Is Taking Blackjack Insurance a Good Bet?

26 September 2017 3 minutes to read
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Many blackjack players are still in two minds when it comes to taking ‘Insurance’; some say it’s a good bet while others say it’s a definite no-no. In this article we’re going to explain to you why taking the insurance bet in Blackjack is never a good thing.

 

Blackjack Insurance Bet Any Good?

”Insurance is a side bet that the dealer has blackjack and is treated independently of the main wager. It pays 2:1 (meaning that the player receives two dollars for every dollar bet) and is available when the dealer’s exposed card is an ace.
The insurance wager in blackjack can be made as a side bet. In general side bets are not advantageous at a casino especially when the dealer’s up card is an Ace. Place the insurance wager of up to half your original wager, should the dealer’s hole card be a ten (dealer has blackjack) you’ll be paid at two to one odds.

Insurance bet is just a sucker bet for card counters.”

Let’s break the math down for you, most blackjack casinos use 4 decks of cards in blackjack while some even use eight! As a result players can face a statistically insignificant deck so the probabilities remain constant irrespective of where and when you play. We can be confident in saying the probabilities are the same as if we are using a single deck of cards. Just the deck happens to be infinite for statistical purposes.

So, if you place a bet on insurance in blackjack you want the dealer’s hole card to be a ten. Under the best of circumstances, there are sixteen cards with a value of ten left in the deck after a player’s two cards and the dealer’s up card hit the felt. With just 49 cards left, the probability of the dealer’s hole card being a ten is around 0.3265 or 32.65%.

In the long run it translates into the following scenario. A player routinely places a $5 wager (half of the original $10 bet) on insurance whenever the opportunity presents itself.

At a glace the insurance bet looks like the real deal. Some would argue that in an intense game of blackjack it’s a back-up plan of sorts where the possibility of a dealer’s two-card is likely. It’s the most logical bet when the player is up against the dealer’s face-up Ace. Don’t let the casinos or any so-called expert deceive you.

”Insuring weak hands is necessary, or it is only half of your original bet; such rationale is based on the wrong sort of game-play logic. If you are relying too heavily on intuition or superstition to govern your hands, it’s likely you won’t be winning in the long-term.”

Let’s pretend the insurance happens around 49,000 times across the next decade while the player plays blackjack for entertainment. About 16,000 times the player wins at two to one odds for a total of $160,000 (16,000 wins x $10) and the other 33,000 times the player loses the insurance bet. Therefore, the player staked $245,000 (49,000x$5)over the course of 49,000 insurance bets for a total loss of $85,000 ($245,000-$160,000)!

In summary. Unless you’re an expert card counter playing with a low number of decks in a shoe that isn’t continuously shuffled, keep your insurance money off the table, even if the dealer asks: ‘‘Would you like insurance?”

Reference

1. https://www.blackjack.com.au/why-insurance-is-a-suckers-bet/

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