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How does an Insurance Bet work in Blackjack?

An insurance bet is a type of side bet that is usually half your original wager and pays 2 to 1. The only time to play insurance is if the dealer's upcard is an Ace, you have a good hand of 15 or more, and you are confident in knowing that the dealer's second card will give them Blackjack.

If these circumstances are not right, we would recommend letting the chips fall where they may and continuing with the hand as normal.

Blackjack Insurance Example

Here is a quick step-by-step guide of play:

Winning Blackjack Insurance

wining hand

Losing Blackjack Insurance

losing hand
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This type of side bet is usually better for more advanced players as knowing basic strategy and card-counting can really help push the odds into your favor and make paying insurance worthwhile.

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When Should I Take Insurance?

The best time to place an insurance bet is when the dealer's upcard is an Ace and you have a decent hand yourself of 15 or higher. That way, even if you lose your insurance bet, you might still be able to win the round.

On average, players lose more than half of the insurance bets made and since the bet pays out 2 to 1, it can turn into a losing proposition.

Statistically, insurance bets can lose you money in the long run, especially if you're not familiar with card-counting or basic strategy.

What are the Odds for Insurance Bets?

The exact odds of winning an insurance bet vary from game to game and depend on a variety of factors from the number of decks being used to the number of 10-point cards that have already been dealt.

On average, the odds of the dealer making Blackjack is 9 to 4.

It might look stacked against players but those skilled in basic strategy and card-counting might be able to keep track and identify when the conditions are perfect to make a profitable insurance bet.

Although this can be tricky when playing online blackjack, we suggest playing a few rounds of free blackjack to get a feel for the odds and get used to making insurance bets.

If you want to play live dealer or real money blackjack, it's important to also consider the number of decks being used. The higher the number of decks, the higher the odds are for potentially losing your insurance bet.

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MR BLACKJACK'S VERDICT

The insurance bet has a 3% house advantage and will only pay off when the dealer has a 10-point card, which happens 30% of the time.

Even with the payout being 2 to 1, the casino is getting a 3% discount on the payout so every time you take insurance, you are effectively giving the casino 3%.

If you're counting cards with the true count being +8 or better, plus a deck rich in 10s, it could be argued that the odds fall closer in your favor. However, as a general rule, the insurance bet is a pass from me.

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FAQs

How much is insurance in blackjack?

Insurance bets in blackjack are usually half your original wager and will pay out 2 to 1 if you win. Even if your insurance bet isn't a winner, you might still be able to win the round.

How much can I lose if I don't win my insurance bet?

If the dealer doesn't make Blackjack with their second card, you will lose the money you placed into the insurance bet. As this is half of your original wager, you need to carefully consider your bankroll when playing insurance.

Can I play an insurance bet in free online Blackjack?

Yes, insurance bets are available in free, real money and live dealer games of online blackjack. If you're new to insurance bets, we suggest playing a few rounds of free online blackjack to get used to the game play, rules, terminology and the array of side bets at your disposal, without the risk of exceeding your bankroll.

Can I play an insurance bet in live online dealer Blackjack?

Yes you can, although we suggest being very careful when playing an insurance bet in live dealer or real money blackjack to ensure you don't lose more than you're willing to. Brush up on your strategy skills with our online guide to give you the edge when it comes to making wagers and side bets.

I've just started playing Blackjack - are insurance bets something I should be doing?

If you're new to the game, we recommend playing free blackjack online in order to get familiar with the game play, the odds, the side bets and the terms of the game. Try a few insurance bet options throughout to see if it's something you'd like to try in real money or live dealer games.

I'm a more experienced player - should I use insurance?

As a more experienced player, you might be able to keep an eye on the cards that have already been dealt and know when to strike with a well-placed insurance bet. However, remember to consider your options wisely as it might pay off in the long run to avoid making multiple insurance bets.

What other side bets are available in Blackjack?

If insurance bets aren't your thing or you want to expand your arsenal of blackjack tricks, there are a whole variety of side bet options for you to explore. Have a look at our side bet page and try a few out in some online games.

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