Blackjack - Insurance

How many of you have been to the Blackjack tables and just said no when the dealer has offered you insurance, without really knowing what it is you are being offered?

Insurance is offered to you when the dealers up card is an ace. Some dealers will announce it by offering you even money. You are going to see the rocket once out of every 13-cards, so it’s an option you are going to hear a lot.

“Do you think I have Blackjack?”

That’s the basic question that’s being asked when the dealer offers insurance. Now unless you have a crystal ball, or are a member of the Charles Xavier School for Gifted Youngsters, you are going to have to make a decision based on solid mathematics.

There will be an area marked on the Blackjack table that reads ‘Insurance Pays 2 to 1’ and this is where we place our bet if we want to take insurance, which can be anything up to half of our original bet. If the dealer turns Blackjack then we lose our original bet but gain the half bet that we made on the insurance bet.  If the dealer has no Blackjack then the action continues and we lose our insurance bet.

The mathematics will tell you that this is a bad bet. The insurance pay out is two to one, but the actual ratio of non-tens in a deck is four to one. The house will make a profit on that extra fourth and so the advice would be to say no when insurance is offered.