Is Insurance A Good Bet?
As we all know, the game of blackjack is one of the most popular games of chance in American casinos. Millions of players are trying to beat the dealer by getting as close to 21 as possible. Needless to say, the best US online casinos are also offering high-quality blackjack variations.
However, not all players are familiar with the intricacies of playing online blackjack. For example, the majority of blackjack players who visit a New Jersey online casino are not sure whether insurance is a good bet.
For that reason, our comprehensive guide will cover the topic in full detail. Here is what the experts say about taking insurance in the most popular casino games of them all; blackjack.
What is the insurance bet?
So, to cut to the chase, the so-called insurance is one of the possible side bets in a game of blackjack. Even though this bet is heavily disputed, the majority of casinos are offering the option of taking insurance.
Players can opt for placing the insurance when the dealer is showing an Ace. To be precise, the offer to take insurance has a limited duration. It expires once the dealer flips the hole card over. In other words, you have to take insurance before the dealer shows the other card.
The reason for this is simple – by taking the insurance you are betting that the dealer will have a natural blackjack. In case you are not familiar with this term, the natural blackjack is a combo of an Ace and a ten-value card (10, J, Q, K).
How to place insurance?
The important thing to note is that insurance is independent of your main bet for the hand. In most cases, US online casinos require that the value of insurance is half of the original wager.
So, if your wager for the hand was $10, insurance bet will be $5. And, the chips are placed next to the initial bet, but in a separate position.
Should you place insurance when playing blackjack?
And, now we come to the big question: Is insurance a good bet? To avoid beating around the bush here is a quick answer – NO! If you decide to place this bet every time you play blackjack in one of the top New Jersey online casinos, you will lose a lot of dollars over time. But, allow us to explain why insurance is a sucker bet and why you should steer clear of this proposition.
So, the payment ratio for insurance in blackjack is 2:1. As we said, the goal is to predict whether the dealer will have a natural blackjack. Yet, the chances of that happening in a single-deck blackjack are roughly 30% in each hand. In translation, you have a 70% chance of losing insurance every time you place it.
To be precise, the odds that the dealer will have a blackjack are 9:4. So, with the negative expected value (EV), it is clear that this particular side bet cannot be profitable in the long run. For that reason, players should NEVER take insurance when playing blackjack. Even though the offer can be tempting, the basic blackjack strategy tells us that insurance is a poor wager in a mathematical sense.
Exceptions to the 'rule'
However, every rule has an exception. When it comes to taking insurance in blackjack, the only situation in which you could opt for this side bet is if you are an expert in card counting. By this, we mean someone who is on a super-advanced level of card counting.
Why? Well, such a person can keep track of 10-value cards. By doing so, he or she can assess the moment in which there is a surplus of 10-value cards in the deck. At that moment, the odds of winning the insurance wager are somewhat better. Nonetheless, you should only use this method in real life blackjack games, never in an online casino. The reason for this is that online casinos are shuffling the deck before every hand.
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At first glance, insurance can be a great back-up plan when you see that the dealer is holding an Ace. Even so, this is an illusion. In most cases, insurance is a wasteful bet and you might as well place the money on a random roulette number.
Once again, we advise you to never rely on instinct when playing blackjack at a US online casino. In the long term, such a playing style will cost you a lot of hard-earned dollars. On the contrary, you should always follow the guidelines provided by the basic blackjack strategy charts.