Insurance in Blackjack: Is it Worth a Risk?

Insurance in Blackjack: Is it Worth a Risk?

Insurance is often an excellent way to protect yourself financially against unfavorable times. While this is true on the surface, it has pros and cons if we talk about Blackjack. Like all other types of side bets in table games, insurance in blackjack comes with its own set of risks and benefits. But, what do you stand to lose? Is insurance in blackjack worth it? We will look at all these and more in today’s casino news.

Is Insurance in Blackjack Worth It? What Exactly is the Insurance?

In blackjack, one of the oldest casino games, everyone at the table is always dealt two cards, including the dealer. The player closest to 21 or with exactly 21 wins the round, which can either be the dealer or any player at the table. This is the basic standard rule among several blackjack variations, including the Switch Blackjack Online variant.

But, what is insurance in blackjack? Insurance in blackjack means to bet on the dealer having a 21. If you study the game with a blackjack book, you’ll understand that this side bet is separate from your usual bet. It’s called an insurance bet because it insures you from losing totally if the dealer ends up with a blackjack (i.e. up-card is an ace). The maximum amount you can wager on an insurance bet varies from one online casino to the next (or even the land-based ones). Some tables require you to wager exactly half your original bet for the hand, while others allow you to wager up to half.

Finding a casino that takes insurance bets is not hard. Simply look for online casino reviews to find your best option. The next question would be, “Is insurance in blackjack worth it?” Let’s take a look.

Risks of Taking Insurance in Blackjack

Three possible outcomes come with taking the risk of placing an insurance bet. The risk here means the probability that the side bet doesn’t go your way. We will also look at it from an example of if you place an initial wager of $200 and a side bet of $100.

  • Neither you nor the dealer has a blackjack, and the dealer wins the hand. In this instance, you’ll lose your original bet of $200 for losing the hand. You will also lose the insurance bet, making it a total loss of $300.
  • When neither you nor the dealer has a blackjack and the game is a tie. You’ll get your original wager back, but you lose the insurance wager, making a total loss of $100

Rewards of taking It

There are four possible outcomes to taking insurance at an online blackjack bet. We’ll also be looking at these instances.

  • When you and the dealer end up having a blackjack. In this instance, you’ll win the insurance wager and get your original stake back, making it a total gain of $200
  • When the dealer didn’t get a blackjack, and you didn’t get a blackjack, but you won the hand. In this instance, you’ll win your initial wager and lose the bet, making it a total gain of $100
  • When you have a blackjack, but the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack. In this case, you’ll win $300 (blackjack pays 3:2) of your original wager, but you’ll lose the insurance bet. This would win you a total of $200.
  • When you don’t have blackjack, but the dealer does. While you do lose your initial wager, the insurance wager is a winner—zero net gain or loss.

Long-term Probability of Insurance in Blackjack

This side bet has only two possible outcomes: winning or losing the insurance bet. The chances of the dealer having blackjack is approximately 30%, which means the chances of it not happening are around 70%. Suppose you put $100 into monthly insurance bets 100 times.

With these odds, you can win 30 bets for every 70 losses. The wins would net you $6,000, but the losses from the side bets would reduce that to $7,000. You would lose $1,000 even if it seemed like you were making money throughout the month.

This is also the case with a side bet like perfect pair blackjack. It ends up not being in your favor. Compared to roulette games, blackjack is thought to have a small house edge. Insurance bets raise the house edge to a higher level than a bet on a roulette wheel.

Final Thoughts

In answering the question, “Is insurance in blackjack worth it,” we’ve discovered that insurance is often not recommended due to poor odds of winning. The odds are virtually always against you, although insurance can help reduce losses if the dealer gets a good hand.

If you’re playing blackjack skillfully and keeping track of the odds, you should make usage of insurance side bets an uncommon occurrence. This recommendation is also the same in books of other blackjack variants, like the Pirate 21 Guide.

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