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You may have seen ads or tables advertising 21 + 3 blackjack and wonder, what does that mean? Well, we’ll break it down for you in this article and show you how to play!

How to Play 21 + 3 Blackjack

Simply put, 21 + 3 is blackjack and three-card poker combined into one game. While playing, players can make a side bet separate from their ante amount. This is a bet that the two-player cards and the one face-up dealer card will form a winning three-card poker hand. These are the five combinations that win the side bet:

  • Flush: All three cards are the same suit
  • Straight: Three consecutive cards
  • Three of a Kind: All three cards are the same number
  • Straight Flush: All of the cards line up to make a straight and are also a flush
  • Suited Three of a Kind: a three-of-a-kind with all of the same suit

If the player hits any of these combinations, they win the side bet and are paid out even if they lose the blackjack hand. Each combination has a different pay scale, which can differ between casinos, but it looks like this on average.

Three-of-a-Kind 30:1
Straight Flush 40:1
Suited Three of a Kind100:1

How Does 21 + 3 Effect Odds and Payout

It all depends on the number of decks being used at the blackjack table. Playing at tables with eight decks places the house edge at about 3.5%. For lower deck variations the house edge increases marginally until you get to one deck where the house has an outstanding advantage at +13%. These games are absolute stay-aways but uncommon at the same time.

So is it worth it to make the side wager on 21 + 3 blackjack? Well, the easy answer is no. Generally when playing blackjack with basic strategy the house only cuts out a small advantage at .5%. When players start to place side bets it removes that player advantage.

Other Blackjack Side Bets

21 + 3 blackjack isn’t the only type of side bet players can make in blackjack. There are several other options that are commonly found:

  • Insurance: This is a side bet that players can make if the deal is showing an ace up. A player can make an insurance bet against the deal by hitting a natural 21. This bet is an additional bet of half the player’s original ante amount. If the dealer hits the 21, then the player is paid out 2:1.
  • Pair Square: Players win this side bet if their cards are a pair or the same suit.
  • Perfect Pair: Similar to the pair squared this side bet pays out if the player’s first 2 cards are a pair.
  • Lucky Ladies: Players are betting they will have a hand that totals 20 on their first 2 cards.
  • Over/under 13: A side bet on whether the player’s cards will combine to be more or less than 13.

If you’re looking for other blackjack content or advice we have plenty of content, checkout some of our latest here!

Mitchell Lebrun

Mitchell Lebrun is the head of content at EatWatchGamble, working directly with our team of writers to ensure EWG is the ultimate casino resource. Mitchell is an Oregon State grad and avid NBA fan.

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