Insurance with Blackjack

Insurance with Blackjack

Insurance is a side bet that is offered when playing Blackjack. It doesn’t have any impact on the game that you are playing and can lead to you rescuing a game that you’re playing, without even doing anything. So, what exactly is insurance and how does it work?

Reading time: 3 minutes.

What is insurance?

As already mentioned, it’s a side bet in Blackjack. It gives the player an opportunity to still come away with a profit from a game, even if it’s going poorly. When insurance is offered it will pay out 2/1 to the player if it comes in. This means that if you wager 10 units on insurance, then you will get a total return of 30 units. 20 units from the bet and your 10 units stake returned. The insurance side bet can win whether you are successful in the main game or if you lose, it has no bearing on that aspect of the game.

When will you be offered insurance?

You will be offered insurance when the card that the dealer is showing is an Ace. The reason behind this is because it’s possible that the dealer has a natural Blackjack and would automatically win the hand if they do. The only way you could get anything back from the main game here is if you also had a natural Blackjack. Even if you did, it would only return your wager rather than winning the hand. You will only be offered insurance when the cards are initially dealt and if you choose not to take it, you won’t get another chance.

What’s a natural Blackjack?

A natural Blackjack is when you have just two cards in your hand and the total of the hand is 21. This means that one of the cards must be an Ace and the other must be worth 10. Normally if you have a natural Blackjack the table will pay out 3/2 instead of the usual evens, but if the dealer also has a natural Blackjack then it will just return your stake. This is where the insurance side bet comes in, because if you had taken insurance then you would get a return through this side bet.

Should you take insurance?

This all depends on your skill level and where you are playing. If you’re playing in a brick and mortar casino and have been able to keep a count on the cards, then you might want to take the insurance bet. This is because if you know that there are a lot of 10 value cards left in the deck then there is a chance that the dealer will have a natural Blackjack.

However, if you’re playing at an online casino, then the answer should always be no. This is because the deck is always reshuffled using an algorithm at an online casino. It means that card counting is impossible so you have no way of knowing if the dealer has a better than usual chance of having a natural Blackjack.

The odds of a natural Blackjack for the dealer are higher than the odds that insurance pays out, so for this reason taking insurance will cause you to lose money in the long run. For this reason, the vast majority of Blackjack players should avoid taking insurance.

Anything else to know?

Another point about insurance is that most casinos will allow players to place half of their original stake as the insurance bet. So it’s important to work out whether the stake will cover any losses if the dealer does manage to land a natural Blackjack.