Every popular casino game has that a big win most players dream of. For example, roulette players dream of scoring a straight number bet. In baccarat, correctly guessing a tie can make you feel amazing! As for blackjack, the dream is to score exactly 21 with your first two cards!
This creates a blackjack win, which pays 3:2 or 6:5, depending on what table you are playing on. However, blackjack wins are not unique to players. While rare, dealers also have a chance to draw blackjack, automatically winning the round against you.
To combat this, casinos have added the Insurance bet. Pay money, and you could potentially avoid an immediate loss! Naturally, this raises the question: is this side bet worth it?
What is an Insurance Bet?
You can play multiple rounds without encountering this blackjack mechanic. It only becomes active if the dealer has an Ace up card. We do not know what is dealer’s facedown card is, but one of the numbers it could be is a ten.
This would create a dealer blackjack, which would result in the player’s loss. An Insurance bet is a way to minimize your losses. You bet half of your original wager on top of the money you have already staked.
If the dealer then draws a ten or higher, you get a 2:1 payout on the funds you bet. The original bet still counts as a loss. Therefore, it does not completely stop you from losing: it just makes the loss less painful.
Should I Play it?
If playing at an online casino, our answer is definitely a no. Even in a brick-and-mortar venue, we would be averse taking this bet. The reason is simple enough; the odds for the Insurance bet are stacked against you!
For the dealer to score a blackjack, he needs to draw a ten, jack, queen or king. In short, only four cards will result in a blackjack, while nine will not. That puts the odds of winning an Insurance bet at 9 to 4.
The chances of winning are low, so it might be worth the risk if the payout was greater. However, Insurance only pays 2:1 if you win it; not even enough to cover your primary bet loss!
As a result, we recommend not playing an Insurance bet if the dealer offers it to you. You will lose this wager more often than you will win it. Take the loss on the chin, and hope the next round treats you better!