Even Money is a Drain

We have all at one point or another been offered even money.

Even money is only offered under certain conditions. First, you have to have been dealt a natural 21. Second, the dealer’s up card must be an Ace. At that point the dealer will offer you even money.

Even money means that you are betting the same amount that you stand to lose. For example, an even money bet is when you are betting $10 to potentially win $10.

Under the circumstances that even money is offered, you can pretty much think of it as a type of “insurance” bet. With your natural and his Ace up card he will offer you even money. What this even money does is give you an immediate one to one payout.

Normally when you and the dealer both have naturals it’s a push and you win nothing, but you lose nothing also. Even money gets you a one to one payout.

But if you do this you’re sacrificing the additional 50% payout that you would bet if the dealer doesn’t have a blackjack.

So while even money might feel a bit safer you will in fact lose more money in the long run than if you avoided even money. How much are you losing? About 4% of your profit potential.

My advice is to not take even money. True you’re thinking that you’re giving up that one to one payout, but you’re not really gaining anything. Let’s say the dealer also has a natural blackjack and you have to push—you haven’t lost any money! Your profit potential hasn’t been hurt.

Since you aren’t standing to lose any money, even if you come face to face with a dealer’s natural, go ahead and decline the even money. If you have a higher hand value than the dealer or the dealer busts, you will win the three to two payout. And if the dealer has a natural too, so what? You haven’t lost any money.