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Mastering 21+3 Blackjack: Essential Rules and Guide

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Lisa Dawson

My name is Lisa Dawson. I'm a passionate card game player with many years of expertise in the field. Enjoy my guides and articles!

Blackjack remains one of the most popular and enduring card games in the casino world, captivating players with its thrilling blend of skill, strategy, and luck. A particularly exciting variant that has gained popularity is 21+3 Blackjack, which combines classic blackjack play with a three-card poker side bet, giving players the chance to win big on a single hand. Understanding the essential rules and strategies of 21+3 Blackjack can significantly enhance your gaming experience and potentially boost your winnings.

Understanding the Basics of 21+3 Blackjack

Before diving into the complexities of this variant, it’s crucial to grasp the foundational aspects of 21+3 Blackjack. This game integrates traditional blackjack rules with an additional side bet that considers your two cards and the dealer’s up-card following the opening deal. Winning combinations for the 21+3 side bet are influenced by classic poker hands, offering a refreshing twist to the conventional blackjack gameplay.

The Core Blackjack Rules

  • Objective: Beat the dealer’s hand without exceeding 21.
  • Card Values: Cards 2 through 10 are worth their face value, face cards (Kings, Queens, Jacks) are worth 10, and Aces can be either 1 or 11.
  • Gameplay: Players compete against the dealer. After placing their bets, each player is dealt two cards, as is the dealer, with one of the dealer’s cards being face-up.

The 21+3 Side Bet

  • Poker Hand Combinations: The side bet wins based on three-card poker hand rankings using the player’s two cards and the dealer’s face-up card.
  • Winning Hands: These include Flush, Straight, Three-of-a-Kind, Straight Flush, and Suited Trips.

Strategies to Master 21+3 Blackjack

Enhancing your play strategy in 21+3 Blackjack involves understanding when to take advantage of the side bet and managing your bankroll effectively. Here are some essential tips:

When to Place the 21+3 Side Bet

  • Consider the side bet if your cards and the dealer’s up-card have the potential to make a strong poker hand.
  • Beware that the side bet is a risk – it should not constitute the majority of your wagering.

Basic Blackjack Strategy

  • Always aim to play optimally by knowing when to hit, stand, double down, or split, based on your hand and the dealer’s up-card.
  • Utilize blackjack strategy charts which are readily available and can significantly improve your odds of winning.

Bankroll Management

Effective bankroll management is vital for any form of gambling, especially in games like 21+3 Blackjack where the temptation to place side bets is high. Ensure you set clear limits for your sessions and stick to them, and only place side bets with money you can afford to lose.


21+3 Blackjack offers an intriguing mix of blackjack and poker, providing an entertaining and potentially lucrative experience. By understanding the essential rules, mastering basic blackjack strategy, knowing when to engage the side bet, and practicing effective bankroll management, you can elevate your gameplay and enjoy everything this unique variant has to offer.

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