SIDE BEST ARE BAD BETS:
THESE ARE BLACKJACK WAGERS
THAT YOU DON’T WANT TO MAKE
by Basil Nestor
Basil Nestor is author of "The Smarter Bet Guide to Craps," "The Smarter Bet Guide to Blackjack," and other comprehensive gambling guides. Got a question? VisitSmarterBet.com and drop him a line.
Blackjack side bets can be so tempting. The criteria for winning can seem easy, and the payoffs are enticing: 4:1, 20:1, sometimes 5,000:1. Wow! Sounds great! However, the truth is always more complicated. You’re bucking a house edge that is usually many times higher than the edge of the base game. Sadly, that is exactly the casino’s strategy.
Side bets are a tactic to raise the meager profitability of blackjack. Always keep this in mind… If blackjack were invented today, casinos surely wouldn’t offer the game. No way. Flat rejection. Zero interest from the industry. Blackjack gives players too many advantages. Casinos would be ecstatic if players would abandon blackjack and move to other games such as Three Card Poker, roulette, or slots. Those games allow few player decisions and they deliver fat margins.
But you insist on blackjack. Therefore, casinos are stuck with offering a contest that gives them a wafer-thin profit of less than 1% when you play with an optimal strategy. And the profit disappears entirely if you count cards!
Meanwhile, casino managers fantasize about blackjack players bucking an edge of 4% or 8%. Dare we say 10%? Pure heaven to the bean counters!
So what do they do?
They offer blackjack side bets… Voila! Side bets are created specifically to suck money from your wallet.
Don't be fooled in a moment of weakness. Here's a breakdown of the most popular blackjack side bets to give you an example of the clever ways casinos try to trick you...
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