Betting 101: How does Blackjack insurance work?
Do you want to be a true gambler? Then, you must be able to handle side bets well. And there is one side bet that truly reigning in the eyes of casino table game fans: Blackjack insurance. Aside from providing you a fantastic way to keep your options open, some are even necessary to help you win.
How is that? Well, whether that statement is true, we will let you decide about it. In this article, we will make every attempt to keep you informed about Blackjack insurance rules.
What’s insurance in Blackjack?
When the dealer gives you a Blackjack, Blackjack Insurance is a wonderful side bet to place.
The twist here, you must have good timing, or else it’ll cost you dearly in terms of money lost. Because your initial bet will most likely be toast most times as well even though this happens in the online casino too. Thus, you need to play it correctly with enough research and strategy behind them.
By doing so, an Insurance bet could help provide some consolation prizes. Also, long-term odds are typically against players who go all out with their initial bet most times because dealers always seem to show a card eventually!
You might wonder how great the prize is. In Blackjack, the insurance bet pays 2 to 1. This is just the ideal amount to cover your initial bet and still win something extra if you lose to a natural 21. Before you make any conclusions about the profitability of this side bet, you must first consider the odds of winning.
How does insurance work in Blackjack?
You can place an insurance bet if the dealer’s top card is an ace. The dealer will then examine his face-down card to see if it completes a Blackjack. This is known as “a peek,” and it is used to keep the player from losing any more money during the round. You’ll be glad to see the dealer roll over a 21 if you accept the stake.
You’ll almost certainly lose the main wager, but you’ll at least win the Insurance wager, which is the whole idea of obtaining insurance in the first place.
What are the possible outcomes when you make insurance bet?
There are six possible outcomes when you put a Blackjack insurance bet. We have included the possible outcomes in the table below. We’ve given the net winnings and losses based on a $100 initial stake and a $50 insurance bet to highlight the outcome of each scenario.
The outcome of each scenario when you buy Blackjack insurance:
- Scenario: Neither player nor dealer has blackjack, so the dealer wins the hand.
- Outcome: You lose your initial bet as well as your insurance bet, resulting in a total loss of $150.
- Scenario: Neither player nor dealer has then, you win the hand.
- Outcome: You win on the initial bet but lose on the insurance bet. This results in a net gain of $50.
- Scenario: Neither player nor dealer has blackjack, a hand will be a push or tie.
- Outcome: You’ll get a refund on your initial bet, but the insurance bet was lost. This results in a $50 loss.
- Scenario: Both the player and the player have a Blackjack.
- Outcome: You’ll get a refund on your as well as win the insurance bet. This results in a net profit of $100.
- Scenario: The player has blackjack, but the dealer doesn’t.
- Outcome: Blackjack payouts 3:2. So, you win $150 but you lose the insurance bet. This results in a net gain of $100.
- Scenario: The dealer has blackjack, but the player doesn’t.
- Outcome: You win the insurance bet however, you lose your initial bet. In this case, there is no profit or loss.
Is Insurance Bet Worth it?
Even if you are not mathematically competent, it is obvious that you must be correct at least 80% of the time for this to work to your advantage.
What are the chances of doing it right?
In this casino table game, the dealer has nine to four chances of making Blackjack (2.25:1). It means that betting on the casino’s terms will put you at a disadvantage.
This is also the reason why Blackjack experts will not suggest making an insurance bet. To determine whether it is worthwhile to place the wager, you must be very aware of how many high cards are remaining in the Blackjack shoe. This also makes card counting the most effective Blackjack strategy. Overall, you will need to consider a lot of factors to benefit from the insurance side bet. Thus, this is not for everyone. So, when is the best time to make an insurance bet in Blackjack?
When to buy insurance Blackjack?
Like we always said, that the odds of Insurance are not worth taking the risk. Contradictorily, advantage gamers adore Blackjack insurance for some good reason. That’s because you’ll need to be able to keep track of the cards in play. At the same, to make this work you can accurately calculate the probability of a natural Blackjack occurring. Needless to say, this is one of the advantages of being an expert in card counting.
But let’s pretend you don’t know anything about card counting. All you have to do is simply glance at the other players’ hands (if there are any). Then, look at your hand and count the number of tens you see on the table.
If there aren’t any or only one ten, then, the dealer has a strong likelihood of turning over a ten. Notably, this strategy only works effectively for the first and second rounds after introducing a new shoe.
In Blackjack, when is the best time to place an insurance bet?
Insurance isn’t worth a shot if you have an average hand like 14 or 15. Instead, save your money because you’re already in a bad position to win the hand.
In any event, it’s generally accepted that taking insurance bets is a losing strategy for players in the long run. Thus, the 2/1 odds aren’t good enough to make the bet worthwhile.
Blackjack Insurance Rules
Players must observe certain Blackjack rules when placing an insurance bet. In addition, there can be no insurance bet unless the dealer has an Ace as their upcard. The following are the basic rules of Blackjack insurance:
Basic Rules of Blackjack Insurance
- The dealer will announce, “Insurance Open,” after dealing all the cards, and invite the players to place a side bet if they like.
- When a player chooses to place an insurance bet, he must place half of his wager on the table’s insurance area.
- If the dealer has Blackjack, the player receives a 2:1 payout on the side bet.
- When the dealer does not hold Blackjack, the player forfeits the insurance bet and must play the regular hand dealt.
- The payout is 3:2 if the player already has a Blackjack and wins the insurance bet as well.
- Furthermore, the player can also choose even money. However, he will forfeit his 3:2 Blackjack bonus. Instead, he’ll be attempting to recover the initial bet. This means that the player places the Insurance bet. So if the dealer scores a Blackjack, then, the player wins this side bet. However, if the dealer does not have a Blackjack, then, the player loses the side bet. He can also receive compensation after playing 3:2 on Blackjack.
Do you play Blackjack online in Singapore? If so, then you must keep an eye on the pop-up message asking for confirmation or refusal of the Blackjack insurance bet.
The Probability: Why insurance bet is a bad bet?
It’s a poor idea to take out insurance bet. Why? Let’s start with the payout structure:
Win: You receive 2x your initial wager
Lose: You will lose your initial bet.
Let’s look at the chances of winning or losing now your insurance bet:
What is your probability of winning?
The chance of winning is equal to the chance that the dealer has a Ten, Jack, Queen, or King facing down.
Counting the number of those cards in the Blackjack shoe and dividing by the number of cards in the shoe can estimate this likelihood.
Let’s say there are four of each of the cards in each deck. That is a total of 16. Each deck has 52 cards. So, regardless of the number of decks in the shoe, the odds of winning are roughly 16/52 or 4/13. In short, you only have less than 31% of winning.
What is your probability of losing?
Since your probability of winning is 31%, then your odds of losing will be:
1 – 31% = 69%
So, if you win two units 31% of the time but lose one unit 69% of the time, you will lose in the long run. In short:
31% * 2 + 69% * -1 = -7%
As a result, you should expect to lose around $7 for every $100 invested in insurance.
What are the alternatives for Blackjack side bet?
In Singapore’s online casinos, the insurance bet isn’t the only side bet that you can make. Most Microgaming’s Blackjack games feature a bonus wager in one form or another. Generally, you can also make Blackjack insurance on top of any side bet.
- Bonus Blackjack Multi-Hand. You can place side bets on Jack and Ace of Spades. This yields a 50/1 payout. In addition, a side bet on Jack and Ace of Diamonds, Hearts, or Clubs allows you to earn 25/1. Moreover, a bet on two cards of the same suit will earn you a profit of 5/2.
- Atlantic City Blackjack Gold Series. This Blackjack variant allows you to surrender half of your bet when you feel like losing against the dealer. If the dealer displays an ace, the insurance bet remains in play.
- High Streak Blackjack Gold Series. Here, the insurance bet protects you against the dealer’s Blackjack. Therefore, experienced players can use both their initial bet and insurance bet to their advantage.
Blackjack Insurance FAQs:
Insurance is a Blackjack side bet that is different from your original stake. It acts as a safety net against an opposition Blackjack. Moreover, it is only available when the dealer’s upcard is an Ace. An insurance bet pays 2 to 1 and is usually half of your original stake. When the dealer’s second card is shown, the side bet is completed. The dealer will make a Blackjack if you have a Ten, Jack, Queen, or King. Then, you will win the insurance bet. If you don’t, you’ll lose the insurance bet. On the other hand, you can still win your initial bet depending on your hand.
You should pay up half of your bet to accept it. You win the insurance bet if the dealer has Blackjack, normally at odds of 2 to 1 – meaning you break even on the hand. Moreover, you lose the insurance bet if the dealer does not have Blackjack. The verdict: Insurance bets are best avoided. Because your probability of losing the side bet is approximately 69%, which is much higher than winning. Also, you will lose in the long run.
If the dealer’s upcard is an Ace, then you can take insurance. On the other hand, you can use card counting to calculate the optimal time to place a Blackjack insurance bet. The best time to put the insurance bet is when there are fewer than ten-valued cards left in the deck. As a result, the dealer’s possibility of getting a natural Blackjack is reduced.
For professional gamblers who are also skilled at card counting, insurance betting makes sense. Because blackjack is a game of chance, players generally favor insurance betting, despite the high proportion of the house edge.