As casino players who enjoy slots are often used to pretty huge payouts, Live Casino developers are also starting to offer special payouts to attract more players. While there are not that many options to change the standard payouts of classic casino games, side bets are a great way to offer players bigger rewards for some additional risks.
More live-dealer variations include the option to play for bonus payouts by placing additional bets and making the gameplay a bit more exciting. No matter which live-dealer game you prefer, you can find at least a few blackjack, roulette, poker, and even baccarat games with side bets. When it comes to side bets, card games are more commonly the type of Live Casino games that offer bonus payouts for additional bets.
Side bets have become so popular among live-dealer casino fans that Evolution Gaming has even launched an entire poker-style show game that is inspired by some side bet options in poker.
Even though side bets may sound tempting, especially if they offer generous payouts, players should be aware of the effects side bets have on the RTP of a game. In most cases, the base game has the best potential return and side bets are just a fun way to play for a bigger payout if you have enough money to make riskier bets.
How Side Bets Work in Live Casino Games?
Typically, side bets are additional wagers that offer bonus payouts for specific winning combinations that have nothing to do with the main gameplay. As their name suggests, side bets are something that is made on the side, meaning you are not required to make the bonus stake on every round of the game. In fact, you can often just play the base as any usual variation of roulette, blackjack, poker, or baccarat.
Although you can often play without making a side bet, you cannot place only side bets and skip the bets for the main game. If you are a fan of side bets, however, you can try one of Evolution Gaming’s latest additions to its gaming portfolio. As many players enjoy the side bets on poker live-dealer variations, the software company launched Side Bet City, which is a poker-based Live Casino game that offers side bets as the main betting options of the game.
Side bets are typically not evaluated at the same time as the bets for the main game. This means that making a side bet will not affect in any way the outcome in the base game. Being optional bets, these wagers can be made whenever players wish to bet a little more and play for the chance of sweeping amounts that supersede the standard payouts in the game.
There are a few things to keep in mind before you opt for placing a side bet on a live-dealer game:
- Side bets are typically optional and players are not required to make them on every betting round
- The same side bet can have different payouts according to the software developer providing the game
- Making side bets will not have any effect on the result of the main game
- Side bets increase the house edge of any Live Casino game
- You can play without making side bets but you cannot place only a side bet
How Side Bet Affect the RTP of Live Casino Games
The thing that makes side bets very enticing is the unusually high payout that lucky players can enjoy. Although you can expect extremely generous wins if you meet the winning conditions for a side bet, you should be aware that this extra betting feature is actually giving the house a bigger advantage.
We can take for example Live Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker by Evolution Gaming to determine how side bets affect the RTP of live-dealer games. While the RTP for the base game is 97.96% for the Ante bet and 99.47% for total bets, when players make a bonus bet, the RTP of that wager is 91.46%.
Taking this into account, it can be concluded that making side bets is more suitable for players who have bigger bankrolls and can afford the additional stake, without hoping to improve their winning chances in the base game. If you, however, are a recreational player with a smaller budget, you are advised to act with caution when making side bets on live-dealer games.
Live Casino Games That Most Often Offer Side Bets
While Live Casino software companies strive to offer different live table games with side bets, there are certain games that are most commonly offering bonus bets. Since bonus bets are typically concerned with outcomes that are not related to the main game, card games are very suitable options for side bets.
Whichever software provider powers the Live Casino where you play, chances are you will come across blackjack tables that offer different side bets. The payouts offered for blackjack bonus bets are very often quite attractive and many fans of the game of 21 enjoy playing for the chance to land a generous bonus payout.
Although there might be slight differences between the live blackjack variations of different software providers, one thing they share is the requirement to make the general blackjack bet before you can also place a side wager. There are several typical side bets that are offered in a wide range of live-dealer blackjack variations and will allow any player to take a chance and play for significantly higher payouts.
Side bets are also common in some live poker variations as there are also several opportunities for winning combinations outside the main gameplay. As is the case with blackjack, live poker with side bets also requires players to first place an ante bet. After that, they are allowed to make any optional bets that are offered by the specific poker variations.
Even though card games are most typically the live-dealer variants that offer side bets, software companies strive to provide newer options, with even more attractive side betting features.
Popular Live Blackjack Side Bets
Although there might be some differences across the various live blackjack games you can find online, most of them offer several popular side bets that many blackjack fans enjoy. Keep in mind that while the winning condition of the particular side bet may be the same in different live blackjack variants, there might be divergences in the payouts.
Perfect Pairs is the most common bonus bet that you can make in numerous live-dealer blackjack variations. Having the option to compare different Live Casino games with the Perfect Pairs side bet, you can easily pick the option offering the best payouts and will give you the highest chance to sweep generous amounts.
As the name of this side bet suggests, you are betting on two cards. The Perfect Pairs side wager pays out when the player’s initial two cards are of the same value or if the dealer’s first two cards are a pair. The payout you will enjoy depends on the type of pair that is formed.
If you decide to place this side bet, you will notice that its area is typically marked with PP. We can take for example Evolution Gaming’s live-dealer variations that use 8 decks. In this case, the house edge for the Perfect Pairs side bet is 4.1%, giving the casino a bigger advantage than in the base game (0.486%).
|Perfect Pairs Payouts|
21+3 Side Bet
This is another very popular bonus bet that can often be placed in live blackjack games. This type of extra wager is considering the first two cards of the player and the face-up card of the dealer. Yet again, you will be asked to make the standard blackjack bet before you can place the 21+3 wager.
This type of bonus bet pays out when the player’s hand and the dealer’s face-up card form a three-card poker hand. This side bet is extremely easy to make but may require better knowledge of winning hands in three-card poker. The payout that players will enjoy if they have made this side bet and its winning condition is met depends on the rank of the hand.
Of course, if you decide to make the 21+3 side bet, you should be aware of the fact that the RTP of the game will be lower when you opt for the bonus wager. Take for example Evolution Gaming’s blackjack variations that offer the side bet. The casino will get a bigger advantage over the player thanks to this bet, taking the house edge up to 3.7%.
|21+3 Side Bet Payouts|
|Flush (the three cards are of the same suit)||5:1|
|Straights (the three cards are in a sequence but are of different suits)||10:1|
|Three of a Kind (the three cards are of the same value bit of different suits)||30:1|
|Straight Flush (the three cards are in a sequence and of the same suit)||40:1|
|Suited Trips (three exactly identical cards)||100:1|
Lucky 7 Side Bets
In addition to the aforementioned side bets, you will also sometimes have the chance to make the bonus bet Lucky 7 while betting on a live blackjack table. As its name suggests, this optional wager is concerned with the number 7 and offers major payouts for special hands that consist of 7s.
Like the rest of the side bets in live blackjack, Lucky 7 can be placed on the side, after players make their standard wagers for the main game. The great thing about this bet is that you can enjoy a payout even if you are handed out a single 7 on the first draw.
The more 7s there are, and the better the hand is, the higher the bonus payout will be. Some of the live-dealer blackjack options that offer this type of side bet take into account the player’s two initial cards and the dealer’s face-up card. While the highest payout you can enjoy thanks to the Lucky 7 side bet is more than generous and awards 500:1, you should be careful when placing this additional stake. The reason for that is the extremely high house edge of 49.88% for the Lucky 7 side bet.
|Lucky 7 Side Bet Payouts|
|First card is a 7||3:1|
|First two cards are 7s of different suits||25:1|
|First two cards are 7s of the same suit||50:1|
|Three unsuited 7s (plus dealer’s face-up card)||100:1|
|Three suited 7s (plus dealer’s face-up card)||500:1|
Popular Live Poker Side Bets
If you enjoy playing live poker, you can come across several different variations of the card game, with some of them offering side bets. The bonus wagers you can make on live poker tables do not affect in any way the base game but you do have the chance to place an extra stake and sweep very generous payouts.
Pair Plus and Six Card Bonus Side Bet
The Pair Plus side bet can be made on Live Three Card Poker by Evolution Gaming and offers players to enjoy up to 100x their side stake. In addition to that, poker players can also opt for making the Six Card Bonus bet and enjoy an extra payout if they form a winning hand from their cards and the cards of the dealer.
Players are required to make an ante bet before they can place any side bets. It should be noted that the side bets are evaluated individually after the main game finishes. Keep in mind that making any of the side bets will give the house a bigger advantage. While the RTP for the ante bet in Live Three Card Poker is 96.63%, the Pair Plus bet and the Six Card Bonus have RTPs of respectively 95.51% and 91.44%. While the Pair Plus bet is won when the player’s hand forms a pair or better, the Six Card Bonus pays out when the player forms a five-card poker hand with the three cards on the player’s side and the three dealer cards.
|Pair Plus Side Bet Payouts|
|Three of a Kind||30:1|
|Six Card Bonus Side Bet Payouts|
|Four of a Kind||100:1|
|Three of a Kind||7:1|
5+1 Bonus Bet and Progressive Jackpot Side Bet
Players who decide to bet on Live Caribbean Stud Poker will have the chance to place the 5+1 Bonus bet. Just like the rest of the live-dealer variations, this one requires players to first make their ante bet and then place any side bets they would like to make. Placing any side bet will not affect the result in the base game but will increase the house edge.
The 5+1 Bonus bet is won when the player forms a five-card poker hand by combining their five cards and the face-up card of the dealer. This side bet is evaluated after the base game is over and you can win the 5+1 Bonus bet even if you lose the main game. Additionally, some variations of Evolution Gaming’s Live Caribbean Stud Poker also offer players the chance to place a progressive jackpot side bet and win the major payout if there is a Royal Flush.
|5+1 Bonus Bet Payouts|
|Four of a Kind||100:1|
|Three of a Kind||7:1|
|Progressive Jackpot Bet Payouts|
|Royal Flush||Progressive jackpot|
|Four of a Kind||250:1|
|Three of a Kind||3:1|
AA Bonus Bet
Another side bet that can be found at one of Evolution Gaming’s popular live poker variations is AA Bonus Bet. This type of side wager can be made while playing Live 2 Hand Casino Hold’em and offers players the chance to enjoy up to 100x their bet as a bonus payout.
While the game requires making two main bets first, you can then place two AA Bonus bets. The side bet of 2 Hand Casino hold’em is won when the player gets a pair of Aces or better by combining their first two cards and the initial three community cards. The side bet is evaluated separately from the main game and does not affect one’s winning chances during the base gameplay.
|AA Bonus Bet Payouts|
|Pair of Aces||7:1|
|Three of a Kind||7:1|
|Four of a Kind||40:1|
Trips Side Bet
Ultimate Texas Hold’em is another fun live-dealer poker variation by Evolution Gaming that allows players a very exciting gaming experience. In addition to trying to win the base game by forming a better five-card poker hand than the dealer, you will also have the chance to place a side bet.
If you are feeling lucky and you wish to play for an extra payout, you can place the Trips side bet after you make your standard poker bet in Ultimate Texas Hold’em. The bonus wager pays out if the player’s hand forms Three of a Kind or better. Making the side bet will not affect in any way one’s winning chances during the base game and the bonus wager is evaluated once the base game is over. The dealer’s hand does not count towards the winning condition for the side bet.
|Trips Bonus Bet Payouts|
|Three of a Kind||3:1|
|Four of a Kind||30:1|
Popular Live Roulette Side Bets
Although the live-dealer roulette variations that offer side bets are not that many, you can still find such options while you play online. The winning condition of the side bets included in live roulette may be different, offering various payouts. Just like the rest of the table games with side bets, live roulette also has a lower house edge when playing without side wagers. This being said, some bonus bets may offer such high payouts that it may be hard to resist testing your luck.
Spread Bet Roulette
One of Playtech’s live roulette tables offers players a betting option that can bring them significantly higher payouts. The base game of Spread Bet Roulette is a variation of European roulette, meaning there is only a single-zero socket on the wheel. Players can make all standard roulette bets, with all of them offering the typical payouts.
In addition to the typical wagers, this live-dealer game also features a side bet that offers a payout that can award up to 400:1. Behind the dealer, you will notice a digital roulette wheel with two rings. While the outside one will be a standard European roulette wheel, the inside ring has the same numbers but coloured in gold.
The two rings spin in opposite directions and when both of the rings stop, the roulette wheel spins. The adjacent numbers on the winning socket determine the winning total for the spread bet. There are different sections to bet on for the Spread Bet, with each of them covering a different range of totals and offering different payouts.
|Spread Bet Payouts|
|Betting Section||Payout||Number of covered positions|
Playtech offers roulette fans yet another live-dealer variation of the table game with a fun and generous side bet option. Football Roulette is one of the games you can find at Live Casinos powered by Playtech, allowing players to play a standard variation of European roulette and also comment on football matches that are currently played.
Although the base game has nothing unusual in its payouts or betting options, you will notice that there is an additional Goal betting section you can place your chips on. This marks the area for the side bet of the game. If you choose to make the side wager, 5 random neighbouring numbers will be marked with football jerseys on the roulette grid. A random multiplier of 3x, 5x, 20x, 50x, or 100x will be applied to these numbers, awarding a higher payout if any of the goal positions ends up winning.
While the base game has the standard European roulette return of 97.30%, if you decide to make the side bet, the RTP will decrease to 95.29%. The great thing about the side bet, however, is that you will see the five randomly selected numbers before you place your bets.
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Live Age of the Gods Roulette
Yet another live-dealer variation powered by Playtech offers players the chance to win extra payouts by making a side bet. Live Age of the Gods Roulette resembles American roulette as the wheel includes one additional socket. Instead of being marked by two zeros, however, the extra socket indicates the Bonus of the live roulette.
If you decide to bet on the Bonus section and the roulette ball lands on it, this will trigger the special feature of the game. The bonus game of Live Age of the Gods Roulette will load a slot-like game on the screen, with three spins to play. The bonus payout that you will enjoy depends on the type of symbols that will be matched on the slot on all three spins. The highest possible payout during the bonus game is capped at 300x whenever the highest-paying symbol is matched three times on all three spins.
Popular Live Baccarat Side Bets
Whenever you want to have a great time playing live baccarat, you can still end up winning extra funds by making a few side bets. Depending on the software providers and the Live Casino you have chosen, the extra wagers offered on live baccarat tables may be different. This being said, there are a few popular side bets you may have the chance to make.
If you decide to make this type of side bet, you will be placing your money on either your hand or the dealer’s hand forming a pair. The payout that you can enjoy depends on the type of pair that fulfilled the winning condition of the side bet. Placing this type of side wager does not affect the result in the base game and is evaluated separately from the main game of baccarat.
|Pairs Side Bet Payouts|
|Perfect Pair (same suit and value)||25:1|
|Players Pair (same value)||11:1|
|Bankers Pair (same value)||11:1|
|Any Pair (bet on any of the two sides forming a pair)||5:1|
Another side bet that you can find at some live baccarat tables online is Big/Small. Just like any other side wager, this one will not affect the results in the base game but can offer good bonus payouts. The bet covers the number of cards that will be handed out during the playing round.
If you place a side wager on Big, you will end up winning the side bet if the total number of cards used in the game is five or six. Meanwhile, a bet on Small will pay out if the total number of cards on the table is four.
|Big/Small Side Bets Payouts|
|Total Number of Cards||Payout|
|Small (4 cards)||1.5:1|
|Big (5 or 6 cards)||0.54:1|
Dragon Bonus is another popular side bet variation you can find at live baccarat tables. Some variants of the card game offer this type of extra bet under the name of Banker or Player. Just like in the base game, you bet on the winning side but making this additional wager will not affect the main game in any way.
When you make the Dragon Bonus bet, you put your money on either the player or the banker winning the game by a certain number of points. The payout for the Dragon Bonus depends on the difference in points between the winning and the losing hand.
|Dragon Bonus Side Bet Payouts|
|Non natural hand with 9 points difference||30:1|
|Non natural hand with 8 points difference||10:1|
|Non natural hand with 7 points difference||6:1|
|Non natural hand with 6 points difference||4:1|
|Non natural hand with 5 points difference||2:1|
|Non natural hand with 4 points difference||1:1|
|Natural hand – Win||1:1|
|Natural hand – Tie||Push|
If you opt for this type of side bet, you will be putting your money on the cumulative value of both the player’s and the banker’s cards. Unlike the base game where you compare the two hands and place your money on the winning side, this bonus wager will pay out if the sum of all cards is either lower than 5 or higher than 14. There are also a few extra payouts for several other combinations.
|Sum Bonus Side Bet Payouts|
|Sum of Player’s and Banker’s Cards||Payout|
|18, consisting of two or more 8’s||50:1|
|18 with a single 8||12:1|
When you play live baccarat, you may also opt for making egalite side bets. This type of additional wager is made on the possibility of both sides being tied, with both hands being of a specific value. The payout that is received depends on the tied value of the player’s and banker’s hands. Usually, players can place multiple Egalites side bets.
|Egalites Bets Payouts|
|9 or 8||80:1|
|7 or 6||45:1|