Why Playing Side Bets is a Bad Idea at Online Casinos in Australia

Side Bets Online Casinos

One popular bet available on many casino games at online casinos in Australia are side bets. These bets allow you to risk a little extra for a bonus payout. You may be betting whether you will be dealt a pair or better in a table poker game or you may be betting the number of cards dealt in Super Baccarat.

We generally recommend against playing side bets when playing online casino games. Today, we will break down the top reasons why playing side bets are a bad idea.

Side Bets Have High House Edge

Regardless of whether you’re playing blackjack, roulette, craps, or Vegas Three Card Rummy, the house always wins. When playing, you’re looking for games with a low house edge and you’re looking for ways to reduce the casino house edge.

The primary reason that side bets exist is to give the casino some bets with a greater house edge than the standard game. Side bets range anywhere from 3.9 percent all the way to 30 percent or more depending on the game.

If you look at it from a bankroll standpoint, you’re giving up between $3.90 and $30 per $100 bet per hour to the casino when you play the side bet. If you bet $1000 in an hour, that’s between $39 and $300 you’re handing over.

Average Payout Barely Worth the Risk

What’s worse is that when you do finally hit the bet, odds are that you will hit the lowest paying hand. For example, if you bet Pair Plus for 3-Card Poker, you’ll receive just 1:1 on your money. Considering that you’ll only hit the Pair Plus 25 percent of the time, this hardly seems worth the risk.

Super 7 Blackjack Side Bet Win

Often, the payout from side bet wins are less than the money you’ll spend chasing them.

Let’s take a look at Perfect Pairs Blackjack. In that game, the lowest paying hand is a non-colored pair. It pays 6 to 1 on some tables and 5 to 1 on others. While that sounds like a nice payout, keep in mind that you will only be dealt a pair about 7.5 percent of the time.

Looking at this over the course of 100 hands, if you play $1 each time on the side bet, you will return between $42 and $48 if you only hit the lowest side bet. That’s a loss of between $52 and $58 per $100 bet.

Side Bets May Not Count Towards Wagering Requirement

Many Australian online casino players will play with some form of online casino bonus. When playing with a bonus, you’re subject to a wagering requirement to clear the bonus. Depending on the casino, side bets may not count towards the wagering requirement.

Wagering requirements are based on primary wagers placed on a game. Some casinos may not count side bets as primary wagers. If that’s the case, the money you wager on side bets is not helping you clear your bonus.

This is a bit of a gray area, so it is best to check with your online casino’s customer support about whether side bets count toward the wagering requirement.

You’ll Drain Your Bankroll Faster

The promise of hitting a monster payout is what entices many players to gamble on side bets. However, for many players, the only thing that happens is that they drain their bankroll faster. For example, if you play $1 per hand in Perfect Pair Blackjack and then decide to play the side bet each hand, you are effectively doubling your stakes.

Ten hands will cost you $20 rather than $10. Half of this money is going to be scooped up by the casino during most hands. When practicing proper bankroll management, you’ll want to avoid side bets. Otherwise, you will find yourself depositing much more frequently than those that avoid them.