Coral’s Tuesday tip: Avoid insurance at all costs!
Every Tuesday Coral’s gaming expert Ashley Hughes will go through common mistakes made at the casino and point you in the right direction.
The low-down on blackjack insurance
For those who aren’t familiar with insurance, it’s a bet someone can strike when the dealer’s up card is an ace.
If this is the case ‘insurance’ will be called, giving everyone an opportunity to place a further half-bet down, where if the dealer does holds a ten (hence, forming blackjack), the player will receive their money back and essentially push.
In theory, this sounds like a good idea. After all, there’s a good chance that the dealer will have blackjack.
And since you’re playing against the house, the odds are surely in their favour.
Wrong. It’s the most common misconception that insurance is a sound bet. Unfortunately, it’s the worst bet you can possible make and yet people swear by it religiously.
Why you shouldn’t take insurance
When it comes to extra bets (splitting, double down and insurance), it’s all about the odds. There’s no use sticking extra money down just because it adds to the excitement. If you’d like to actually stand to make some cash, or even just have enough to last you a while, then you need to bet wisely.
Ultimately, it comes down to this. In the situation where the dealer has an ace, there are so many cards that would have them actually win.
In the case of a regular 6-deck game of blackjack, there are 96-cards that would result in the dealer having blackjack (of course, this is from a fresh shuffle on the basis that no other players have been drawn a 10). These are the 10, jack, queen and king in each of the four suits. Now, this might sound like a lot, but think about how many cards out there would not result in the dealer hitting blackjack.
Don’t worry, we’ll work it out for you — 216.
There are 216 cards out there that would result in the dealer landing 20 or less, which means that your odds of winning an insurance bet are low. If that isn’t enough to convince you, then we don’t know what will.
Otherwise, we hope you’re now convinced that you shouldn’t ever take the insurance bet. Instead, if you’ve got a low hand hit as normal, or follow regular blackjack strategy for the situation you’re in. Whatever you choose to do, good luck!