Blackjack Insurance: Is This Side Bet Worth Trying?

Blackjack Insurance: Is This Side Bet Worth Trying?

Ever lost a hand to a dealer’s natural blackjack? Learn the ins and outs of the blackjack insurance bet that protects you against that situation. Our experts will guide you through the basics of the insurance bet, show you when it’s worthwhile to take it and tell you which are the best NZ blackjack casinos where you can try it!

What Is Blackjack Insurance?

What Is Blackjack Insurance

In a game of blackjack, when the dealer has an Ace as their upcard, they will offer players the option of insurance. Insurance is a side bet that allows you to protect yourself against the dealer hitting a natural, which is blackjack from the first 2 cards.

Typically, insurance bets use half the amount of the original bet. Insurance bets have a 2:1 payout when the dealer hits 21, so you get back any losses that occur from your original bet. However, when the dealer does not hit 21, you lose your side bet, and your original bet stays active.

The insurance bet is available on all variations of the blackjack game, so you can try it out on any NZ live dealer casino. Also, if you want to have extra balance to test it out, we suggest picking up a generous live dealer bonus like the Playzee welcome offer with a minimum deposit requirement of $5 up to a maximum of $300.

When Is Insurance Worthwhile?

If the dealer gets a natural blackjack with a positive expected value, they can offer you an insurance bet. This occurs approximately 9% of the time, so you will rarely encounter this type of side bet. Insurance bets are widely considered to be ineffective with low odds of winning as the chances of a dealer getting a blackjack are lower than the 2:1 implied payout rate. Also, insurance bets increase the house edge as the game progresses, so your odds of success diminish over time.

Unless you’re counting cards covertly or you have an explicit reason to believe the dealer will hit a blackjack, there is no reason to take an insurance bet. However, some NZ players with a high-risk tolerance will take out insurance just to spice things up a bit.

However, our OnlineCasinos365 experts believe this bet should be taken 100% of the time only when you are counting cards efficiently and can predict the outcome of the hand.

What Is the House Edge on Insurance Bets?

What Is the House Edge on Insurance Bets

The house edge for insurance bets in blackjack is typically around 7%, whereas the house edge in the main game is around 2%, though this varies depending on the strategy you use. When the dealer’s face-up card is an Ace, the dealer has a 31% probability of having blackjack in a normal game.

This indicates that the insurance bet wins around 31 times out of 100. However, there are roughly 69 instances in every 100 where the dealer does not have a blackjack.

Therefore, if you calculate the mathematical odds, your insurance bet would be lost approximately 69 times, and approximately 31 times, you would win twice your wager. The wins don’t entirely offset the losses, and if you use the blackjack insurance 100% of the time, you will ultimately lose more than you gain in the long run.

What can give a better edge than the insurance bet is mastering the soft and hard hands variations you can be dealt in blackjack. This will give you a better understanding of the game and, thus, a better chance of receiving a positive outcome.

Potential Strategies and Alternatives

Taking an insurance bet makes little sense in most situations. To add a little pressure to the game, some players with high-risk appetites will purchase insurance. But, this option isn’t recommended for long-term profitability. However, if you are counting cards successfully or you have a specific reason to think the dealer will hit a blackjack, it may be worth considering.

Another example of when an insurance wager might be a viable option is during a high-stakes tournament. In these tournaments, the risk is very high, which means the losses can be too. This means that blackjack insurance bets could help mitigate losses and allow for a higher tournament position. We believe you can improve your live dealer sessions by mastering the basics of blackjack with our guide aimed at beginners of the game.

As these situations occur very rarely for most players, you might want to consider some alternatives for minimising your losses:

Potential Strategies and Alternatives

  • Surrendering: If you have a weak hand and don’t fancy your chances of competing against the dealer, you can surrender, which means forfeiting your hand and taking yourself out of that phase of gameplay. When you surrender, you get back half of your initial bet amount.
  • Doubling Down: When you are confident in the strength of your initial two cards and think you can beat the dealer, you may want to consider doubling down. This method requires doubling your bet size before receiving one extra card. While some blackjack variants have their own rules regarding this technique, you can usually double down with any two-card hand. You can win twice as much when you double down, but you can also lose by the same margin.
  • Splitting Pairs: Splitting pairs lets you divide your hand when you get two cards of equal value, for example, a pair of 7s or two Kings. You use each card to begin a new hand and receive a second card for each. It increases your winning potential as well as your risk exposure.

365’s Verdict: Should You Use Blackjack Insurance?

You can certainly make use of the insurance bet when you play blackjack, however, there are only very few scenarios where you will always get on top. We recommend using this type of bet only when you can successfully count cards and are 100% certain the dealer has a natural. For all other NZ players, the risks aren’t worth it.

The insurance wagers can create an interesting dynamic if you’re a seasoned player looking for new ways to bring fun to the table. You can even claim an offer like the MyEmpire sign-up offer with a 120% match, so you have a larger bankroll to explore the blackjack insurance.

We suggest you use these bets cautiously and avoid them completely if you’re a beginner or on a budget. There are other alternatives you can explore if you want to refresh your live casino gambling experience. You can learn to play roulette and explore our recommended NZ roulette casino sites for a new experience.