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When to Buy Insurance in Blackjack

Learn what blackjack insurance is and when to buy it in this Howcast video about gambling.


Hey guys, I want to just go into the insurance bet in blackjack and when to buy it. Basically, here on the layout, you see insurance pays two to one. What it is, it is a side bet that the dealer has blackjack. You'll get offered that only when the dealer is showing an ace. The dealer will go around the table,"Would you like insurance?" With insurance then what you would have to do, you would have to put up half of your bet. You put up to half of your original bet, on the fact that he's got a blackjack.

In the case if he does then the bet would get paid two to one. Then the player would lose his original bet, but then he gets it back in the form of his insurance. In the case that the dealer doesn't have blackjack, which I don't, then take the insurance money, lock that up and then play would continue from there. In the case of a player with a blackjack if the player has a blackjack versus an ace, what you can do, there are two ways to do it. Some casinos will actually require you to pay insurance.

I believe Atlantic City has that rule where you have to put up the money to get insurance to get your money back. What a lot of other casinos do they give you an option for even money and it's actually the exact the same thing, where the player will get offered to take even money before I check for blackjack. What ends up happening, let's go over the math here. If he takes insurance, and dealer does have blackjack, then he wins $1000 over here and pushes over here, with a net win of $1000.

If the player doesn't take it and takes even money instead, player still gets $1000. So either way, it's the exact same bet. As far as when to do it I advise against anybody taking insurance, because the amount that you're getting paid; you get paid two to one and the odds that the dealer actually has a blackjack comes out to about 30% and change; because there are 13 ranks of the cards. Ace through king and four of them are tens, so the math doesn't really warrant the play.

Exceptions can be made where, say you just have a bad feeling, because a lot of time gambling, that's what it comes down to. It's not always about making mathematically correct plays sometimes to win. Also in the case where, if instead of $1000, the gentleman here had $10,000 and he had no earthly business betting the $10,000 in the first place and it represents his life savings or whatever. Not that I condone that kind of thing at all, but in their case where he's got the option, he could just take $10,000 and walk, by all means take $10,000 and walk. But otherwise in insurance, it's never a good idea to do it.

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