odds of a 2/1 payout, so you're betting on the house advantage.

Blackjack insurance example

If you bet €20 on your hand and the dealer has an ace, before play resumes on the rest of the game, the dealer will request if anybody wants to place a blackjack insurance bet. After requesting the bet, any players wishing to place this specific type of side bet will be asked to wager an additional €5 or €10, depending on the minimum bet on that table.

The insurance wager odds are 2/1 when the dealer has a 10 or a hole card, resulting in blackjack. A €10 insurance bet would win €20. In the above example, even though you would win €10 for your insurance bet, your original bet of €20 would be lost in the case of a house blackjack, as it only helps protect some of your loss. If you also have blackjack, it would act as a stalemate, as your insurance wager and hand bet cancel each other out.

Blackjack bet behind

If you're playing at a busy blackjack table, a bet behind can be a good move if you're looking to ride the coattails of a player who seems to have a solid hand. Of all the blackjack bets, this one can cause the most drama at the table, as people bet on one of the player's hands winning, forming an alliance with one of the other players.



As you can see, blackjack types of bets cover a broad scope. There's a range of around two dozen prominent bets available at the blackjack tables and learning when to use them all will strengthen your knowledge as a player. However, even if you play blackjack for years and become knowledgeable about how the game works, the more obscure types of blackjack bets and when to split your hand, won’t give you a better edge against the house.

Playing blackjack, like all casino games, relies on luck. As long as you can appreciate that the game is made for entertainment and no other reason, you can enjoy the game in its intended form and expand your knowledge.