21+3 blackjack is basically regular blackjack with extra side-bets that players can put down. The bets are extremely lucrative, which explains why 21+3 blackjack is one of most popular blackjack variants in America and the UK.

Basically, 21+3 blackjack combines classic blackjack rules but throws in some 3-card poker hands to spice things up a bit.

Let’s take a closer look at how these side-bets work.

21+3 Blackjack: Game Rules

blackjack 21+3

Once you’ve been dealt your 2-card hand, you’ll be able to use the dealer’s up-card as a sort of community card.

With these 3 cards, you’ll then be able to form your 3-card poker hand. If your 3-card hand corresponds to a high-ranking poker hand, you’ll get great payouts on your side-bets.

This is essentially just an extra feature, as once you win or lose your side-bets, the regular game of blackjack continues.

The Two Possible Side-bets in 21+3 Blackjack

On the 21+3 blackjack table, you’ll see two columns of text explaining which 3-card poker hands get you what payout. Each side-bet involves different types of hands.

  1. The +3 Bet

This bet gets you a 9:1 payout for any of the following 3-card poker hands:

  • Straight flush
  • Three of a Kind
  • Straight
  • Flush

Your dealer will hand you your chips once the winning hand has been identified, and then regular gameplay can continue.

  1. The Top 3 bet

This is another feature of 21+3 that you can unlock once you’ve made your +3 wager. Not all tables will offer this side-bet, but it’s an extremely lucrative one.

The list of 3-card hands and their payouts are as follows:

  • Three of a kind (suited), 270:1
  • Straight flush, 180:1
  • Three of a kind, 90:1

21+3 Blackjack: Order of Play

A game of 21+3 blackjack starts with you placing your normal blackjack wager. Once you’ve done that, you’ll also be placing your 21+3 side-bet, and your top 3 bet if applicable.

The dealer will then deal you 2 cards face up, before dealing himself one card face up (the “up-card”) and one card face-down (the hole card).

You’ll win your +3 wager if your 3-card poker hand (your 2 cards combined with dealer up-card) corresponds to one of the above 3-card poker hands.

After you rake in your winnings or lose your side-bets, you can choose to hit or stand to get closer to 21, like in regular blackjack.