Blackjack Insurance: What is It And When to Take It

Oliver Keegan

Casino expert

Blackjack Insurance

What does Blackjack insurance stand for? Our experts explain when it’s best to count on it and if it’s truly worth it! 

What is Insurance in Blackjack?

What is insurance in Blackjack

Blackjack insurance is defined as a side bet that becomes available when the dealer gets an ace as the face-up card. This happens before the dealer’s hole card is revealed.

Insurance in 21 is simply another wager you can place at a table if the dealer’s face-up card is an ace. The bet pays 2:1 if the dealer makes Blackjack, which means his second card is a picture or ten-value card.

How does insurance work in Blackjack?

  1. The game starts with the dealer showing an Ace.
  2. He will say “insurance open”. In live dealer casinos, you receive a notification prompting you to take the insurance.
  3. Before he sees his hole card, you must accept it. When he views his card, the offer expires.
  4. You should take the bet, should you believe it may be a 10 valued card.
  5. If you are right, you win at 2:1 odds, should he have blackjack.
  6. Nonetheless, you lose the initial wager.

Costs of Blackjack insurance

Such a bet comes with an additional price tag; 50% or half the value of your original wager. If the dealer has a blackjack, your total returns will be the same value as your initial bet (your winnings + stake). 

For example

If you wager $20 in the original hand and the dealer holds an ace, you will take a bet for $10. If he has a blackjack, you win $20.

However, you can not win your stake and the main bet at a go. If your insurance bet wins, you will lose your initial wager. Using our example, if he does not have a blackjack, you will lose your $10 wager.

When to take insurance in Blackjack

When to take insurance in Blackjack

You should only take this approach in this game when the dealer shows an ace. But here comes the million pounds question; how do you know his hole card is a ten or picture card?

The smartest way of doing this is through card counting. Only through this strategy you can keep track of the remaining cards in the deck. However, you should only appeal to this option if you are playing a single deck variation. The fewer the decks, the more success you have with the card counting strategy. 

You should place a bet when the his upcard is an Ace, and you have a decent hand yourself of 15 or higher. Then, even if you lose your bet, you may still be able to win the round.