When engaging blackjack, players often learn to stand, hit, and split as a common strategy. The blackjack insurance bet, however, is among the most straightforward and accessible side bets available in casinos. The side bet pays 2/1 and gives the player some protection if the dealer has a strong card.
Usually, this is a bet which is separate from the original stake you had placed. Blackjack insurance will be offered when the upcard of the dealer is an ace. The bet will, therefore, act as a safety net from an opposing blackjack. The insurance bet is half the wager, and it is typically completed when the second card of the dealer is revealed.
If that second card is either a jack, a ten, king, or queen, the dealer makes a blackjack, and your insurance bet wins. If that is not the case, then the insurance bet is lost, but depending on your hand, the original stake may still win.
How Blackjack Insurance Works
Blackjack being the straightforward game it is, you can get close to 21 with your palm without too much struggle. There are times when you have to beat the total in dealer’s hand to win. If you are engaging blackjack online, the player usually makes the initial move.
If the player is not fully informed, they have to guess whether their hand is superior to the dealers. As the player, you should know when to stand, hit, or double down depending on the dealer’s upcard.
But how about if you could protect your bet against the dealer from surpassing your total? Now, this is where the insurance bet kicks in. Insurance is a side bet that allows the player to wager half their original bet against a possibility that the dealer will hit a natural blackjack (dealer’s hand with an ace and a picture with a total of 21).
Bear in mind that the blackjack insurance bet can only be taken if the dealer has an ace and has shown it. A table on your computer screen will flash and ask you to place a bet. In case the dealer reveals 21, the insurance bet will win 2/1.
When Should You Take the Insurance Bet?
Unless you are counting the cards in a land-based casino, the insurance bet is a no-go zone. Just do some quick math on the bet, and you’ll see statistically you will lose your money in the long run.
Odds involved against the dealer making a blackjack are around 9 to 4. Averagely you are bound to lose over a half of the side bets you place. Again, since the bet pays at a rate of 2 to 1, you can already see it is a losing end.
The only exception is for the advanced card counters. If you can keep track of the ten-point cards in the deck, you can play the blackjack insurance. The more there will be many face-cards and tens in the deck, the more likely the dealer will get a blackjack. If you are good at taking the card counts, then the side bet can be profitable.
However, remember that this will only be profitable for experts engaging at a live casino and not an internet casino.
Disadvantages and Advantages of Insurance Betting
In blackjack, the player has to overpower the dealer’s hand to emerge a victor. Tied hands will have to end in a ‘push’ after which the player will get their stake back. Insurance can be a favorable bet where the decks are numerous. More decks in play will mean more cards with the value of 10 are in the shoe. With several 10-value cards to bring on, there are better chances for the dealer to make a blackjack.
If you have a marginal hand like say 15 or 14, the insurance bet is not worth trying. You are already on the losing end, so it remains wise to save the cash.
After all, it is generally accepted that the insurance bet is a long-term losing strategy for most players. Here is Blackjack Insurance Explained
Alternatives to Blackjack Insurance Bet
There are several side bets that you can decide to wager on apart from the blackjack side bet. Some of them include:
- Atlantic City Blackjack Gold Series
It is a unique blackjack bet powered by Microgaming. A famous version of blackjack inspired the gold series played in Atlantic City. The bet enables players to give up half their bet if they feel they will lose to the dealer. If the dealer produces an ace, then the insurance bet remains in play.
- Bonus Blackjack Multi-Hand
This European blackjack allows the players to wager on four hands in just one game. You can wager and earn 50/1 (Ace of spades and Jack), 5/2 (two cards of the exact suit), or 25/1 (Ace of diamonds, hearts or clubs, and Jack).
- High Streak Blackjack Gold Series
This type of bet will reward gamblers that win two consecutive hands. The insurance bet safeguards you against the dealer making a blackjack, and so intelligent players will work the odds to their advantage by pushing both wagers.
Insurance is a viable way to claim some stake back if the dealer appears to be winning, but you should be extra careful. It is a losing bet in the long run, and you might end up losing your cash at the casino.