How should I bet at blackjack?
Insurance- Insurance bet in blackjack
Anyone who has ever played blackjack, or has watched a game of blackjack once, will notice the labels on a blackjack table that describe the main rules of the game, the payout and the insurance bet payout.
It seems strange that the casino would offer some type of wager that would in some way protect the player or offer a better chance of winning. Casinos tend to promote games and wagering that benefit the house and not the players.
This fact should always be a warning sign for anyone who believes that the insurance bet is something positive for the player. If so, you can be sure that the casino would not be promoting these in such an obvious way.
What is an Insurance Insurance Bet?
The word insurance is a bit misleading here, as it leads players to believe that the insurance bet they have entered has something to do with the current blackjack hand being played. In reality, the insurance bet is a type of side bet when the dealer's exposed card is an ace.
In such a case, the croupier will ask if any of the players want to buy insurance against the dealer having blackjack. As a player, you are not required to make an insurance bet.
If you choose to place an insurance bet, you will need to place a bet equal to half your original stake. It can also be less than half, but not more than half of the original bet.
The insurance pays 2 to 1. If an insurance bet is made that is half the original stake and the croupier hits natural blackjack, you will receive double the amount on your insurance bet. This is equal to the total of your original stake that you lose to the dealer's natural blackjack.
What's Wrong with the Insurance Bet?
Most professional blackjack players will tell you that the insurance bet is considered a "sucker bet" because the croupier has less than a third chance of getting a blackjack. Which in turn means that two-thirds of all insurance bets will lose the players.
Basically, players take insurance bets against the croupier's face down card, assuming it is a card with a value of 10. Now let's assume you are playing blackjack with 6 or 8 sets of playing cards. You will receive an average of 4 out of 10 prepaid cards for every 9 non-10 prepaid cards.
This makes the odds of 9 to 4 that the dealer's face down card is worth 10. To demonstrate how the insurance bet affects your winnings at blackjack, let's say you wager $ 10 on a hand and over the course of a long round of play you take insurance 130 times at a cost of $ 5 each.
The sum of all of your insurance bets would cost you $ 650, assuming the cards are statistically evenly distributed. You would win 40 of the 130 insurance bets you made, 40x winnings x $ 10 = $ 400. In the end, however, you lose 90 of your insurance bets with a loss of $ 450. In total, there is a loss of $ 50 originated.
When should you make an insurance bet?
Insurance bets pay 2 to 1, which makes it a tempting bet. However, it is a bet that is not worth making if you do not count cards and thus know that the card game is still rich in 10 cards. Basically, as long as the card game still has 4 cards with the value of 10 for all 9 other cards, you are at a disadvantage.
As soon as the deck has 4 cards with the value of 10 for all 8 other cards, the casino no longer has an advantage over the player and vice versa. Such a situation would make the insurance bet a fair bet.
As soon as the ratio is lower than 4 cards with the value of 10 to 7 or less other value cards, then the player has the advantage on his side and the insurance bet is worthwhile.
That is why it is best if you count cards that you avoid the insurance bet. However, there is a situation where a non-card counting player can place an insurance bet when 5 hands of blackjack have been dealt in a game round and no player has a 10 card face up. Here the chance is higher that the face down card is a 10 card and the insurance bet should be made.
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