When playing certain types of blackjack, there are a number of different bets that can be placed throughout the game at various stages. One of the very first bets that can be placed when playing a round is the Insurance Bet.
This article will explain this type of bet, how it works and will highlight when it should and should not be used, as our TheRockiesCasino.ca blackjack betting experts want to ensure you know the ins and outs about it and have all the knowledge available to you to make sure you are able to use it correctly and in your favour.
What is insurance in blackjack?
“What is insurance in blackjack” is a question that many individuals may have the very first time when they play a game that features the bet. It is a wager that is not always seen in all variants of the classic table game, although it is one that can provide bettors with a rather comforting safety net when used correctly.
To simplify things, insurance in blackjack is a side bet that can be utilised by the player at the very start of the game when the dealer’s up-card is showing as an Ace card. The insurance will then come into play as this will essentially provide bettors protection against the possibility of the dealer having a ‘Blackjack’ hand.
How does it work?
The great thing about this side bet is that if a ‘Blackjack’ is achieved by the dealer, the player will receive a payout of 2:1 odds, although the maximum bet that they will be allowed to make will typically be around half of their main bet. Therefore, individuals are able to potentially break even on the hand, even if they lose their main bet and it is a ‘Blackjack’.
It should be noted that whilst it can be advantageous in various situations, it can also provide its drawbacks, which is what we will explain in detail now.
When to take the insurance bet
As mentioned, an insurance bet will only be offered up to the player when the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, but it can be a rather attractive side bet to take up if this scenario presents itself as it will protect bettors against the worst possible outcome.
However, there are arguments to suggest that it might not actually be worth taking and using. Although the dealer will only require a card that is equal to the value of 10 (the ‘10’ card and the royals), the probability of this happening would have to be considered rather low compared to the other possible hands that are possible to achieve.
In fact, the probability is thought to suggest that a blackjack insurance bet is likely to be a losing bet over a long period of time, as it can be extremely difficult to win from it.
When you should avoid it
Does this mean it is a bet that is worth avoiding, though?
Generally, even a best-case scenario can highlight just how detrimental a blackjack insurance bet can be in the long run, with the maths suggesting that the bet is actually a losing strategy and one that needs to perhaps be forgotten about at times instead, with players potentially being better off by throwing caution to the wind.
A perfect scenario such as the following could be presented, but at the end of it, you will still see that a loss has been incurred.
- A one-deck game is being played and the dealer has an Ace, but you do not have a card of the value of ‘10’.
- Therefore, 16 of the remaining 49 cards have a value of ‘10’.
- This means that there is only a 16/49 chance that the blackjack insurance bet can be won.
- Remembering that an insurance bet will typically payout at 2:1, the remaining 33 outcomes will all be losses.
- If you bet the same amount on each outcome (say $10 for ease), then each win will pay $20 which will make a profit of $320 for the 16 wins. The 33 losses, though, will result in a loss of $330: a $10 surplus over a long term period.
In addition, it would perhaps be wise to avoid using the Insurance bet if you were to hold a card with a value of ‘10’, as this means the odds will drop drastically of the dealer having a ‘Blackjack’.
Indeed, it is quite clear that the blackjack insurance bet is an interesting side bet, but it is one that should not be used each and every time the dealer shows that they have an Ace card. The maths behind the probability suggests that it is unlikely to happen, whilst the bet is always generally typically going to show a loss once used, therefore, it might be wise just to play a normal game and go for the win as you would with any other hand that is presented.