Why is Blackjack Insurance Almost Always A Bad Bet?

Blackjack insurance is a type of side bet in Blackjack that may help you avoid losses or, conversely, may make them worse. You may take it depending on your level of confidence that the dealer will get blackjack. Nevertheless, why do the odds say that an insurance bet is usually a bad bet?

What is insurance in blackjack? Learn about the blackjack insurance bet. Then, start to consider the circumstances in which it may or may not be the right choice.

What Is Blackjack Insurance Bet And How Does It Work?

To protect the player against the dealer’s hand is “blackjack,” this side bet is made available if the dealer’s up card is an ace.

The maximum bet permitted in blackjack insurance is typically half of the player’s primary bet. In addition, the odds of winning in blackjack insurance are 2/1.

How Does Insurance Work In Blackjack?

If the dealer has blackjack, the player may be able to break even on the hand even if they lose their initial wager thanks to this.

Before the dealer checks their hole card, which is the card that is initially hidden from players, insurance is offered. If the dealer gets a two-card 21 and the hole card has a value of 10, the insurance is paid out.

What is blackjack insurance?
What is blackjack insurance?

When Should You Take Insurance When Playing Blackjack?

If the dealer’s up card is an ace, taking insurance might seem like a good idea. It’s because there’s a nearly one-in-three chance that their other card will be worth a 10.

Nevertheless, probability suggests that betting on insurance is likely to be a losing wager over the long run, not unless, you are an extremely skilled card counter.

To win your insurance bet, the dealer must hold a card with a 10-value as his hole card. Expert card counters can keep track of the number of cards left in the deck. Then, they can determine when there are sufficient to make the percentage call for insurance blackjack.

Why Insurance In Blackjack Is Almost Always A Bad Bet?

The example below demonstrates why taking out a blackjack insurance bet is ultimately a losing move, even in the best-case scenario illustrated below.

  • In a one-deck game where you are playing against the dealer alone, neither of the cards in your initial hand have a value of 10.
  • Thus, your £10 insurance bet has the best chance of winning since 16 of the remaining 49 cards have a value of 10.
  • Despite this, your position continues to be unlikely to be feasible over the long term.
  • The $10 insurance bet typically wins 16 times and loses 33 times. The total profit from wins is $20, or $320.
  • You are, however, out a total of £10 due to the 33 losses at £10 each.

Because none of the players, including you, have any initial hands that contain 10-value cards, this hand represents the best-case scenario. If so, there would be even less chance that the dealer would have a 10-value hole card. And, you would win your insurance bet.                       

Example of Blackjack Insurance

We will first look at the mechanics of how an insurance bet operates before delving into the specifics of when to place one.

Here are some examples of how an insurance bet might proceed when things go your way and when they don’t.

Winning Insurance Bet in Blackjack

  1. Say your initial wager was $10.
  2. Jack and Nine are in your hand. In addition, the suit is irrelevant.
  3. The dealer is holding an Ace face-up and an unidentified hole card.
  4. Also, the price of your blackjack insurance is equal to $5, or 50% of your initial bet.
  5. Any ten from the deck serves as the dealer’s second card, giving them a blackjack.
  6. As a result of the insurance, you receive $15.

Losing Insurance Bet in Blackjack

  1. Your initial wager remains at $10.
  2. Then, you receive an 8 and a 10 this time.
  3. At the same time, the dealer once more displays an Ace.
  4. In this case, the cost of insurance in blackjack is still $5. Or, half of your initial bet.
  5. The dealer deals out a non-ten card, such as a 4.
  6. As a result, you’ve lost your $5 insurance wager. Hopefully, the dealer’s hand won’t outperform yours as it is played.

The Odds When Your Bet Is Insure In Blackjack

Depending on how many decks and how many 10s have been dealt with, different factors affect the chances of winning an insurance bet. On average, there is a 9 to 4 chance that the dealer’s face-down card will be a ten-value card. When compared to the payout of 2 to 1, the casino has a sizable advantage with those odds.

What are the odds of placing an insurance bet?
What are the odds of placing an insurance bet?

In single-deck blackjack, the house edge for your main bet is less than 1% when played properly. Furthermore, the house edge on the insurance side bet. However, it is staggering at 5.8% and rises to 7.5% when there are multiple decks of cards. Despite the occasional stroke of luck, you are statistically more likely to lose out over the long run.

Should You Take Insurance When You Have Two Tens?

If your hand totals 20, some people advise purchasing insurance. So, you can break even if the dealer receives a blackjack. However, the likelihood of it paying off is decreased. It’s because there are two fewer tens in the dealer’s deck due to your two tens in your hand.

Of course, you can take the risk if you enjoy playing based on intuition. Just be aware that the odds are not generally in your favor. Meanwhile, you can check out our guides on how to play Blackjack step-by-step. So, you will learn how to use the different blackjack actions when playing at top online casinos in Singapore.

When Should You Avoid Taking Insurance Bets?

We generally advise against taking it most of the time. However, here are a few instances when you should avoid it:

  • There are two tens in your hand or multiple tens on the table, which indicates that there are fewer in the shoe.
  • You’re utilizing multiple decks. Therefore, there are more tens, but the house edge is higher as well.
  • You’re not a seasoned card counter.
  • More importantly, you’re not sure.

Blackjack Insurance: The odds are stacked against you.

As we always say, blackjack is a long-term game. In addition, the insurance is only available to those who understand how to use it to their advantage over time. They are in expert mode.

Of course, if you are feeling lucky, the option is yours. Simply understand the risks and rules of Blackjack. Then, recognize that the odds are always against you when it comes to the insurance bet.

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