There will come a time when you will be dealt a natural blackjack. You will be elated as you will always be when one is dealt to you. But then the dealer’s up card is dealt and it’s an Ace. Bummer.
At this point the dealer will offer you even money rather than insurance. On the surface this sounds like it’s different than insurance, I mean it is a different question right?
The truth is that there is no difference between even money and insurance. Even money is the special name that casinos give insurance for natural blackjacks in hopes that you will feel all the more threatened by the dealer’s Ace and, therefore, feel more inclined to accept even money. But you don’t want to take even money because it’s a fancy way of insuring your blackjack.
First a quick reminder of what insurance is. It’s offered when the dealer has an Ace up. An insurance bet cost half the amount of your wager; so a $10 wager would have $5 insurance. Insurance pays 2-1. But all insurance really is is a side bet on whether the dealer’s hole card is a 10 or not.
If the dealer does have a 10, you will lose the round but collect on your insurance bet, which in the above example would mean you would be paid $10.
Now let’s look at even money. Even money is a 1-1 payout. Let’s again say that you wagered $10 and were dealt a natural blackjack against a dealer’s Ace. If you were to take even money you would only get $10. You will have thrown away your 3-2 payout.
Even money is like chickening out. And the casino is hoping that you will because it means that they really aren’t paying you anything considering your wager was the same as what you’re getting paid. Yes, even money does guarantee you a payout but your blackjack is worth more.
Just because the dealer is showing an Ace doesn’t mean that he has blackjack.
But what happens if he does? You will have to push and you would have your wager returned to you—which is the same as an even money payout.
So the best thing for you to do, and add this to your blackjack strategy, is to decline even money. This way if he doesn’t have blackjack you beat the dealer and get the 3-2 payout. And even if the dealer does have a natural blackjack, the money you would wind up with at the end of that round is the same amount as an even money payout.
This way you still have a shot at the 3-2 payout with the push/even money amount as a backup. This way you aren’t throwing away the chance at some winnings.