When playing Blackjack, it’s all about getting as close to 21 as possible and some cards are more desirable than others for creating a winning hand. To have a natural Blackjack, you need an Ace plus a card worth 10. If the dealer has such a combination of cards in his hand, you bust and lose your bet. To prevent a loss, you can play an Insurance bet and save a half of your original wager, which is better than nothing. Let’s have a closer look at this type of bet and the way it works.
An Insurance bet is a side bet you can place if one of the cards dealt to the dealer is an Ace. In most Blackjack variants, you will be asked if you would like to place such a bet, which means that you can put a half of your initial stake as insurance in case the dealer hits a Blackjack. If the dealer wins, you also win 2:1 on your side bet, which practically means that in total you get your original wager back.
On the other hand, if the dealer doesn’t have a natural Blackjack, you lose the Insurance bet but you can still create a Blackjack hand and beat the house with your original bet. What you should remember is that an Insurance bet pays only in case the dealer wins with a Blackjack hand, so you practically bet that the dealer will win.
Playing an Insurance bet is considered not very smart move as it can result in big losses in the long term. Given that the dealer can create a Blackjack hand with only 4 cards and an Ace and that 9 other cards included in a hand with an Ace won’t give a Blackjack, it is understandable why placing such a bet is a risky move. Playing an Insurance bet increases the house edge which can go up to 7.47% in Blackjack variants played with eight card decks.
One of the reasons to play an Insurance bet is to protect a large original bet you have placed. In this case, you will risk even more money, but you will save your original wager in case the dealer gets a Blackjack. On the other hand, one of the most important reasons why you should avoid playing this side bet is the fact that it increases losses as you place a side bet over your initial bet and you can still bust. The statistics show that odds are against you when playing an Insurance bet and we have explained it in the previous paragraph when we mentioned the number of cards that can create a Blackjack and the number of those that cannot.
If you are still indecisive about whether you should play Insurance bets or not, remember that you cannot win on both the original and this type of wager. That means that even when you hit a Blackjack, you will lose money as you won’t be paid for the Insurance bet you have played. Those players who have mastered any of card counting systems and can tell which cards have not been dealt can take advantage of this side bet. Otherwise, you should avoid playing such a bet as you can lose big money in the long run.