Is Insurance a Good Bet to Make in Blackjack?

In the very simple game of Blackjack, where ever it is you may find yourself playing it, either on the standard Internet Casino, online live dealer casino or in a live casino that you drive to, you will most very likely be offered the opportunity to place a secondary wager to take insurance on a hand of blackjack. A lot of different people have opinions on if and when you should wager money on the slight chance that the blackjack dealer/house may have a “Blackjack” or “Natural 21”, when showing an “Ace” as an up card. By accepting to insure your hand, you are wagering up to half of your original bet, that the dealer has a ten valued card underneath his or her “Ace” If you place this second bet, and the dealer has anything else other than a ten, jack, queen, king under the “Ace” that is shown, you lose that insurance bet.

Some blackjack players will always insure their twenty point hands, some will insure any hand at all, if they feel in their gut that the blackjack dealer may have the blackjack. Some blackjack players will base their decisions on whether or not they think the blackjack dealer is due for one, or if the blackjack dealer has been consistently hot or cold all day long. Some blackjack players will base it on what they think is a pattern of cards, that they have picked up on, by looking at the cards before the blackjack dealer’s hole card, in relation to the cards that proceeded the blackjack dealer’s hidden, down card. Some blackjack players actually count cards, as a skill, which gives them the ability to know how many ten valued cards are remaining in the shoe, in comparison to how many small cards are remaining in the shoe. Some blackjack players claim to always buy insurance, some blackjack players claim to never take insurance, some blackjack players simply randomly chose when to place the bet.

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Well, let’s look at the math of the matter. Most basic strategies will tell you to never buy insurance, and mathematically, the odds are against the blackjack dealer having a Blackjack, or Natural 21, which is a ten valued card and an “Ace” combined as the initial or original two cards dealt to the blackjack dealer.

Sometimes, when we have a bigger wager out there, and a very good looking pair of face cards, that we would lose, if the blackjack dealer does have the Blackjack, some of us get caught up in to the fear and end up posting a second bet, half of the original amount bet, trying to “protect” the winning hand. There are some very undesirable outcomes that can arise from this way of thinking. First undesirable outcome is, what if your twenty is a winning hand, and the blackjack dealer has nineteen, you then only win half of your original bet, because you spent the other half, “Protecting” your winning hand. You could also look at that as you lost half the value of your bet, on a winning blackjack hand. I mean, when you placed the original bet, you were betting that you were going to win that blackjack hand, once you place a wager on the insurance line, you are now betting that your blackjack hand will lose, and hoping you lose by the blackjack dealer getting a Blackjack. The second very undesirable outcome, or as I like to call it, the “Doh!” moment, you are dealt a twenty, blackjack dealer shows an “Ace”, you get scared, place an insurance bet, the blackjack dealer flips over a little card, you lose your insurance bet, the blackjack dealer hits his hand, and draws to twenty-one, you lose your original bet. Moral of that lesson, of course, is that twenty is not a for sure winner, every time. The only “winning hands” are the ones that get paid at the end of the hand.

There are also times when the blackjack dealer, in a live game, could accidentally show his or her hole card, when dealing, exposing that he or she does have a Blackjack, the house, in the situation, will usually still allow you to insure your blackjack hand, it’s important to remember, insurance is a great thing to have, when the blackjack dealer has blackjack, it prevents you from losing any money on the hand, so if you know the blackjack dealer has it, because you saw it ahead of time, and you are still offered the option of taking insurance, it is fair that you place the bet. This, of course sounds like a no-brainer to a lot of blackjack players, but I only say this, because I have actually seen blackjack players refuse to take insurance, even though the blackjack dealer showed the blackjack player that the house had a blackjack, but claimed that they “never take insurance” and won’t this time either. A portion of those blackjack players also claimed they felt it would be unfair for them to take the bet, when they were inadvertently informed that the bet would surely pay off.

Insurance is an other one of those aspects of Blackjack, that I like to advise blackjack players to decide on whether to take the bet, the same way, every time. If you try to out-guess the cards, you will find yourself very frustrated, most likely. Playing consistently and not deviating from your pre-set rules you have made for yourself, prevents a lot of times where you are going to want to kick yourself for doing what you always do.