Try the Insurance Bet in Blackjack
With its simple, quick, and easy to explain gameplay, it’s not a wonder that Blackjack remains famous up to this day. One controversial aspect of this table game is Insurance bet. Is it hell’s spawn like most believe or could it be an angel in disguise?
In Blackjack, the goal is to beat the dealer by having a hand that is higher than the dealer’s or a hand worth 21. Everyone on the table is dealt with a pair of upturned cards except the dealer whose other card is dealt face down. The players count their hands’ value. Cards 2 to 10 are worth their face value while Jack, King, and Queen are worth 10 and the Ace is worth either 1 or 11.
If your hand is worth 21, you’re dealt with a Blackjack and you automatically win 3:2 of your bet. If your card has a low value, you can hit and the dealer deals you another card. If your hand goes higher than 21, you lose. If you don’t want any more cards, you can stay. After everyone has had their turn, the dealer proceeds to reveal their second card.
If the dealer’s hand is 16 or below, they have to hit until it goes above 17. If their hand is 17 or higher, they have to stay with their hand. If their hand is above 21, they lose and all remaining players win twice their bet. If the dealer doesn’t bust, only the player with a hand higher than the dealer’s wins twice their bet.
What is an Insurance Bet
You can place an Insurance bet when the dealer gets an Ace as their first card. Placing an Insurance bet is wagering that the dealer will get a Blackjack. To place an Insurance bet or side bet, you place half of your original bet on the insurance line before the dealer reveals their other card.
If the dealer’s hand totals 21, you lose your hand but your Insurance bet ensures you receive a payout of 2:1, meaning you’re going to break even.
If the dealer doesn’t get a blackjack, you lose your insurance bet and proceed with the regular hand that you have.
Advantage and Disadvantage of Insurance Bet
Seasoned players frown upon Insurance bet since it can accumulate to a larger loss in the long run. Since there are only 4 cards in a deck that can complete a Blackjack, it means that there are 9 other cards that do not. Before placing an Insurance bet, you have to consider the other cards dealt in previous rounds and the ones present in your game.
That’s why Insurance bet is recommended mostly to card counters. If you know how to track the cards dealt before and have a general idea of the number of possible cards worth 10 remaining in the shoe, your chances of breaking even is higher.
But if you rely on basic strategy or don’t have a strategy at all, it is advisable to ease up on placing a side bet every time the dealer gets an Ace. If you have a large bet that you’re scared to lose, placing an Insurance bet can be a good decision.
If you’re feeling lucky or just want to try and be like a fancy guy like in the movies, go ahead and place half of your bet on the line. Once or twice would not hurt.