Blackjack is one of the most popular casino games, and with the right skills and a little bit of luck, it can also be one of the most profitable.
If you’re new to the game it’s important to know all of the rules, and what is beneficial for your game. While the game itself is pretty straightforward, the way you bet is vitally important to your profits, and there are certain rules that will benefit you in the long run, or can severely cut into your profits if not utilized properly.
What is Insurance in Blackjack?
In blackjack, insurance is considered a blackjack side bet despite the fact that it is not one of the classic side bets that you will see on the table. Every blackjack table will have the option for a player to take insurance regardless if you play live blackjack online or at a land-based casino.
This side bet is only available when the dealer’s first card is an ace. If this occurs, you can bet half of your original bet that the dealer’s next card will be worth 10 (aka a 10, Jack, Queen, or King).
If the dealer’s next card is indeed worth 10, then your insurance bet pays out 2 to 1. You still lose your original bet because the dealer hit blackjack, but the insurance bet softens the blow.
Say you bet £20 on a hand, and the dealer’s upcard is an ace, and you decide to bet £10 on insurance.
If the dealer’s next card is a ten, you win £20. However, unless you also have blackjack, which is unlikely, you lose your original bet of £20.
So betting insurance allows you to break even.
If the dealer’s next card is anything not valued at ten, you lose that £10 and play resumes as normal. If you end up winning that hand you still come out ahead, but if you lose then you lost even more by betting insurance.
When to Take Blackjack Insurance
Now that you know what blackjack insurance is you mighjt be wondering: Is it worth paying for Insurance in Blackjack.
Is Insurance in Blackjack Worth It?
Insurance in blackjack can be worth it if you play smart. While you shouldn’t make the insurance bet regularly, doing it strategically can benefit your game and cut your losses from dealer blackjacks.
The odds of a dealer making blackjack after showing an ace is 9 to 4. The payout on an insurance bet is 2 to 1. So from basic odds, you can see that making an insurance bet isn’t worth doing every time.
However, if you count cards, insurance is worth it in very specific instances where you know that there are a significant number of ten cards left in the deck. If you’re just starting with blackjack, be careful with these bets, but once you’re comfortable it‘s a good strategy to add to your game.
Here is an example that demonstrates that you should be taking insurance strategically and not every time:
- Let’s assume that you play on a blackjack table with one deck of cards to keep things simple for this example
- Now let’s say that non of your initial cards are a 10 which means that there are 16 cards remaining with a value of 10 and 33 that don’t
- So on average if you win 16 times you can win £320 (16x£20) and lose 33 times and have a loss of £330. So overall you are £10 down!
This is a very simplified example but it is showcasing how taking blackjack insurance every time will not benefit you in the long term.
Players that don’t use any kind of strategy will usually use their gut feeling in order to decide if they take insurance or not. But for blackjack players that follow a strategy, taking insurance is a bit more complicated and will mainly depend on how many 10s are left in the shoe.
More Casino Tips
Blackjack is one of the most exciting casino games to play online but it certainly isn’t the only one. Knowing what is insurance in blackjack will help your game, but if you want even more tips keep reading!
Have fun and good luck!