Blackjack Philosophy No-No’s—Part VII

Raise your hand if you like losing money?

No hands? I didn’t think so.

We’re going to take a look at a bad play that is also another player contrived blackjack philosophy. It’s also a no-no.

In your time playing blackjack you are bound to come across other players who are set on insuring a 20. There are only two hands that you can have to have 20 and be in the position to take insurance: an Ace-9 and 10-10.

Both of those are two of the strongest hands that you can have. The only thing that can beat them is a dealer blackjack or a dealer hitting to 21.

Really quick, let’s review what insurance is. Insurance is offered to you when the dealer is showing an Ace. Insurance is offered because blackjack is played with everyone assuming that the dealer’s hole card is a 10. Hence insurance is offered. And hence insurance is really a bet of whether the dealer’s hole card is a 10. That’s what insurance really is.

So let’s say that you have been dealt 10-10 and the dealer is showing an Ace; do you take insurance?

No. Insurance is a side bet on whether the dealer’s hole card is a 10. And you have two of those 10s in your hand. Not a bright move.

Insurance overall will cost you more money than you will save, and it’s best to be brave, not take it and play on.

Insuring a $10 bet means putting $5 more out on the table. If the dealer has blackjack you’ll get your $5 insurance back and half of your bet–$5. At the end of that round you get to keep $10 but you have given up $5 to keep that $10.

Overall, insurance is designed to give the casinos more of your money. And unless you know the principle inside and out and know the only times to insure your hand, just decline and play on.