What is Blackjack Insurance... and should you take it?

Is Blackjack Insurance a good bet? Find out all about Blackjack Insurance in our definitive guide.
If you're new to online Blackjack, then you may notice some games offer an insurance bet.

You may have even played a game yourself and were offered the Blackjack Insurance option. Chances are, you may have accepted this bet but not understood why it was offered to you or why you should take it. 
A common misunderstanding is that taking this option is meant to save your hand in some way. It's insurance after all; isn't insurance meant to compensate you in the event of something going wrong? While this might be the case, this type of insurance is more complicated.

Blackjack Insurance Example

Blackjack Insurance shuffle

First of all, let's explain how Blackjack Insurance works. If the dealer draws a face-up Ace card, you will be offered the insurance option. The reason being is that the dealers next card could be a value 10 card, giving them an instant Blackjack win.

If you do accept the insurance bet, you will need to place a bet half of your current stake. The Blackjack insurance payout is 2:1 - and this ratio can be explained with a simple example. 

Let's say you play a hand of live dealer Blackjack. You bet £10 to enter the game. The dealer draws an Ace as his up card. You will then be offered the insurance side bet.

For this example, let's say you take the bet. You will then need to place an extra wager of £5 for the insurance. Which is half the value of your original stake. In reality, there are two scenarios that could follow:

The dealer has a blackjack: Your £5 insurance bet will be matched with an additional £5, giving you a total of £10. But you will lose the original £10 bet as the dealer had a Blackjack. This makes the result a push overall.

The dealer does not have a blackjack: In this event, you will lose the £5 stake. But you could still come away with a win on the original £10 bet.

On the face of it - it seems like a shrewd bet to make. After all: the chances of a dealer getting a Blackjack must be high if they draw an ace right? Well, not exactly.

When to take insurance in Blackjack

Blackjack play

Let's go back to what we said in the intro. Most people misunderstand the insurance bet. They believe it's exactly that: insurance. But in reality, you are actually betting on the chances of the dealer's hand being a natural Blackjack.

And the chances of this are actually not that great. In fact, the dealer only has less than one-third of a chance to produce a Blackjack in this fashion. That's a 9:4 chance overall.

By taking the insurance bet, you not only have the chance of losing your insurance stake. You also have the chance to lose your original stake as well. Considering these odds, the insurance side bet doesn't seem like a great option overall.

The main obstacle to get past is the fear of losing in this situation. It is intimidating seeing a dealer pull an Ace out of the shoe. Especially considering the dread that is posed by that face down card.

It's certainly one of the most nerve-wracking gambling moments out there. But when you think about the odds and the chances, it's easy to relax.

So when should you use insurance in Blackjack? Realistically, you shouldn't. It may seem as if you are driving into a wall at high speed. But the odds speak for themselves. In fact, advanced players will tell you that Blackjack insurance never falls under an optimal Blackjack strategy.

While Blackjack Insurance is never a good idea - there are plenty of more entertaining Blackjack side bets you can accept. And some of these can really increase the tension of a game. Extra payout opportunities or even jackpots - there are a number of options you can choose to enhance your gameplay.

Take a look at our online Blackjack games page to see what types of side bets you might like - or head to the lobby to see our deluxe range of Evolution Gaming tables.