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Insurance Bet in Blackjack: Is It Worth It?

By: Staff Writer, March 8, 2019
Should you ever play an Insurance bet?

When playing an Insurance bet, you will definitely lose some money.

Insurance is a side bet you will find in almost all Blackjack tables. Those operated by real-life dealers are no exception. This optional bet allows you to insure your wager at a certain price. Although the idea itself may seem quite attractive, placing an Insurance bet is considered one of the worst moves you can make in the game of Blackjack. Stay with us to learn more about Blackjack Insurance and whether it is worth it.

How Insurance Bet Works

As we have already mentioned, this is an optional, side bet and to play it you need to wager extra money. Insurance becomes available after the initial cards are dealt and the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace. Since the dealer’s hand could be a natural blackjack, you are allowed to insure a part of your wager. How does it function? After you see that the dealer has an Ace, you place an Insurance bet which is equal to a half of your main bet. Should the dealer hit a natural, the Insurance bet wins and you get 2:1. However, you lose your Ante bet. On the other hand, if the dealer does not show a blackjack, the Insurance bet loses.

When playing an Insurance bet, you will definitely lose some money. It can be your main bet when the dealer hits a blackjack or the side bet when the dealer doesn’t manage to create a blackjack hand. It is easy to see that you cannot win on both bets. As an Insurance bet pays 2:1, it means that you will win the amount equal to your Ante bet when the dealer has a blackjack. But at the same time, you will lose your main bet, meaning that you will in the end still lose half of your main wager. If you beat the dealer, you will win a payout of 3:2 and lose half of your main bet.

Should You Play Insurance Bet

An Insurance bet should be played only if you are sure that the dealer’s hole card is worth 10. You can be sure about it only if you count cards. As you know, it is not a reliable technique when it comes to Live Blackjack. Unlike at brick-and-mortar casinos, at live casinos, online the deck penetration is never deep enough to provide you with a card count you can bank on. You should not go for an Insurance bet especially when you have a 10 or any face card in your hand.

When you do the math, it is clear that an Insurance bet is really not worth it. Although we have given only two scenarios as an example of playing this side bet, there are other situations as well and none of them provides you with a chance to win more. You can only lose more money. The only situation in which an Insurance bet can be acceptable is when you have been dealt a blackjack and the dealer holds an Ace. By playing the side bet, you practically insure that you will keep your original wager and this is the biggest net gain you can secure. This particularly applies if you play Blackjack at high stakes.

In conclusion, we have to underline that no matter what the dealer’s face-up card is, you should stick to your bankroll and do not take unnecessary risks. And playing an Insurance bet is definitely a risky and non-profitable move. It is better to go bust in a single round than lose your money in the long run.

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