When should I get insurance?
If you’re not counting cards in a real casino, you should never bet money on insurance in blackjack. All it takes is a quick look at the math behind the bet to see that, statistically, you will lose money in the long run.
The odds of winning against a blackjack are 9 to 4. On average, you will lose more than half of the insurance bets you make and since the bet pays 2 to 1 it is a loss.
The exception to this is only for advanced card counters who can keep track of how many ten point cards with advanced blackjack strategies are left in the deck. The more tens and face cards there are in the deck, the more likely it is that the dealer will beat blackjack. If the numbers are good enough, getting insurance can be a profitable bet. It is really important to remember that this only applies to experienced players and only in live casinos, not on the internet.
1 deck game
8 deck game
What are the odds for insurance betting?
The exact chances of winning an insurance bet are not always the same. The chances of winning depend on the number of decks used in the game and the number of ten-point cards already issued.
Since card counters are able to keep track of things, they can tell when the conditions are perfect for a profitable insurance bet. For the rest of us, however, the odds are almost always against us when we buy insurance. This is especially true in online blackjack as the decks are shuffled before each hand.
Another reason to avoid insurance is that the more decks are used in the game, the worse the chances for the player. Roughly speaking, the house edge on the insurance bet in a one-deck game is 5.8%. That number jumps to almost 7.5% when the casino is using eight decks.
Chances of a dealer doing blackjack
9 to 4
Insurance bet pays off
2 to 1
If you absolutely MUST get insurance, only play a one-deck, full table game when you and the other players have been dealt very few ten-point cards. But don’t say we didn’t warn you.
Blackjack Insurance Rules
In order to place an insurance bet, players must follow certain blackjack rules. The dealer must have an ace as an upcard, otherwise no insurance bet can be made. If an ace appears, the dealer will offer Players have the option to place an insurance bet. Players must decide whether to accept before the dealer checks the hole card. Otherwise the offer will expire.
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