Card Counting and Insurance

Okay, in my last post I pretty much spelled put why taking in Insurance is not a good thing to do. In fact, I showed you how you will lose money if you take insurance.

Now I’m going to tell you when it’s okay to take insurance.

No, this is not a contradictory post. I will not take back what I said in my last post either.

However, there are times when taking insurance can be a smart thing to do. And this applies to players who count cards.

First, let’s look at two of the winning situations.

Let’s say you are playing at a $10 table. You’ve made your bet, and have received your cards. And you have been dealt a natural blackjack. But the dealer’s up card is an Ace. You are, of course, offered insurance. In this instance, you take it. And here’s why:

You have been counting the deck as the rounds have progressed. You know that the deck is rich in ten value cards. The chances of the dealer having blackjack are also pretty good considering the deck is ten card rich. So you take insurance.

Now one of two things can happen. You already have your blackjack, so don’t worry about your hand.

The dealer’s hole card could be a ten value card. You both have blackjack. You win the insurance bet because the dealer does have a natural—remember, taking insurance is just another name for a side bet on whether or not the dealer has blackjack. Since he does, you win the 2-1 payout: $10. But since you both have hands of equivalent value, the actual round is a push, so your original bet is returned to you. You’ve made a net gain of $10.

The other outcome could be that the dealer doesn’t have blackjack. You lose the insurance bet, but you collect $15 on the 3-2 payout of having a natural blackjack. Again, your net gain is $10.

The lesson here is that it can be advantageous to take insurance. But the only time to do so when you have met two criteria:

You’ve been counting cards and know that the deck is rich in ten value cards, and you have been dealt a natural blackjack. It is recommended that you only take insurance when you’ve met those two criteria.

Still, on the whole, insurance is not a good bet, unless you have that natural blackjack and are facing a ten value rich deck.