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Blackjack Insurance Bet

There is a great deal of controversy that surrounds the insurance bet in blackjack; while some feel as if it is a sucker bet that serves no purpose in the game, others find it to be a lifesaver when used correctly. The following information seeks to describe the bet so players can make their own decisions.

What is Insurance?

An insurance bet in blackjack exits to protect players from losing their entire wager amount in the event that the dealer has a blackjack right off the bat. The bet can only be placed after the dealer turns up an Ace as their visible hole card. The player will then place the bet amount--usually dictated by the house--in the associated place on the table. If the dealer does, in fact, have a blackjack, the player wins the insurance bet but loses the hand.

Using Insurance Properly

When players choose to implement insurance as part of their blackjack playing strategy, they should remember to use it carefully and correctly in order to come out ahead. For instance, players should only place an insurance bet if the likelihood of the dealer having blackjack is very high. If most of the 10-value cards in the shoe have already been played, the likelihood is slim, and players should therefore ignore the bet and continue playing as usual.

The Premiums

The cost associated with playing an insurance bet is often set by the house, but there are some standard rules that are usually followed. In most cases, it is equal to half of the original wager placed by the player; if the player anted $5.00 to play the hand, the insurance bet would cost $2.50. This means that if the player loses the hand but wins the insurance bet, they will break even.

Determining whether or not to place an insurance bet in blackjack is a matter of personal preference, though there are certainly some opportunities in which it could be a huge money saver.