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Blackjack Insurance Bet Explained

Insurance is a measure we take to protect ourselves from an unexpected negative event. A blackjack insurance bet is the same. An insurance bet in blackjack is an optional side bet that players can make if they think the dealer’s hand might be a blackjack. It pays double, so it usually is an attractive proposition for most players. So how does the blackjack insurance bet work, and should you take insurance in blackjack?

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How Does Insurance work on Blackjack?

An insurance bet is an optional side bet a player can take when the dealer’s face-up card is an ace. The assumption, in this case, is that the dealer is likely to have a ten-value or face card and, therefore, an automatic blackjack. If your assumption is true, the insurance bet pays out 2:1. So in this case, what would have been a loss for you, turns out to be a win. However, if the dealer does not have a blackjack, you lose the insurance bet, and the game continues as normal.

Should You Take the Insurance Bet?

Let’s take a look at how the insurance bet works. Given that the dealer has an Ace and a blackjack game using a single 52-card deck with 16 face cards, there’s a nearly 31% chance that the dealer will have blackjack.

Given those odds, placing an insurance bet feels like a good idea. However, if multiple players are at the table, then chances are some of the 16 face cards are in play. So that means that the 31% chance keeps dropping.

The insurance bet is a big gamble that has the potential to turn a loss into a huge win. Insurance pays out 2:1. So if you place a $100 insurance bet, you will get $200 back. Remember that the insurance bet is a side bet; if it wins, it usually means you lost the main game.

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Blackjack Insurance Final Thoughts

In the long run, the house always wins. So, one could say in the long run, then maybe it’s better to take the insurance bet because the house or dealer is likely to win.

However, if you’re a very good blackjack player who trusts their strategy and wins more often than they lose, the insurance bet may not be for you.

The insurance bet, despite its name, will not always insure against a loss. You can lose both the main game and the insurance bet.

If you plan on taking the insurance bet, it might be smarter to make your main bet smaller than the insurance. Or you could go big or go home; blackjack is a gambling game, after all.