Blackjack strategy 101: Understanding Perfect Pairs side bets
Boost your profits by learning whether the odds are in your favour with our guide to Perfect Pairs European Blackjack.
Perfect Pairs European Blackjack is one of the most popular variants of blackjack online.
The game works like regular European Blackjack with the addition of several side bets. Players can win special pots depending on the outcome of their cards - and the dealer's.
Let's take a closer look at the Perfect Pairs bet and see whether it's worth investing a bankroll in.
How the Perfect Pairs bet works online
If you've played European Blackjack, you'll understand how Perfect Pairs Blackjack works.
Players get dealt two cards face up, with the dealer receiving one up and one down. The aim is to receive further cards ("hit") until you reach 21, or as close to it without going bust.
If you choose to stop receiving cards, you "stand" and your turn is over. If you beat the dealer's total, or the dealer goes over 21 ("bust"), you win.
At the start of a hand, the player puts in a bet and can take an optional Insurance bet worth 3/2. If the dealer hits blackjack (a natural 21) you receive 2/1 on your Insurance bet.
The difference with Perfect Pairs is that you have some exciting side bets to put down, too. The payout is determined by the player's first two cards. If you get dealt a pair, you're in good shape for a win.
Side Bet Payouts:
Mixed Pair (e.g 2 hearts - 2 spades): A mixed pair is a pair made up of two different colours (red/black). This pays 7/1.
Colour Pair (e.g. 3 hearts - 3 diamonds): This is a pair of the same colour but different suits. This pays 15/1.
Perfect Pair (e.g. Jack hearts - Jack hearts): This is a pair of cards of the same rank AND suit. It pays 30/1.
Perfect Pairs strategy and tips
It's important to understand how many cards are available when you play Perfect Pairs European Blackjack.
A standard online Perfect Pairs game may use two decks of cards. Therefore, the odds of you hitting two cards the same (a "perfect pair") are better than the 30/1 offered in the payouts. Even if a shoe has 6-8 decks, the chances of being dealt two cards the same are in the thousands.
The side bets in Perfect Pairs add a different element to the game. If you are going to risk a small stake, perhaps stick to the Mixed Pair bet. This gives you a few more cards in the shoe to hit.
Whatever stakes you are playing at, optimal blackjack strategy is important when playing Perfect Pairs. So, knowing when to “hit” and “stand” is important.
For example, it's often a good bet to split high pairs in online blackjack. But this isn't always possible if you have a side bet resting on the outcome of your hand.
Alternative side bets in online Blackjack
There are a variety of other blackjack casino games that feature side bets. In some cases, the general gameplay differs as well.
In this blackjack variation, players receive additional payouts on a range of side bets.
At the start of a game, the player gets dealt two hands. If they get dealt a pair at the start of a hand, the side bet pays 5/1.
Strategy on splitting pairs then comes into play. Receiving two pairs pays 8/1. And if the player gets quads (four cards the same), the side bet pays 40/1.
As in European Blackjack, players in Blackjack Switch can take Insurance and double down.
Super Fun 21:
This variant puts the "fun" into regular blackjack.
The gameplay follows European Blackjack but there are additional payouts for hitting a blackjack with two diamonds (2/1), making 21 with five cards or less (2/1), and making 20 with fewer than six cards (1/1).
Double Attack Blackjack:
Double Attack Blackjack has more side bet action than most variants. The more unlikely the outcome, the higher the payout.
The "Bust It" bet is the highlight of Double Attack Blackjack.
The player wins the side bet if the dealer busts with three cards (and exactly three).
There are also bets on everything from the dealer's up card being a picture card (3/1) to the dealer busting with a nine (6/1) or busting with a seven (10/1).
The player can receive a 50/1 payout if the dealer busts with 8-8-8 of the same colour.