Blackjack insurance is a side bet that you can take when playing your favorite variation of 21. While finding the best crypto casino may not be easy, you will have little trouble knowing the right time to place this bet after reading our guide.
Gamblers who are learning the game must ask themselves how well they understand the insurance bet and when the best time to use it is. Read on as we explore all you need to know about it.
What Is An Insurance Bet In Blackjack?
The Blackjack insurance bet is a side bet that gamblers can place during their gameplay. It is usually set by a player when the dealer displays their first card as an Ace. The side bet is an addition to the player’s original bet and is essentially an insurance in the event that the dealer ends up with a blackjack score. If you win this insurance bet, the aim is to recover some of your losses if the dealer hits 21.
Insurance Bet Odds
The payout for a Blackjack insurance bet is typically 2 to 1. You must bet the same amount as your original bet when that hand was dealt out to qualify for winnings on the insurance bet. In instances where the dealer does not get a blackjack on their subsequent card, you will lose your Blackjack insurance bet.
Dynamics Of Blackjack Insurance
Blackjack insurance will usually be placed when the dealer’s upcard is an Ace and you anticipate that their final score will be a blackjack. This means that the dealer’s next card will be valued at 10. You may ask why a player would place a bet on the outcome of the dealer’s cards. Well, in Blackjack circles, this is known as a form of security that safeguards your existing bet.
Blackjack insurance is viewed as a hedge against a dealer’s result of blackjack. With this insurance, a player can recover some of their losses in the event that the dealer hits the perfect score. Despite its appearance as a bet that piggybacks of your original bet, this couldn’t be further from the truth. An insurance bet is actually an entirely separate bet that has very little to do with your current hand or your chances of beating the dealer.
Casinos have designed blackjack insurance so that it looks deceptively like a side bet during an active round of the game. The entire pattern, including the name, betting, and payout structure, is created to appeal to any gambler who fears that the dealer may strike a blackjack. This fear that grips a gambler sometimes leads them to pay a little more to break even, even though they may lose their main hand.
In essence, the insurance is not so much about protecting your original bet or salvaging a bad hand. Instead, it is a straightforward standalone bet with odds of 2 to 1 where you will only win if the dealer scores a 10-value card, i.e., a face card or 10, on their next draw.
Blackjack Insurance Rules
Although there are multiple variations of blackjack that each have their specific rules, you can be sure that the insurance rule is the same across all variations.
When talking about side bets, there are unique reasons for blackjack insurance being different. As the name suggests, side bets usually occur on the side of the game, and you are free to bet whatever you want. With blackjack insurance, however, you can only bet a specific amount. Due to this, the insurance is classified as a side bet even though it doesn’t have the authentic characteristics of a true side bet.
The three basic rules of blackjack insurance are:
- the dealer must display an Ace
- you must place an insurance bet of 50% of the original bet
- the dealer must draw a 10-value card that will then pay you out 2 to 1
Seasoned gamblers agree on many aspects of the game but often disagree on how they view blackjack insurance. Some aficionados see the insurance as a method that reduces variance during their gambling sessions. In contrast, other die-hard players see it merely as a side bet with a bigger house edge than other popular casino games.
When playing other types of side bets at the blackjack table, you have the opportunity to win both the main hand and your side bet. With blackjack insurance, however, you are hedging against your very own hand. By winning this bet, you will subsequently lose your original bet. You can also lose both your insurance and original bet, costing you even more of your funds on that round. Due to these technicalities, many players choose to decline the offer for insurance.
Even Money Rule
Blackjack insurance gets a little more enjoyable when you have scored a blackjack on your original bet. Together with your insurance bet, you are looking at odds of 3 to 2 provided the dealer has a faded 10. Since insurance centers around avoiding losses, it doesn’t serve any purpose when you have the best possible hand.
In cases like this, some gamblers choose to go for an even money bet. Since you cannot lose this bet, you can insure your bet against a push by opting for a smaller win that is guaranteed. Although the even money bet is actually an offer from the dealer, rather than an insurance bet with only two outcomes, the house edge and results are exactly the same as an insurance bet.
How Insurance Works At The Table
Whenever you are ready to enjoy a session of blackjack, make sure to read the rules for that variation carefully. While the rules may differ with each type of blackjack, the insurance bet is almost always the same. The odds and rules will be displayed in large font on the table. In the event that a dealer pulls an Ace during any particular round, they will offer you the opportunity to take an insurance bet.
If you are playing multiple hands at the same time, you will have the opportunity to place multiple insurance bets for each of those hands separately. Once you have taken or declined the bet, the game continues as you and each of the players at your table play their hands.
When all players have finished, the dealer reveals their second card. Based on the results of the second card, the dealer will settle any insurance bets that have been placed. If the insurance bet loses, the game will continue until a winner is declared.
House Edge On Blackjack Insurance
With bitcoin and traditional online casinos, the house edge on blackjack is usually less than 1%. However, the house edge on insurance bets can fluctuate from 5.8% on a single-deck game to more than 7.5% on an 8-deck game.
In essence, the probability of the dealer getting a 10-value card next is lower than the probability suggested by the odds of the payout. If you look at any bet with 2 to 1 odds, that type of bet must only win 33.33% of the time for you to break even.
When Is A Good Time To Buy Insurance?
While many gamblers go on their hunch, others usually take insurance on specific instances. For pro-players, the most straightforward strategy is to decline all blackjack insurance offers. There are two instances where your optimal strategy for insurance may change.
If you master the fine skill of counting cards, then insurance can become a very profitable side bet in your armory. Blackjack insurance is the bet on a dealer’s second card only. This means that if you have effectively counted the cards and know that there are more 10-valued cards in the deck, you will likely win on most occasions.
Card counting specialists usually take insurance when there is more than a 33% chance of a 10-value card being revealed. Card counting is not possible at either bitcoin or traditional online casinos as these use sophisticated software together with a random number generator that shuffles the deck after each round.
Reducing Risk For Long-Term Profits
Making a profit at blackjack means playing with long-term objectives in mind. This means that you must sensibly manage your bankroll and betting strategy. The golden rule is never to get caught up in a single hand to such an extent that it could devastate your bankroll and entire game.
The Bottom Line
Blackjack insurance must always be regarded as a separate bet with limited outcomes. It is not intended to protect your original bet, despite it being marketed as such. The very fact that you can lose both your original bet and your insurance at the same time is a testament to this.
Playing blackjack on its own offers a great house edge of under 1%, so adding side bets with higher house edges and limited outcomes are not always going to work in your favor. Think carefully when playing blackjack, and consider all possibilities. Good luck!