What Is Insurance In Blackjack?
Insurance is an optional bet in blackjack that allows you to hedge your wager against the dealer beating your hand. This bet becomes available when the dealer’s upcard is an ace before the dealer checks for blackjack, but not all tables offer the Insurance bet. Basic strategy covers hitting, standing and splitting, but when should you consider taking Insurance? Let’s take an in-depth look at the Insurance bet in this guide.
How to Play Blackjack
Blackjack is one of the most straightforward casino games, where the player’s objective is to reach a point total that is equal, or as close as possible, to 21 without going over and while beating the dealer’s hand.
In online blackjack, betting is limited to a few second at the beginning of the round. When the betting window closes, players who made a bet will receive two cards (face up). The dealer will receive one card face up (upcard) and a second card face down (hole card). Based on the point total of the dealt hand and the dealer’s upcard, the player must estimate the probability of winning their bet. When it’s time to make a move, the player must decide between hitting (receiving another card), standing (keeping your hand as is) or splitting. Splitting is only available when the player’s initial two cards are a pair,or two cards of the same value, such as a 10 and a jack. Tables will also often offer the options to double down, surrender or take insurance. Some online blackjack tables may offer the option to place a side bet or multiple side bets as well, such as Hot 3, 21+3, Any Pair and Bust It. The payout for each side bet will vary, so make sure to view the game’s paytable and rules before you begin playing.
The player always makes the first move, meaning that the player must use the dealer’s only upcard to gauge whether the player’s hand is worth splitting, hitting or standing. It’s a guessing game!
At its core, Insurance provides some protection when the dealer shows an ace — the strongest card in blackjack. The Insurance bet is optional, and allows the player to stake half of their original wager as insurance against the dealer hitting a blackjack when their second card is revealed. If the dealer’s upcard is an ace, the Insurance bet will appear on the user interface when its time for the player to make a move. If the dealer hits blackjack, then the Insurance bet will pay 2:1.
When Should You Take Insurance In Blackjack?
Whether players should take insurance or not depends on several factors.
If the game is played with one deck of cards, usually in land-based casinos, then skilled players may be able to deduce the odds of the dealer making blackjack by keeping track of how many ten-point value cards are left in the deck.
In a land-based casino, when you have a blackjack and the dealer's upcard is an ace, you can take even money (not recommended) but you can never insure a blackjack. Online casinos, on the other hand, offer Insurance even if you have blackjack.
If a multi-deck shoe is used, as is common on online tables, then the Insurance bet may not always be optimal. Although playing with more decks means more ten-point cards, it also means many more cards of lower point value!
If the player has a weak hand against the dealer’s ace, like 14 or 15, the hand is likely to lose; thus, Insurance won’t make a difference.
Although skilled strategists may see some success when taking the Insurance bet, players are generally advised against taking insurance in all circumstances. Why? Because the math behind the Insurance bet is solid — probability dictates that Insurance is not profitable in the long term.
How Does Insurance Affect The House Edge?
The house edge in blackjack is relatively small, sitting at just about 0.5%. If players take the Insurance bet, the house advantage will vary depending on the number of decks used. A single-deck game sits at 5.88% and playing an eight-deck game (the typical shoe on online tables) will have a house advantage of 7.47%. The idea behind the Insurance bet is to help the player break even when the dealer is off to a solid start but, regardless of the number of decks in the shoe, the Insurance bet is significantly disadvantageous to the player.
When playing blackjack, it is important to keep in mind that the use of any strategy does not guarantee favourable results to all players, and that approaches (and results) may differ. Always look at the game’s rules before you play to evaluate side bets, payout odds and any unique rules that the table may have. Above all else, manage your bankroll well and thoroughly research any blackjack strategy or betting system before you attempt to use it.
✅What does Insurance mean in blackjack?
Insurance is a side bet, sort of, that protects the player’s hand against the dealer’s blackjack. Insurance bets are only available when the dealer’s upcard is an ace and will pay 2:1 if the dealer gets blackjack with their hole card. Taking Insurance when the dealer shows an ace card counters the potential losses by hedging your original wager.
✅How to place an Insurance bet?
If the dealer shows an ace, players can place an Insurance bet when it’s time to make a move. Insurance is typically half of the player’s original wager and pays out 2:1.
✅When should you buy Insurance?
In short, never. Placing Insurance bets will, on average, result in the player losing more money in the long run. However, expert blackjack veterans playing with one deck of cards may deduce when Insurance can yield optimal results.
✅Why do blackjack dealers always get 20?
Blackjack is a game of chance; thus, all outcomes are entirely random, and any streaks or coincidences are manifestations of chance, randomness and probability. If you are playing at a reputable online casino, such as EnergyCasino, then you will be glad to know that both the casino operator and the game provider must adhere to the highest industry standards. This can be evident by the presence of licences, like the MGA and UKGC, which ensure your gameplay's safety, integrity, and fairness.