Is a Blackjack Insurance Bet a Bad Bet? – Blackjack insurance betting is a controversial topic. While new players may find this a safer bet, more experienced players know it is not a good bet.
What is Insurance in Blackjack?
Insurance in blackjack refers to the side bet offered to the player when the dealer’s up card is an ace. Now that the dealer has higher odds of getting a blackjack or 21, players can make insurance side bets to cover them.
That is, in addition to your main bet against the dealer, with this one insurance bet, you will also be betting that the dealer does have the advantage in the game to break even if you lose on the main bet. This side bet usually pays 2:1.
Blackjack Insurance Rules and Guidelines
There’s a reason why insurance is called a sucker bet. But don’t feel like a fool. The following tips will show you when to place these insurance bets and why you should avoid them. First, let’s look at the rules in insurance betting.
Insurance Side Betting Rules
The maximum bet for insurance is usually half the main bet.
The blackjack table has a separate section for side bets where players must place their side bets before insurance is covered.
If a player has blackjack and they also win insurance, the payout is 3:2.
A player has the option to take even money and forfeit the 3:2 blackjack bonus if they wish to win their initial bet.
In online blackjack games, a pop-up notification will appear asking the player if they want to place an insurance bet.
Is a Blackjack Insurance Bet Always a Bad Bet?
When Should You Place an Insurance Bet?
There are some situations where an insurance bet in blackjack might be a pretty good idea. Some players place insurance when they already have a blackjack and want to make sure they profit from it in the event of a draw. In the event of a draw, which is rare, they will be paid 3:2 instead of winning nothing. Apart from that, insurance betting will also be beneficial when you have placed a big bet to achieve your profit goals.
And you’ll also plan to take even money if the side bet misses. Advanced card counters who play the game in person can also make use of insurance bets as their strategies and predictions are much more precise. However, even in a seemingly ideal scenario, insurance betting still isn’t a profitable option in the long run.
Why You Should Avoid Insurance Betting
The reason why is discouraged in blackjack is because of the odds of success. The dealer’s odds of getting a blackjack are only 30%, meaning you have a much higher chance of losing than winning. While this bet may work in your favor under special circumstances, it is a bad strategy if used over and over again over several bets.
Insurance also wreaks havoc on your bottom line. If you’re playing blackjack because of the low house edge, this bet might be a problem. Insurance bets, especially in games with more than six decks, increase the house edge from 2% to at least 7%. If you play online, then almost every game has between six and eight decks.
While insurance can minimize your losses if the dealer has a strong enough hold, the odds will always be against it. If playing strategically and watching the numbers, it is best to make the side bet a rare blackjack move.