What is an ‘Insurance Bet’?
An insurance bet refers to a bet in blackjack that occurs when the dealer’s face card is an ace. In this case, the dealer will ask each player if they want to take out an insurance bet. Those that do take it will put half their original bet on the table as insurance. If the dealer gets a blackjack, the player will win the bet at odds of 2-1, but lose their original bet. So, for example, if a player makes a $20 bet, he will put $10 back on the table, meaning he will cover his $20 loss if the dealer has a ten or a court card.
‘Insurance Bet’ Explained
Insurance against a loss sounds like an intelligent and safe option, and many new players will take it without a second thought. That’s partly what the casinos rely on. Most blackjack sites, however, such as blackjacklife.com, strongly advise against taking it.
They state that players should understand that an insurance bet is not insurance as most would naturally understand it. It is a wager in which they stand to lose money. In this respect, Blackjack Life asks why would a player put a wager on the dealer getting blackjack when the odds against him doing so are 9-4 – better than the odds for an insurance bet.
The house almost always has an edge over the player, but the edge on a so-called insurance bet is particularly high. For a single deck, the house edge is 5.8%; for a double deck, the house edge is 6.7%; for a four deck 7.2%; for a six deck 7.39%; and for an eight deck 7.46%.
The only time a player should think about taking insurance is when he has blackjack himself. It is a much better bet in that situation because if a dealer has blackjack as well, he will call a push, which means the game will be invalid.