The Meaning of Blackjack Insurance: Protecting Your Bet

Understanding Blackjack Insurance: A Guide for Players


In the world of blackjack, players often come across a side bet called insurance. This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide on how insurance bets work in blackjack, when it is advisable to take insurance, the odds associated with insurance bets, and other relevant information that players should know. Whether you are a new player or have experience with the game, understanding insurance bets can help you make informed decisions at the blackjack table.

How Does an Insurance Bet Work in Blackjack?

When playing blackjack, insurance is a side bet that can be made if the dealer’s upcard is an Ace. It is usually offered at the cost of half your original wager and pays out at 2 to 1 odds. The purpose of taking insurance is to protect yourself against the possibility of the dealer having blackjack. However, it is worth noting that insurance should only be considered in specific circumstances to increase your chances of winning.

When to Take Insurance in Blackjack?

It is recommended to take insurance when the following conditions are met:
– The dealer’s upcard is an Ace.
– You have a hand value of 15 or more.
– You believe the dealer’s second card will give them blackjack.

If these conditions are not present, it is generally more advantageous to continue with the hand as normal without taking insurance. It is crucial to make this decision wisely, taking into account your hand value and the likelihood of the dealer having blackjack.

Understanding the Outcome of Insurance Bets

To illustrate the possible outcomes of insurance bets, let’s consider a couple of examples:

Winning Blackjack Insurance Example:
1. You place a bet for $10.
2. You are dealt a 9 and a Jack.
3. The dealer’s upcard is an Ace.
4. You decide to take insurance for an additional $5.
5. The dealer’s second card is revealed to be a 10-point card, giving them blackjack.
6. You win your insurance bet, breaking even in this example by earning $15.

Losing Blackjack Insurance Example:
1. You place a bet for $10.
2. You are dealt a 10 and an 8.
3. The dealer’s upcard is an Ace.
4. You decide to take insurance for an additional $5.
5. The dealer’s second card is revealed to be a 4.
6. You lose your insurance bet but continue the hand to see if the dealer can beat your hand total of 18.

Remember that taking insurance is not a guaranteed way to win, and careful consideration of the specific game situation is essential.

Factors Affecting the Odds of Insurance Bets

The odds of winning an insurance bet can vary based on several factors that should be taken into account:
– The number of decks being used in the game.
– The number of 10-point cards that have already been dealt.
On average, the odds of the dealer making blackjack when showing an Ace is 9 to 4. While it may seem challenging for players, those who are skilled in basic strategy and card-counting techniques can potentially identify favorable conditions for making a profitable insurance bet. However, it is important to note that when playing online blackjack, tracking cards and determining optimal conditions may be more difficult compared to in-person games.

The House Advantage of Insurance Bets

Insurance bets come with a house advantage of approximately 3%. This means that, in the long run, insurance bets can lead to losses for players. It is essential to consider this factor, especially if you are not familiar with card-counting or basic strategy. While the payout for winning an insurance bet is 2 to 1, it is important to recognize that taking insurance can effectively provide a discount of 3% to the casino, reducing the value of such bets.

Is Insurance Recommended for Blackjack Players?

The decision of whether to take insurance in blackjack ultimately depends on your skill level, understanding of the game, and risk tolerance. For new players, it is advisable to focus on learning and practicing basic strategies before delving into insurance bets. Experienced players who possess advanced skills such as card-counting may find opportunities to make successful insurance bets. However, it is crucial to make well-informed decisions to ensure overall profitability and avoid excessive losses.

Frequently Asked Questions about Blackjack Insurance

1. How much is an insurance bet in blackjack?

In blackjack, insurance bets typically amount to half of the original wager. If you win the insurance bet, it pays out at 2 to 1 odds. Even if you do not win the insurance bet, it is still possible to win the round.

2. How much can I lose if my insurance bet doesn’t win?

If the dealer’s second card does not result in blackjack, you will lose the money placed on the insurance bet. Considering that the insurance bet is half of your original wager, it is crucial to manage your bankroll and make informed decisions regarding this side bet.

3. Can I play insurance bets in free online blackjack?

Yes, insurance bets are available in free online blackjack games, allowing you to practice and familiarize yourself with the gameplay, rules, and various side bets without risking real money. This can be a valuable opportunity to understand the mechanics of insurance bets.

4. Can I play insurance bets in live online dealer blackjack?

Certainly, insurance bets are available in live online dealer blackjack games. However, caution should be exercised when making insurance bets in real money games to avoid potential losses exceeding your willingness to risk. Prioritize understanding different strategies and bet types to maximize your chances of success.

5. Should I consider insurance bets as a new player?

For new players, it is advisable to focus on learning the game, basic strategies, and overall gameplay before exploring insurance bets. Utilize free online blackjack games to gain experience and become familiar with various aspects of the game before considering insurance bets.


In conclusion, insurance bets can add an extra layer of excitement to the game of blackjack. However, the decision to take insurance should be based on careful consideration of specific game conditions, hand value, and the risks involved. Basic strategy knowledge and card-counting skills can potentially increase the odds of making profitable insurance bets. It is important to remember that, on average, insurance bets can lead to losses due to the house advantage. Evaluating your own skills, risk tolerance, and understanding the game dynamics are crucial in determining whether insurance bets are suitable for you as a player.

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Doug I. Jones

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