In the majority of cases I would say to avoid taking insurance in blackjack as if that insurance were the plague. Only because it is a kind of sneaky way for the casinos to try to squeeze a little more money out of you.
Lucky for us when casinos offer this play that isn’t to our advantage there is a loop hole and times when it works better for us than for them.
There are times when taking insurance in blackjack can be advantageous but you have to only work with it then. And it involves card counting in order to pull it off and make insurance profitable. In short, the cards need to be rich in high cards and you need to be holding a natural blackjack or a 20.
Unfortunately for online blackjack players card counting is a wasted effort and that makes it almost impossible to take advantage of insurance. Also the way that online blackjack games function serves as a road block—check it out:
One of the times that you could make insurance work for you in regular casino blackjack is when you have a natural blackjack and the dealer is showing an Ace. But if you are dealt a natural blackjack in online blackjack you aren’t presented with an opportunity to take insurance—the game will automatically declare you the winner and give you your payout.
So if you want to take advantage of insurance in online blackjack you do have the opportunity when you are dealt a 20 and the dealer is showing an Ace.
Because a 20, hard or soft, are the two strongest two-card hands in blackjack after a natural, the chances of you being beat by the dealer are slimmer. But because insurance and beating the dealer both pay 2-1 you will probably come out of the round with some money.
If the dealer does turn out to have a 10 for a hole card and wins you can still collect on the insurance bet. But if the dealer doesn’t have a 10 for a hole card, then you will lose the insurance bet but you still have a strong chance of beating the dealer’s hand.
The only way for you to lose this way is if the dealer doesn’t have a 10 hole card and hits to 21. But while this makes it possible for a strong hand not to be wasted, insurance should never be taken on a whim so keep that in mind. Never take it just because or out of fear. In almost every case you will lose more over time with insurance.