Dealing blackjack is a nuanced skill, despite being one of the most common jobs on the casino floor.

Blackjack players need to understand all sorts of actions and side bets offered to them, but it is the dealer that needs to execute them and really be on the level if the game is to be enjoyable for everyone involved.

One of the most controversial side bets in blackjack is insurance. From a dealer’s perspective, here’s what you need to know about insurance and how to put it into practice.

Understanding Insurance

Understanding Insurance

Insurance is a standard option in a blackjack round and it is offered by most casinos, land-based and web-based. This is a side bet which plays out independently from the player’s original wager. It is an addition to it and does not affect it.

The players who take insurance bet on the dealer making a blackjack, so the idea is to allow the players to win some of their invested money back on the chance of the dealer forming a blackjack hand (since in 21, a dealer’s blackjack means an immediate loss for the player).

As a dealer, you need to wait for the right moment to unlock the insurance option and wait for the players to take it or leave it.

Offering Insurance

Offering Insurance

There is a unique window in the game when insurance becomes available to the participants. That moment is when the players have been dealt their two initial cards, and the dealer has the face-down card set.

The other dealer’s card is dealt face-up and if it is an Ace the players are given the chance to take insurance. The croupier is obligated to ask who wants to place the insurance bet at that point.

Some players may take it, and some may not. The dealer needs to settle the insurance bets right away.

Insurance Bet Finale

Insurance Bet Finale

After insurance bets are made, the dealer has to discreetly check his/her hole card (the face-down card) by slightly bending the corner up. While shielding the cards, the dealer can take a peek and see if the hand is a 2-card blackjack or not. In the case of a blackjack, the dealer reveals the hole card and makes it official.

The players who have taken insurance will lose their initial bets, but will be paid at the insurance 2:1 odds. If the dealer does not have a 10-value card to form a blackjack with the Ace, the players who took insurance lose the side bet and continue to play with their original bets.

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