There are a lot of “pair” side bet games on the market Perfect Pairs is one of the oldest versions of this side bet and has been around for over 10 years. Other variations of this game are Pair Square, Bet the Set, Pair Play and I’m sure there are many more. The idea in all of them is to have your first two cards be the same rank as each other. In Perfect Pairs, payments are made for pairs of the exact same card and suit, same color pairs and mixed color pairs.
Since there is nothing the player can do to help or hurt the chances of winning the Perfect Pairs blackjack side bet and the game can be explained to a player in about 15 seconds, you’ll find a lot of people playing this side bet when it is available at a table. The Perfect Pairs side bet also has no affect on normal blackjack play or the final outcome of anyone’s hand.
How to Play
All Perfect Pair side bets are placed prior to the start of a hand. The dealer deals out all player hands and the dealer hand just the same as standard blackjack. Once all the cards are dealt out, the dealer will then look at each hand to see if anyone who placed the side bet has a pair. All pairs must be the same rank. A Jack and a Queen are not a perfect pair. All players that do not have a pair will lose their side bet, while all players that do have a pair will win one of the following odds payouts (based on a commonly found paytable):
- Perfect Pair (Exact same card and suit) – 25-1
- Colored Pair (Both pair cards red or black) – 12-1
- Mixed Pair (One card red and one card black) – 5-1
- All non pair hands – Lose
The house advantage with the above payouts and a 6 deck shoe is 9.97%. This is a little bit on the high side compared to many blackjack side bets. There are other paytables available. If you can find a paytable that pays 30/10/5 the house advantage is reduced to 5.79% and if you are lucky enough to find a game that pays 25/15/5 the house advantage is only 4.18%. Obviously the lower house advantage you can find, the better.