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 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 find out!
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 online casinos. The idea is to provide players with 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 dealer 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.
The Pros and Cons of Side Bets in Live Casinos
Here's a table to weigh the pros and cons of side bets in the live casino setting:
|Pros of Side Bets
||Cons of Side Bets
|Higher Payout Potential: Side bets often come with the chance of winning bigger payouts compared to standard game bets, making them appealing for those looking for a big win.
||Higher House Edge: Typically, side bets have a higher house edge, meaning the casino has a greater advantage, which could lead to more frequent losses.
|Added Excitement: They introduce a new level of excitement and variety to games, keeping the experience fresh and engaging for players.
||Risk of Distraction: Focusing on side bets can distract players from the main game, potentially leading to less strategic play.
|Accessible for All Budgets: Many side bets have low minimum bet requirements, making them accessible for players with different budget sizes.
||Can Complicate Gameplay: For new players, side bets can add complexity to the game, making it harder to understand and enjoy the main gameplay.
|No Impact on Main Game: Placing a side bet doesn't affect the outcome of the main game, allowing players to enjoy both aspects independently.
||Potential for Higher Losses: Engaging in side bets along with regular bets can lead to spending more money, increasing the risk of higher overall losses.
Strategies for Playing Side Bets
Approaching side bets in live online casinos requires a strategic mindset to balance the thrill of these bets with responsible gaming. Here are some strategies to consider:
- Understand the Odds: Before placing a side bet, understand its odds and how they compare to the main game. Some side bets might have enticing payouts but come with significantly lower odds of winning.
- Set Aside a Side Bet Budget: Allocate a specific portion of your bankroll for side bets. This helps ensure that you don’t overspend and keeps your main game funds intact.
- Evaluate the Game Situation: Choose side bets when you feel confident about the main game and your understanding of it. Avoid them if the game is new to you or if you're not comfortable with the added risk.
- Limit Frequency of Side Bets: Don’t make side bets on every round. Choose your moments wisely to keep the game enjoyable without overstretching your budget.
- Consider the Entertainment Value: Remember, side bets are as much about entertainment as they are about winning. Treat them as a fun addition rather than a serious strategy to make money.
- Know When to Stop: If you find yourself consistently losing on side bets, it might be time to take a break or focus solely on the main game.
Side Bets vs. Regular Betting at Live Dealer Casinos
Understanding how side bets and main bets differ in terms of odds, payouts, and strategies can give you a much better understanding. Here's a breakdown in a table format to provide clarity:
||Generally have lower odds of winning due to higher house edge.
||Offer better odds of winning, aligning more with the standard rules of the game.
||Can offer significantly higher payouts, making them attractive for players seeking big wins.
||Tend to have smaller, more consistent payouts, suitable for steady gameplay.
||Less about strategy and more about luck and taking a chance for a big win.
||Requires more strategic thinking, understanding of the game, and calculated risk-taking.
||Higher due to less favorable odds and unpredictability.
||Lower, more controlled risk as outcomes are more predictable based on game rules.
||Ideal for players looking for extra thrill and who are willing to take higher risks.
||It is best suited for players who prefer a more traditional, strategic approach to gaming.
||Do not affect the outcome of the main game; they are independent bets.
||Directly tied to the game’s outcome and follow the game’s standard rules.
Live casino side bets offer an exciting layer to online gambling, presenting opportunities for higher payouts and adding an extra thrill to the gaming experience. However, they come with challenges such as higher risks, lower odds, and reliance more on luck than strategy. While regular betting provides a more consistent and strategic approach, side bets cater to those seeking an adventurous twist. Ultimately, the choice between engaging in side bets or sticking to regular betting depends on individual preferences, risk tolerance, and the desire for either steady gameplay or the chance at big wins.
About the author
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.