21 December, 2022

What Is Insurance in Blackjack

Insurance betting is one of the most popular basic strategies in blackjack. It's a good way of spicing up the gameplay and reducing losses. This article will provide a comprehensive answer to the question "What is insurance in blackjack?".

What Is Insurance in Blackjack

It's a side bet that is offered to you when the dealer shows a face-up card that is an ace. If your hand is not as lucky, the live dealer will have a higher chance of getting a blackjack. Consider taking insurance to prevent losses.

Just like you, the dealer has two cards. One is the face card, and the other is the hole card that other players can't see. If you want to benefit from the insurance bet, you must place it before the dealer checks their hole card.

The insurance pays two to one and only if the dealer draws the blackjack. The highest side bet that you have the right to place is one-half of your initial bet.

Let's use an example to explain what we mean:
1. Your original bet is worth $20
2. There is a 9 and a Jack in your hand
3. The dealer reveals a face-up ace
4. You accept insurance worth $10
5. The dealer turns out to be the winner because they have a 10-value card in addition to the ace

Even though you lose your main bet, you break even. It's a good idea, isn't it?

When to Take Insurance in Blackjack

Consider taking insurance if you're good at counting cards. If your opponent has an ace, the probability that they have a ten-value card is one in three. One in three is the probability of you getting the insurance. This tactic might work well as a separate bet — but if you resort to it frequently, it will lead to losses in the long term. If you're a genius in card counting, you can make it your habit.

Make sure that the online gambling platform where you play and the casino game variety that you join support this type of bet. American and European blackjack almost always do so. The former is played with eight or six decks while the latter with two. The single-deck game blackjack version often features insurance bets — but your odds of winning them will be lower.

When Not to Use Insurance

Now that you know when to buy insurance in blackjack, let's consider a situation when you should avoid doing so.

There are 49 cards left in a single deck. 16 of them stand for 10 points. Let's imagine that if you buy insurance, it will bring you $10. Your insurance bet will be more likely to lose than win: 33 times vs. 16 times. 16 x $10 = $160. With each victory, you're getting paid $20, that's $320 in total.

Experienced players recommend never taking insurance in such circumstances: you're the only opponent to the dealer in a one-deck game. There is no ten-value card in your initial hand. Insurance might be the first thing that comes to your mind in such a situation — but it will be the worst decision in the long run.

Is Blackjack Insurance Worthwhile?

It's a good chance to avoid losses. You should always use it when your opponent has an ace and is likely to have a ten-value card.

This strategy is worth using — but at the same time, it's not always a life-saving solution to your worst bets. It's only available in selected online casinos and with not all natural blackjack varieties.

It's good for advanced players and seasoned card counters. People who didn't have a lot of time to hone their blackjack skills might not only win but also lose funds due to it.


Hopefully, now you have a comprehensive answer to the question "How does insurance work in blackjack?". Feel free to take advantage of it next time you'll be playing at a blackjack table in a live casino!

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