In most variations of Blackjack, when the Dealer shows an Ace as their face-up card, players have the option to take ‘Insurance’. This side bet is a wager that the Dealer’s hidden card is a 10, resulting in Blackjack. Players can choose to insure all, some, or none of their hands, with the insurance bet amounting to half their initial stake. Winning the Insurance bet pays 2 to 1, but if the Dealer doesn’t have Blackjack, the bet is lost.
Why Insurance Is Often a Bad Bet
Taking Insurance might seem like a cautious approach, but let’s break down why it’s generally considered a poor bet:
Assuming a single deck, 16 out of 49 unseen cards could give the Dealer Blackjack.
With an initial bet of €2, an Insurance bet would be €1.
Calculating the odds shows a net loss over time, with a slight average loss per hand.
In a six-deck game, the house edge increases to 7.4%, making Insurance even less favorable.
The Case of Having Blackjack Yourself
If you have Blackjack and opt for Insurance:
If the Dealer also has Blackjack, your main bet pushes, but you win the Insurance bet.
If the Dealer doesn’t have Blackjack, you win the main bet but lose the Insurance bet.
In either scenario, you roughly break even, despite having Blackjack.
Blackjack is a game of mathematics with optimal strategies for different situations. Taking Insurance typically falls under a suboptimal move due to the high house edge. It’s generally advisable to avoid Insurance bets, as they do not favor the player in the long run.
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