Blackjack Insurance Example

If you're playing blackjack where the dealer must stand on soft 17, then insurance is only really worth taking if you have 18, 19 or 20, as otherwise your hand will likely not be strong enough to beat the dealer anyway. Using a scenario similar to this, here's an example of how taking blackjack insurance works when playing online.

Rules Table
Rules Table Rules Table
Rules Table Rules Table
1

You place a bet of $10.

2

You're dealt a 9, Jack of Hearts.

3

The Dealer's upcard is an Ace.

4

You take insurance for $5, half your original wager.

5

The dealer's second card is revealed to be 10.

6

You're paid out 2 to 1 on your $5 insurance bet and break even on that hand.

Rules Table Rules Table
Rules Table Rules Table
1

You place a bet of $10.

2

You're dealt 10, 8.

3

The Dealer's upcard is an Ace.

4

You take insurance for $5, half your original wager.

5

The dealer's second card is a 4.

6

You lose your insurance bet, but continue the hand to see if the dealer can beat 18.

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When Should I Take Insurance?

Unless you're counting cards in a real-life casino, you should never wager money on insurance in blackjack. All it takes is a quick look at the math behind the bet to see that statistically it's going to lose you money in the long run.

The odds against the dealing making a blackjack are roughly 9 to 4. On average you will lose more than half of the insurance bets you make and since the bet pays out 2 to 1, it's a losing proposition.

The exception to this only applies to advanced card-counters who can keep track of how many ten-point cards are still left in the deck with advanced blackjack strategies. The more tens and face-cards in the deck, the more likely it is for the dealer to hit a blackjack. If the count is good enough, taking insurance can be a profitable bet. It's really important to remember that this only applies to expert players and only in live casinos, not on the internet.

House Edge 5.8% 1 Deck Game 7.5% 8 Deck Game

What are the Odds for Insurance Bets?

The exact odds of winning an insurance bet aren't always the same. The odds depend on the number of decks being used in the game and the number of ten-point cards that have already been dealt.

Because card-counters are able to keep track, they can identify when the conditions are perfect to make a profitable insurance bet. For the rest of us, however, the odds are almost always against us when we take insurance. This is especially true for online blackjack since the decks are shuffled before every single hand.

Another reason to avoid insurance is because the more decks being used in the game, the worse the odds get for the player. Roughly speaking, the house advantage 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.

Odds of Dealer making Blackjack 9 to 4 Insurance Bet pays out 2 to 1

If you absolutely, positively HAVE to take insurance, only do it a one-deck game with a full table when very few ten-point cards have been dealt to you and the other players. But don't say we didn't warn you.

Blackjack Insurance Rules

To make an insurance bet, players must follow certain blackjack rules. The dealer must have an Ace as their upcard, otherwise no insurance bet can be made. If an Ace appears, the dealer will offer players the option to place an insurance bet. Players must decide whether to accept before the dealer checks the hole card, otherwise the offer expires.

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