Perfect pairs rules

Perfect pairs rules

Perfect Pairs is a popular side bet found on blackjack and pontoon games in Australia, New Zealand, Asia and the United Kingdom. Here, we’ll tell you all you need to know about this fun add-on wager, including how it works, the payout odds and house edge, and where you can play Perfect Pairs blackjack online.

United States Where to play Perfect Pairs online

Where to play Perfect Pairs online

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While PP tables are available at most brick-and-mortar casinos in Australia, it’s much easier to jump online and visit one of our top-ranked blackjack sites. We especially recommend Internet casinos which stock the complete range of Microgaming blackjack games, such as those listed above. Each of these sites is safe, secure and fully equipped for fast deposits in Australian dollars, so click any of the links and logos above to sign up and get started.

How to play Perfect Pairs side bets

Perfect Pairs is typically offered on European-style blackjack games which use six to eight standard decks. It is widely available at land-based casinos in Australia, as well as leading real money blackjack sites which carry table games by Microgaming – the world’s largest developer of online casino software.

Like all side bets in 21, a Perfect Pairs wager must be made alongside your standard bet before a hand is dealt. You can do this by placing chips in the designated box for side bets, which is usually located next to or above the regular betting area. Most Perfect Pairs games feature the same minimum stake for side wagers and standard blackjack bets.

To win a Perfect Pairs bet, you must draw two cards of the same rank on the initial deal. There are three possible winning combinations:

  • Mixed pairs – Two cards of identical rank, but in different coloured suits. For example: a King of Clubs and a King of Diamonds.
  • Coloured pairs – Two cards of identical rank and colour, but in different suits. For example: a Queen of Clubs and a Queen of Spades.
  • Perfect pairs – Two cards of identical rank and suit. For example: a Jack of Hearts and another Jack of Hearts.

Perfect Pairs wagers are settled on the spot, which means they run completely independent of your standard blackjack wager. Thus, you can win the side bet but still lose the hand, or lose the Perfect Pairs bet but still beat the dealer.

Payout odds at Australian casinos

From London to Launceston, Melbourne to Macau, Perfect Pairs pontoon and blackjack tables can be found all over the globe. As such, there are a great many variations on the standard pay scale for this extremely popular side wager.

Games using two or four decks tend to offer more attractive payouts than those with a full shoe of eight, but only because there are fewer winning combinations available. Thus, bigger returns don’t necessarily equate to better value for money.

Melbourne’s Crown Casino uses as many as eight separate versions of the Perfect Pairs pay table, including two which can be found at most brick-and-mortar Australian casinos:

Crown Blackjack Perfect Pairs with eight decks

Hand Payout odds Return rate
Perfect pair 25 to 1 42.17%
Coloured pair 12 to 1 23.13%
Mixed pair 6 to 1 23.13%
No pair Lose bet -92.53%
Overall house edge = 4.10%

Crown Blackjack Perfect Pairs with six decks

Hand Payout odds Return rate
Perfect pair 30 to 1 50.60%
Coloured pair 10 to 1 19.28%
Mixed pair 5 to 1 19.28%
No pair Lose bet -92.53%
Overall house edge = 5.79%

House edge for Perfect Pairs blackjack

As the charts above show, the odds of winning the Perfect Pairs side bet are quite poor. Outcomes are totally random, with no skill or strategy involved, and a house edge between four and six per cent means you can expect to lose up to $6 of every $100 wagered.

When you consider that most real cash blackjack games favour the dealer by 0.60 per cent or less, that’s a hell of a disadvantage to the punter. Hence, skilled players who understand basic strategy tend to avoid the Perfect Pairs option altogether. After all, what’s the point of learning how to play properly if you’re going to chance a big chunk of your bankroll on a wager that fails over 92.5 per cent of the time?

Like all side bets, however, Perfect Pairs 21 isn’t about maximising your long-term odds. Rather, it’s about taking a risk in search of an immediate reward, which makes it a fun option for beginners and casual players who don’t mind throwing caution to the wind. Just don’t be surprised when it doesn’t pay off.

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