Wednesday, September 28, 2022
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Insurance bets

In Blackjack, the aim of the game is to beat the dealer by getting a higher hand. Of course, the limit is twenty-one, and if either the player or the dealer goes over this, they’ll bust. This is really straightforward, and every Blackjack player knows this.

There is another winning condition, though. If either the player or the dealer lands a Blackjack, they’ll win. In this game, a hand of an Ace and a ten-valued face card is known as a Blackjack. So, for example, if the dealer has an Ace and a King of hearts, they’ll automatically win. There’s no way to beat a Blackjack, although if both the player and the dealer both have it, the result is a push bet. This means you’ll have your stake returned to you.

An insurance bet is something a player can take to protect themselves from the dealer’s Blackjack. Should the dealer have their face-up card as an Ace, they’ll ask the player if they want to take an insurance bet.

An insurance bet is usually half of your original stake. So for example, if you bet $20 at the start of the game, your insurance will be $10. If the dealer then shows a Blackjack, you’ll lose your initial bet, but your insurance will payout at odds of two to one. In other words, you’ll break even.

If the dealer doesn’t have a Blackjack, however, your original bet will still be in play, and you’ll lose your insurance bet.

So the big question is, are insurance bets worth it? The answer really depends on the situation. In the vast majority of cases, insurance bets lose money. That’s because despite having an Ace, the likelihood of the dealer has a ten-value card is still low and will happen less than 33% of the time. The exact house edge of insurance bets will vary depending on how many decks are used. The figure is usually between 5 and 7%.

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and panic when you see that Ace card in the dealer’s hand. That’s exactly what the casino wants, and it’s very profitable for them to offer insurance, otherwise, they wouldn’t do it. The rare times when insurance bets are worth it are when you yourself have a Blackjack.

As a Blackjack will payout higher than a regular hand, at three to two, it’s worth it to take out insurance. In the worst-case scenario, the dealer also has a Blackjack. Here your original bet will be a push, but you’ll also make money off the insurance bet. The best case is you’ll lose the small bet on insurance but win big on the three to two odds.

While insurance isn’t necessary and in some cases, will lose more than you’ll gain, it does have its uses. We recommend using it when you have a Blackjack if you prefer to play it safe. If you’re betting low or playing aggressively, it’s not needed.

Knowing when to surrender

Surrendering or giving up is allowed in most Blackjack rule sets. Depending on the game you’re playing, there may be some restrictions on when or how you’re able to surrender. Surrendering allows the player to fold their cards and give up half their bet. In other words, if you choose to surrender after being dealt with your hand, you’ll sit out that round and have half your bet returned to you.

Knowing when to surrender is a big part of playing Blackjack well and winning often. It might sometimes feel counterintuitive to give up, but if you’re going to lose anyway, the least you can do is get back half of your bet.

While surrendering isn’t something you should be doing too often, there are a few times where it can help you improve your odds. Fifteen and sixteen are the two worst hands in Blackjack, and if the dealer has a strong face -p card, it’s best to surrender and wait for the next hand.

If you have a hard sixteen and the dealer has a nine, ten, or Ace, you should surrender. Likewise, if you have a hard fifteen and the dealer has a ten. In most cases, surrendering gives you a chance at getting something back from a losing position and will hopefully help you to win more in the long run.

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