What is blackjack insurance?
Blackjack insurance is presented to table participants after all cards have been dealt if the dealer’s face-up card is an ace. When the dealer reveals his second card is a ten or a picture card, making blackjack, the insurance is effectively another wager, usually paying out 2:1.
Let’s say your original wager was $10 and the dealer’s upcard was an ace. You pay $5 to take the blackjack insurance. You come out of the hand even if the dealer has blackjack since you get $10 from the insurance and receive your $5 insurance bet back, but you lose your initial bet of $10 (unless you also have blackjack).
You lose your $5 insurance bet, and the hand continues as usual if the dealer does not have blackjack, which he won’t in most cases.
Is Blackjack insurance worthwhile?
Blackjack insurance, in contrast to health, auto, and property insurance, is not worthwhile. Even though it might be rewarding in a single evening, weighing the benefits and drawbacks of casino gaming requires patience. Additionally, buying blackjack insurance over time will cost you money.
Let’s explain it plainly. The dealer must have a ten or a picture card in order for you to win your insurance wager. There are 16 of those on a single deck, thus the likelihood of it landing is only about 30%.
Your 30% shot may not seem so bad because you receive a 2:1 return when it does connect.
But, and this is a huge but, that 30% presupposes that the dealer will always have 16 cards with a possible value of 10. In reality, there will already be a few tens or picture cards on the table. It is very possible that there will be, say, four tens or picture cards in play if there are seven players. This reduces the dealer’s likelihood of having blackjack to just 23%!
Try blackjack insurance for yourself
Try it out for yourself to determine if you like the concept of buying blackjack insurance. Join BetAmerica Casino, claim the sizable welcome bonus, and then proceed to the blackjack tables (maybe try the live dealer tables) and try your luck.
You can now insure anything, including your life, your boat, your house, and your car. When you sit down at a blackjack table in a casino, you can also purchase insurance there.
This later insurance is somewhat unique. Few would contest the merits of insurance for investments, but many would scorn the idea of insurance for bets.
If you spend enough time with gamblers, you’ll quickly discover that insurance is by far the most contentious issue in blackjack. That suggests that a closer inspection is necessary.
How it functions Insurance is essentially a side wager that the dealer has blackjack. It operates independently from your primary stake, just like any side wager. The choice is only open if the dealer displays an ace after all the first cards have been dealt. You have to stake half your bet in order to take it. In the event that the dealer has blackjack, you win the insurance bet, typically at odds of 2 to 1, which means you tie the hand. You lose the insurance bet if the dealer doesn’t have blackjack.
Why people do it: The only time you should place a wager is if you think a 10 will come up. This entails taking insurance when the dealer has been hot for gut gamers, who don’t always worry about the math. It entails taking insurance when it seems like a 10 is about to be dealt for advantage players, such as those who count cards, are statistics nerds, or both.
Inaccurate justification: In my experience, players occasionally use their “strong hand” of 20 to defend taking insurance. Generally speaking, unless you have an A/9, this way of reasoning is essentially flawed:
Taking insurance on a 20 really puts you at a disadvantage since insurance bets presume that the dealer is holding a 10. The Wizard of Odds, also known as Michael Shackleford, once stated that the insurance bet has a higher chance of success the higher the ratio of 10 in the shoe. “In the shoe” is the key phrase in this statement. The last thing you want to do is a wager that another 10 is under the dealer’s ace if you already have two 10s in your hand.
Conclusion: It’s advisable to stay away from insurance bets, even if you believe yourself to be psychic.
Depending on the number of decks in the shoe, the dealer’s basic odds of having blackjack change slightly, although the dealer is still unlikely to have blackjack more frequently than one-third of the time. Even while you might occasionally win one of these wagers, you will ultimately lose money on them. The only situation when buying insurance is virtually always a mistake is when playing blackjack.
When to take blackjack insurance
If the dealer’s up card is an ace, taking insurance can seem like a good idea because there’s a nearly one-in-three chance their other card will be worth ten.
However, unless you are a highly skilled card counter, likelihood indicates that insurance is probably going to be a losing wager over the long run.
To win your insurance bet, the dealer must hold a 10-value card as his hole card. Professional card counters may keep track of how many cards are left in the deck and determine when there are enough to make the percentage ask for insurance.
Why insurance should be avoided in blackjack generally
The example below demonstrates why betting blackjack insurance is ultimately a losing strategy, even in the best-case scenario like the one below.
In a one-deck game where you are playing versus the dealer alone, neither of the cards in your initial hand has a value of 10.
Thus, your £10 insurance bet has the best chance of winning since 16 of the remaining 49 cards have a value of 10.
In spite of this, your position is still unlikely to be viable in the long run.
The £10 insurance bet loses 33 times and wins 16 times on average. Each victory yields a £20 profit, for a grand total of £320.
However, after 33 defeats at a cost of £10 each, you end up losing £10 altogether.
Because none of the players, including you, have any opening hands that contain 10-value cards, this hand represents the best-case situation. If so, there would be even less likely that the dealer would have a 10-value hole card and you would win your insurance bet.