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An Expert Review of the 21+3 Blackjack Side Bet

May 22, 2023

Classic blackjack has many variations reflecting dynamic tastes and preferences across generations. Despite the numerous variants, the goal is to get a card combo with a natural 21 or the closest value. This article brings you an exciting variant, the 21+3 blackjack, its meaning, and the odds to beat the house dealer.

In the usual setup, the game’s universal guidelines require winners to compare the randomly dealt two cards to determine if they have achieved the desired natural of 21, or the closest value without exceeding or busting.

Lucky and skillful players may get the natural hand in the initial dealing. If they don’t, there are some basic methodologies and tips they can leverage to beat the dealer.

This is the universal path to playing blackjack. With this variant, however, things are a little different. Let’s find out the answer to the question: “What is 21+3 in blackjack?”

21+3 blackjack

Everything You Need to Know about the 21+3 Blackjack Side Bet

This variant is relatively less known. It may be your first time hearing about it, and you ponder: “What does 21+3 mean in blackjack?”. It comprises a side wager/stake that you place alongside the primary wager in the usual classic blackjack.

The 21+3 variant is, however, different from the customary side wagers/bets in that it combines elements of blackjack and 3-card poker to offer amazing winning possibilities.

You stake that the outcome of the first two dealt cards plus the dealer's upcard will result in one of the 5 winning possibilities of a three-card poker. If the outcome of your hand is outside these five possible outcomes, you lose.

Basic Steps to Playing Blackjack 21+3

Starters always grapple to grasp the 21+3 blackjack rules. The game is relatively confounding as it mixes two different concepts_poker and blackjack, into one. Nevertheless, once you get hold of the steps, subsequent rounds are easy and fun.

Besides, the King Billy Kingdom allows you to feel the luxury of playing demo mode before graduating to the real game. We urge you to take advantage of these demos and practice the different combinations and steps we cover below.

First things first. The 21 plus 3 blackjack is a special side wager. Players place stakes whether the first two dealt cards plus the dealer’s up card will result in a winning three-card poker hand. Normally, the three-card poker hand has five possible combinations. Coincidentally, the 21+3 blackjack side bet has equally the following combination matching the poker ones, which yields payouts.

The Three-of-a-kind Combination

Three cards with a similar face value. It means three cards with a similar or uniform denomination. For example, you could have 7,7, and 7 but with flower, spade, and heart symbols, respectively.

Flush: What It Is?

This hand comprises three cards of the same suit. For instance, it could comprise K, 3, and 6, all with a uniform spade, flower, or heart symbol. It has the best chances for players to hit.

The Straight Combination

Comprises three consecutive cards. They might be from different suits. For example, 4, 6, and 5 cards with spade, flower, and heart symbols, respectively. The probability of getting this combo is less compared to flush but yields from the stake are higher.

Straight Flush: The Most Winning Option

Three consecutive cards from the same suit. For example, it could be 4, 5, and 6, all bearing flowers, spades, or heart symbols. This combo has the lowest probability of hitting, as we shall see later in this article.

Still wondering: “How does 21+3 work in blackjack?” Here is the golden rule.

If the first 2 cards you’re dealt with and the dealer’s face-up card form any of the above combos, you win per the paytable. You lose the side wager if you do not get a combo representing these formations. The exact amount you receive as winnings depends on the three cards you have in your hand.

what is 21+3 in blackjack

What Are the Odds of Winning the 21+3 Blackjack Side Bet

When considering the 21+3 blackjack winning possibilities, it is imperative to note that the average winning chances might slightly differ from other houses. Also, as with other casino games, the odd concept indicates the ratio of the likelihood of winning and losing.

Thus, these are the odds of winning the 21+3 blackjack hands.

  • Flush - 5/1
  • Straight - 10/1
  • Three-of-a-kind - 30/1
  • Straight Flush - 40/1

21+3 Side Wager Payout

The 21+3 blackjack payouts are closely related to the game’s odds. When calculating this game’s payout, we deduce our calculations from the odd ratios. Normally, this is the universally accepted mathematical formula when the wager's ratios and size are known.

In this scenario, we shall assume the wager size is A.

Thus the payout for various ratios is as follows.

  • 21+3 blackjack Flush 5:1

  • Straight 10:1

  • Three-of-a-kind 30:1
  • Straight Flush 40:1

A further explanation of these ratios means in Flush, the winner takes home 5×, 10× for Straight, 30× for Three-of-a-kind, and 40× for Straight Flush.

Given the payout ratios, looking into the probability of winning a particular hand is crucial. Probability refers to percentage figures describing how probable the player will win the current round, given what their hands hold and the current game conditions.

Thus, the average probabilities of winning various hands in this game are

  • Flush - 0.059
  • Straight - 0.031
  • Three-of-a-kind - 0.005
  • Straight Flush - 0.002

These probabilities will help you ascertain your chances of winning a particular hand. As you may have noticed, the likelihood of landing a specific hand decreases. Therefore, getting the Flush hand is relatively easy, but the amount you win from the side wager is comparably low.

21+3 blackjack odds

More about 21+3 Blackjack House Edge

Classic blackjack is known to have the lowest house edge; no wonder players love applying their skills to the game often. The house edge concept connotes the advantage that a casino has over you when placing wagers. It justifies the common notion that the house will always gain some profit in the long run.

The house edge is taken as a coefficient whose figure is expressed as a percentage of money the casino will keep from every wager placed. It is a long-run average and unique for every game.

For instance, if the house edge on a particular game is 3%, implying the house will always take 3% of your wagers whenever a stake is placed. If you stake C$100, it will keep C$ 3 because of the latent edge it has over players.

Knowing the 21+3 blackjack house edge when you play online helps estimate the likely net winnable amount should you strike a winning hand. Nevertheless, we noticed that the house edge is not static, as it keeps moving depending on the decks you engage with.

When playing with an 8-deck (52 cards), the house edge is 3.62%. The 6-deck has an advantage of 3.7%, and the 4-deck has an edge of 6.39%. Single decks have even higher edges going as high as 13.39%.

Compared to regular classic, the house edge in 21+3 blackjack, as explained above, is higher, implying that the house will always keep a relatively higher amount of your stake. The average edges in the American and European variants are 0.5% and 0.38%, respectively.

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