What Is Insurance In Blackjack?

Morten
24 January 2023
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what-is-insurance-in-blackjack

Blackjack was formerly known as Vinght-et-un, and it remains one of the most popular card games in casinos in the UK. Blackjack can be played by one or more players, with everyone playing against the dealer, also known as the house.

The aim of blackjack is that you score 21 points or get closer to this before the dealer without going over the maximum limit. It is played using one or more 52-card decks. There are thirteen types of cards in blackjack, four of which are ten-value cards( ten, Jack, Queen, and King), while others, except the Ace, carry the value of a number written on them.

The Ace is a special card that can stand as an “eleven’ or a “one”, depending on the holder’s needs. In blackjack, the odds are 9/4 against you winning the bet, and the house edge is almost 6, as most casinos play two-to-one.

What is Insurance in Blackjack?

Generally, insurance is anything taken out to be a means to mitigate the financial impact of losses. Blackjack insurance is a payment to reduce losses on the card game, and it is a type of side bet that a player can make in a blackjack game.

This side bet is offered to players when the dealer’s up card is an ace, and the player/players in anticipation of a ten can opt for insurance to lower the house edge or the risk. Simply put, an insurance bet is a stand-alone wager, as well as a strategic move, in which players predict that the house’s next card is worth ten and it makes a blackjack. It gives the punter a chance to protect himself by insuring his hand against a potential blackjack by the dealer.

Each player takes a turn to decide whether or not to receive more cards, boost their score, or stand on their total value at hand. The number of cards dealt is unlimited, provided the score does not exceed twenty-one.

An initial two-card total of 21 is called a “Blackjack” and consists of a ten-card and an Ace. Furthermore, the hand is said to be tied if the dealer and player scores are the same and the player’s bet is returned. Though the dealer and player tie when both reveal blackjack, a two-card blackjack supersedes a three-card blackjack.

How does blackjack insurance work?

Essentially, the blackjack insurance option is available only after all the initial cards have been dealt with. Therefore, this option is offered before the dealer checks their whole card. Here, the dealer’s upcard should be an Ace and must be made visible to all players.

The second card, which is not initially visible to players, is predicted to be worth ten, making the two cards sum up to twenty-one. If the house’s up card is an Ace, you can opt-in for blackjack insurance; this means that you will put up half of the initial wagers.

If the dealer’s two cards are worth twenty-one, the dealer is said to have blackjack, and you win the insurance bet at 2:1 odds meaning that you break even. However, if the dealer doesn’t have blackjack, you lose the Insurance bet.

Getting insurance in blackjack is done by clicking on the “Insurance” CTA in a mobile/online casino and by nodding yes when the question pops up in a physical casino.

To illustrate, if you bet £8 in the initial hand, and you will play with £4, which is half of your initial stake, and if the house has an Ace additional bet is placed automatically, this costs 50% of the bet amount and is added to the initial bet.

If the dealer gets a blackjack, you simply win £8 and get your £4 insurance bet back. However, if the dealer does not have a blackjack, you lose your £4.

There are four outcomes of using insurance in blackjack.

  • First outcome: If you placed an initial bet of £8 and a side bet of 50% of the initial wager, which is £4, and the dealer has a blackjack, you lose the initial bet and win the side bet with 2:1 odd, This means that you get the initial payment of £4 back, and a £4 loss.
  • Second outcome: if you placed an initial bet of £8 and a side bet of 50% of the initial wager, which is £4, and the dealer has no blackjack, you lose both the 8£ initial bet and 4£ side bet. This means that you have zero wins and an £8 loss.
  • Third outcome: If you placed an initial bet of £8 and decide not to take the insurance bet, the dealer then has a ten, which is blackjack. This means that you would lose that round with zero wins – your loss is £8.
  • Fourth outcome: If you placed an initial bet of £8 and the player’s card deals twenty-one, here is the outcome. For instance, if it reads Ace and a ten without the dealer making blackjack, you win the round on a 3:2 payout, meaning you have won £12.

When should you take insurance on blackjack?

The best time to place an insurance bet is when the dealer’s up-card is an Ace, meaning they will get blackjack if the value of his second card is ten. The value of the second card is always hidden, and there are only four cards with a value of ten in blackjack, and they are ten, Queen, King, and Jack.

Therefore if you have a strong feeling that the dealer’s Ace will become a blackjack, Insurance bets pay 2:1 and allow you to stake up to half of your original bet. This means if it turns out that the dealer has a blackjack, you win the amount of your original bet, and you do not lose any money on the round.

Is blackjack insurance worth it?

Blackjack insurance is in no way the most optimal way to protect your money or minimise the house edge. While taking insurance does not guarantee winnings, the fact remains that you can take insurance and still lose both the main bet and the side bet.

The law of probabilities suggests that the dealer will likely not get a ten which will sum up to twenty-one, the blackjack. Even when the upcard is an Ace, the odds are always against the player, thereby worsening your losses and limiting winnings.

However, if you are counting cards to overcome the house edge at a live casino, insurance may be profitable, especially if there are a lot of tens and upcards in the deck. Also, if you want to prolong your time at the table, or you have a poor hand and would rather break even against blackjack than lose, Blackjack Insurance might be a good option.

Conclusion

Blackjack is one of the most common card games in the UK and in the World. It features an insurance program that protects punters from unnecessary losses when they play the game.

This feature has been incorporated into the game, and so it becomes a strategy when a blackjack player understands fully well when to opt for an Insurance bet and when not to. It might look like you need to insure your bet every single time you play a game of Blackjack; however, it is not always the case because the concept of the game is based on probability.

This article has been able to explain the logic behind blackjack insurance and to get the maximum benefit from this feature, be sure you have read the terms and conditions of the casino as well as the rules of the game before you play.

Author Morten

After being a recreational gambler for over 10 years, my professional gambling career started at LeoVegas in January 2019. I am now Head of SEO & Content at Casinogrounds, responsible for what you read on UKCasino.com, Casinogrounds.com, and Casinoscores.com.