Blackjack Insurance: What Is It, How It Operates And When You Should Take It

How do you know if blackjack insurance is a good thing? Blackjack insurance can be described as a bet offered to the player if the dealer’s hand is an Ace, as protection against the dealer’s hand is blackjack.

Blackjack insurance odds are paid out at 2/1. The max bet allowed is typically just half of the total bet. The player could make money on the bet if the dealer holds blackjack, even if they lose their principal bet.

Blackjack Insurance: What Is It, How It Operates And When You Should Take It

Blackjack Insurance is available before the dealer examines the hole cards (the one that is not visible to the players) and will be paid out when the hole card is found to have 10 points, which is a double 21.

How Blackjack Insurance Works

Put, taking blackjack insurance is taking a bet that the dealer is going to hold a blackjack.

Blackjack is a game where the dealer has an Ace before they present their hole cards, an additional bet, known as insurance, is made available.

Typically the dealer will announce this option for players to play online; buttons or pop-ups will pop up. The side bet is played independent of the main bet and pays 2:1. If the dealer winds up having a 10- and, therefore, blackjack is won, the gambler is awarded $2 per $1 bet in the bet for insurance.

The blackjack insurance bet is won even though losing the main hand, so that the player still makes even cash. If the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack, the insurance bet is forfeited, and the game proceeds as usual.

In general, to get blackjack  insurance, you must place at least 50% of the amount you bet in hand (so you’ll need to place at least $10 on your insurance bet if the original bet is $20).

If a player is a blackjack, they can also place a risk bet (called the taking of even money). If this occurs, the hand is instantly completed, and the gambler is paid a sum equal to the amount they bet.

Rules of Insurance in American and European Blackjack

In American blackjack, the rules differ slightly from the rules of its European counterpart. If you were to go to a blackjack table at Atlantic City or Vegas, you’d notice that the dealer has the right to look at their card to check whether they’ve got an edge before the other players are allowed to play. 

When playing the European version, the dealer does not have an open hole card to examine, but they get additional cards once the players have completed their moves.

While the remainder of the game follows identical rules, you’ll notice that the dealer isn’t at 21 until you play your bet on American blackjack. The fact that you don’t know what to expect from European blackjack makes it a little more difficult. It also means that you need to be more cautious and think more prudently when playing this variant in the casino.

The One And Only Time To Buy  Insurance

The only exception to the “never use blackjack insurance or money’ rules is for card counters and other players who benefit from it. If you’re good at keeping track of the decks and the cards in your deck, insurance bets can easily be made if you are aware of an excess of cards worth ten on the cards.

Without thinking details about card counting or doing any real math and calculations, you can approximate the likelihood that buying insurance is a good choice in a particular situation.

For example, if two hands of a player are revealed that neither one is any tens, 16 of the 47 hands are 10s. This is greater than a 1 in 3 chance of the dealer being blackjack, which is why insurance is a great option.

But, even advantage players cannot count on insurance as the dealer only displays an Ace only once in approximately 13 hands, and the size of bets is limited to half of the bet.

When is the best time to make insurance payments in blackjack?

Insurance is an attractive choice for the player when the dealer’s card is an Ace since there is a one-in-three chance that their card is worth 10. However, insurance will likely be a loss-making bet over the long run if you’re not a highly skilled counter.

The dealer must have a ten-value card as his whole card. Counters with experience can keep track of the amounts remaining in the deck and determine the amount needed to place an insurance bet.

The reason why insurance should be avoided when playing blackjack

This example illustrates how even in the ideal scenario like that below, betting on insurance blackjack is not a profitable strategy over the long term.

You’re playing on your own with the dealer during a single-deck game. The cards on your deck have the value of 10. That means that 16 from the 49 other cards are worth 10, which gives you PS10 assurance to bet the best probability.

However, your position remains one that isn’t likely to happen shortly. On average, the PS10 insurance bet pays 16 times, and it is a loss of 33 times. 

But, the 33 losses in PS10-a-time leave you with PS10 down in general. This hand is the best-case scenario since neither you nor the other player has a 10-value card in their first hands. If this were an actual scenario, then the probability of the dealer holding an ace of 10 value (and thus getting your bet back) is even less.

Why Would Anyone Take Insurance in Blackjack?

It’s a good question, and based on the above explanation, The odds of the dealer flipping an ace and forming a blackjack in a regular blackjack game is 9-4, which brings the house edge at 12.5 percent. 

This is the largest house edge of the casino games, excluding Progressive jackpots as side bets even though the highest payout isn’t as high given the odds. If you’re not a pro at taking notes on cards, discover that even the best blackjack players tend to avoid placing bets on insurance. 

This is because regardless of the odds if the dealer is turning over a 10 in one game, you’ll lose 12.5 cents for every dollar you bet. The more decks are playing in a game, the more the odds in favor of the house. This is why you often hear blackjack insurance called “the sucker bet.”


Once you’re familiar with this blackjack bet, it’s your decision whether to decide to incorporate it into your game plan or not. Be aware that it’s not an effective bet to make. It is better to refer to a blackjack cheat sheet or create your blackjack strategy that will defeat the casino.

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Blog Summary

Blog Name: Blackjack Insurance: What Is It, How It Operates And When You Should Take It

Posted On: 05/10/2021

Author: Jennifer Albee

4.7/5 - (4 votes)