How to Play Perfect Pairs Blackjack

What makes blackjack the most popular table game at the casino? Side bets have a lot to do with it. You can play all sorts of blackjack game variants at Bodog Casino where it’s not just about making 21 – like Perfect Pairs Blackjack, where you get paid whenever you’re dealt a Pair at the start of your hand.

Because Perfect Pairs has been such a hit, we’ve recently added another variant called Blackjack Perfect Pair 21+3 to our menu. This is one of the most entertaining ways you can play online blackjack for real money, whether you’re betting the $1 minimum or the high-roller $500 maximum.

Both of our Perfect Pairs blackjack games at Bodog Casino are based on the standard blackjack rules. You and the dealer each get two cards, and you’re trying to outscore the dealer without going over 21 points. Paint cards (Kings, Queens and Jacks) are worth 10, Aces can be 1 or 11 – your choice – and everything else is face value.

After you place your bet, your two cards are dealt face-up; the dealer gets one card face-up and the other face-down. Then your turn begins. Based on the cards you can see, there is one best (aka “optimal”) play that you can make to maximize your potential winnings. Here are the plays at your disposal:

- Hit: Receive another card and continue your turn.

- Stand: Keep what you have and end your turn.

- Double (aka “Double Down”): Double your bet, receive one more card, and end your turn.

- Split: When dealt a Pair, make two separate hands from those cards, each with your original bet size attached.

- Surrender: When surrendering at Blackjack, you forfeit immediately at the start of your turn, and retrieve half of your wager.

Perfect Pairs also features the Insurance bet, which you can make anytime the dealer’s up-card is an Ace. This side bet will pay out at 2:1 if the dealer happens to have Blackjack (a “natural” 21) right away; they’ll check their “hole” card to see if it’s worth 10 points before your turn continues.

As long as it’s still your turn, you can keep drawing cards until either you’re satisfied with your hand, or you go over 21 points (aka “going bust”). Then, provided you’re still in the hand, it’s the dealer’s turn. They’ll reveal their hole card, then they’ll take a certain predetermined action, based on the number of points they have. If their turn ends and you have more points, you win even money on your bet; if you were dealt a natural 21 at the start, you get paid out at 3:2 – unless the dealer also has Blackjack, in which case it’s a push.

Perfect Pairs Blackjack Gameplay

Types of Perfect Pairs Side Bets

Now we get into those Blackjack Pairs side bets that make these variants so interesting. Both of our Perfect Pairs variants have multiple decks in the virtual shoe, which means there are three different ways you can be dealt a Pair:

- Mixed Pair: two cards of different suits (Spades, Hearts, Clubs or Diamonds) and colours (Red or Black)

- Coloured Pair: two cards of the same colour

- Perfect Pair: two cards of the same suit

These Pairs are harder to make the further down the list you go – and the payouts get bigger in turn. When you’re playing the Perfect Pairs variant, Mixed Pairs pay out at 6:1, Coloured Pairs pay 12:1, and Perfect Pairs offer the highest return at a tasty 25:1.

The payouts for Perfect Pair 21+3 vary slightly. For example, you’ll earn 31:1 if you make that rare Perfect Pair. But the big difference with this variant is the “+3” side betting, where you take your two cards and the dealer’s up-card and bet on whether they form one of the following 3-card poker hands:

- Flush

- Straight

- Straight Flush

- Three of a Kind

- Suited Three of a Kind

Perfect Pairs Side Bet

Alternative Side Bets

Every blackjack game has its own twist on the rules – for example, whether the dealer has to hit or stand on Soft 17 (“soft” hands are blackjack hands that include an 11-point Ace). But the side bets in Perfect Pairs and Perfect Pair 21+3 live in their own universe, outside of the standard blackjack rules and gameplay. 

We’re always adding new blackjack games here at Bodog Casino, so even though the following three side bets aren’t part of our Perfect Pairs variants, we’re including them in this blackjack guide to show you what’s possible at the tables.

- Blackjack Switch: When you’re playing multiple hands of Live Blackjack at the same time, you may have been tempted to switch cards between one hand and another. This is cheating – unless you play the Blackjack Switch variant, which allows you to swap the second card each hand is dealt.

- Super Fun 21: A common blackjack variant at Las Vegas casinos, Super Fun 21 gives you some of the most player-friendly rules in the game. For example, the Player will always win with a natural 21, even if the dealer also has 21. In return, most Blackjacks only pay out even money, although you get 2:1 if both of your cards are Diamonds.

- Double Attack Blackjack: This is a popular blackjack game in Atlantic City, and it’s loaded with side bets that pay out as high as 200:1 if the dealer ends up with three suited Eights. Instead of the usual “French” deck of 52 playing cards, Double Attack Blackjack uses a 48-card “Spanish” deck, which doesn’t include the four Tens.

Perfect Pairs Strategy

Is there a perfect way to play Perfect Pairs? Every variation of online blackjack comes with a house edge attached. You can whittle that edge as low as possible by making the optimal play based on the cards you can see, so yes, there is an ideal Perfect Pairs blackjack strategy.

This doesn’t apply to the side bets, though. Since you aren’t making any decisions (like hitting or standing) at this point in the hand, these are “pure chance” bets with no strategy involved. Each bet will come with its own house edge, independent of your optimal blackjack strategy.

Having said that, you can lower your house edge for the Perfect Pair 21+3 game to as little as 0.50% if you play your cards right. That means your maximum Return to Player (RTP) is 99.5%, making this one of the best games you can play at Bodog Casino if you’re trying to stretch your entertainment dollar.

One of the best blackjack tips we can give you is to always have fun. You can’t count cards when you play online blackjack, meaning you can’t flip the house edge in your favour; these games are supposed to be played for entertainment, so enjoy playing Perfect Pairs at Bodog, and we’ll see you at the tables.