Blackjack Insurance Explained: What is insurance betting in blackjack?
We usually take out insurance to mitigate the financial impact of something bad happening. We have health insurance, auto insurance, and homeowner’s insurance.
You can even get insurance while playing blackjack. It certainly sounds like a good idea on the surface, but is blackjack insurance actually worth it? Let's break down the numbers to find out.
What is blackjack insurance?
Once all the cards are dealt in blackjack, and if the dealer’s face-up card is an ace, players at the table are offered blackjack insurance. The insurance is effectively another wager, usually half the value of your initial bet, and it pays out 2:1 if the dealer reveals his second card is a ten or picture card, making blackjack.
Let’s say you bet $10 in the initial hand, and the dealer’s upcard is an ace. You take the blackjack insurance for $5. If the dealer has blackjack, you win $10 from the insurance, and get your $5 insurance bet back – but you lose your initial $10 bet (unless you also have blackjack), so you come out of the hand even.
However, if the dealer does not have blackjack, which he won’t the majority of the time, you lose your $5 insurance bet, and the hand continues as normal.
Is Blackjack insurance worthwhile?
Unlike health, auto, and property insurance, blackjack insurance is not worth it. Sure, it might be profitable in a single night, but working out the pros and cons of casino gambling is a long-term game. And in the long term, blackjack insurance will cost you money.
Let’s put it in simple terms. For you to win your insurance bet, the dealer must have a ten or a picture card. There are 16 of those in a single deck, meaning there is only around a 30% chance of it hitting.
When it does hit, you get a 2:1 return, so your 30% shot does not sound so terrible.
But, and it’s a big but, that 30% assumes there are always 16 potential value-ten cards left for the dealer to turn over. In reality, several tens or picture cards will be on the table already. If there are seven players, it’s entirely feasible there will be, say, four tens or picture cards in play. That drops the chance of the dealer having blackjack to just 23%!
Try blackjack insurance for yourself
The best way to see if you like the idea of taking blackjack insurance is to try it out for yourself. Sign up to BetAmerica Casino, receive the generous new player bonus, and head to the blackjack tables (perhaps try the live dealer tables) and give it a go.