Blackjack Insurance Bet – Is It A Good Bet?
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Strategy and Methodology of Making an Insurance Bet in Blackjack
When playing blackjack, an insurance bet is a side bet made by a player when the dealer is showing an Ace. The insurance bet is made to protect the player’s original bet in case the dealer has a blackjack. The insurance bet pays 2:1 if the dealer has a blackjack, and the player loses the insurance bet if the dealer does not have a blackjack.
The strategy and methodology of making an insurance bet in blackjack vary based on the player’s hand and the dealer’s up card. Generally, it is considered a good strategy to make an insurance bet when the player has a hand valued at 16 or less, as the odds of the dealer having a blackjack are higher in this scenario. On the other hand, if the player has a hand valued at 17 or higher, it is generally not recommended to make an insurance bet, as the odds of the dealer having a blackjack are lower in this scenario.
The key to making a successful insurance bet in blackjack is to understand the odds and probability of the dealer having a blackjack. This requires an understanding of basic blackjack strategy and a familiarity with the number of decks being used in the game. Additionally, players should always be aware of the house edge when making an insurance bet, as the house edge for insurance bets is generally higher than for other types of bets in blackjack.
What Amount You Can Wager and Payoff?
As we highlighted in the paragraph above, one of the major reasons for blackjack players not choosing insurance is because most casinos only allow you to wager up to half of your initial bet. In some casinos, the amount is lesser. But at Lucky Creek, you can wager up to half your initial bet. This means, in a $10 wager where the dealer’s up card is an Ace you will be given an option to select Blackjack Insurance bet. If you opt for insurance, you place half your initial bet, which is $5 on the Insurance line. Should the dealer’s other card be a 10 or face card, he will get a Blackjack or 21 and the insurance bet will be paid at 2 to 1 odds. So, in a $5 insurance blackjack bet you would win $10. Important to note that your original $10 wager will be lost to the dealer’s blackjack.
When To Take Insurance in Blackjack?
The Blackjack Insurance bet is you determining how many 10 and face cards are left in the card deck. If the dealer’s up card is an Ace, there is a high probability that the dealer’s other card or hole card is a 10 or a face card. In order to win you need the dealer’s hole card to be a 10 or face card.
Like you will hear and read almost everywhere the blackjack Insurance bet is mostly avoided because it is a losing bet. You lose your initial bet and win up to half of your initial bet only. The Insurance Bet pays expert card counters but only in the long run. Players at Lucky Creek play Blackjack for recreation and the enjoyment that winning provides. Essentially, the best time to take the Blackjack Insurance bet is when you’re aware of the card value each player has received, you keep track of the ratio of total 10 value cards dealt.
Why Do Casinos Offer The Insurance Bet?
The word Insurance means an arrangement or deal of sorts that you accept from an institution that provides a guarantee or compensation for a determined damage or loss. Looking at this meaning, players understand that the Blackjack Insurance Bet will compensate or protect them for a loss. This is why casinos offer the Insurance Bet, as a means of protecting you. While this is true, many critics claim that this is a perceived protection and the details of the Insurance Bet confirm this. The most important details of the Blackjack Insurance bet are:
- It is a side bet and does not increase your chances of winning.
- You’re not insuring anything, you are betting on the dealer getting a blackjack.
Simple Math of The Insurance Wager
Earlier, we discussed a $10 original wager and a $5 insurance wager. In this example, when the dealer had a blackjack you won $10 but lost your original $10 bet. The $10 in your original bet is the same amount you won in the Blackjack Insurance bet – this is called even money. In even money the odds are 50/50 – pretty easy right? However when the payoff odds are less than the real odds of winning you are at a loss.
The odds of a dealer having a 10 value card in the hole and the ratio of non 10 value cards to 10 value cards is important. In a single deck this ratio is 36 to 16. Let’s assume a perfect opportunity to use the Blackjack Insurance bet – the dealer’s up card is an Ace and proceeds to ask you if you want to take insurance. In this example you bet $1 on insurance. We are going to ignore the two cards dealt to you for now. Looking at the ratio of non 10 value cards to 10 value cards means that:
- If you made a $1 insurance bet and the dealer didn’t get blackjack 35 times you would lose a total of $35
- If the dealer did get blackjack, you would win 16 times, winning a total of $32
- After playing through the deck, you would lose $35 and win $32, making the net loss $3
Examples to Better Illustrate the Concept of Insurance in Blackjack
Example 1: The player is dealt a hand valued at 12, and the dealer is showing an Ace. In this scenario, it would be a good strategy for the player to make an insurance bet, as the odds of the dealer having a blackjack are higher. If the dealer does have a blackjack, the player will win the insurance bet and recoup some of their losses.
Example 2: The player is dealt a hand valued at 20, and the dealer is showing an Ace. In this scenario, it would not be recommended for the player to make an insurance bet, as the odds of the dealer having a blackjack are lower. The player would be better off focusing on their hand and trying to win the game without making an insurance bet.
We think that you should try all possible bets at least once. The Blackjack Insurance bet isn’t a long term strategy but it can be used in favorable circumstances. We recommend reading through our online blackjack strategy guides, master that then move onto opportunities where blackjack insurance is the best bet. On a positive note, when you notice that you’re looking for opportunities to use the insurance bet this means you are enroute to card counting! Lucky Creek has a formidable live dealer Blackjack game selection available for every one of our customers!
See our other blog articles filled with online Blackjack tips and tricks to spruce up your hand when facing the dealer
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- The Future Of Live Casino
- Where To Play Blackjack in California
- Blackjack Side Bets