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Blackjack Insurance Rule – How it works

Rachel Elam | January 26, 2021 | Updated on: November 20th, 2023

100x100-blackjack-insurance-rulesIf you are new to blackjack, you probably have not heard of the blackjack insurance rule. It is an additional wager that the dealer will get blackjack. While most players may think this sided bet is a scam. Others believe you can truly benefit from it.

So, we had our experts break down the blackjack insurance rule in our guide below. Find out how it works, the odd, and the payouts. Is playing with Blackjack Insurance Worth It? Find out below.

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How Blackjack Insurance Rule Works

The insurance rule is basically a side bet on the dealer hitting blackjack. The bet pays out independently from your original wager, similarly to any other side bet. The side bet is only made available after all the initial cards are dealt. Also, the dealer has been showing an Ace before their hole card.

For the insurance rule to take, you will have to put up half your wager. What this means is that if your initial bet was $30, you will have to put up $15 for your insurance rule bet.

Should the dealer have blackjack, you will win the insurance bet. the bet pays out 2:1, meaning you will break even on the hand. However, if the dealer does not have blackjack, you will lose the bet, and the play will continue normally.

You may be wondering when you will know to make the bet. Well, in live blackjack games, the dealer will make an announcement. With online blackjack games, there will be a pop-up message on the screen or a button.

Blackjack Insurance Payout

Now that you can buy insurance even in gambling, you need to be more alert about how much you stand to win or lose. There are essentially four ways in which this bet can go. We give you an example of all four scenarios below. We will use the same example as above; you made a $30 bet, and the insurance bet is worth $15.

  1. You make the insurance bet of $15, and the dealer also has natural. The round will end in a push, and you will win a net profit of $30
  2. Again, you decide to take the insurance, but the dealer does not have a natural. You will lose $15 from your insurance bet, but the blackjack earns you 1,5 of your initial $30 bet. So, you will get $45.
  3. Should you decide to not the insurance, then the dealer ends up with a natural you will not win or lose anything.
  4. Lastly, there is a way for you to win even money regardless of the dealer having a natural or not. If you don’t take the insurance bet and the dealer does not have a card valued at 10 in the hole, you will earn $45 in profits plus your initial $30 bet.

Is Blackjack Insurance Worth It?

Essentially the insurance bet can cause a loss in the long run. Your probability of winning is based on the dealer holding a King, Queen, Jack, or Ten card face down.  You can approximate this probability by counting these cards and dividing them by the number of cards in a deck

So, in every deck of cards, there 4 of the King, Queen, Jack, and Ten. That makes a total of 16.  A deck of cards has 52 cards. Therefore, your probability of winning is estimated to 16/52. This is less than 31%. So, if you win two times 31% of the time but lost once 69% of the time, you are losing most of the time. That is -7%. In monetary terms, for every $100 you take in insurance. Assume that you will lose about $7.

Most experts only advise card counter to take the bet also, only if you are playing in a land-based casino. The bet requires you do a bit of math to statically see if you will be losing money in the long run.

500x460-blackjack-insurance-explained

Odds in the Insurance bet

The odds of this bet are dependent on the number of decks being used to play the game. Therefore, this means the odds of winning the bet are not always the same. The number of 1rn that have already been dealt with will also be taking into consideration.

Unless you are really good at counting cards, the odds are honestly against you, more so because of online games. See, at a virtual casino, the deck is shuffled before each hand, making it hard to keep track.

The more deck that is being used in the game, the worse the odds get. The house edge on the insurance rule is 5.8% for a single deck, and when eight decks are being used, it jumps to 7.5%.

Final Thought

Well, we are not a fan of this side bet for obvious reasons. We stand to lose so much in the long run that we would rather employ a strategy and hope that lady luck is on our side. Also, the house edge is bit much for us.

If you are keen on taking this bet, we would suggest only doing so when one deck is being used. Again, take notice of the number of ten cards that have been dealt.

If you are good at card counting, you are more than welcome to give this bet a try. Remember, this side bet is hardly ever included in any blackjack strategies for good reason. Don’t say we didn’t warn, instead check out other blackjack guides for better winning strategies.