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The Perfect Pairs Blackjack Side Bet

July 18, 2022

They say nothing is perfect, but playing a hand of online blackjack and receiving a payout of 30/1 on a bet is pretty damn good. So how can you get such a big win on a round of blackjack?

That’s where Perfect Pairs comes in.

What is Perfect Pairs in blackjack?

Blackjack Perfect Pairs is one of the most popular blackjack side bets available online or in real casinos. As the name suggests, the bet revolves around pairs. In short, you are betting on whether your hole cards will be a pair. It’s called Perfect Pairs because if your two hole cards are the same card, both rank and suit, you’ve received a “perfect” pair and win the highest payout.

How to play Perfect Pairs

The rules for playing Perfect Pairs in blackjack are the same as a regular hand. You take a seat, place a bet, receive two cards, and can hit, stand, double etc. as normal. The only difference is that you must also place your side bet.

To play Perfect Pairs blackjack simply follow these steps:

  1. Place your main blackjack bet as normal.
  2. Place a bet on the Perfect Pairs option next to your box at the table.
  3. Two cards are dealt to each player and the dealer.
  4. The Perfect Pairs bet is settled.
  5. The main blackjack hand continues as normal.

Perfect Pairs odds & payouts

Different casinos will offer different odds for the Perfect Pairs bet. In fact, the same casino might offer different odds at different blackjack games, depending on how many decks are in the shoe and other factors involved.

These, however, would be fairly typical payouts for the Perfect Pairs bet that you would find at most online blackjack tables:

  • Different colours and suits (e.g. 7s-7d): 5/1
  • Different suits, same colour (e.g. 5d-5h): 10/1
  • Perfect Pair (e.g. Jc-Jc): 30/1
A Blackjack Perfect Pair could be a big win

Perfect Pairs house edge

Despite the chances of a 30/1 payout, the house edge in Perfect Pairs is significant.

In an eight-deck blackjack game, you have 415 cards remaining after being dealt your first. Of these, 7 will complete a Perfect Pair for a 30/1 payout; 8 will complete a same colour pair for 10/1; 16 cards will make a pair for a 5/1 payout.

This means that in total, there are 31 cards that will result in a win of 5/1 or greater. Breaking these down, we can make the following calculations:

  • Different colour pair (5x payout): 16/415 (3.86%)
  • Coloured pair (10x payout): 8/415 (1.93%)
  • Perfect Pair (30x payout): 7/415 (1.69%)

To work out the value of each payout, we simply multiply the percentage by the payout:

  • Different colour pair: 5*.0386 = 0.193
  • Coloured pair: 10*.0193 = 0.193
  • Perfect Pair: 30*.0169 = 0.507

Adding these three values together gives us a total of 0.893, or 89.3%. This means that the house edge on the Perfect Pairs side bet is 10.7%. In other words, for every £10 you wager on the Perfect Pairs side bet, you can expect to lose £1.07.

Other blackjack side bets

If Perfect Pairs isn’t up your street then you might enjoy one of the following blackjack side bets:

Lucky Ladies blackjack side bet

This bet is like Perfect Pairs on steroids. If you place the Lucky Ladies side bet and receive a pair of tens or higher, you’ll receive a payout of up to 200/1.

Super Sevens blackjack side bet

As the name suggests, the Super Sevens side bet pays out when you or the dealer receive 7s in the first deal. This pays out up to 5,000/1 for three suited 7s.

21+3 blackjack side bet

The 21+3 side bet combines blackjack and three-card poker and is one of the most popular side bets in online blackjack.