Sweet 16 – the new blackjack side bet

October has to be one of the best months of the year for casino fans. This is the month when the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) takes place and it’s the time when game providers start to tease us all with new casino games that are on the horizon as well as new bet types. This year, the action will take place from the 10th to the 13th in Las Vegas. It’s always exciting to see something being launched at G2E and this year it’s the new side bet, Sweet 16. 

If you’ve not heard of G2E before, this is a yearly get-together for those in the casino and gaming industries. While here, they get to take a look at what game developers have to exhibit and, ultimately, decide whether this is something that they want to go ahead and purchase.

There is usually plenty on offer and there are times when casinos will make a purchase there and then before rushing to get new games live in their establishments as soon as possible. However, there are other times when this all takes a little longer. This is mainly down to the fact that many of the games are just demos and require some tweaking before the final product is ready.

When you enter the G2E conference, you notice straight away that it’s set up to mimic a casino. This means that slots dominate the floor space and table games are relegated to the sidelines. That being said, the interest in blackjack always remains.

With blackjack, new variants and side bets aren’t as frequent as they are with other games. 

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Sweet 16 Side Bet

So, just what is the Sweet 16 Side Bet?

Coming from TCSJohnHuxley, Sweet 16 is a brand new side bet for blackjack. Just like other side bets, Sweet 16 is an optional wager that goes on top of the one that you make to join the game in the first place. As the company has been working hard to promote its new side bet, this is the tagline that’s been used:

“16 is not the hand that you normally want to be dealt in blackjack, but in this game you most certainly do”.

The side bet works in a similar manner as other side bets but, of course, as the name suggests the focus here is on 16. To win the side bet, a player must be dealt 16 with their first two cards. When it comes to the amount of the side bet win, this all depends based on the cards that are in play. Here’s a look at how the payable looks for the Sweet 16 side bet:

  • 6:1 – This is for mixed colour 16 meaning any 2 cards of mixed colours that total 16
  • 12:1 – Same colour 16 
  • 16:1 Suited 16 meaning that any two cards of the same suit add up to 16
  • 160:1 Sweet 16. This involves the ace of hearts and the 5 of hearts

One of the drawbacks with most side bets is that the house edge tends to be higher than that of the main game. When it comes to Sweet 16, this is no exception. According to the company itself, the house edge for this side bet is between 4.82% and 4.91%. Of course, this can be a huge turn-off for fans of blackjack who are attracted by the game’s low house edge. However, for other players, there is the added excitement of being given the chance to achieve a 160:1 payout.

The Sweet 16 Side Bet – and a look at other popular blackjack side bets

While Sweet 16 may be the newest blackjack side bet, there are plenty of others for players to choose from. The thing is, casinos are huge fans of side bets and can’t get enough of them. Why? Well, they give the casinos that higher house edge and that means making more money on casino games. For players, there’s an added dimension to the game that can help to keep things fresh and interesting. 

Some of the most popular blackjack side bets to be found in casinos today include:


This is an extremely popular side bet and it sees the player’s first two cards and the dealer’s up card being used to make a three-card poker hand. If the three cards come together to make a straight, flush, three of a kind or a straight flush then the payout is 9:1.

Buster Blackjack

With this side bet, players get paid when the dealer goes bust. Players hope that the dealer hits a good few times before going bust as the more cards that are involved, the higher the payout. If the dealer goes bust with 8 or more cards then the payout reaches 250:1

Lucky Ladies

If a player has a starting hand of 20 then they win this side bet. The level of payout varies depending on whether the hand is suited or unsuited. The highest payout is an impressive  1000:1. For this to come into play the player must have a pair of queens of hearts while the dealer also has blackjack.

Pair Square

This is a side bet that payout when a player’s starting hand has pairs. The amount of the payout depends upon the pairs as well as the number of decks that are being used.

Royal Match

If a player is dealt a suited king and queen, the payout here is 10:1. There is a 3:1 payout for any other suited starting hands.

Final thoughts on the Sweet 16 Side Bet

Side bets are big business when it comes to blackjack. Of course, they put the odds in the casino’s favour but that doesn’t take away from the fact that they’re fun and add a bit of variety.

Being dealt 16 is certainly less than great when playing blackjack but this new side bet changes all of that. Is it a side bet that you’d want to make all of the time? No, but it’s certainly one that’s worth considering on the odd occasion. 

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Sweet 16 Blackjack