That Insurance Thing

It seems that I’m seeing more and more about blackjack insurance—both land-based and online blackjack. There are people that say it’s a good thing and other that say it’s not all that great.

I would be one of those people…one of those that doesn’t think insurance is a great thing.

But then I don’t like side bets either.

Did you know that insurance is a rather sneaky side bet that casinos try to pull you in with? They want you to think that you can save your hand and part of your money for a little bit more money, of course.

But really you’re not saving anything. At best you’ll wind up with the same amount of money that you wagered (more on that jewel tomorrow), and at worst you’ll lost more money.

Here’s the thing—insurance is a side bet. And there’s no other way to look at it.

You’re only offered insurance when the dealer is showing an Ace. A natural blackjack is made up of a 10 value card and an Ace. Since an Ace is the less likely to show than a 10, the dealer will offer you insurance when he’s showing one.

Insurance is to save part of your bet in case the dealer has a natural blackjack. Meaning, in case he has a card worth 10 for a hole card. You can only collect on insurance if the dealer has a natural blackjack. Again, you can only collect if he has a 10 hole card.

And that is a side bet. You are making a side wager on whether his hole card is worth 10. And you’ll win that side bet if it is a 10.

But it comes down to losing money faster since you’re wagering more money per round than if you declined. And you will notice that serious blackjack players won’t take insurance. That’s a pretty good cue to follow.