October 12, 2021

The Good and the Bad of Live Casino Side Bets

Nathan Williams
Written byNathan WilliamsWriter
Researched byRajesh NairResearcher
Localised byPriya SharmaLocaliser

Live casino games are becoming irresistible these days. Apart from providing players with a traditional casino experience, these games also offer a lot more in terms of profitability, thanks to the myriad of live casino side bets.

The Good and the Bad of Live Casino Side Bets

But as enticing as they come, some live casino players avoid side bets altogether. Now, this begs the question; is using side bets a wise live casino strategy? Time to learn!

What Are Live Casino Side Bets?

If you’re a beginner, you may be forgiven for not knowing what a side bet really is. Well, side bets are special payouts offered by table games at the best live casinos. The idea is to provide players additional payouts, apart from what they get with the main bets. It’s like the “free spins” of the online slots word, just that this time you’re getting additional bets on the table.

That aside, most live games, including roulette, poker, blackjack, and even baccarat, offer side bets. For instance, the insurance bet is the most popular blackjack side bet, whereas poker players can enjoy the pair plus and ante bonus bets.

How Casino Side Bets Work

As the name hints, side wagers have no relationship whatsoever with main bets. Simply say, players don’t have to make the additional stake on every gameplay round.

But although you can enjoy the show without placing a side wager, it’s impossible to place side bets without staking on the main game bet.

Also, side bet payouts are not evaluated together with the main bets. This is a significant plus, considering the side bet outcome won’t affect the payout for your main bets. And don’t forget, players can place these bets at any gameplay moment.

Below are the main side bet features:

  • Side bets are optional.
  • They are made after making the main bet.
  • Side bets have varying payouts, depending on the game developer.
  • Side bets don’t affect the main game payout.
  • Side bets can increase the house edge.

Why Live Casino Side Bets?

The pros of live casino side bets clearly outweigh the cons. That’s generally true, as side bets are usually quick to understand and play. Often, these bets are settled as fast as possible to avoid interfering with the main game concentration.

To add to that, side bets increase the player’s profitability and excitement. These bets offer potential wins that can increase your payouts substantially. Remember, though, that there’s no guarantee of winning, just like with the main game bets.

Why Not Live Casino Side Bets?

The sad truth is that casino side bets offer reduced return on investment. Think it’s a lie? Take blackjack’s insurance bet, for example. Typically, the casino will dangle this carrot when the dealer’s up-card is an ace. Also, the wager is only available before the dealer draws the hole card.

Therefore, taking the bait without having a blackjack means placing an additional wager that’s half the original bet. Assuming the dealer shows an ace and their down-card is a 10-K, they automatically get a blackjack. In that case, the bet pays out 2:1, which only loses you more money going forward.

Still not convinced? Baccarat offers side bets with a painfully high house edge. So, suppose you bet on all-red or all-black, the payout is 22:1 for the former and 24:1 for the latter. But this joy is short-lived as the house edge is 14% and 6.53%, respectively. That’s incomparable to the 1,06% house edge on the banker bet.


So, are live casino side bets worth it? Yes and no! Generally, these bets can improve your payouts tenfold if you’re lucky and use an optimal strategy. But as discussed above, some side bets are better left alone. So, learn some basic live casino strategies and stick to the main wagers if possible.

About the author
Nathan Williams
Nathan Williams

Nathan "KiwiKing" Williams brings a touch of Kiwi flair to the global live casino arena. Blending his analytical mind with an infectious passion for the game, he crafts content that guides, informs, and entertains.

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