Blackjack Insurance

Everyone likes to play it safe sometimes, especially when they are playing Blackjack.

There is multiple ways that players can play things a little bit more safely and less gung-ho with extra bets.

One of the more popular versions is Blackjack Surrender, which allows players to give up their hand if its looks likely they will lose and receive half their bet back.

However, this is not the only way to do so and most tables will allow its players the option for “insurance”. Blackjack insurance is a much more straightforward way of making sure you don’t lose more cash than necessary when the dealer is in a good position.  

Many players are rightly skeptical of this option in Blackjack, but this said, it can still be beneficial for certain types of players and in specific situations. However, you should bear in mind that the option for insurance has many flaws and is not the best option in a lot of other scenarios.

However, read here and find out here what does insurance mean in Blackjack, learn how to use it effectively and then make your own mind up about whether or not it can benefit your future Blackjack games.

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How Blackjack Insurance Works

Essentially, Blackjack insurance allows the player the option to lessen their wager after the dealer exposes their cards and reveals an Ace card.

In this scenario, if the rule is in play, then if the dealer has an Ace then he or she will go around the table asking each player whether or not they want insurance.

When you have insurance, it means you take out half of your original bet as insurance. So for example, if you had placed a $10 bet you will then have to wager an extra $5 for the insurance to be in play.

Then, if the dealer exposes his second card and he does indeed have Blackjack, then you win your insurance $5 back as well as the other half your original bet, due to insurance paying 2:1. This means that although you will have lost the original wager, you will have got the total amount back. As such, you have broken even.  

In the opposite situation, if he doesn’t, then you lose your $5 insurance bet, but will still stand to win with the original $10 wager.

When to take Insurance in Blackjack?Insurance pays 2-1

When to take the insurance bet is pretty straightforward, as you only get offered in the specific situation where the dealer is holding an Ace.

Naturally, it then reflects the hand you have and the probability that the dealer will be holding a 10 or a face card.

If you feel comfortable enough with your hand, for example, if you yourself are holding an Ace, regardless of your other card, naturally the odds are the same and you may as well stick to what you got.

The same goes for whether you have a good hand in any other situation, such as a picture card and an 8 or 9.

The only real exception would be in the scenario where you are holding something very weak, like a 5 or 6, where in any scenario, insurance or not, you would see yourself struggling against a dealer’s Ace.

The insurance bet is not something to take just because you can see an Ace. The fundamental issue with the Blackjack Insurance bet is the extra investment that is required and thus, you will need to be sure it is worth it.

Is the Blackjack Insurance Bet Worth it?

A lot of online blackjack chat rooms will tell you that the insurance bet is a bad bet and to be fair, this is in many ways true.

You have to invest more to even apply it and so, it could be argued that you are already on the back foot as you have already invested more cash before you even have started to benefit.

However, to call it a bad bet each and every time is really a matter of what is in play on your side. For one, as mentioned, if you are holding a weak hand then you may stand to gain from the bet.

Here are a few of the pros and cons of using Blackjack insurance.  


  • Protecting a Large Wager: If you are playing at a table that has a large initial bet in play, $100 or above for example, then it may be beneficial in this case. As you stand to lose a lot less. However, if you are playing on a smaller wager table, than to save a small bet isn’t very beneficial.
  • Playing it Safe: If you are having a run or bad luck or happen to have a bad hand, then in this situation it may be worth considering. If you are already losing a lot and it looks like this hand isn’t going to work out either, then it may be better to cut your losses  
  • Dealing is Running Hot: This for players who follow their gut instincts. If you have noticed the dealer is running hot and has landed another APro and Cons of Insurancece, then this may be a reason to use insurance.
  • Counting Cards or Statistic Geeking: If you are counting cards or a geek about the statistics, then it is the most practical use of the bet.  If you are have been doing the math and are certain a 10 is imminent then naturally, this is the best way to save cash. Essentially, if the shoe is clearly rich in tens then it might be worth considering it.



  • Maximizes Loses: Although it can see you save some money if used effectively, if the dealer doesn’t have Blackjack then you are already down an unneeded extra wager even if you win. If you lose the hand not only have you lost your first bet, but also the extra insurance too.
  • Lose/Lose situation:  Even if you win the insurance bet, you have still lost half your wager and as mentioned, you can stand to lose more.
  • More Likely to Lose: The odds overall are stacked against you. Due to the number of 10 Cards in the deck compared to any other digit, it is always more likely that the dealer doesn’t have a 10 then does. In theory, if you were to play the insurance bet 1300 times you would lose 900 of these bets. This is obviously relative of the amount of decks in play.
  • Heavily in House Favor and Blackjack Insurance Pays out 2:1: The odds are always in the house favour, due to all the reasons mentioned so far and by applying the rule, you are instantly going to lose something.  

So, as you can see, Blackjack insurance is actually statistically not the right call most of the time. Unless you are close to certain that it will be pay out for you and you have taken note that there is a lot of tens still in the shoe, then you should probably avoid it.

Although for some situations, where you feel you have a particularly weak hand and there is a high chance that the dealer is going to be holding a 10, then you shouldn’t do it. Except of course, if you like to play with you gut and you get piece of mind by doing so.

Ultimately, you should probably avoid the bet as much as possible or risk being disappointed more often than not.

Alternatives to Blackjack Insurance: Playing it Safe and Maximising Wins.

Ok, so maybe Blackjack Insurance isn’t the most beneficial side bet to place, but there is several other ways to either limit your losses or maximum your bets in each round.

Below are our three top picks for versions of the game to play in different ways, some of which can save you cash others may see you benefit more!

Blackjack Surrender

Blackjack Surrender works in the same way to Blackjack insurance, in that you don’t have to lose all your money if the dealer has a good hand. Depending which you play, the more similar it is to Insurance. Blackjack with Early Surrender, is most similar to Insurance, as you look at one of the dealer’s card and if you don’t fancy your chances you can bail out nice and early and although you lose half your bet, there is no extra fee on top. As such, if you can choose between Early Surrender and Blackjack Insurance it is a no brainer. The alternative is Blackjack Late Surrender. This is slightly more challenging, but you can still stand to get your half your money back. Essentially, the way it works is that when the rule is in play, the dealer checks for Blackjack and if he doesn’t have it, the game continues andBlackjack Insurance alternatives then you can use information to decide whether or not to give up. You can read more about Blackjack Surrender here!

Perfect Pairs

If you would prefer betting on your own hand opposed to the dealers and increasing your payouts, Perfect Pairs might be the Blackjack game for you. The game allows you to bet on the chance of your two cards matching in some way. You can choose from either them matching with suit, colour or both, with different payouts for each. This is much more beneficial, as not only do your odds increase if you do this, opposed to lowering with Blackjack insurance, it is more interesting then just betting on the likelihood of a loss. It is more difficult of course, with more factors contributing, but it adds a thrill to the game.

Blackjack Switch

This is slightly more unique way of playing then the other two options and is more of a whole new dynamic rather than it is an extra element. It is generally new version and was born in 2009. Rather than one hand, you are dealt two and are then given the option if you want to “switch” the two hands to make a set of one or two better hands. It is immediately obvious the benefits that come from this, as rather than just relying on one hand you have the option of two and if you get set of hands that combined make two superb hands then you are already on to double as much cash if it comes through. At the same time, if both are bad even with switch, then it is also double trouble and you can of course lose twice. Regardless, it still remains a safer option as you aren’t just stuck with the hand you are dealt and can manipulate the hands to insure you get at least least something out of the game.

Blackjack Insurance in Summary

Although Blackjack Insurance may be tempting to some players, overall, it cannot be recommended for the most part. There is simply too many negatives for it to be recommended as an alternative to just playing your cards as they are dealt.

That is not to say that every now and then it can’t be used, but as alternative to generic Blackjack or as a way to effectively minimize loses, it simply is ineffective. If you are a fully aware of a lot of 10’s in the deck, then this is the only time it can really be used well and it is never a sure thing.

Don’t feel downtrodden if you were looking for a new way to play and was hoping to spice it up or outsmart the dealer in a new way, there is plenty of options out there to spice up your gameplay and get more thrilling experiences and bigger wins!

However, for the most part, although we wouldn’t say it is always a “bad bet”, Blackjack Insurance may not be the smartest move and certainly, not an efficient way to cash in.